June 2020

In This Issue ...

Select Funding Opportunities
Resource Spotlight: U-M COVID-19 Portal
Research Development in Practice
Events & Workshops


Research re-engagement begins second wave

Implementation of new health and safety procedures for the pilot wave of research and scholarship re-engagement has proceeded smoothly in recent weeks. Between May 21 and June 4, more than 700 researchers returned to eight campus buildings in Ann Arbor.

On June 4, the second wave of activity expanded to 45 campus buildings last week, each at 30 percent capacity. Research leadership within units are identifying select employees who can return to campus as part of the second wave. 

Before returning to campus, researchers must complete a training module that outlines practices for safely resuming work. Faculty and staff receive daily temperature screenings before they enter approved buildings, and a greeter from the Division of Public Safety and Security asks them a series of brief health-related questions.

In an effort to expedite the intake process, ITS developed an online tool with health-related questions for researchers to answer before arriving on campus each day.

No researchers have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 during the pilot wave. Any research personnel working on the Ann Arbor campus who test positive for the virus will participate in a mandatory workplace contact tracing protocol to help identify co-workers who may have been exposed to the virus.

Beyond campus, limited in-state field research can be approved with appropriate safety plans in place. Out-of-state travel remains restricted at this time.

Current restrictions on in-person human subjects research remain in place, and a university committee is developing a risk stratification and timeline for safely resuming this type of work.

Access OVPR's Research Re-Engagement guidelines for U-M schools and colleges

Read the full article in The Record

UMOR to offer virtual grantsmanship series

This summer, UMOR's Research Development team will present Grantsmanship 101, a series of webinars aimed at enhancing grantseeking know-how for researchers pursuing external funding. The webinars will include a range of skill-building topics, such as understanding funding organizations, how to align proposals with funder priorities, how to write for reviewers, and how to craft specific aims pages and other proposal documents. Anyone in the U-M research community may register through the links below; webinars will be recorded and made available through the U-M Research Development website

June 24, noon-1:30 p.m.: Grantsmanship 101: Understanding Funders & Finding Funding
July 8, noon-1:30 p.m.: Grantsmanship 101: Understanding the Review Process

Additional webinars will be announced in coming weeks. If there is a topic that you'd like covered, or for other questions, contact Jill Jividen, Director of Research Development,

Limited submissions update for Dearborn and Flint campuses

Effective June 25, 2020, institutional limits for limited submission opportunities will now apply to the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses separately. Researchers therefore will only compete with others from their own campus for internal competitions. UMOR will continue to support all three campuses by curating, promoting, and administering limited submission opportunities through weekly RAPid emails and the Infoready Review site, and will work with representatives from each campus to manage internal competitions when necessary. Any questions can be sent to

In upcoming communications/calls for intent weekly emails, we will continue to highlight the fact that the institutional limit applies to each campus individually. We also will make all efforts to identify any opportunities that are specific to an individual campus with language like "Ann Arbor Faculty Only".

UROP recruiting research projects for 2020-21

UROP is now accepting research project submissions for the next academic year. Due to COVID-19 challenges, they are encouraging investigators to think about the elements of projects that can be done remotely and those that require in-person work. This will be helpful as decisions are made about students returning fully or partially to campus this fall.
Program highlights:
  • UROP is open to first- and second-year undergraduate students and community college transfer students who often continue to work with faculty throughout their academic careers at U-M. PIs will have the opportunity to interview and select student applicants beginning September 7.
  • Students participate in the program the entire academic year from September-April.
  • UROP covers students’ compensation through workstudy funds or academic credit.
  • UROP provides research skill-building workshops, including on Refworks, Matlab, GIS, Endnote, SPSS, STATA, Keeping a Laboratory Notebook, etc.
  • Supplementary research funding of $500-800 per student is available for mentors to cover research-related expenses.
For more information, visit or contact the UROP Associate Director, Luciana Nemtanu (

How has COVID-19 has affected your research?

Help us here at the U-M understand how COVID-19 is affecting your research. We have partnered with teams at Harvard and Northwestern Universities to survey the changing nature of academic work. Your response will help us understand how your work has been impacted, and what might be necessary for a successful future. Learn more here:

Public engagement training for the next generation of scientists

Researchers Expanding Lay-Audience Teaching & Engagement (RELATE) invites STEM graduate students, postdocs and researchers to participate in an intensive, interactive communication training workshop this summer, from 4:30-6:30 pm on Thursdays (June 25 - August 13). This program will be hosted virtually on Zoom and is intended for junior researchers who are interested in developing their communication skills and preparing to discuss their work with any audience.  

Participants in the STEM Communication Fundamentals Workshop will learn effective lay-audience communication skills, including how to adapt to any audience and use storytelling tools when presenting research; build a polished talk, aimed at a lay-audience, on research projects or other areas of interest; and put communication skills into practice through public engagement and outreach opportunities

Complete workshop details, including a schedule and how to apply, are outlined on the RELATE website: Applications are due on Monday, June 15 by 5 pm.


All internal and external funding opportunities specific to COVID-19 research may be found on UMOR's website:

Internal Funding

All current internal funding opportunities can be found at

Limited Submissions

W.M. Keck Foundation: Science & Engineering and Medical Research Program
Internal Deadline June 12, 2020
HHS: NIAMS Skin Biology and Diseases Resource-based Center (P30 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Call for Intent Deadline June 12, 2020
HHS: NIAMS Resource-based Centers for Bone, Muscle and Orthopaedic Research (P30 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Call for Intent Deadline June 12, 2020
HHS: Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Centers (42)
Call for Intent Deadline June 12, 2020
NSF: Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES)
Call for Intent Deadline June 12, 2020
NIH: Sponsored Programs Administration Development (SPAD) Program (UC2 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed) Call for Intent Deadline June 12, 2020
DOS: Intensive Media Training for Investigative Journalists Call for Intent Deadline June 12, 2020
DOS: U.S.-South Africa Space Camp Program Call for Intent Deadline June 12, 2020
NIH: Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers (P30 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) Call for Intent Deadline June 15, 2020
DOL: Susan Harwood Training Grants Call for Intent Deadline June 16, 2020
Lustgarten Foundation: Pancreatic Cancer Research Grant 2020 Internal Deadline June 16, 2020

NIH: Enhancing Science, Technology, EnginEering, and Math Educational Diversity (ESTEEMED) Research Education Experiences (R25)
Call for Intent Deadline June 17, 2020
St. Baldrick's Foundation: Fall Fellowship Awards 2021
Internal Deadline June 24, 2020
St. Baldrick's Foundation: Fall Infrastructure Grant 2020
Internal Deadline June 24, 2020
NIH: Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Centers (U19 Clinical Trial Optional)
Call for Intent Deadline June 25, 2020
NIH: Occupational Safety and Health Training Project Grants (T03)
Call for Intent Deadline June 25, 2020
NIH: Directors Early Independence Awards (DP5 Clinical Trial Optional)
Call for Intent Deadline June 29, 2020
NIH: Directors Emergency Early Independence Awards (DP5 Clinical Trial Optional)
Call for Intent Deadline June 29, 2020
NSF: Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering and Computer Science
Call for Intent Deadline June 29, 2020
Public Interest Technology: University Network Challenge Fund Grants-Year 2
Internal Deadline June 29, 2020
Dr. Ralph and Marian Falk Medical Research Trust: Catalyst Award 2020 Internal Deadline June 29, 2020
NIH: Tuberculosis Research Units (U19 Clinical Trial Optional) Call for Intent Deadline July 6, 2020
NIH: NEI Center Core Grant for Vision Research (P30 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) Call for Intent Deadline July 10, 2020
Searle Scholars Program: 2021 Internal Deadline July 15, 2020
Scleroderma Foundation: Established Investigator Grant Call for Intent Deadline July 17, 2020
NIH: Institutional Network Award for Promoting Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Research Training (U2C/TL1 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed) Call for Intent Deadline July 31, 2020

External Opportunities

NSF: Expeditions in Computing (Expeditions) Preliminary Proposal Deadline June 16, 2020
NSF: Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) Medium Proposal Deadline June 22, 2020
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Pioneering Ideas - Exploring the Future to Build a Culture of Health
Application Deadline Rolling Submission
PhRMA Foundation: Value Assessment Challenge and Research Awards
Letter of Intent Deadline July 1, 2020
NSF: DFG Lead Agency Activity in Electrosynthesis and Electrocatalysis (NSF-DFG EChem)
Letter of Intent Deadline July 1, 2020
NSF: Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers Program (IUCRC) Preliminary Proposal Deadline July 7, 2020
NCCN: Lilly Abemaciclib Research Grant Opportunity Application Deadline July 10, 2020
NSF: Program on Fairness in Artificial Intelligence in Collaboration with Amazon (FAI) Proposal Deadline July 13, 2020


COVID-19 Research Portal

To help the U-M research community better navigate news in a fast-changing environment, the Office of Research has designed a COVID-19 Research Portal. Resources include:
  • Research FAQs: Review instructions and policies around the suspension of non-critical research activity.
  • Research Re-Engagement: Keep apprised of guidelines for gradual ramp-up of research activity.
  • Research Index: U-M investigators have mobilized to address a plethora of COVID-19 research challenges; explore their projects, or report your own.
  • Funding Opportunities:  Find a comprehensive list of open research funding opportunities related to COVID-19.
  • U-M Publications: See what U-M researchers have published on COVID-19, and pull a sortable list from Zotero.
  • Research News: The Office of the Vice President for Communications highlights innovative COVID-19 research.


Top reviewer criticisms and how to avoid them

A recent AAAS webinar discussed how to craft grant proposals to avoid common critiques during review. Charles E. Dunlap, Ph.D., Program Director of the Research Competitiveness Program, whose team has reviewed thousands of proposals, distilled lessons learned into the 10 most common criticisms and tips for anticipating them:
1. The proposal is not relevant to the funding agency's priorities and requirements. Explain clearly how your project aligns with sponsor priorities and meets the program requirements. Don't make reviewers hunt for critical information or draw their own conclusions.
2. Proposed work cannot be completed in the time allowed. Scope your project appropriately. A simple timeline chart can help illustrate feasiblity.
3. Proposed work does not contribute to important questions in the field. Describe how your project addresses gaps in knowledge or tests important hypotheses. Test the significance of your research question with mentors or collaborators. Cite recent publications.
4. The methodology is not clearly explain, is missing key details, or is out of date. Not every reviewer will be familiar with your methodology; help them visualize. Publish your methods, and cite those publications. Cite others' methods, and describe modifications you will make. Justify they choices you made in your approach (e.g., why newer methods are better than former methods, or vice versa).
5. Proposed work cannot be carried out with the funding requested. Your project should inform your budget, and your budget should inform your scope. Budget narratives/justifications should be clear.
6. The team is well qualified, but missing expertise required for parts of the project. Use biosketches to highlight team expertise. Add collaborators with needed qualifications.
7. Reviewer can't find key information. Organize using appropriate sections and subsections, and provide clear section headings. Format consistently. Repeat key points in your summary.
8. Research plan does not describe how some goals will be met. Read carefully. Make sure your project summary matches your research plan.
9. Proposal is poorly written and full of errors; low quality suggest PI may not be successful publishing results. Have your proposal reviewed by peers or grant editors prior to submission. Polishing for spelling, grammar and appearance is important.
10. Proposal is reasonable and well written, but not interesting or exciting; it is not competitive. Use your significance sections and impact statements to make a compelling case.

The webinar recording is available on the AAAS website; AAAS will offer an encore webinar live on June 17.


Visualizing Datasets with Excel: Heatmaps, Radar Charts, and More

Webinar from Taubman Health Sciences Library
Friday, June 12
11 a.m.-noon

Moving beyond the title: Evaluating the data you find

Webinar from ICPSR
Wednesday, June 17
1-2 p.m.

Peer Review in Online Spaces

Asynchronous workshop from CRLT
Monday, June 22

Seeing Your Study through Your Participant's Eyes

Workshop from MICHR
Various dates in June & July
If you would like your event added to the newsletter, please contact
© 2019 The Regents of the University of Michigan
Research Blueprint, produced by the University of Michigan Office of the Vice President for Research, aims to drive awareness of and encourage participation in research development opportunities across campus. If you have news that you would like to share with the U-M research development community, please contact
U-M Office of the Vice President for Research | 503 Thompson St. | Ann Arbor, MI 48109