Red hardcover book gutter with sewn pages flipping through the air ready for browsing. The cover has a shiny, plastic texture.

Apply for CFR PREP program any time

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
  • Book publication
  • 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)

Before applying for PREP program reimbursement, please read the program guidelines carefully.

Questions about the program may be directed to Research & Innovation or to Rick Page, 2020-2021 CFR Chair (513-529-2281).

About CFR

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.


Orchestra photo by Miami University Photo Services.  Book photo by Horia Varlan via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

Blackboard with the word "UPDATE" written on it. An outstretched hand holds an alarm clock in a space between the "P" and the "D" in the word update.

NSF updates research community on COVID-19 response

Jean Feldman, head of NSF’s policy office, gave a COVID-19 update as part of a panel discussion hosted by the National Council of Research Administrators (NCURA) on March 25. As described below, she addressed several of the questions most frequently being fielded by her office. For detailed responses on these and other FAQs, visit the NSF COVID-19 webpage. A new set of questions and answers was posted on March 26, with a specific section on Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) grants.

Are NSF proposal deadlines being extended?

Many deadlines have been extended, but these are being decided and announced on a one-by-one basis. As of March 27, 15 deadlines are listed on NSF’s Impact on Deadline Dates webpage.

Can we continue to charge salary costs to our grants while non-essential research has been curtailed?

Grant recipients can continue charging salaries, stipends and benefits as long as these payments are consistent with their home institution’s policies. However, you should not assume that supplemental funding will be available to continue salaries when research activities can be restarted. In other words, you might end up with a budget shortfall down the road. If you anticipate this happening, you should contact your program officer.

Can universities donate personal protective equipment that was purchased with grant funding?

This is typically an unallowable expense, but funding agencies have discretion to approve such donations. Contact your program officer to see if it will be allowed. If you plan to donate now and then use university funds later to replenish your supply, work with your Grants & Contracts accountant to very carefully document the donation and replacement process.

How are award decision timelines being impacted?

The award process is currently continuing as normal; panels that were scheduled have gone ahead (virtually). Over time, delays may occur, but it’s too soon to predict those now.

Feldman encourages principal investigators and research administrators to contact their program officer or the Policy Office (policy@nsf.gov) with questions. Please also refer to Miami’s Research and Innovation COVID-19 and Your Research Program webpage, and in particular, the Agency and COGR Guidance webpage.


Photo by geralt via needpix.com, used under Creative Commons license.

A microphone in a studio.

Podcasts can help pass the social distancing time

An iPhone with earbuds next to a notebook and a pen.

Sure, remote instruction probably means you’re spending more time teaching, rather than less. And when you’re doing it from home, work has a way of expanding to fit the available time — especially if you’re trying to do it while also caring for children who are home from school or daycare. Still, as the coronavirus pandemic — and the requisite social distancing — stretches on, you’ll probably find yourself looking for ways to pass your time at home, and podcasts can fit the bill. Whether you’re new to the podcast renaissance or a devoted listener, you might want to give a listen to some of the following.

Miami podcasts

  • Major Insight showcases Miami students and how they transform academic subjects into lifelong passions.
  • Reframe, the original podcast from the College of Education, Health and Society (EHS), explores the transformative and progressive work being done across the university and throughout the community. Hear insightful interviews and exclusive stories about the faculty, students, and alumni who are addressing some of the most critical issues of our time.

Miami faculty podcasts

  • Chiropractic Science, hosted by associate clinical professor Dr. Dean Smith, gets the word out about chiropractic research. Chiropractors, patients and the public will learn about chiropractic science from the experts who are doing the research.
  • Stats and Stories, hosted by university distinguished professor John Bailer; professor emeritus Richard Campbell; and assistant professor Rosemary Pennington, uses stories to give statistics meaning and statistics to give stories credibility.

Other podcasts (recommendations via H-Net)

  • Backstory with the American History Guys is a public radio show and podcast hosted by U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh, who give historical perspective to topics in the headlines.
  • Cold Call distills the Harvard Business School’s legendary case studies into podcast form. Hosted by Brian Kenny, the podcast airs every two weeks and features HBS faculty discussing cases they’ve written and the lessons they impart.
  • Everything Hertz goes everywhere the life sciences meet the biological sciences A bi-weekly conversation-style podcast with Dan Quintana and Dr. James Heathers, Everything Hertz explores the nuts and bolts of scientific research and academic life issues, like writing and publishing, the PhD to postdoc transition, and work-life balance.
  • In the Harvard Medical Labcast, Harvard Medical School scientists tackle a variety of important questions, ranging from how your neurons work to which genes play a role in particular diseases. This podcast provides context and highlights the latest trends in medical education and biomedical research through interviews and analysis.
  • Sidedoor is a podcast from the Smithsonian, produced and hosted by Tony Cohn and Megan Detrie. It tells stories about science, art, history, humanity and where they unexpectedly overlap.
  • Talking Machines is a podcast about the world of machine learning. Producer Katherine Gorman and Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Associate Ryan Adams speak with experts in the field about the latest research. Talking Machines is an independent production of Tote Bag Productions.

Microphone photo by Stock snap via Pixabay. iPhone photo via PeakPX. Both used under Creative Commons license.

Ellen Yezierski in her lab.

$1.9M NSF grant will help teachers stimulate students’ imaginations to improve learning of chemistry

A water molecule, H2O. Liquid water, H2O(I). Covalently bonded molecules held together by intermolecular hydrogen bonds.
An example of the VisChem dynamic visualizations.

With a new $1.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Miami University’s Ellen Yezierski aims to help high school chemistry teachers prepare students to become more scientifically literate.

Her project has the potential to impact up to 80,000 high school chemistry students from a broad range of socioeconomic, geographic and racial backgrounds, Yezierski said. It will focus on traditionally underserved groups, including English language learners.

Yezierski, a chemistry education researcher, was awarded the five-year grant for her design research in the teaching and learning of high school chemistry through the use of dynamic visualizations — “VisChem” molecular animations designed by Roy Tasker.

These video animations of the molecular world can bring a new dimension to learning chemistry.

The project will develop teachers’ knowledge and skills to help their students build molecular-level mental models to explain chemical events, Yezierski said.

Currently, chemistry education overemphasizes description and symbols rather than learning to explain chemical phenomena.

Students becoming informed adults for a changing world

Yezierski will recruit 64 high school chemistry teachers from across the country to participate in the professional development program.

They will learn how to effectively use storyboarding and the VisChem approach to lead students from describing chemical phenomena, such as reactions and physical changes, to understanding and explaining their causes.

One goal is to help high school students become more scientifically literate. The focus is on learning how to reason with chemistry concepts and principles, rather than on memorizing facts, Yezierski said.

Ultimately, students will be better prepared to understand science in areas requiring molecular-level perspectives, and to become informed adults in a changing world, Yezierski said. Some areas include understanding the role of carbon dioxide in climate change, changes in DNA in genetically modified organisms (GMOs), antibiotic resistance and drinking water quality.

VisChem Institutes: Molecular animations, storyboarding for understanding

An example of the VisChem dynamic visualizations. The images from video animations of liquid water (above) and boiling water (below) show differences in molecular activity of different physical states of water (images by Roy Tasker from VisChem.com.au).
Three teacher cohorts — one cohort each over the next three summers — will attend the all-expenses-paid VisChem Institute (VCI) on campus developed by Yezierski.

The institutes will be taught by Yezierski and project consultant Roy Tasker, creator of the VisChem dynamic animation system. “Animations of the molecular world can stimulate the imagination, bringing a new dimension to learning chemistry,” Tasker said.

For instance, few students have a “feel” for the average distance between ions (charged particles) in a solution of a given concentration, according to Tasker.

“VisChem animations of ionic solutions bring meaning to the magnitude of the number expressing molarity (concentration of a chemical in solution), in much the same way that people have a ‘feel’ for the length of one meter,” Tasker said.

Design research: Supports teachers’ learning

Yezierski’s design research involves studying how to support teacher groups in learning chemistry content and instructional methods.

Teacher cohorts will be supported during the following year after they attend the VCI. Some will be provided with software to run their own molecular simulations. Eventually all teachers will develop and grow a community of skilled practitioners using the VisChem approach.

In their classrooms, teachers will wear tiny GoPro cameras to collect video clips of their teaching. The clips will provide data about what teaching methods are more effective than others.

Those clips will be studied and evaluated by Yezierski and her team to inform and improve the design of future VCIs and improve chemistry teaching with molecular visualizations.

The time is right

Yezierski has been conducting chemistry education and teacher professional development research for the past 16 years. She is nationally recognized for conducting groundbreaking research that improved instruction and student learning as a direct result of Target Inquiry, a visionary professional development model for high school chemistry teachers.

She has a long history with Tasker, having based her doctoral dissertation research on the use of VisChem dynamic visualizations.

She has recently started to see chemistry teachers become more open to/interested in incorporating dynamic visualizations and storyboarding in their teaching.

This approach aligns with the newest Next Generation Science Standards and the recently updated AP chemistry curriculum, Yezierski said.

The team

Yezierski, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, is also director of Miami’s Center for Teaching Excellence.

She was named an American Chemical Society Fellow in 2016.

An experienced high school chemistry teacher, she taught chemistry for seven years before earning her doctorate from Arizona State University in 2003.

Her research team will include a postdoctoral fellow, two graduate students, several undergrad students and Tasker.

Tasker is a renowned Australian chemistry education researcher. He received the Prime Minister’s Award for Australian University Teacher of the Year in 2011 and the prestigious Australian National Senior Teaching Fellowship in 2014.

He created the VisChem approach in the 1990s, and since then the dynamic visualizations have been adopted by educators and textbook authors internationally.


Written by Susan Meikle, University News Writer/Editor, University Communications and Marketing, Miami University. Originally appeared as a “Top Story” on Miami University’s News and Events website.

Photo of Ellen Yezierski by Jeff Sabo, Miami University Photo Services. VisChem dynamic visualization by Roy Tasker from VisChem.com.au.

 

The conductor and grand pianist are in the foreground of this image of a symphony orchestra.

Apply for CFR PREP program any time

Red hardcover book gutter with sewn pages flipping through the air ready for browsing. The cover has a shiny, plastic texture.

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
  • Book publication
  • 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.

Before applying for PREP program reimbursement, please read the program guidelines carefully.

Questions about the program may be directed to OARS or to Po-Chang Chen, 2018-2019 CFR Chair (513-529-2261).

About CFR

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 OARS.  Guidelines for all CFR programs — including detailed information, eligibility criteria, and application procedures — are available on the OARS website.


Orchestra photo by Miami University Photo Services.  Book photo by Horia Varlan via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

A Miami University laboratory

IRB and MREI establish procedures for collaborating with researchers from other institutions

A Miami University student intern takes measures the waist of a research study participant.

Researchers must satisfy the requirements all of the institutions involved. It is the responsibility of the principal researcher and external collaborators to meet the requirements. As a means for reducing regulatory burden, federal regulations and Miami policy allow for single IRB oversight for multi-institution projects. The procedures for establishing responsibilities are dependent on the nature of the research and funding sources. Miami’s requirements for documentation and approval are summarized in a decision tree.

The following describes the two most common situations. (“Principal investigator [PI]” refers to the person who has overall responsibility for the administration of the project).

The researcher is at Miami and the PI for the project is at another institution

It would be very unusual for a university or college not to have policies related to human subjects research oversight and an IRB. Miami researchers who are the PI on a project must seek Miami IRB approval. If Miami personnel are not the PI on a project and are not receiving external funds in support of the research, the Miami Research Ethics & Integrity program (MREI) may accept the review of the external collaborator’s (PI’s) IRB. This form may be used to register external IRB approval. The externally approved protocol will be examined to determine if the review process meets Miami standards or incurs a potential liability of which Miami should be aware of and manage.

Occasionally, a Miami researcher will propose a collaboration where Miami will wish to retain oversight for just the activities of Miami personnel. For example, the overall project is a biomedical clinical trial to be conducted at a medical center that could incur significant liability, but the activities of the Miami researcher are limited to data collection and analysis related to an anonymous online survey related to the study.

The PI is from another institution and the research is conducted at Miami

PIs who desire to conduct human subjects research at Miami University must have IRB approval from their home institution (or in the absence of such an IRB, a request can be made for the Miami IRB to conduct a review). To document adequate IRB oversight to Miami, external researchers must submit a copy of their protocol and a copy of the approval letter to the MREI program.

Miami’s IRB and the MREI program consider only the protection of human subjects; they do not grant authority for the PI to conduct the research at Miami. Therefore, the authority to conduct research must be obtained from the appropriate university official relative to the research to be conducted (e.g. Dean of the College, Dean of Students, Director of Clinical Training, Department Chair). It would be wise to reference this authorization when submitting your IRB approval materials to your home institution.

  • It is Miami policy that all human subjects research being conducted on a Miami campus be reviewed by an Institutional Review Board. That IRB review or exemption could be provided by the home institution of the researcher.
  • If the outside researcher is collaborating with a Miami employee and the Miami employee is functioning as a researcher, the Miami researcher must be listed as personnel on the external collaborator’s IRB-approved protocol or the Miami IRB must conduct a review of the protocol using the Miami procedures.
  • If no Miami personnel will be obtaining consent of subjects, collecting data, or have access to data with identifiers, then Miami is not engaged in research; therefore, Miami IRB approval or MREI program exemption is not required. However, we ask that external researchers send us a copy of the protocol and approval letter because we may be contacted about the project by potential subjects or the university administration granting access (see bullet below). Copies of the research description and the approval letter should be sent to the MREI program for our records.
  • Researchers must still obtain permission to use Miami facilities from the appropriate official (e.g. Dean of Student Affairs, Dean of a College, Department Chairs, Provosts Office). The IRB and the MREI program do not have the authority to grant or deny access to Miami facilities, staff, or students. Rather, the IRB or MREI program reviews and approves procedures.

Unless the Miami IRB has conducted a review and issued an approval letter, neither Miami University nor the Miami IRB can be referenced as approving of the research. MREI program’s acceptance of external review does not constitute Miami IRB approval.


Written by Neal Sullivan, Director, Miami University Research Ethics & Integrity Program.

Photos by Jeff Sabo, Miami University Photo Services.

A teal ribbon is adhered to the palm of a hand that is held up to the viewer.

New PI certification added in Cayuse to comply with NSF term and condition on sexual harassment

On September 21, the National Science Foundation (NSF) published a term and condition for award that requires awardee organizations to report certain events related sexual harassment. Specifically, these include:

Any findings or determinations that an NSF-funded principal investigator or co-principal investigator committed harassment, including sexual harassment or sexual assault.

The placement of the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on administrative leave, or of the imposition of any administrative action relating to a harassment or sexual assault finding or investigation.

This requirement is in effect for NSF awards made on or after October 21, 2018. To comply with this and similar policies that are likely to be implemented by other sponsors, Miami is adding a new certification for PIs in Cayuse. The certification reads as follows:

I acknowledge that if I am found responsible for violating the University ‘s Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Discrimination or if any administrative action is taken against me, including being placed on leave pending an investigation, the university may be obligated to report such actions to the external funding agency if and when funding is awarded or during the project period.

I acknowledge that I have a duty to self-report to the Director of Research Ethics and Integrity any such allegations against me whether the allegations arise out of conduct at the University, on-line, at field sites, at facilities or at conferences/workshops.

I acknowledge that I have a duty to report to the Director of Research Ethics and Integrity my knowledge of any such actions against any other member of the project personnel and that the University may be obligated to report such actions to the external funding agency if and when funding is awarded.

According to NSF, reports of any actions covered by the new term and condition will result in the NSF “consult[ing] with the awardee organization, and determin[ing] what action is necessary under NSF’s authority. NSF actions may include substituting or removing principal investigators or co-principal investigators, reducing award funding, and — where neither of those options is available or adequate — suspending or terminating awards.”

More information about the NSF policy, including a fact sheet, is available on the NSF website. Questions about policies and procedures Miami is implementing may be emailed to me.


Photo by Airman First Class Kaylee Dubois for the U.S. Air Force, public domain.

Students work on laptops in a classroom

Research Ethics and Integrity program offers updates for Miami research community

Students seated in a classroom
Using course evaluations for research requires approval from the Provost’s Office.

Use of institutional course evaluations for research

As a reminder, it is Miami University policy that use of course evaluations for research purposes requires approval from the Provost’s Office. Instructors do not have the authority to provide course evaluation information to researchers. It is implicit in the course evaluation system that the evaluation data is to be used for course improvement only. Most assessments of teaching methods employ data collection separate from course evaluations, which can include examination of submitted materials and/or test scores. An application must be submitted and approved prior to public use of normal course materials. A passive consent/notification process may be used for past students and their de-identified data (instructors remove identifiers from narrative responses) and an active consent process is used for current and future students. Read the policy.

Human subjects research: Level 1 screening — use of pre-existing data

This form is appropriate when Miami researchers are obtaining data that was collected by someone else or under the IRB approval of another institution. Data from Miami IRB-approved protocols being provided to new personnel, if de-identified, can be used for analysis under the original approval. If identifiers are included, the new personnel can be added using a personnel modification form. This form may be used for:

  • Research using data that is publicly available,
  • Data collected by non-Miami personnel, and
  • Research collected at another institution by current Miami personnel under IRB approval at that institution (e.g. transferring de-identified data)

Access the Level 1 application form.


Photos by Jeff Sabo, Miami University Photo Services.

Dave Berg and a student study mussels

Associate provost for research offers perspective on FY2018 extramural funding

Jim Oris addresses an audience
Associate provost Jim Oris says FY2018 was Miami University’s best year for extramural funding in a decade.

FY2018 was Miami University’s best year for extramural funding in a decade.
Supported by programs and services of the Office for the Advancement of Research
and Scholarship, faculty and staff attracted 35% more funds over FY2017.

When Robert Frost called Miami University “the most beautiful campus that ever there was,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet was referring to the campus’s physical attributes — the shady lawns, elegant formal gardens, and classic neo-Georgian architecture. But he could just as well have been commenting on what goes on inside our ivy-covered walls. Indeed, the research, creativity, instruction, and service Miami’s faculty pursue on a daily basis are as much a part of Miami’s beauty as our iconic red bricks.

Just as our building and grounds staff work around the clock and across the seasons to maintain Miami’s physical facilities, our researchers, scholars, and creative artists devote countless hours to maintaining Miami’s inner beauty. Not only do these faculty and staff plan and carry out experiments, projects, and programs, they also work tirelessly to find and secure the external funding needed to finance those activities.

Bar chart showing 10-year trend in total funding. Data: FY09 $22.6 million; FY10 $22.7 million; FY11 $23.3 million; FY12 $21.3 million; FY13 $21.5 million; FY14 $20.6 million; FY15 $18.8 million; FY16 $23.1 million; FY17 $17.8 million; FY18 $24.1 million
Total funding, 10-year trend

Their efforts are paying off. In FY2018, Miami generated $24.1 million in extramural funding, a level greater than in any year since before the Great Recession. Highlights of the work enabled by these funds include the following:

Wayne Speer addresses a room full of people. On the whiteboard behind him is printed "Welcome Guests. ESP #341 Corporate Entrepreneurship." A student stands behind him, near the whiteboard.
Marketing faculty member Wayne Speer, left, leads a capstone course as part of Miami’s AFRL open patent portfolio programming.

Miami University-AFRL Research Technology Commercialization Accelerator — Miami University and Wright Brothers Institute of Dayton are working together to identify technologies from an Air Force Research Lab portfolio of nearly 1,000 patents that have potential commercial use for public good. Led by associate provost Jim Oris, the Miami University–AFRL Research Technology Commercialization Accelerator collaboration gives Miami support in reviewing and accessing the lab’s entire open portfolio of patents and patent applications. Miami leads programming to connect those technologies with entrepreneurs, funding, and other resources needed to bring the technologies to market. Read more here.

Miami University assistant professor Michael Hatch in the Astor Court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Miami University assistant professor Michael Hatch is Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he is conducting research for his book on early 19th Century Chinese painting. He is pictured in the museum’s Astor Court.

Michael Hatch, Department of Art  — Unlike scholars who lack interest in or actively disparage early 19th Century Chinese painting, Michael Hatch, an assistant professor, admires the dynamic appeals works of this period make to non-visual senses, including taste and tactile sensations. A fellowship at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art gave him access to paintings in the Met’s collection and also facilitated his access to works at museums in Asia, which are not usually available, even to academics. Hatch’s research will be published in a manuscript tentatively titled The Senses of Painting in China, 1790-1840. Read more here.

Gary Lorigan works with some equipment in his lab.
Gary Lorigan was the lead PI on one of two NSF MRI awards made to Miami in FY2018.

NSF Major Research Instrumentation awards — Miami University received two grant awards, totaling nearly $1.1 million, in the 2017 round of competition for the National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program. The national rate of success for proposals submitted to the program is only 20%. The NSF awards supported Miami University’s acquisition of a pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometer and a fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) system. Read more here.

A speech pathology and audiology clinic client uses and iPad with text-to-speech capability, with the help of Kelly Knollman-Porter and two students.
Kelly Knollman-Porter, second from right, has received a grant from the NIH to test whether assistive technology might help people with aphasia-related reading problems.

Kelly Knollman-Porter,  Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology — The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the NIH, awarded a grant to Kelly Knollman-Porter to lead a multi-site study on the use of assistive technology to compensate for aphasia-related reading problems. The study will be among the first to test whether text-to-speech software helps people who have lost the ability to understand written language follwing a stroke or brain injury. Read more here.

Dominik Konkolewicz works with a student in the lab.
Dominik Konkolewicz, left, is the ninth scientist at Miami to be awarded and NSF CAREER grant.

Dominik Konkolewicz, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry — Dominik Konkolewicz, an assistant professor, recently received a CAREER grant from the Faculty Early Career Development program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his research on polymers. Polymers consist of smaller molecules linked together to form a larger molecule. The resulting macromolecule is like a necklace, with dozens to tens-of-thousands of smaller molecules making up the individual links. When the links in polymer materials — such as wall paint and truck tires — are damaged the materials become useless because they can’t recover their original properties. Konkolewicz’s work focuses on creating links between the chains that can be exchanged for other ones, allowing the material to heal itself when scratched or punctured. Read more here.

John Bowblis and Amy Roberts discuss data they see on a computer screen.
John Bowblis (left) and Amy Roberts (right) are working with Medicare data to determine whether social services staffing affects patient outcomes.

John Bowblis and Amy Roberts, Scripps Gerontology Center — As Scripps Gerontology Center research fellows, John Bowblis, associate professor of economics and Amy Roberts, assistant professor of family science and social work, are leading one of the first national studies to assess the impact of social services staffing in nursing homes. With physical and psychosocial functioning tightly intertwined, the pair want to determine whether changes in public policy related to social services staff might lead to better outcomes for patients in nursing homes. Read more here.

We are working more efficiently than ever before. Despite a decrease in proposal submissions from FY2017, our faculty and staff still achieved a 35% increase in total funding for FY2018. Our average award size increased 30%. These data suggest that our faculty and staff are being more strategic in targeting funding opportunities and in communicating the value of their work to sponsors.

Chart showing number of proposals submitted by division. Data: CAS 152 proposals; CEC 42 proposals; CEHS 41 proposals; RGS 27 proposals; HC 23 proposals; FSB 12 proposals; CCA 6 proposals; MC 6 proposals; Other 5 proposals
FY2018 proposals submitted by division

The Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship (OARS) has also been strategic. We have dedicated significant human and financial resources to programming and services that support faculty and staff in enhancing their grantsmanship. FY2018 metrics show a clear return on those investments, and help chart our future course.

Although we are gratified by FY2018’s increase in total funding and average award size, we recognize that securing extramural funding is still very much a numbers game: more proposals submitted generally results in more funding granted. So, we will continue to encourage proposal submission through incentives and support services — working harder and smarter.

Bar chart showing funding by source. Data: Federal Government $9.5 million/39 percent; State of Ohio $6.0 million/25 percent; Associations, Foundation, and Other Non-Profits $4.3 million/18 percent; Business and Industry $2.0 million/9 percent; Colleges, Universities, and Research Institutes $1.6 million/7 percent; Other Government $0.6 million/2 percent
FY 2018 total funding, by source

We also recognize that budget pressures and ever-increasing competition make federal funding unpredictable, at best. That’s why, despite the 50% increase in federal funding we saw between FY2017 and FY2018, we are actively working to diversify our funding portfolio. In particular, we’re strengthening and expanding support for commercialization. Our recent collaboration with the Wright Brothers Institute of Dayton gives us the opportunity to connect promising technologies from the Air Force Research Laboratory’s open portfolio of patents and patent applications with the resources needed to bring them to market.

As always, my team and I are proud to support research, creativity, instruction, and service at Miami University. We remain committed to this work, not just because it’s our job, but because we care deeply about the impact our faculty, staff, and students have on our local community, the State of Ohio, our nation, and the world beyond.


Written by Jim Oris, Associate Provost for Research and Scholarship, Miami University.

The conductor and grand pianist are in the foreground of this image of a symphony orchestra.

Apply for CFR PREP program any time

Red hardcover book gutter with sewn pages flipping through the air ready for browsing. The cover has a shiny, plastic texture.

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
  • Book publication
  • 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 2017-2018:

Phill Alexander (Interactive Media Studies)
Sheldon Anderson (History)
Brittany Aronson (Educational Leadership)
Ricardo Averbach (Music)
Robert Baker (Biology)
David Berg (Biology)
Dawn Blitz (Biology)
Jennifer Blue (Physics)
Joomi Chung (Art)
Joyce Fernandes (Biology)
Melany Fisk (Biology)
Mila Ganeva (GRAMELAC)
Thomas Garcia (Music)
David Gorchov (Biology)
Ryan Gunderson (Sociology and Gerontology)
Kazue Harada (GRAMELAC)
Frank Huang (Music)
John Humphries (Architecture and Interior Design)
Mariana Ivanova (GRAMELAC)
Michael Kennedy (Chemistry and Biochemistry)
Joel Malin (Educational Leadership)
Bryan Marshall (Political Science)
Claire McLeod (Geology and Environmental Earth Science)
Amanda McVety (History)
Beth Miller (Kinesiology and Health)
Michele Navakas (English)
Stephen Norris (History)
Kaara Peterson (English)
Luis Pradanos-Garcia (Spanish and Portuguese)
Ellen Price (Art)
Elise Radina (Family Science and Social Work)
Noriko Reider (GRAMELAC)
Andrea Ridilla (Music)
Kate Rousmaniere (Educational Leadership)
Paul Schaeffer (Biology)
Haifei Shi (Biology)
Aaron Shield (Speech Pathology and Audiology)
Cecilia Suhr (Humanities and Creative Arts)
Harvey Thurmer (Music)
Yoshinori Tomoyasu (Biology)
Carrie Tyler (Geology and Environmental Earth Science)
Jack Vaughn (Biology)
Karthik Vishwanath (Physics)
Craig Williamson (Biology)
Jing Zhang (Statistics)

Before applying for PREP program reimbursement, please read the program guidelines carefully.

Questions about the program may be directed to OARS or to Po-Chang Chen, 2018-2019 CFR Chair (513-529-2261).

About CFR

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 OARS.  Guidelines for all CFR programs — including detailed information, eligibility criteria, and application procedures — are available on the OARS website.


Orchestra photo by Miami University Photo Services.  Book photo by Horia Varlan via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.