Three Opportunities Regarding Wearable Robotics

Three Things You Need to Know About Wearable Robotics

1. WIN $5000.00!

Join the innovation competition and be seen by potential investors! WearRA is seeking entries that represent the most innovative ideas in wearable robotic technology for its inaugural Innovation Competition. The winner of the competition will receive international recognition, and $5,000 to support development and commercialization of the technology. Visit the website for more information:


The field of wearable robotics is growing rapidly and there are safety concerns when a device is worn. Dr. Thomas Sugar is developing an IEEE study group to research standards for the field. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently awarded WearRA with a research grant and will present an important and timely workshop at WearRAcon 16, Feb. 10-12 in Phoenix, AZ.


You will hear from esteemed Japanese billionaire businessman and academic, founder, President and CEO of the cyborg-robot maker Cyberdyne, Dr. Yoshiyuki Sankai. He will discuss the Hybrid Assistive Limb (also known as HAL) and the growing field of wearable robotics.  (

Department of Energy (DOE) Scholars Program for Summers: deadline is December 15, 2015

DOE SCHOLARS PROGRAM – Explore the Possibilities!

The Department of Energy (DOE) Scholars Program is now accepting applications for Summer 2016.

 Visit for more information or to apply – deadline is December 15, 2015! 

The DOE Scholars Program offers unique opportunities that introduce students or post-graduates to the agency’s mission and operations. Participants in the DOE Scholars Program gain a competitive edge as they apply their education, talent and skills in a variety of scientific research settings within the DOE complex. Appointments are available in a variety of disciplines at participating DOE facilities nationwide.

Being selected as a DOE Scholar offers the following benefits:

  • Career possibilities with the nation’s leading sponsor for scientific research
  • Opportunities to learn from top scientists and subject matter experts
  • Stipends are a minimum of $600 per week (depending on academic status)
  • Travel arrangements to and from appointment site

Applicants must be US Citizens and undergraduates, graduates or post-graduates of an accredited college or university. The program is open to majors in: Engineering; Physical Sciences; Environmental Sciences; Computer Science and Information Technology; Physics; Business; Policy; Program Management; Mathematics; Statistics; Safety and Health; Accounting and Finance; Law; Communications; and other related areas.

Want to learn more about the DOE Scholars program? E-mail or visit

If you have questions you may contact me at 865-574-6440 or at

DOE-scholars-flier-2015 recruitment for 2016 final.pdf

DoE Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) applications (3 to 12 consecutive months) due December 15, 2015

ORAU is pleased to provide the information below regarding an opportunity available to all institutions. This notice is a service to ORAU Sponsoring and Associate Institutions. Please forward within your institution and broadly to colleagues as you feel appropriate.

Dear Colleagues,

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science is pleased to announce that the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is now accepting applications for the 2015 Solicitation 2.  Applications are due 5:00pm ET on Tuesday December 15, 2015.

*Update for the 2015 Solicitation 2: The SCGSR program is now open to graduate students with Permanent Resident status, in addition to U.S. Citizens, who meet all other eligibility requirements. Detailed information about the program, including eligibility requirements and access to the online application system, can be found at:

The SCGSR program supports supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE national laboratory in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist for a period of 3 to 12 consecutive months—with the goal of preparing graduate students for scientific and technical careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission.

The SCGSR program is open to current Ph.D. students in qualified graduate programs at accredited U.S. academic institutions, who are conducting their graduate thesis research in targeted areas of importance to the DOE Office of Science. The research opportunity is expected to advance the graduate students’ overall doctoral thesis while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories. The supplemental award provides for additional, incremental costs for living and travel expenses directly associated with conducting the SCGSR research project at the DOE host laboratory during the award period.

The Office of Science expects to make approximately 50 awards in 2015 Solicitation 2, for project periods beginning anytime between June 1, 2016 and September 30, 2016.

The 2014 program solicitation and the 2015 Solicitation 1 have resulted in awards to a total of 112 graduate students from more than 50 different universities to conduct thesis research at 15 DOE national laboratories.  The SCGSR program is sponsored and managed by the DOE Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS), in collaboration with the six Office of Science research programs offices and the DOE national laboratories, and the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE).

For any questions, please contact the SCGSR Program Manager, Dr. Ping Ge, at

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science


University Partnerships Office

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance research and education, protect public health and the environment and strengthen national security. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Info session on Thurs. Sept. 17 @ 6 pm

As many of you are already aware, the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) application period is now open.  The Research Development Office will be sponsoring a workshops aimed at advising current or prospective Michigan Tech graduate students in developing competitive GRFP application packages.  Please send the names of competitive graduate students (first year grad students and second-year grad students in their first semester) to Natasha Chopp ( so she can invite them to the GRFP workshops. 

Our first session will be held on Thursday, September 17 at 6:00 pm in Admin 404 (Graduate School Conference Room). This session will be a general overview of the NSF-GRFP.

To be eligible for the NSF GRFP, students must:

  • be a US citizen, US national, or permanent resident
  • intend to pursue a research-based Master’s or Ph.D. program in a STEM field (see Solicitation (NSF 15-597) for eligible fields of study.  Many areas of Social Sciences, STEM education and learning research, and Economics are eligible)
  • be enrolled in an eligible program at an accredited United States graduate institution, with a US campus, by fall 2016
  • have completed no more than twelve months of full-time graduate study (or the equivalent) as of August 1, 2015, or meet the criteria for the extenuating circumstance described in Section IV of the Program Solicitation.
  • meet all other eligibility requirements as set forth in the current Program Solicitation

To be competitive we encourage students to apply who have:

  • a 3.5 GPA or higher
  • research and outreach experience
  • strong faculty references – letters of recommendation need to be exceptional

Award benefits:

  • a three year annual stipend of $34,000
  • $12,000 cost of education allowance for the cost of tuition

Research in the Formation of Engineers Webinar 29 Sept. 1 pm.

 Sep 29, 2015 1:00PM to 2:30PM

This webinar will provide guidance to prospective PIs interested in submitting proposals to the Research in the Formation of Engineers (RFE) and Research Initiation in Engineering Formation (RIEF) programs. Topics to be discussed include the overall goals of the programs, specific requirements for each program, elements of a strong …
More at

BBC Newsletter: NSF SBIR and STTR Solicitations Released

NSF SBIR and STTR Solicitations Released
The National Science Foundation has released its Phase I SBIR and STTR solicitations with submission deadlines of December 8 and December 11, 2015, respectively.
Some noteworthy changes:
  1. Both SBIR and STTR now have maximum Phase I budgets of $225,000.
  2. Applicants can designate project duration of between 6 and 12 months.
  3. Streamlined Budget and Budget Justification. NSF is piloting a new approach by which the applicant provides a preliminary Phase I budget and budget justification. If and when the proposal is under consideration for funding NSF will request a full Budget and Budget Justification.
  4. Preliminary Budget. The Phase I proposal must include only the total budget of $225,000 without itemized dollar figures for individual budget categories.
  5. Preliminary Budget Justification. This narrative must include a description of the resources the applicant considers “essential, adequate, and appropriate” to support the proposed project. It should describe specific items, including:
    • Senior Personnel and the time they will devote to the project
    • Other personnel on the project team
    • Project-critical materials and supplies
    • Subcontractors and consultants, the project work they will perform, and their letters of commitment

The Principal Investigator (PI) of either SBIR or STTR projects must still be more than 50% employed by the applicant small business. However, now the PI of a STTR must devote a minimum of one month’s effort to the project, rather than the two months previously required.

Learn more about the NSF solicitations and how to prepare a compelling proposal:
“Proposal Preparation for NSF” — Friday, Sept. 18, 9 AM – 3 PM in Southfield, MI. Michael Kurek, PhD, Partner, BBCetc presenting.

Lockheed Martin Releases DoD Topics of Interest
Lockheed Martin has released a listing of DoD SBIR 2015.3 and STTR 2015.C solicitation topics with identified Lockheed Martin personnel interested in particular SBIR topics. The purpose of this listing is to help connect companies with the appropriate Lockheed Martin technical points of contacts to explore opportunities for partnership and innovation.

Contact Becky Aistrup, Principal Consultant, BBCetc for more information or assistance in identifying topics.

Sign up for BBCetc’s Grants & Contracts Management Webinar Series
Presented by Kris Bergman, Grants and Contracts Management Consultant
All webinars are 1-2 PM ET
THIS THURSDAY, Sep. 17: How to Prepare a Budget for SBIR/STTR Proposals
Sept. 24: What You Need to Know About Government Audits
Oct. 1 – Practical Strategies for Indirect Rate Development
Oct. 8 – QuickBooks and Compliance for SBIR/STTR Recipients
Check out BBCetc’s selection of recorded webinars
BBCetc is comprised of a group of geeks and gurus of commercialization and non-dilutive federal R&D funding for early-stage, technology companies.

Innovation Opportunities with the SmartZone: Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) Conference on Oct 7th and 8th

The MTEC SmartZone guides entrepreneurs and helps create high tech jobs in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. We’re one of 15 Michigan SmartZones that provide office space, training, access to funding, coaching and other resources to help businesses owners develop ideas, patents and innovative opportunities. They have partnerships with the cities of Houghton and Hancock, Michigan Technological University, Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance and Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and local and statewide economic development organizations.  This is an excellent complimentary resource for Michigan Tech spin-off companies.

CEC Conference in Houghton/Hancock You Won’t Want to Miss 

The annual Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) Conference is coming to Houghton/Hancock on October 7th and 8th! There will be 25 great keynote speakers sharing their knowledge on what it takes to create entrepreneurial growth in a community. If you are a representative of a community organization, you will want to register now to select your breakout sessions. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!

Final Fridays @ KBC
Hosted by MTEC SmartZone

Let loose on the last Friday of each month at the KBC! Mingle with other entrepreneurs, talk about projects, network with smart people, and have a beer!Meet at the KBC at 4:30pm, last Friday of each month. For more information, call 906-487-7000 or email See you there!

MTEC SmartZone
600 E. Lakeshore Drive
Suite 121
Houghton, Michigan 49931
(906) 487-7000

NSF Opportunities in CISE, Data-Enabled Science & Engineering, SBIR/STTR, PFI, and more

Full Proposal Deadline Date: September 30, 2015
Program Guidelines: NSF 15-569
With the goal of encouraging research independence immediately upon obtaining one’s first academic position after receipt of the PhD, the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) will award grants to initiate the course of one’s independent research. Understanding the critical role of establishing that independence early in one’s career, it is expected that funds will be used to support untenured faculty or research scientists (or equivalent) in their first two …
More at

Full Proposal Window: September 30, 2015
All proposals to the Division of Chemistry – Chemical Theory, Models and Computational Methods
Program Guidelines: PD 12-8084
Advanced computational infrastructure and the ability to perform large-scale simulations and accumulate massive amounts of data have revolutionized scientific and engineering disciplines.  The goal of the CDS&E program is to identify and capitalize on opportunities for major scientific and engineering breakthroughs through new computational and data analysis approaches.  The intellectual drivers may be in an individual discipline or they may cut across more than one discipline …
More at 

 Full Proposal Window: September 30, 2015
Program Guidelines: PD 09-6881
Note:  For proposals with significant emphasis on sustainable chemistry, consider making proposal submissions to this program with the Proposal Title as:  ‘SusChEM: Name of Your Proposal’.  For more information, see the DCL on SusChEM (, a new NSF Emphasis Area.”   The Chemical Theory, Models and …More at


The following two are limited submissions, so please let me ( know if you are considering submitting one.
Solicitation: NSF 15-605
Due Date: December 08, 2015
Institutional Limit: 2
An organization may submit no more than two Phase I proposals in total during this cycle, which is defined as this SBIR Phase I solicitation and the concurrent STTR Phase I solicitation. For example, an organization may submit one (1) SBIR Phase I and one (1) STTR Phase I proposal, two (2) SBIR Phase I proposals, or two (2) STTR Phase I proposals during this cycle. These eligibility constraints will be strictly enforced. In the event that an organization exceeds this limit, the first two proposals received will be accepted, and the remainder will be returned without review. No exceptions will be made. The submission of the same project idea to both this SBIR Phase I solicitation and the concurrent STTR Phase I solicitation is strongly discouraged.
Solicitation: NSF 15-604
Due Date: December 11, 2015
Institutional Limit: 2
An organization may submit no more than two Phase I proposals in total during this cycle, which is defined as this STTR Phase I solicitation and the concurrent SBIR Phase I solicitation. For example, an organization may submit one (1) SBIR Phase I and one (1) STTR Phase I proposal, two (2) SBIR Phase I proposals, or two (2) STTR Phase I proposals during this cycle. These eligibility constraints will be strictly enforced. In the event that an organization exceeds this limit, the first two proposals received will be accepted, and the remainder will be returned without review. No exceptions will be made.The submission of the same project idea to both this STTR Phase I solicitation and the concurrent SBIR Phase I solicitation is strongly discouraged. 

Please Note: A team is preparing to submit an Institutional Transformation ADVANCE proposal.  Please email to join. The LOI is due in November.
Full Proposal Deadline Date: October 5, 2015
Program Guidelines: NSF 15-526
A well-prepared, innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce is crucial to the Nation’s health and economy. Indeed, recent policy actions and reports have drawn attention to the opportunities and challenges inherent in increasing the number of highly qualified STEM graduates, including STEM teachers. Priorities include educating students to be leaders and innovators in emerging and rapidly changing STEM fields as well as educating a scientifically literate …
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Full Proposal Deadline Date: October 9, 2015
Program Guidelines: NSF 15-570
The NSF Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) program within the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) is an umbrella for two complementary subprograms, Accelerating Innovation Research (AIR) and Building Innovation Capacity (BIC). Overall, the PFI program offers opportunities to connect new knowledge to societal benefit through translational research efforts and/or partnerships that encourage, enhance and accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship. The subject of this …
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Awards for Young Scientists/Engineers: 1) NSF Waterman due Oct. 23 and 2) Blavatnik due Nov. 18

NSF Waterman due Oct. 23rd

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is pleased to accept nominations for the 2016 Alan T. Waterman Award. Each year, the Foundation bestows the Waterman Award in recognition of the talent, creativity, and influence of a singular young researcher. Established in 1975 to commemorate the Foundation’s first Director, the Waterman Award is NSF’s highest honor for promising, early-career researchers.

Nominees are accepted from all sources, and from any field of science and engineering that NSF supports. The award recipient will receive a medal and an invitation to the formal awards ceremony in Washington, DC. In addition, the recipient will receive a grant of $1,000,000 over a five-year period for scientific research or advanced study in any field of science or engineering supported by the NSF, at any institution of the recipient’s choice. We are especially interested in nominations for women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

  1. A candidate must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. He or she must be 35 years of age or younger, or not more than 7 years beyond receipt of the Ph.D. degree, by December 31st of the year in which they are nominated.
  2. A candidate should have demonstrated exceptional individual achievement in scientific or engineering research of sufficient quality, originality, innovation, and significant impact on the field so as to situate him or her as a leader among peers.

Complete nomination packages, consisting of nominations and four letters of reference, are due by October 23, 2015. The nominations and letters must be received through the FastLane system. To submit a nomination, please visit

Please contact Dr. Sherrie Green, Program Manager for the Alan T. Waterman Award at or 703-292-8040 if you have any questions. You may also visit more information. A PDF version of the call for nominations is available at


Blavatnik due Nov. 18

This is now a Michigan Tech limited submission opportunity on the VPR website, which is shown below. Please visit the Limited Submission Opportunity website to view other opportunities. When applying for a limited submission proposal, please follow the Limited Submission Guidelines.

The New York Academy of Sciences and the Blavatnik Family Foundation will open nominations for the 2016 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists on September 30th, 2015.

Entering its third year, the Blavatnik National Awards celebrate America’s most innovative and promising faculty-rank scientists and engineers. Your institution is invited to nominate one outstanding candidate in each of the three disciplinary categories: Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry. One nominee in each category will be awarded $250,000 and be named a 2016 Blavatnik National Laureate.

The nomination period will begin on September 30th, 2015 and end on November 18th, 2015.  Letters of support must be submitted by December 2nd, 2015.

Please refer to the national nomination guidelines for details on candidate eligibility, nomination requirements, and selection criteria.

If your institution would like to receive printed “Call for Nominations” flyers, please provide us with an appropriate mailing address.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. You may send inquiries  or directly contact the Blavatnik Awards staff at (212) 298-8624 (M-F, 9 am – 5 pm ET). Additional information is also available at: