Marion Milligan Mason Award for Women in the Chemical Sciences: Proposals are due Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The objective of the Mason Award is to kick-start the research career of promising future senior investigators in the chemical sciences. The Marion Milligan Mason Fund will provide four grants of $50,000 every other year to women researchers engaged in basic research in the chemical sciences. Awards are for women who are starting their academic research careers. In addition to research funding, the program will provide leadership development and mentoring opportunities.

Applicants must have a “full-time” career-track appointment. More than one applicant from the same institution can apply for this award, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

For more information about the request for proposals for the Marion Milligan Mason Award for Women in the Chemical Sciences, please click here to view the PDF.

This award is funded by a bequest from the Marion Milligan Mason Fund.

As a chemist and AAAS member since 1965, the late Marion Tuttle Milligan Mason wanted to support the advancement of women in the chemical sciences. Dr. Milligan also wanted to honor her family’s commitment to higher education for women, as demonstrated by her parents and grandfather, who encouraged and sent several daughters to college.

***Proposals are due Tuesday, March 1, 2016, midnight Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

***Awards will be announced on or before January 2017.

Proposals should be submitted via the online application system at

If you have questions, please e-mail

To learn more about the Marion Milligan Mason Award for Women in the Chemical Sciences program and past recipients, please visit:

VentureWell Bulletin: Business Plan Competitions

Is your startup’s business plan worth $10,000?
Find out byparticipating in the AUTM 2016 Venture Forum Business Plan Competition. The deadline to apply is November 30.


Attention clean tech teams
$50k prize
January deadline
Sponsored by the DoE, Carnegie Mellon’s Scott Institute for Energy Innovation will run the Allegheny Region Cleantech University Prize Collegiate Competition, one of eight regional university-focused clean energy technology competitions, each year for the next three years. The competition is for student teams working on clean technologies from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland.
Win $150k to realize your healthcare business idea
OneStart 2016, the world’s largest life sciences and healthcare accelerator program, is now accepting applications. Offering young entrepreneurs the chance to win $150k, free lab space and on-going advice from an extensive mentor network drawn from McKinsey and Co., Johnson and Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, SR One, Takeda Ventures, and more.
There is no cost to apply, and applications are open until December 1, 2015.

Seeking nominations for 2016 ASEE Curtis W. McGraw Research Award

The ASEE Engineering Research Council (ERC) Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2016 ASEE Curtis W. McGraw Research Award.  The annual award is sponsored by the ASEE ERC with the assistance of the McGraw-Hill Book Company. The award recognizes outstanding early achievements by young engineering college research workers.  The award consists of a $1,500 honorarium and a certificate, as well as reasonable travel costs, up to $750, to attend the Engineering Research Council (ERC) Annual Conference where the award is presented.

Nomination guidelines for the award can be found at:

The nominations should be submitted as a single PDF file by email with the subject line: “2016 Curtis W. McGraw Research Award Nomination” to Sophia Rester. Nominations will be accepted through December 7, 2015, 5:00 pm EST.

NSF RFPs for mid November

Full Proposal Deadline Date: December 8, 2015
Proposals submitted outside the window of November 8 – December 8, 2015 will be returned without review. Proposer’s time is defined as the time zone associated with the company’s address (as registered in FastLane!) at the time of proposal submission.

Program Guidelines: NSF 15-605
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program is intended to stimulate technological innovation in the private sector by strengthening the role of small business concerns in meeting Federal research and development needs, increasing the commercial application of federally supported research results, and fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.

The SBIR/STTR program solicits proposals from the small …
More at


Full Proposal Window: December 9, 2015
All proposals to the Division of Mathematical Sciences

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

September/October Letter to the Faculty

September/October 2015 Update

Dear Engineering Faculty and Staff:

It is that time of year when the beauty of fall has transformed into the big job of cleaning up leaves and winterizing the gardens/house.  Our family had the greatest of ambitions to all out decorate for Halloween, but settled for making sure the walkways were leaf-free and the pumpkins were extra entertaining.   We lit up in pumpkin orange a lion face, a spooky tree, and to my son’s pure, unbridled joy a “Frankenscary”.  The scramble of fall is not limited to home – it permeates into the flurry of initiatives in our classes, departments, and research labs as we realize the semester is more than half over, but the projects are not….   It was due to this scramble and travel on key initiatives, such as escorting two outstanding Honor’s College students to the Global Grand Challenges Conference in Beijing, China, that I’ve combined both September and October’s update into one.   We have continued to strive to proactively make connections, facilitate resources, and help each of you as you seek to advance and grow your scholarly activities.

Department of Defense (DoD):

You may have noticed that we have had a series of events to help you develop relationships with DoD researchers and program managers (PMs).  DoD can be a valuable partner for your research – it requires developing a relationship with the lab researchers to embark on project concepts that meet their mission or needs.  The concepts then evolve into steady research support.

An opportunity coming up next week is a visit by Dr. Alma Wickenden, Associate for Research at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL).  She will be on campus Thursday, November 12 and will present an open session at 9:00 am titled “ARL’s Technical Program and Opportunities for University Engagement.” Faculty, research staff, and graduate students interested in work related to the Department of Defense are encourage to attend. To register for the session and find the location, please click here: Additional opportunities will be available throughout the day to meet with Dr. Wickenden to discuss your specific research and how to engage in possible collaboration with ARL researchers. For more information, or to sign up for an individual session, contact Shannon Kokkonen (7-3126 or

I just returned from spending two days at the Army Research Lab (ARL) Open Campus and got to meet numerous researchers working on projects that overlap with our work at Tech.  We had a cohort of 8 of us representing Tech and will be coordinating to point each of you to opportunities.  Posters of the research we got to see, each with a section on the collaborations they are seeking, are available here.  Contact information for the researcher is included.  We are happy to provide templates of emails you can send to introduce yourself to begin forming a relationship for collaboration and funding.

This process can be overwhelming, so Paul Hoppe ( a Shedding Light on DoD Research Funding seminar, which provided an introduction for those new to seeking funding from DoD.  The presentation and example quad charts are posted on the engineering research blog.  Both materials have been crafted such that the information is highly accessible (i.e. less complicated) to encourage participation from those of us new to DoD.

Upcoming efforts for Nov/Dec/Spring:

We’ve all had outstanding students that are prolific writers and those who struggle. Via a partnership with the Graduate Society of Women Engineers (SWE), we are working to pilot writing groups that provide goal setting and accountability to increase writing productivity.  If you or your students would like to get involved, look for details on an informational meeting in early December.

The ADVANCE team’s progress in September and October has included task forces that analyzed data ranging from proposal submission and success rates to retention to graduate student mentoring trends.  We used this in an implementation Kaizen to arrive at a Matrix Organizational Process for continuous improvement.  Our overarching theme will be faculty retention and have selected three initial issues that, based upon our preliminary studies, have had an impact on retention at Michigan Tech. The first is in credentialing for research productivity, the second is unit climate based and the third is dual career challenges.  We have structured this effort to be widely inclusive.  If you want to be involved, let us know!

Centers, Institutes, and Core Facilities Networking Event:

The VPR and CoE hosted a Centers, Institutes, and Core Facility Open House on October 29th, which was open to all faculty and staff across campus.   The format was an hour of 2-minute Tech Talks by each center followed by a wine & cheese social where each center had a poster on display and there was time for faculty and staff to talk, network, ask questions, and learn more in-depth about what each entity has to offer.  The slides from the Tech Talks are available on the engineering research blog. Some key data we shared at the beginning was that the number of single PI proposals submitted to NSF far exceeds the number of multi-PI collaborative proposals submitted.  However, the funding rate and dollar amounts of the multi-PI collaborative proposals far exceeds that of single PI proposals.  I draw attention to this because, while the event was valuable, I was disappointed that it was predominantly centers talking to centers with too few faculty engaging. The data suggests that if our faculty do engage in collaborative relationships within our centers and institutes, our funding efforts will be more successful.  I’ve also noted a lack of awareness of the equipment and resources we have available on campus via our core facilities, which directly limits ease of obtaining and quality of data for our research.   I’d welcome your comments and thoughts on why you may not have attended including what barriers you see to engaging with centers/institutes or learning what resources are available via core facilities.  Ideas for next steps (tours of individual core facilities?) are welcome.

Want to get involved?

As we ponder questions on how we can best serve you, your research group, I’ve tossed around the idea of forming an ad hoc committee for assistant professors, one for associate, and one for full professors.  I envision meeting quarterly to get feedback on current challenges and obstacles to your own productivity.

To facilitate dissemination of opportunities (RFPs, seminars, more), please subscribe to our blog, My strategy, thus far, has been to post all requests for proposals, workshop/award, and innovation opportunities to this blog. I’ve reserved email to selectively forwarding the most relevant RFP to individuals or groups.

To be most effective in this later effort, I’ve been working to learn everyone’s research efforts by a) talking to each of your chairs and center directors, b) extending invitations for in-person meetings on each funded grant/initiative, c) skimming your publications posted in TechToday, and d) discussions at networking/related events.   If I have not interfaced with you via any of these mechanisms, please send me an email with either a one-page summary of your efforts or an invite to briefly meet for coffee/tea.

In closing, please share your ideas and enthusiasm to further build the engineering research and innovation infrastructure here at Tech.    All the best as you too get ready for our first snow!

Best Regards,


Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations: 2 page grant proposals due Nov. 11th

This is a reminder that the application deadline for the latest round of Grand Challenges Explorations is fast approaching.

Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to encourage innovative and unconventional global health and development solutions, is accepting grant proposals until November 11, 2015, 11:30 A.M. US Pacific Day Light Time. Applicants can be at any experience level; in any discipline; and from any organization, including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and for-profit companies.

Two-page proposals are being accepted online on the following topics:

Initial grants will be US $100,000 each, and projects showing promise will have the opportunity to receive additional funding of up to US $1 million. Full descriptions of the new topics and application instructions are available at:

In addition, Cancer Research UK is looking for applications from interdisciplinary teams with novel, exciting ways of solving one of the seven Grand Challenges, which together encompass some of the most important unanswered questions in cancer research. Applications will be accepted until February 12, 2016 and winners will be awarded up to £20m (GBP 20 million) to prove their ideas. For further information and to apply, visit their website.

We are looking forward to receiving innovative ideas from around the world and from all disciplines. If you have a great idea, please apply. If you know someone else who may have a great idea, please forward this message.
Thank you for your commitment to solving the world’s greatest health and development challenges.
The Grand Challenges Team
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives.

Stretch Your Mind Engineering Challenge: Register by April 1

Parker Hannifin has created the Stretch Your Mind Engineering Challenge to give engineering students real world experience with a new technology and to work with our Fortune 500 Company.
The Challenge is for university students from across the country and entails working with our patented Electroactive Polymer Technology (EAP) to develop applications that can be brought to market.

And the rewards are great, including cash prizes totaling $25,000. Click here to learn more.

Other Potential Opportunities
If the winning application is judged to have success in the marketplace, the winning team members may have the opportunity to present their application to Parker executive leadership and be given an internship with a Parker Division. There is also the potential for Challenge participants to earn a product royalty if Parker commercializes a submitted product concept.
Learn more and register for the Challenge
Parker Quick Coupling Division’s patented EAP technology is a dielectric polymer that exhibits a change in size or shape when stimulated by an electric field. Parker is developing new smart sensors using EAP technology, and they are giving you an opportunity to take part in the discovery.

** This competition requires a purchase of the polymer.  Contact me, if you are interested.

Elevator Pitch Competition 8:30 p.m. Nov. 12 in Fisher 135

The 2015 Annual Bob Mark Elevator Pitch Competition will be held at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 12 in Fisher 135. Doors open at 8 p.m. Competitors will have 120 seconds to pitch their business idea. First Prize is $1,000 cash, a $5,000 expense account, a year of free office space in the Smartzone and $2,500 in business support services.

Additional prizes include, $500 for second place, $250 third and a $200 “Audience Favorite” prize. The final coaching session will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. in Fisher 139.

Following the competition, Film Board will present a “mystery movie” at 10 p.m. Any questions or to register contact Andre Laplume.

Open Minds: Student Innovation – Apply for prizes

Know an exceptional group of students working on a great idea?
We want them at Open Minds!
Open Minds is VentureWell’s annual exhibition of top student innovation from around the country. Held each year during Open, VentureWell’s annual conference, it features select student teams showcasing their products, fine-tuning their pitch deliveries, and receiving feedback from other E-Teams and faculty researchers from around the country.
Open Minds 2016 will take place in Portland, Oregon on March 4 and 5, 2016.
Who’s eligible?

Any student team from a VentureWell grantee institution is welcome to apply, including:

  • E-Team grant recipients
  • Teams that formed in a VentureWell-supported course or program
  • Teams that have attended any VentureWell training
What’s in it for the teams?
Selected teams will:
  • have a chance to win cash prizes up to $1,000
  • attend a development workshop exclusively for Open Minds teams, which focuses on networking, storytelling, and presentations
  • showcase their innovations to a wide range of audiences, including faculty, peers, potential investors and/or advisors
  • receive two free tickets to attend Open, VentureWell’s 20th annual conference, attended by faculty and funders from around the country
  • have the chance to bond with fellow E-Team alumni
  • receive a subsidized trip to Portland, Oregon (travel stipend determined based on geographic location)
  • celebrate the Lemelson Foundation and VentureWell’s 20th anniversary, including a special party and more!
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Review of Foreign National Restrictions on Awards: Nov. 18th 12-1

The Vice President for Research Office will host an educational session, “Review of Foreign National Restrictions on Awards” from noon to 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 18th.  The session will be in the Memorial Union Ballroom A-2.

This session will help faculty and staff understand and address foreign national restrictions considerations when conducting research.  Topics covered will include: managing technical data, intellectual property and proprietary materials; defining and working with foreign nationals, publishing and teaching; and exporting and licensing considerations.

To register, please click on the following link:  Register here!

This workshop is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research. There will be desserts and beverages provided, please bring your own lunch.

If you have questions, please contact Jay Meldrum at 487-3178 or or Ramona Englund at 487-2654 or

Thank you,