Office of Research update: September 2022

September 5, 2022

Check out whose work is getting funded, find new funding opportunities, and learn about ways UM-Dearborn can support your next project in the September update from the Office of Research.

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

Aditya Viswanathan, assistant professor of Mathematics, was awarded a grant of $93,600 by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research in support of his collaborative project (with Dartmouth College) "Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Imaging with Phase Retrieval and Uncertainty Quantification". SAR imaging - which has been used in applications such as remote sensing, sea ice monitoring, disaster relief, defense and intelligence gathering, and archaeology - allows us to build detailed and accurate images of a scene of interest by transmitting pulses of radio waves from a moving platform (such as an aircraft or satellite) and processing their delayed and attenuated echos. The process of constructing these images, however, is challenging - with the acquired data often being highly incomplete, corrupted by high levels of measurement error, and subject to artifacts such as motion and out-of-focus blurs. This project seeks to utilize contemporary mathematical and statistical techniques to develop new state-of-the-art SAR image reconstruction algorithms which are computationally efficient, robust to errors and artifacts, and compatible with the next generation of enhanced, extreme-scale imaging hardware.

Shan Bao, associate professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, received $65,794 from Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America for her project “How to Improve the Safety of Children on the U.S. Road? Insights from a Crash Data Analysis.”  Injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in children and adolescents, and this problem has become an increasing concern for U.S. society with a growing trend.  This project is designed to perform a comprehensive analysis on identifying typical children-involved crash scenarios and examining the relevant factors describing the context and potential causes of these crashes on the U.S. road when the involved child(ren) was either a passenger in a motor vehicle or a pedestrian/cyclist on the road. The results of this study will provide a systematic summary of the typical crash scenarios involving children and the relevant causation factors, as well as potential crash mitigation technology design recommendations.

Matthew Heinicke, associate professor of Biology, received $20,238 for his project Assessing the systematics and diversity of Haemosporida in African reptiles. The project, funded by the National Science Foundation and awarded through a collaboration with Villanova University, will study how host/parasite interactions affect the biodiversity of a particular type of parasitic organism and a major host organism it commonly affects. Haemosporidians are microscopic single-celled organisms that live as symbionts or parasites infecting a wide variety of vertebrates. A few types that cause diseases are well-known, including those causing malaria in humans. However, the group is otherwise poorly studied. This project will study interactions between haemosporidians and a major group of host organisms, reptiles in Angola. Angola is the focal region because it has a wide range of environments from desert to rainforest, and many species of reptile live there.  Work at UM-Dearborn will focus on the reptile side of this relationship. DNA samples obtained from Angolan reptiles will be used to determine the evolutionary history, levels of genetic diversity, and number of unique species of Angolan reptiles. Colleagues at other universities will generate complementary data for the haemosporidians that infect these reptiles. With data from both groups the researchers can test whether unique haemosporidian strains infect each reptile species, and whether the two groups are co-evolving, meaning that closely related reptile species have closely related haemosporidian parasites.

Hugo Casquero, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering, was awarded $70,000 by Honda Motor Co., Ltd for his study “Crashworthiness simulations using thin-walled solid BEXT meshes.” Dr. Casquero-Penelas will work to develop isogeometric analysis to achieve a seamless integration between computer-aided design and finite-element analysis. This fundamental research will be applied to the design and analysis of the structural skeleton of vehicles to maximize occupant safety.


Competitive Campus Grants Fall Cycle Applications

The first cycle of the Competitive Campus Grants for fiscal year 2023 are available to apply to by UM-Dearborn tenured/tenure-track faculty. The following Competitive Campus Grant applications are due by 5 p.m., Oct. 17, 2022:

  • Research Initiation and Development (RID) Grants provide financial support of up to $25,000 for research projects. This program supports projects designed to lead to a proposal for external funding with a strong potential of being awarded.
    • Budget floor: $10,000; Budget ceiling: $25,000.
  • UM-Dearborn Scholars (SCH) Grants are intended to support research and scholarship, including creative activities in the arts. This program is primarily for projects with funding needs not addressed by other support programs within or outside the University.
    • Budget floor: $8,000; Budget ceiling: $15,000.
  • Thematic Research Planning (TRP) Grants will support the development of collaborative cross-disciplinary research proposals that address the FY 23 priority research areas:
      • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
      • Sustainability
      • Biomedical, Health and Healthcare
    • Budget floor: $15,000; Budget ceiling: $30,000.

More information about the campus grants program and eligibility can be found on our Campus Grants webpage.

Research Events in September & October:

Research Resource Highlight: The Office of Research

Every month, the Office of Research will feature a resource and/or tool that is available for researchers!

This month we are featuring our very own UM-Dearborn Office of Research website to remind you of the information and services available to UM-Dearborn faculty.

Over the past year, the Office of Research has reorganized and updated many of our webpages with updated information, services and new initiatives. We encourage all faculty to familiarize themselves with the different resources and sections of our website, including:

  • Research Development Services: The Research Development team and services aim to connect researchers to resources and increase the investigators’ competitiveness in obtaining extramural research funding. One-on-one consultation requests, Consultation and Writing Services, and resources for finding funding are just a few examples of the services available to UM-Dearborn faculty.
  • Campus Grants Program: The Campus Grants program is an important part of research development efforts at UM-Dearborn, and supports a wide range of research and scholarly activities for our faculty. Campus Grants funds also provide investments for interdisciplinary research. The Campus Grants webpage is frequently updated with our available grant programs, guidelines and due dates, as well as a Frequently Asked Questions section and examples of Previously Funded Projects.
  • Pre-Award Administration: The Pre-Award Administration team and services aim to provide the highest level of service possible in assisting faculty with assembling all the elements of their proposal package and ensuring there are no administrative errors. It is important for all faculty to submit a New Proposal Request Form at least 20 business days prior to a sponsor’s deadline. The webpage also provides an overview of the Proposal Routing & Submission process and Budget Preparation guidance.
  • Post-Award Support: The Post-Award Support (PAS) team is charged with supporting the UM-Dearborn campus by providing and continuously improving post-award research administration efforts for all units who have federal and non-federal externally sponsored projects (and related cost-share), internally funded research grants, and other project/grants that are classed as research (e.g. gifts).
  • More Help: This newly developed webpage is intended to provide basic information and guidance on common regulatory compliance requirements related to Human Subjects, Export Controls, and Disclosure of Outside Interests, and will continue to be developed to include other frequently asked about research topics such as animal care & use, indirect costs and intellectual property. We encourage faculty to check back in on this page as more topics are added.

    Our website is also updated regularly with research-related events and announcements, so we encourage faculty to bookmark our landing page and subscribe to our Research News email list. The Office of Research looks forward to assisting you on your future research endeavors!

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.