The University Senate Committee on Faculty Research (CFR) invites Miami University’s tenure-eligible and tenured faculty (including librarians holding the M.S.L.S. degree or equivalent) to apply for support from the Publication, Reprint, Exhibition, and Performance (PREP) Costs program. The PREP program provides reimbursement up to $500 for the following:
Journal page charges
Article or book chapter reprint costs
Exhibition or performance costs
Performance or composition costs
Applications to this program may be made at any time. Reimbursement is limited to $500 per faculty member per academic year.
PREP awards were made to the following faculty in 2019-2020:
Brittany Aronson (Educational Leadership) Rob Baker (Biology) Per Bloland (Music) Mary Ben Bonham (Architecture & Interior Design) Michelle Boone (Biology) Jim Bromley (English) Tom Crist (Biology) Brian Danoff (Political Science) Annie Dell’Aria (Art) Hailiang Dont (Geology & Environmental Earth Science) Stefanie Dunning (English) D.J. Ferguson (Microbiology) Thomas Fisher (Statistics) Nathan French (Comparative Religion) Thomas Garcia (Music) Daniel Gladish (Biological Sciences) Ryan Gunderson (Sociology & Gerontology) Kimberly Hamlin (Global & Intercultural Studies) Huang Frank (Music) John Humphries (Architecture & Interior Design) Mariana Ivanova (German, Russion, Asian, and Middle Eastern Languages & Cultures) Katie Johnson (English) Brian Keane (Biology) Michael Kennedy (Chemistry & Biochemistry) Scott Kenworthy (Comparative Religion) Anna Klosowska (French & Italian) Jeff Kunzekoff (Interdisciplinary & Communication Studies) Shashi Lalvani (Chemical, Paper, & Biomedical Engineering) Chun Liang (Biology) Jeremy Long (Music) Patrizio Martinelli (Architecture & Interior Design) Denise McCoskey (Classics) Claire McLeod (Geology & Environmental Earth Science) Imran Mirza (Physics) James Moller (Manufacturing & Mechancial Engineering) Ellen Price (Art) Jennifer Quinn (Psychology) Vaishali Raval (Psychology) Noriko Reider (German, Russian, Asian, and Middle Eastern Languages & Cultures) John Reynolds (Architecture & Interior Design) Andrea Ridilla (Music) Haifei Shi (Biology) Aaron Shield (Speech Pathology and Audiology) En-Jung Shon (Family Science & Social Work Leland Spencer (Interdisciplinary & Communication Studies) Cecilia Suhr (Humanities and Creative Arts) Mike Vanni (Biology) Xin Wang (Microbiology) Craig Williamson (Biology) Amy Yousefi (Chemical, Paper, & Biomedical Engineering)
CFR is charged with supporting and encouraging the development of research and creative activity at Miami University. In carrying out this charge, the CFR administers programs that support and celebrate faculty research and creative activities. Application to these programs is made through Research & Innovation. Guidelines for all CFR programs — including detailed information, eligibility criteria, and application procedures — are available on the Research & Innovation website.
I am thrilled to announce that in FY 2020 Miami University set a new record for extramural funding: $26,951,278.
Although it is my privilege, as Interim Vice President of Research & Innovation, to announce this wonderful news, credit for the achievement is due in large part to the leadership of former VPRI Jim Oris, who retired on the last day of FY 2020. The year’s unprecedented level of funding is a culmination of Jim’s nine years of service to Miami’s research community, as a strategic thinker, an advocate, and a builder of relationships.
Even more directly responsible for the year’s success are the faculty and staff who applied for funding. They poured countless hours into gathering preliminary data, writing proposals, and developing relationships with sponsors. As a principal investigator myself, I know that each award of funding can represent five or ten – sometimes even more – proposals that were submitted but not funded. I also know that these low funding rates can make the proposal development process seem thankless. So, I will take this opportunity to extend a sincere thank you to the researchers, scholars, and artists behind every one of the 314 proposals Miami submitted in FY 2020.
Breaking down our record year
Total funding in FY 2020 increased by nearly $3 million over FY 2019, a gain of more than 10%. Most of our divisions also saw increases. The College of Engineering & Computing led the way, more than doubling last year’s funding to achieve a total of $3.1 million. Significant gains were also seen by the College of Education, Health, & Society (up 70%), Research & Innovation + the Graduate School (up 20%), and the Middletown Campus (up 13%).
Although federal funding has been declining nationwide, our direct federal funding held fairly steady over the past year. Where the decline in federal funding may be more evident is in the 42% reduction in funds received from colleges, universities, and research institutions. This funding often comes in the form of subcontracts for work on projects sponsored by federal agencies. Fortunately, these losses were offset by increases in other sources of funding, including a tripling of funding from governments other than the federal government and the State of Ohio.
In keeping with a historical trend, the overwhelming majority of FY2020 external funds were awarded in support of research activities. Funding for research, public service, and student financial aid all increased, but the biggest percentage gain — 92% — was in funding for fellowships.
Why we do what we do
Miamians are so dedicated to securing external funding because that funding enables work that couldn’t happen without it. Each proposal represents a potential intellectual breakthrough, transformative learning experience, or consequential service. These things are at the heart of our mission as a university. Directly or indirectly, they make lives better, and unparalleled extramural funding means unparalleled accomplishments on behalf of the citizens of Ohio, our nation, and the world. Following are some examples.
Louis DeBiasio Mathematics
DeBiasio received a grant from NSF for research that leads to better understanding the mathematical structures at the heart of combinatorial problems with implications for computer science and network design.
Ann Dell’Aria Art
Dell’Aria received funding from the non-profit arts organization FotoFocus to curate a public art exhibition featuring moving images projected onto buildings at Miami University. The exhibition engages the concept of “shedding light” onto a topic of conceptual, political, or social importance.
John Femiani Computer Science & Software Engineering
Femiani was engaged by In-Depth Engineering Corp. to design algorithms that can be used in the development of a mine-detection system. Femiani’s approach augments conventional machine learning with novel techniques.
Andrew Jones Chemical, Paper, & Biomedical Engineering
Jones received funding from PsyBio Therapeutics to enhance and evaluate the commercial viability of a cost-effective psilocybin production method. Matt McMurray, of Psychology, is a co-investigator. Psilocybin is perhaps best known as the compound responsible for the hallucinogenic effects of so-called “magic” mushrooms. But it is also increasingly recognized as a clinical treatment for substance abuse and addiction, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as reported in the following media outlets:
The expense of conventional production methods — including cultivation of Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms — has been a barrier to more widespread clinical use of psilocybin. The Jones lab’s cost-effective technique promises to increase access to this treatment option by enabling the development of affordable pharmaceutical drugs.
Michael Lipsitz Economics
Lipsitz received funding from Duke University to contribute to analysis of the effect of non-compete agreement (NCA) enforcement on labor markets, workers’ earnings, and mobility. The analysis includes effects on workers bound and not bound by NCAs and disparate effects on men and women workers.
Jessica McCarty Geography
McCarty received a grant from NASA to map changes and model the future trajectory of land-coverage and land-use in the Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam. McCarty’s departmental colleague Stanley Toops is a co-investigator.
Subedi received funding from from UTHealth to contribute to research on the links between telomere biology and obesity, aging, and cardiometabolic disease risk. Results of the study will inform the assessment of risk, prevention, and treatment of accelerated aging and chronic disease. This funded research is part of the Fels Longitudinal Study, which was begun in Ohio in 1929. Now managed by UTHealth at the University of Texas, it is one of the longest and largest human health studies in the world, and has been the foundation of over 1,000 publications.
Woodruff received funding from SUNY Buffalo to evaluate perceptions and experiences of graduate students and postdoctoral associates involved in an NSF-funded interdisciplinary program involving 10 universities, three research institutes, three national laboratories, and an industry partner.
Matt Saxton Biological Sciences
Saxton received funding from The Ohio State University to contribute to research on how microbes metabolize the herbicide glyphosate. Insight into this process is critical to understanding how herbicide use may contribute to harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie and other bodies of water.
This is both my first and last reflection on Miami’s external funding success. Provost Jason Osborne recently named Alicia Knoedler as Vice President for Research & Innovation, effective November 1, 2020, and it will be her perspective you read in our next annual report. But even if I never have another chance to offer the people behind the numbers official thanks and congratulations, I want them to know that I will always be grateful for and proud of their contributions.
University Senate charges the Committee on Faculty Research (CFR) with supporting and encouraging the development of research and creative activity at Miami University. In carrying out this charge, the CFR administers programs that support and celebrate faculty research and creative activities. Application to these programs is made through Research & Innovation. The CFR Program Guidelines provide information, eligibility criteria, and application procedures for these programs.
Faculty Research Grants Program
The Faculty Research Grants Program encourages proposals addressing new avenues of research and scholarship, either for the investigator or for the institution, initiating new projects and pilot studies, or testing novel or transformative research/creative ideas. In keeping with broader university-wide diversity and inclusion efforts, a portion of available funds will be reserved for research, scholarship, and creative activities in the areas of social justice, human rights, diversity, and inclusion.
University Faculty Scholar & University Junior Faculty Scholar Awards
The University Faculty Scholar and Junior Faculty Scholar Awards programs celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding Miami researchers each year. Exemplary Miami faculty members are nominated by their peers to be recognized for superior research and scholarly activities. The deadline for Research & Innovation to receive nominations for the University Faculty Scholar and Junior Faculty Scholar Awardsis Friday, December 4, 2020.
Publication, Reprint, Exhibition, & Performance Costs (PREP) Program
In addition to these faculty recognition programs, the CFR oversees the Publication, Reprint, Exhibition, and Performance Costs (PREP) Program, which provides reimbursement for certain costs associated with research and creative activity. PREP applications may be submitted at any time during the year.
The Committee invites you to apply for support from these CFR programs and to nominate colleagues you believe are qualified for the University Faculty Scholar or Junior Faculty Scholar Award. Degree and rank at the date of application shall determine eligibility. The Committee encourages proposals from all disciplines and campuses at Miami University.
Programmatic questions may be directed to Rick Page, 2020-2021 CFR Chair (513-529-2281). Administrative questions may be directed to Research & Innovation (513-529-3600).
As of July 1, 2020, Miami University discontinued waiving the full amount of in-state tuition for grant-funded graduate research assistants. Under the new policy, in-state tuition waivers will be scaled to the amount of direct costs in a grant. The additional out-of-state surcharge above in-state tuition will continue to be waived for all grants. Investigators are now required to include a minimum of 4.3% of the direct costs of a project as tuition for each graduate student stipend, unless a funding agency specifically prohibits charging tuition. If you are requesting more than $250,000 per year in direct costs, or there is no limit on the amount that can be requested, full in-state tuition must be included at the current rate of $523 per credit hour. Tuition is not subject to facilities and administration (F&A) charges. The established minimum percentage will be evaluated annually and may change as tuition rates change.
As part of a benchmarking exercise during strategic plan formulation, the research office learned that as recently as five years ago, most universities in our research expenditure bracket in Ohio and in the Midwest made it a common practice to waive fully both in-state and out-of-state tuition on grants that included a stipend for a graduate research assistant. Last year, as the research office updated its strategic plan, the same benchmarking exercise demonstrated that nearly every university that had, five years ago, been waiving full tuition was now expecting principal investigators to cover at least a portion of tuition on smaller grants and to cover full in-state tuition on major grants (≥$250,000 per year). This change means that Miami’s practice of waiving full tuition made us an outlier. The new policy aligns our practices to national norms.
As a result of the benchmarking and program review, beginning this past academic semester, Research & Sponsored Programs staff started asking some PIs to include partial tuition on their grants. On June 4, Jim Oris, then-Vice President for Research & Innovation, held an online forum with over 30 attendees to discuss a possible change in policy. Provost Osborne subsequently approved the change to take effect July 1, 2020.
The percentage calculation
Nearly all universities consider an NIH R01 grant the standard for a “major grant” and require grant budgets to cover the full cost of in-state tuition for their graduate research assistants. Typically, an R01 uses a modular budget that allows up to $250,000 in direct costs per year.
Using this same standard – an NIH R01 grant with a modular budget (i.e., $250,000 per year) – full in-state graduate tuition for a single research assistant was calculated as a percentage of the annual direct costs. Assuming full time graduate enrollment of 9 hours during each fall and spring and 3 hours during summer, for a total of 21 credits per calendar year, full in-state graduate tuition for a single research assistant amounts to 4.3% of $250,000. The fairest approach is to apply the 4.3% standard evenly across all grants that include stipends for GAs, as an offset to the cost of tuition. In cases where the 4.3% does not cover full in-state tuition, the remaining in-state tuition will be waived (as will the full out-of-state surcharge).
Our most common NIH grant is an R15 (AREA) mechanism, which is $300,000 in direct costs over three years, or $100,000 per year. Applying the 4.3% to such a budget will require the proposed budget to include $4,300 per year per GA in tuition, for a total of $12,900. The balance will be covered by a tuition waiver.
An NIH R21 has a direct cost limit of $275,000 over two years. This is typically budgeted as $150,000 in Year 1 and $125,000 in Year 2. Applying the 4.3% minimum tutition requirement, the proposed budget will include $6,450 in tuition for Year 1 ($150,000 x .043) and $5,375 in tuition for Year 2 ($125,000 x .043). The balance will be covered by a tuition waiver.
A typical NSF grant averages $123K in direct costs per year for three years. Applying the 4.3% to a budget of that size will require that $5,289 per year be included for tuition for each GA. The balance will be covered by a tuition waiver.