Vice President for Research and Innovation offers perspective on FY2019 extramural funding

Jim Oris, Vice President for Research and Innovation

FY2019 saw a continuation of the success Miami faculty and staff have in securing funding to support their research, scholarship, and creative activity. For the second year in a row, we exceeded $24 million in extramural funding.

Piechart showing breakdown of FY2019 funding by purpose: $17.2M/71% of funding supported research; $2.6M/11% of funding supported service; $1.9M/8% of funding supported instruction; $245K/1% of funding supported fellowships; $2.1M/9% of funding supported student financial aid
FY2019 funding by purpose

Highlights of FY2019’s external funding include the following:

Xin Wang reviews work with a labmate
Xin Wang (left)

Microbiologists D.J. Ferguson (Hamilton Campus) and Xin Wang (College of Arts and Science) received a $343,030 Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) grant from NSF to study microbes that produce the potent greenhouse gas methane. One goal of the research is to determine how these microbes use naturally occurring compounds found particularly in brackish and marine environments as a food source to produce methane. Read more about Ferguson and Wang’s work.

Cricket Meehan working with students
Cricket Meehan (second from left)

Psychologist Cricket Meehan (College of Arts and Science) and educational psychologist Amity Noltemeyer (College of Education, Health, and Society) received nearly $700,000 from the Ohio Department of Education in support of two projects. One raises awareness of mental health needs among youth while implementing services to improve well-being of students and their families. The other works to improve school climate and reduce problem behaviors.

Sue Sepela and Regional Campuses students
Sue Sepela (second from left)

Learning assistance staff member Sue Sepela (Hamilton Campus) received two U.S. Department of Education grants totaling $516,752. One grant supports the Regional Campuses’ Upward Bound program, which helps prepare low-income and first-generation high school students to pursue higher education. The other grant helps provide a comprehensive program of academic support to students on the Regional Campuses.

Rick Page talking with a student.
Rick Page (right)

Chemists Gary Lorigan and Rick Page (both College of Arts & Science) were each awarded about $1.8 million over five years as part of NIH’s Maximizing Investigator’s Research Award (MIRA) program. These highly competitive awards support the PIs’ research programs: membrane protein channels that are directly related to heart disease in Lorigan’s case and protein quality control and antibiotic resistance in Page’s. Read more about Lorigan’s and Page’s research and their MIRA program awards.

Like Lokon and a student working with an OMA participant
Like Lokon (center)

Gerontologist Like Lokon and Scripps Gerontology Center staff member Joan Fopma-Loy (both Research & Innovation and Graduate School) received more than $75,000 to support Opening Minds Through Art (OMA), an award-winning intergenerational art-making program for people with dementia. The program provides opportunities for creative self-expression and social engagement for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurocognitive disorders.

Cameron Hay-Rollins teaching class
Cameron Hay-Rollins

Anthropologist Cameron Hay-Rollins (College of Arts and Science) received $100,000 from Interact for Health for research on housing available to those recovering from opioid addiction in Greater Cincinnati. The project includes a baseline analysis of available recovery housing, building a searchable and update-able database of existing resources, and identifying perceived needs and opportunities to enhance support of people in recovery. Read more about Hay-Rollins’ project.

Jason Berberich looking at contents of a test tube in the lab.
Jason Berberich

Chemical and biomedical engineer Jason Berberich (College of Engineering and Computing) received $177,800 from The Procter & Gamble Company for research on the enzyme lipase, which is commonly added to household cleaning products, including laundry detergent, to help break up grease and other fats. Berberich’s research aims to improve the stability of cold-active lipase in detergents at high temperatures.

Daryl Baldwin addressing an audience.
Daryl Baldwin

Myaamia Center director Daryl Baldwin (Research & Innovation and Graduate School) received $311,647 from the NEH in support of the Breath of Life indigenous language revitalization initiative. The initiative consists of a series of workshops for researchers from endangered language communities. The goal is to build capacity around methods in archives-based research for community-directed revitalization efforts. Read about Breath of Life’s Indigenous Languages Digital Archive (ILDA).

At the same time FY2019 marked continued success, it also marked the beginning of a new era for Miami. Over the course of the last 12 months, Miami embarked on an aggressive strategic planning process that resulted in ambitious goals for graduate programs and research efforts. In recognition of the expanded importance of these operations, in September 2019, the university’s trustees approved a resolution submitted by Provost Jason Osborne to separate the two positions I have held since 2011: dean of the Graduate School and associate provost for research. In October, I was appointed as the inaugural Vice President for Research and Innovation.

I will remain in the role of Vice President until I retire, effective June 30, 2019. This will bring an end to my 34 years as a faculty member and administrator at Miami — my entire academic career. I have held many positions during these years, enjoyed personal and professional accomplishments, and received awards and recognition. But my highest sense of accomplishment has come from the success of my students and, for the past 11 years, my professional staff and administrative colleagues. Miami has been a special place to work and have a life. The place is a key component, but the people are what I will miss the most. I will leave behind a vibrant and growing research and innovation enterprise, and I will look back with pride that I was able to participate in such a wonderful organization.


Written by Jim Oris, Vice President for Research and Innovation, Miami University.

Photos by Miami University Photo Services.

Road signs representing money ahead. A diamond-shaped, yellow caution sign has a $ printed on it and sits atop a square yellow information sign with the word "MONEY" printed on it.

Deadlines for 2019-2020 internal funding programs announced

An antique clock face. The Roman numerals IX, X, XI, and XII are visible. The hands of the clock indicate the time is 9:53.

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 OARS. 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.

The deadline for applying for the Faculty Research Grants Program is 5:00 p.m. Friday, October 18, 2019. Awards are generally announced in mid-December.

Distinguished Scholar & Junior Faculty Scholar Awards

The Distinguished 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 OARS to receive nominations for the Distinguished Scholar and Junior Faculty Scholar Awards is Friday, December 6, 2019.

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 Distinguished 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 Po-Chang Chen, 2019-2020 CFR Chair (513-529-2261). Administrative questions may be directed to OARS (513-529-3600).


Money ahead image by 401(K) 2012 via Flickr. Antique clock image by Cindy Schultz via Flickr. Both used under Creative Commons license.

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.

3D dollar sign in space orbiting over earth horizon.

Undergraduate Research Award applications due October 15

A student plays the violin while hooked up to biometric monitoring equipment. Two professors look on. Computers with graphs depicting the biometric information can be seen in the foreground.

Applications for Undergraduate Research Awards (URA) to support projects conducted during spring semester are due Monday, October 15.

For over three decades, the Miami University Senate has sponsored the URA to provide Miami undergraduates with a faculty-mentored experience in developing grant applications. These partnerships are meant to encourage discovery and stimulate creative activity.  Typical awards range from $150 to $500, but individual projects of exceptional merit or projects involving student teams may be funded up to $1,000. Each individual or team project must be endorsed by a sponsor who certifies that the project is worth doing, has educational value to the student(s) and can be accomplished in the proposed time frame. The aim and result of specific projects supported by the program may be modest as long as the work can reasonably be interpreted as research or a creative endeavor.

Students may submit individual projects or team projects. Each individual student project or team project must be endorsed by a sponsor who certifies that the project is worth doing, has educational value to the student(s) and can be accomplished in the proposed time frame.

Full program guidelines and application instructions are available here.


Dollar in space image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license. Psychology Lab music research photo by Scott Kissell, Miami University Photo Services.

 

 

Road signs representing money ahead. A diamond-shaped, yellow caution sign has a $ printed on it and sits atop a square yellow information sign with the word "MONEY" printed on it.

Deadlines for 2018-2019 internal funding programs announced

An antique clock face. The Roman numerals IX, X, XI, and XII are visible. The hands of the clock indicate the time is 9:53.

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 OARS. 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.

Continuing in 2018-2019: In keeping with broader university-wide diversity and inclusion efforts, a portion of available funds will be reserved for research, scholarship, or creative activities in the areas of social justice, human rights, diversity, and inclusion. Proposals in these areas must address a scholarly question that will lead to testable objectives or measurable outcomes. Regular eligibility criteria and applications procedures, as outlined in the CFR Program Guidelines, apply.

The deadline for applying for the Faculty Research Grants Program is 5:00 p.m. Friday, October 19, 2018. Awards are generally announced in mid-December.

Distinguished Scholar & Junior Faculty Scholar Awards

The Distinguished 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 OARS to receive nominations for the Distinguished Scholar and Junior Faculty Scholar Awards is Friday, December 7, 2018.

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 Distinguished 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 Po-Chang Chen, 2018-2019 CFR Chair (513-529-2261). Administrative questions may be directed to OARS (513-529-3600).


Money ahead image by 401(K) 2012 via Flickr. Antique clock image by Cindy Schultz via Flickr. Both used under Creative Commons license.

3D dollar sign in space orbiting over earth horizon.

Undergraduate Research Award applications due October 16

A student plays the violin while hooked up to biometric monitoring equipment. Two professors look on. Computers with graphs depicting the biometric information can be seen in the foreground.

Applications for Undergraduate Research Awards (URA) to support projects conducted during spring semester are due Monday, October 16.

For over three decades, the Miami University Senate has sponsored the URA to provide Miami undergraduates with a faculty-mentored experience in developing grant applications. These partnerships are meant to encourage discovery and stimulate creative activity.  Typical awards range from $150 to $500, but individual projects of exceptional merit or projects involving student teams may be funded up to $1,000. Each individual or team project must be endorsed by a sponsor who certifies that the project is worth doing, has educational value to the student(s) and can be accomplished in the proposed time frame. The aim and result of specific projects supported by the program may be modest as long as the work can reasonably be interpreted as research or a creative endeavor.

Students may submit individual projects or team projects. Each individual student project or team project must be endorsed by a sponsor who certifies that the project is worth doing, has educational value to the student(s) and can be accomplished in the proposed time frame.

Full program guidelines and application instructions are available here.


Dollar in space image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license. Psychology Lab music research photo by Scott Kissell, Miami University Photo Services.

 

 

Road signs representing money ahead. A diamond-shaped, yellow caution sign has a $ printed on it and sits atop a square yellow information sign with the word "MONEY" printed on it.

Deadlines for 2017-2018 internal funding programs announced

An antique clock face. The Roman numerals IX, X, XI, and XII are visible. The hands of the clock indicate the time is 9:53.

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 OARS. 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.

New for 2017-2018: In keeping with broader university-wide diversity and inclusion efforts, a portion of available funds will be reserved for research, scholarship, or creative activities in the areas of social justice, human rights, diversity, and inclusion. Proposals in these areas must address a scholarly question that will lead to testable objectives or measurable outcomes. Regular eligibility criteria and applications procedures, as outlined in the CFR Program Guidelines, apply.

The deadline for applying for the Faculty Research Grants Program is 5:00 p.m. Friday, October 20, 2017. Awards generally are announced in mid-December.

Distinguished Scholar & Junior Faculty Scholar Awards

The Distinguished 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 OARS to receive nominations for the Distinguished Scholar and Junior Faculty Scholar Awards is Friday, March 2, 2018.

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 Distinguished 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 Martin Johnson, 2017-2018 CFR Chair (513-785-3273). Administrative questions may be directed to OARS (513-529-3600).


Money ahead image by 401(K) 2012 via Flickr. Antique clock image by Cindy Schultz via Flickr. Both used under Creative Commons license.

Red-tailed hawk in flight.

HawksNest crowdfunding platform is accepting project submissions

 

Screenshot of HawksNest homepage

Together with University Advancement, OARS has developed a crowdfunding platform specifically designed to engage alumni, family, and friends of Miami University.

Through HawksNest, alumni, family, and friends can directly support the research, scholarship, and service projects of Miami University students, faculty, and staff.

This is how HawksNest works.

  • Any Miami University student, faculty, or staff member may complete an online application to have a project considered for funding.
  • An internal review team assesses applications and posts approved projects on HawksNest for a maximum of 45 days.
  • Potential donors visit the site to learn about and pledge funds to approved projects.
  • Once a funding goal has been met, the project can begin!
  • Project managers use the site to keep donors up-to-date with information on the project’s progress.

Miami faculty, staff, and students can submit projects anytime.

We encourage Miami faculty, staff, and students with great ideas that could be implemented for under $6000 to create a HawksNest account and submit the project for review today.

Want to know more before you commit?

Check out our FAQs and project review criteria. And — since crowdfunding is successful only when project managers actively promote their projects — also be sure to check out these tips for using social media to promote your campaign.

Ready to get started? Visit HawksNest.MiamiOH.edu now.


Red-tailed hawk photo by Rick Bohn of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Moutain-Prairie via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

Tammy Schwartz speaks to a group of people attending a College of Education, Health, and Society panel on urban teaching.

Associate provost for research offers perspective on FY2016 extramural funding

Three people sit at a long table during a press conference.
Dr. Jessica Sparks, right, at a press conference announcing award of $1 million to Southwest Ohio Regional Consortium.

Miami University brought in a total of $23.1 million in extramural funding during the 2016 fiscal year, up 23% over the previous year. We saw increases across the board, from all sources — public and private — with standout growth of 75% in funding awarded by the state of Ohio.

Bubble chart depicting FY2016 total, federal, and state funding compared to FY2015. In FY2015, total funding was $18.5M; in FY2016, it was $23.1M. In FY2015, federal funding was $8.9M; in FY2016 it was $9.7M. In FY2015, funding from the state of Ohio was $2.8M; in FY2016, it was $4.9M.
FY2016 total, federal, and state funding compared to FY2015.

While it’s always gratifying to see an increase in funding, what’s even more gratifying is the research, instruction, and service this funding enables. Our researchers and scholars are working to answer big questions and solve intractable problems. Here is just a fraction of the excellent research, scholarship, and service being carried out at Miami University:

  • Rick Page, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry was recognized as one of the nation’s top young faculty in his field by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the award of a CAREER grant. He will receive more than $920,000 of research funding over five years for his esearch on quality control in proteins. Read more here.
  • Associate professors Amy Summerville (psychology) and Jennifer Blue (physics) and College of Engineering and Computing administrator Brian Kirkmeyer are working to develop an intervention to improve the success of engineering students in early physics classes. The project is supported by a $368,000 grant from the NSF. Read more here.
  • Haifei Shi, an associate professor of biology, is exploring the potential for brain-derived neurotrophic factor to be used in therapeutic treatments for obesity, a major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. Shi’s work is supported by a $390,150 grant from a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Read more here.
  • Phyllis Cummins, a senior research scholar in the Scripps Gerontology Center, and a team of colleagues are working to identify patterns that suggest successful approaches to educating students 40 and older. Their work is supported by a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). Read more here.
  • The NSF’s Robert Noyce Scholarship Program awarded $74,956 to a team led by Nazan Bautista, an associate professor of teacher education. The team is working to help STEM majors, STEM professionals, and STEM teacher ed majors gain the skills necessary to teach in ethnically and culturally diverse communities. Read more here.
  • As a member of the Southwest Ohio Regional Consortium, Miami is sharing $1 million awarded through Ohio’s RAPIDS program. Miami’s $381,856 share will purchase additive manufacturing and 3-D scanning equipment. The grant is administered by a team led by Jessica Sparks, an associate professor of biomedical engineering. Read more here.
  • The Ohio Department of Education has awarded a grant of $93,242 to Susan Hershberger, director of the Center for Chemistry Education, Jennifer Blue, an associate professor of physics, and Tammy Schwartz, director of the Urban Teaching Cohort, for a project that provides professional development for Ohio 6th to 8th grade educators in partnership with Middletown City Schools. Read more here.

The researchers and scholars mentioned here — along with dozens of others at Miami —  involve students at every step of their research. In fact, the synergy between Miami’s undergraduate students and the graduate students and faculty who mentor them is at the heart of the Miami Experience. Many undergraduate students at Miami get hands-on experience with equipment and techniques that only faculty and graduate students get at other institutions. This unusual level of access also benefits our graduate students, who have the opportunity to teach these techniques and the proper use of this equipment, while helping to shape the next generation of researchers through their mentorship.

FY2016 interdisciplinary collaborations between departments and colleges (bigger circle = more faculty in unit; thicker line = greater number of collaborations).
FY2016 interdisciplinary collaborations between departments and colleges (bigger circle = more faculty in unit; thicker line = greater number of collaborations).

The result is an exceptional learning environment that has earned Miami University global recognition. We remain dedicated to helping the Miami community find and secure the funding that makes it possible.

You can see the full report on FY2016 extramural funding here.


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

Photos by Miami University Photo Services.

Image of Miami University's Office of Research for Undergraduates (ORU). Visible are a wall with "ORU" painted on it and three people standing in a circle in a glass-walled office.

Undergraduate Research Award applications due October 17

Origami version of a men's collared shirt, made with a $1 bill.

Applications for Undergraduate Research Awards (URA) to support projects conducted during spring semester are due Monday, October 17.

For over three decades, the Miami University Senate has sponsored the URA to provide Miami undergraduates with a faculty-mentored experience in developing grant applications. These partnerships are meant to encourage discovery and stimulate creative activity.  Typical awards range from $150 to $500, but individual projects of exceptional merit or projects involving student teams may be funded up to $1,000. Each individual or team project must be endorsed by a sponsor who certifies that the project is worth doing, has educational value to the student(s) and can be accomplished in the proposed time frame. The aim and result of specific projects supported by the program may be modest as long as the work can reasonably be interpreted as research or a creative endeavor.

Students may submit individual projects or team projects. Each individual student project or team project must be endorsed by a sponsor who certifies that the project is worth doing, has educational value to the student(s) and can be accomplished in the proposed time frame.

Full program guidelines and application instructions are available here.


Photo of ORU by Miami University Photo Services.  Dollar shirt origami photo by Leonid Domnister via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.