Office of Research update: December 2022

December 5, 2022

Learn about external grants that your colleagues received and the services you can use for your own grant work — like the opportunity to work with professional grant writers, free proposal review and copy-editing services.

External Awards Received

The Office of Research is pleased to announce and would like to congratulate our Dearborn faculty members on receipt of the following external funding:

Principal Investigator: Amanda Esquivel, Mechanical Engineering

Project Title:  The application of injury biomechanics in sports to automotive related injury

Funded by: Toyota Motor North America

Award Amount: $49,158

This study will analyze research related to sports injury and determine how this information can be applied to examining injury caused in automotive collisions. Within the sports injury biomechanics community, it is well known that female athletes have significantly higher injury rates compared with males in the same sport when specifically examining concussions and lower extremity injuries. The mechanisms of injuries, causes of disparity, and prevention strategies will be reported and discussed. Based on these findings, Dr. Esquivel’s team will propose a methodology for examining automotive related injuries through the lens of what is already known about injury disparity in sports.


Principal Investigator: Junho Hong, Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Title: Cyber Resilience for Substation Automation

Funded by: U.S. Department of Energy through Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Award Amount: $352,067

Dr. Hong’s team will provide technical guidance and assist with research to develop technologies that defend against attacks attempting to disrupt electricity services. The research partners will analyze and test the security layer to achieve robust performance in a utility substation. The outcome of this project will be a cyberattack-resilient operation that is designed to detect attempts to disrupt performance, mitigate the impact of such efforts, and sustain critical functions.

Principal Investigator: Mengqi Wang, Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Title:  Prototype development for a 50 kW, 400 V – 800 V fast charging converter for 800 V EV traction battery

Funded by: Ford Motor Company

Award Amount: $96,091

Dr. Wang aims to develop a highly efficient DC-DC converter which interfaces the 400 V DC fast charging station, and the 800 V traction battery bank, with the purpose of enabling the high voltage traction battery being charged by the available DC charging station.


Principal Investigator: Samir Rawashdeh, Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Title:  Mobile application for physical therapy exercise adherence assistant

Funded by: The Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living through the Shepherd Center, Inc.

Award Amount: $70,000

This project builds on Dr. Rawashdeh’s prior work, supported by the National Science Foundation, to develop a wearable system to track exercise performance and provide corrective feedback to improve patient outcomes and provide an objective assessment of exercise adherence. Dr. Rawashdeh will develop a physical therapy assistance app that uses inertial motion sensors available in modern smartwatches to provide exercise feedback to ensure exercises are done with the correct number of repetitions, to the full range of motion, and along the correct arc of motion. His approach is unique in that it is agnostic to which body part is being exercised and to the sensor mounting orientation. This project will allow us to further develop the system and publish it to the Android play store, usable with commercial sensors, namely Android Wear devices that contain a full Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU).


Principal Investigator: Carmel Price, Behavioral Science

Project Title:  Dearborn Safe Routes to Schools 2022-2023

Funded by: Department of Transportation through State of Michigan and Michigan Fitness Foundation

Award Amount: $98,896

This project supports a Walk n Roll Jr Challenge multi-pronged program for approximately 9,000

elementary public school children. Building on the Healthy Environments for Physical Activity (HEPA) Action Team of the Healthy Dearborn Coalition (HDC) and advanced in partnership with Dearborn Public Schools, this program supports efforts to bring physical activity opportunities to the community by improving the built environment, particularly spaces for transportation and recreation. The Walk n Roll Jr Challenge is a multi-faceted program that will integrate physical activity into the everyday lives of children and their families, and build support for active community transportation infrastructure.


Season Days/Holiday Impact on Proposal Deadlines

Please be aware that the upcoming holiday and season days will impact internal proposal submission timelines. Research administrative offices for all three campuses will be closed from Friday afternoon, Dec. 23 through Jan. 2, 2023, and will re-open on Jan. 3, 2023.  Any proposals due to the sponsor between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2, 2023 must be received by ORSP in Ann Arbor no later than Monday, Dec. 19, 2022 (in final, ready-to-submit form) to meet the deadline for Full Review. Please plan accordingly, and recognize that staff work on proposals will be paused during the season break.

NSF RUI Eligibility

NSF’s Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) designation is offered for predominantly undergraduate institutions (PUIs) that have awarded 20 or fewer Ph.D./D.Sci. degrees in all fields supported by NSF during the combined previous two academic years. UM-Dearborn has now exceeded the threshold for eligibility to submit under the RUI designation. However, the Office of Research can provide guidance for conveying the ongoing unique circumstances under which many of our faculty conduct research given that we remain a primarily undergraduate institution. Please check with your proposal specialist.

Competitive Campus Grants Update

The Office of Research is currently reviewing Competitive Campus Grant Applications submitted by the 5 p.m. Oct. 17, 2022 deadline. Award decisions are anticipated in by mid-January. If you submitted an application, we appreciate your patience as we go through our review process.

The next cycle of Competitive Campus Grants will become available in January with a Feb. 15, 2023 (5 p.m.) submission deadline. This will be the final application cycle for the Research Initiation & Development and the UM-Dearborn Scholars Grants for this fiscal year. If funding remains available, Thematic Research Planning Grants will have a third cycle with a 5 p.m. June 15, 2023 submission deadline.

We will continue to accept applications for the Open Invitation Campus Grants until the end of the fiscal year, through June 30, 2023. To apply to an Open Invitation Campus Grant, go to our InfoReady portal and log in through the University of Michigan Weblogin.

For more information about all of our Campus Grants programs (competitive and open invitation) and eligibility information, please visit our Campus Grants webpage or email us at [email protected].

Research Events in December:

The Office of Research website is also updated regularly with research-related events and announcements, so we would encourage you to bookmark our landing page and subscribe to our Research News email list.

Research Resource Highlight: Consultation & Writing Services

Every month, the Office of Research will feature a resource and/or tool that is available for researchers. This month we are featuring the free Consultation & Writing Services available to all faculty working on proposals and publications.

The following services are available:

  • Proposal Content Review: The reviewer will provide feedback on the content of the proposal with a focus on the alignment with the funding opportunity and the funder’s priorities. The review is designed to identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas requiring improvement or clarification. For best results, it is recommended (but not required) that the PI submits the full proposal package for review. A Review requires at least 6-week notice and typically takes about 5 business days to complete.
  • Copy Editing/Proofreading: The editor will do a final check of the document draft submitted for edit.  The edit will identify any typos, errors or other items that need correction. The editor does not review the technical content of the document and will NOT provide any feedback on its strengths or weaknesses. In addition, the editor will not check or shorten the length of the documents to conform to the funder/publisher page limits. A Copy Edit/Proofreading service requires at least 5-week notice and takes about 5 days to complete, depending on the length and complexity of the materials.
  • Combined Proposal Content Review & Copy Edit: You may request both a Proposal Content Review & Copy Edit/Proofreading service. A combined service requires at least 9-week notice and typically takes about 5 business days for the review and 5 business days for the copy edit to complete. The review is completed first, returned to the PI to incorporate feedback and create the final draft, then submitted for the copy edit.
  • Graphic Design (requires submission to external funder): The free graphic design service is available to UM-Dearborn Faculty preparing proposals for submission to external funders. The graphic designer will work on images or graphics that require edits or redesign. Graphics should be sent in a format that can be modified.  Depending on the complexity of the graphic, or if a graphic needs to be created from scratch (no sketch or a draft graphic available) this may require direct communication to discuss the vision and approach. The graphic design service requires at least 4-week notice and will take about 1-4 weeks to complete. This timeline will largely depend on the number of drafts required for the graphic.
  • Professional Writer (limited service, requires application): The professional writer service is limited and requires an application and prior approval. If approved, the professional writer will work collaboratively with a PI and team to write the project description/narrative with consideration of the funder’s requirements. A writing project requires at least 3-months advance notice, with certain agencies (e.g. NIH and DOD) and subject areas requiring longer lead time.  Before confirmation of the writing service, the PI will have a discussion with the service provider about the project details to determine readiness, scope and timing. 


    • The team leader/s (PIs) must be members of the tenured or tenure-track faculty of UM-Dearborn
    • Proposals with budgets above $600K are encouraged but proposals with budgets in the $200- $600K range will also be considered
    • The team/PI applying for support should have a clear idea of the research they would like to propose and a specific funding opportunity to pursue
  • Coach: The coach will work directly with the PI and team to provide an external perspective on the proposal. Coaching does not include writing the proposal. Instead, the team will receive guidance, support and feedback on general proposal questions or drafts of the proposal components and will create them on their own. The scope of work will depend on the specific needs of the team. Before confirmation of the coaching service, the PI will have a discussion with the service provider about the project details to determine readiness, scope and timing. The coaching service requires at least 3-months advance notice. 

Upcoming Funding Opportunities

The Office of Research publishes a list of selected funding opportunities, organized by college, every month on our website under Announcements. In addition, yearly grant calendars organized by subject area provided by Hanover Research are available there as well. Contact the UM-Dearborn Office of Research if you would like more information about submitting a proposal to any of the programs.