Michigan Tech Research Institute Scientists Honored

Robert Shuchman, co-director of the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) in Ann Arbor, and co-authors won the Chandler-Misener Award at the International Association for Great Lakes Research annual research conference in Peterborough, Ontario, in May. The Chandler-Misener Award is presented annually to the author(s) of the peer-reviewed paper in the current volume of the Journal of Great Lakes Research judged to be “most notable.” Papers are evaluated on the basis of originality, contribution and presentation.

Shuchman and co-authors including Charles Hatt, a research engineer at MTRI, won the award for a paper titled “Verification and Application of a Bio-optical Algorithm for Lake Michigan Using SeaWiFS: A Seven-year Inter-annual Analysis.”


Michigan Tech Selected for Federal Demonstration Partnership to Streamline Grants Administration

by Jennifer Donovan, public relations director

Federal research grants are the lifeline of university research. But their lengthy, complicated application and administration requirements can drain the life out of the researchers.

Michigan Tech has been accepted as a member of a select group of research institutions and federal agencies in Phase 5 of the Federal Demonstration Partnership. The partnership’s primary goal is to increase the time available for those performing research to perform the research and decrease the administrative burden while still maintaining effective stewardship of federal funds.

“What this means for Michigan Tech is that we can help streamline the process of managing federal research grants,” said Anita Quinn, director of research and sponsored programs.

For Quinn, who says she has spent her entire career at Michigan Tech trying to streamline grants administration processes, this is an important step. “We actually can have an impact and help make changes and improvements in the way the federal government operates with recipients of federal funds,” she said.

The Federal Demonstration Partnership began in 1986 as an experiment between five federal agencies and the Florida State University System. In 1988 it expanded to a national project.

Phases 1, 2, 3 and 4 implemented a number of improvements, including streamlining the terms and conditions for research grants, increasing budget flexibility, providing for pre-award costs and electronic research administration, simplifying cost sharing and sub-awards, and increasing participation of minority-serving and emerging research institutions.

Phase 5, which will start this fall and continue through 2014, focuses on two themes:

  • maximize the time available for principal investigators and scientific staff to focus on research while reducing any unnecessary administrative burden
  • increase the efficiency of administrative and compliance practices while reducing inefficient or redundant agency and institutional procedures and practices

“We want researchers doing science, not administration,” the FDP Strategic Planning Committee noted in its strategic plan for Phase 5.

Michigan Tech will appoint administrative, faculty and technical representatives to work with the partnership, whose members include nine federal agencies and more than 100 research institutions across the country.


Michigan Tech Honors Two with 2008 Research Award

This year, two faculty members will receive Michigan Tech Research Award.

Ravindra Pandey, professor and chair of the physics department, was selected for his long and exemplary track record of high-impact research in the theory of materials.

Mathematical Sciences Professor Shuanglin Zhang was chosen for his groundbreaking work in statistical genetics, which has been instrumental in raising the profile of his department nationally and boosting it into the top 100 in the US in terms of research funding.

“I’d like to congratulate both Ravi and Shuanglin,” said Vice President for Research David Reed. “It’s really remarkable to present two Research Awards in a single year, and in this case, it’s fully justified.”

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Special Fees and Use Charges

The Use Charge Group has worked to improve the Special Fees and Use Charge information available on the web. The Use Charge Group is comprised of individuals representing the College of Engineering, General Accounting, Research Accounting and Research & Sponsored Programs. The revised web site includes highlights of the use charge policy and procedures as well as Frequently Asked Questions. Also new is a simplified rate calculation form which will calculate a use rate based on the revenue, expenses, year end balance and utilization provided by the department.

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