News from the Office of Research: May 2020

May 11, 2020

Learn about grant opportunities, meet the latest Office of Research staff member, and review how COVID-19 is impacting UM-Dearborn’s research operations in the Office of Research’s May update.

Staff Changes in the Office of Research - Welcome Vess Clarke!

On March 23, Vessela (Vess) Vassileva-Clarke joined the UM-Dearborn Office of Research team as the new Assistant Director of Research Development. Vess comes to us from Johns Hopkins University where she served as the Program Administrator at the Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare.  She brings experience in design and implementation of a very successful seed grant program, organizing annual research events, project management, and working with interdisciplinary programs. Vess’s educational background is in economics, political science and research administration.

Vess will work with campus leadership and faculty to foster research collaborations, facilitate project ideation, provide research development support, and enhance competitiveness in securing externally sponsored funding. Please join us in welcoming her to our community!

Call for Applications – Campus Grants

Applications for the final cycle of the Faculty Professional Development and Lecturer Professional Developmentprograms and are now being accepted. Also, at the request of the LEO, the campus has introduced a new one-time program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: Urgent Remote Instruction Professional Development Fund for Lecturers. NOTE: U-M has suspended all international and domestic travel until further notice due to COVID-19, therefore we are currently unable to approve any funds requested for travel.

The links below will take you to the program guidelines where you can review the requirements and access the link to submit your application online via the InfoReady system.

Faculty Professional Development – may provide up to $900 (due to limited funding we may not be able to accommodate the full amount of each request) for activities that include, but are not limited to, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) courses, workshops, seminars, and to attend professional conferences. Applications must be submitted by 5 pm on May 29 to be considered for funding. 

Lecturer Professional Development - may provide up to $1000 (due to limited funding we may not be able to accommodate the full amount of each request) for activities that include, but are not limited to, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) courses, workshops, seminars, and to attend professional conferences. Applications must be submitted by 5 pm on May 29 to be considered for funding. 

Urgent Remote Instruction Professional Development Fund For Leo Lecturers - provides up to $250 to Lecturers for expenses related to the urgent transition to remote instruction necessitated by the COVID-19 Pandemic.Applications accepted through October 15 or until all funds are awarded. 

Open Invitation Campus Grants Programs

Proposals for the following programs are still being accepted. Availability of funds is limited; applications will be accepted until all funds are awarded.
Faculty Research Publication and Dissemination - provides up to $300 per year for peer-reviewed scholarly publication costs. 

Faculty Research Copy Editing Support - provides up to $200 per year for copy editing peer-reviewed scholarly publications, limited to editing required by publisher. Applicant must secure a match of $1 for every $2 of Dearborn Office of Research requested funds. 

New to the Campus Grants Application System?

If this is your first time using our web-based application system, you must create a new user profile in order to apply.  Here’s how to log in and set up your profile. You may also find this step-by-step guide for proposal submission helpful in navigating the application process.

External Grants Received

The Office of Research would like to congratulate the following faculty members on receiving external funding for their research:

Francine Dolins, Associate Professor, Psychology received $12,634.83 from University of Cambridge to produce a review paper applying the explore/employ framework to concrete areas of scientific research focusing on the relationship between learning and creativity, in particular on how learning categories scaffold the use of analogical reasoning.

Abdallah Chehade, Assistant Professor, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering received $188,759 from Ford Motor Company to study the rapid development of internet of things and computational power provides an unprecedented opportunity for real-time condition monitoring of complex systems. Dr. Chehade and his team will be developing state-of-art artificial intelligence technologies for robust and real-time vehicle health monitoring.

Abdallah Chehade, Assistant Professor, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering received $97,808 from Ford Motor Company to study the challenge of millions of driving miles are required to achieve SOTIF of automotive ADAS features. To address this demanding challenge, Dr. Chehade and his research group will be developing platforms for quality synthetic data generation platforms that accelerate training and validation of SOTIF and AI-based systems. 

Abdallah Chehade, Assistant Professor, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering received $139,569 from Ford Motor company to connected vehicles are on the road and field data is available on the cloud in near real-time, this provides a unique data-rich environment for capturing complex patterns for reliability and and warranty analysis. Dr. Chehade and his research group will be leveraging the relevant field to develop robust deep learning technologies for warranty forecasting and reliability estimation of vehicle components.

Reminder: Research spending restrictions amid COVID-related financial challenges

On April 29, Provost Alcock sent out a reminder of the University of Michigan Office of Research guidelines on research spending on external and internal grants, summarized as follows:

Externally funded research projects:

Federal, State and Nonprofit Sponsors: Grants and contracts from these external sponsors should continue operations to fulfill the aims and scope of the grant or contract. This includes hiring, if needed (with attention to RIF candidates), along with ongoing salary and purchases utilizing external funding needed for the completion of the committed project. Note, however, that U-M’s policies and procedures regarding employee compensation shall be consistently applied to all employees regardless of whether they are supported by external funds or U-M funds (e.g., grant-funded employees will not be entitled to merit increases if their U-M funded colleagues are not).

Industry Sponsors: Grants and contracts from industry sponsors may continue operations to fulfill the aims and scope of the grant or contract if they satisfied the conditions listed here.

Research supported by internal grants or faculty startup funds:
Research projects in progress can continue.  Faculty can continue to use their existing research discretionary and startup accounts to pursue their program of research.  New hiring requires department approval and should first account for other research staff that may currently be underutilized and have capacity to assist. Non-research expenditures are limited as directed in the president's guidance:

  1. Research travel, conferences, hosting, professional development are not currently allowed as research expenses on internal U-M accounts.
  2. Events, marketing and advertising, outside printing vendors, subscriptions, prizes, gifts and awards, and supplies (all categories, including office, computer) require justification that they are needed and urgent to complete the current aims of the project.  Please note that Procurement may require justification from PIs that outlines why new supplies are essential. Whenever possible, please consider delaying purchases.
  3. Furniture, remodeling, etc. are not allowed under internal faculty research accounts at this time.
  4. New hiring is paused currently and would require the approval of an exception.

Cost shares:
The University will honor prior cost-share commitments for externally sponsored grants and contracts. Cost-share requests will be considered in light of the COVID-19 financial environment during the remainder of FY20 and FY21. Please work with your unit research leadership on cost-share requests.

The temporary restrictions on human subjects research are still in effect and apply to all grants activity.

Back to top of page