How to Write a Competitive, Fundable Proposal

Join the Graduate School and Research and Sponsored Programs for a seminar on “How to Write a Competitive, Fundable Proposal”  June 16, 11 am.

Seniors and current graduate students interested in applying for external funding or a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship will gain:

  • 6 proposal writer tips
  • 7 proposal writing guidelines
  • 4 effective proposal package strategies

Once you register, you will receive a confirmation with the location and a reminder of the date and time.  Space is limited, so register early!  The presentation will be available online for those unable to join us at this time.


An Introduction to External Funding

Update: View this seminar online – see the items listed for June 4, 2009.  It will be online for approximately one year.

Join the Graduate School and Research and Sponsored Programs for an “Introduction to External Funding” seminar June 4, 2 pm.  Learn how to:

  • access and develop strategies for prospect searches on free internet databases,
  • understand proposal jargon,
  • evaluate grant requirements with your qualifications for eligibility
  • unravel the seemingly complex processes for proposal submissions.

To illustrate some of these concepts, we will discuss the criteria and evaluation process for Finishing Fellowships and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Once you register, you will receive a confirmation with the location and a reminder of the date and time.  Space is limited, so register early!  The seminar will be taped and available online for those unable to join us at this time.


NSF Proposal Submission Change

Tech Today

submitted by Sponsored Programs

Due to an expected increase in Grants.gov submissions relating to the processing of Recovery Act proposals, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has authorized agencies to use alternative methods for proposal submission and acceptance.

Effective immediately, new funding opportunities issued by NSF will require the use of FastLane to prepare and submit proposals. NSF plans to revise existing funding opportunity documents to reflect this change and to remove all active application packages from Grants.gov APPLY. Updated NSF information about available funding opportunities will be posted to Grants.gov FIND.

Once you have identified a grant opportunity, be sure to carefully read the instructions to ensure you are following proper submission procedures for that application, even if you have applied before. Grants.gov will still be the website to find all available federal grant opportunities, and all opportunities will include specific application instructions, including instructions for submitting applications outside of Grants.gov.

The following agencies will accept applications outside of Grants.gov: Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Education (DOED), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Treasury, Department of Transportation (DOT), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Air and Space Administration (NASA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Science Foundation (NSF). Pay close attention to the grant announcements and application instructions for these agencies.

Detailed instructions regarding the technical aspects of proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at www.fastlane.nsf.gov/ .

If you have any questions, contact the Sponsored Programs Office at 487-2226.



Nominations open for the 2009 Distinguished Dissertation Award

Nominations are closed for the 2009 competition.

Nominations are now open for the 2009 Council of Graduate Schools (CGS)/University Microfilms International (UMI) Distinguished Dissertation Award. This year, nominations are being accepted from dissertations in the fields of:

  1. biological and life sciences (more details)
  2. humanities/fine arts (more details)

Michigan Tech may nominate one student in each field. PhD students who have completed all of their degree requirements between July 1, 2007, and June 30, 2009, are eligible.   Next year, the 2010 competition will accept nominations in the fields of social sciences and mathematics/physical sciences/engineering for students who have graduated between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2010.

A nomination packet must include the following:

  1. a completed nomination form. The form is available at http://www.cgsnet.org/portals/0/pdf/2009UMI_NominationForm.pdf .
  2. a 10-page abstract of the dissertation, double spaced on white letter-sized paper.
  3. optional: abstract appendices containing non-textual material such as charts, tables or figures.
  4. a letter of reference from the dissertation advisor.
  5. a letter of reference from a member of the nominee’s dissertation committee.
  6. a letter of reference from a person chosen by the nominee.
  7. a pdf file of the dissertation on a CD.

The letters of reference should address the significance and quality of the dissertation work.

Nominations should be delivered to Debra Charlesworth in the Graduate School no later than 4 p.m. on June 19. Contact Charlesworth (ddc@mtu.edu) if you have any questions about the competition.  See also the Council for Graduate School’s announcement page.



Seminar May 21(2pm): Submitting your thesis or dissertation

Update: View this seminar online.  See the 2009 Archives.  It will be online for approximately one year.

Are you planning on finishing your thesis or dissertation this semester or next semester?  Do you assist students submitting theses or dissertations?  If you answered yes to either of those questions, please join the Graduate School at our next seminar designed to help students, faculty, and staff better understand current procedures and have all of their questions answered.

Join Debra Charlesworth of the Graduate School for a description of online submission of a thesis or dissertation from start to finish. This seminar will be useful to students preparing their documents as well as faculty and staff who assist students.  We will also introduce a new dynamic form, which is part of our continuing effort to reduce the number of forms students need to complete and make them easier to complete correctly.  The seminar will be May 21st at 2:00pm.

Please register for the event at our online registration site:

http://www.gradschool2.mtu.edu/registration/events/

Once you register, you will receive a confirmation with the location and a reminder of the date and time.  Space is limited, so register early! The seminar will be taped and available online for those unable to join us at this time.


SMART Scholarship

SMART Scholarship

Department of Defense

Very competitive, but a super opportunity.

Applications open in August, deadline in December

The Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program has been established by the Department of Defense (DoD) to support undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

SMART Scholars Receive:
• Cash award paid at a rate of $25,000 – $41,000 per
year depending on prior educational experience
• Full tuition and related education expenses
• Health Insurance
• Book allowance
• Summer Internships (multi-year participants)
• Post-Graduation Career Opportunities

SMART Brochure


Helping Folks Exercise

Tech Today

by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor

Do obese people avoid exercise because the equipment is not designed for them?

Does the pain or discomfort sometimes associated with exercise keep them from working out?

A Michigan Tech researcher is looking at how exercise equipment might be hindering workouts of the obese.

“I want to know if using this ergometer [rowing machines] leads to different movement kinematics and therefore joint loads, depending on body shape, for example,” says Karen Roemer, assistant professor of biomechanics in the exercise science, health and physical education department. “Potentially, we could give equipment manufacturers suggestions for new designs.”

Roemer is using some high-tech equipment for her research, and, thanks to a $26,700 grant from the Michigan Tech Research Excellence Fund, she will be able to do even more.

“We are using reflective markers [tiny sensor-balls] attached to the skin, then shooting them with multiple cameras,” she says. Similar to modeling Tiger Woods’ swing for a videogame, the many markers are translated via software that reproduces the movement.

“These are complex biomechanical problems,” Roemer says. “For modeling the knee joint, we used scans performed in an open MRI scanner and data from motion analysis using 80 reflective markers and 12 digital cameras.”

The result is a multi-body knee-joint model that looks like it came from the Matrix: complicated processes and images broken down by all the markers, then reassembled to resemble the real joint. And it takes time.

“Normally, digitizing one movement analyzed with video cameras can take six to eight weeks,” she said. “But with the new system in my lab I will be able to do it within a few days.”

Roemer did similar research in her native Germany at the Chemnitz University of Technology’s Department of Sport Science before coming to Tech. She also worked with the German national volleyball team. Based on motion analysis performed during European League games, the kinematics of fairly complicated joints, such as the shoulder, can be analyzed.

Other simulation studies allow for analyzing other aspects. For the stress on knees, for example, she tests on the rowing machine and stationary bike and while walking or running.

For gait and running analysis, a special force plate has been installed in Roemer’s new lab in the SDC. When the movement of a reflector-laden runner is captured crossing the plate, data can be gathered instantly into computers.

The three dimensions of the ground reaction force resulting from the foot hitting the floor, for example, are shown on the computer screen in red arrows shooting up through the person’s body.

She is also interested in daily movements, such as the gait, and what problems exist with joint loads, for example, that can be compared to more-intense movements.

All this time- and technology-intensive work is worth the wait, however, if it helps fight the weight.


Regional Climate Change Center Awards Research Grants

Tech Today

by Jennifer Donovan, public relations director

The Midwest Regional Center of the National Institute for Climate Change Research, based at Michigan Tech, has awarded $1.5 million in US Department of Energy grants for four new collaborative research projects in seven states, as well as eight continuing projects.

The newly funded initiatives involve researchers from the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Minnesota, the University of California, Kansas State University and the University of Illinois.

They will investigate forest carbon dynamics; interactions among water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen in a grassland ecosystem; the effects of warming and changes in rainfall on root systems and soil carbon decomposition in a grassland ecosystem; and the interaction of elevated temperature and carbon dioxide on a soybean ecosystem.

“I’m very excited by the new group of projects the Midwestern Regional Center is funding,” said Andrew Burton, director of the center and associate professor in SFRES. “These new studies will continue the center’s and Michigan Tech’s strong involvement in examining the way forests, wetlands, grasslands and crops will respond to changing temperature and moisture.”

Since the center was established in December 2005, it has supported $7 million in collaborative research projects in its 13-state region.

“The research we have supported will improve our basic understanding of how terrestrial ecosystems may respond to climatic change and will help provide a solid scientific basis for determining appropriate responses,” Burton said.