Spring Research Update (April 29, 2016)

Dear Colleagues,

Some of us feel as though the good news at the end of a semester is just that... it’s the end of the semester! Many of our colleagues and our students are hearing another kind of good news: Their focus on finding solutions to the world’s most challenging problems – and the long hours of research that goes with it – has gained them national and international recognition during the last few weeks that we can all celebrate.

In particular, I want to congratulate Joan Rose, who is the 2016 recipient of the Stockholm Water Prize, considered Researcher Joan Rosethe world’s most prestigious water award. Several other faculty have also recently received highly regarded external awards. Here are just a few recent ones:

  • Bruce E. Dale, University Distinguished Professor of engineering, was inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows, which is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers in the country.
  • Matthew J. Hirn, assistant professor of mathematics and computational mathematics, science and engineering and Kendall Mahn, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, have been selected to receive 2016 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowships.
  • Anil Jain, University Distinguished Professor of computer science and engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), one of the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.
  • David Kramer, MSU Hannah Distinguished Professor in photosynthesis and bioenergetics, is the recipient of the American Society of Plant Biologists 2016 Charles F. Kettering Award.
  • Shannon Manning, Michigan State University Foundation Professor and associate professor of microbiology and molecular genetics, has received the 2016 Garnett-Powers & Associates, Inc., Mentor Award from the National Postdoctoral Association.
  • Sean Pue, director of digital humanities and associate professor of South Asian literature and culture, is the first MSU faculty member to receive a Mellon New Directions Fellowship. He will use the fellowship to study the role of sound in modern South Asian poetry.
  • Amy Ralston, assistant professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology, is among 105 researchers honored by President Barack Obama as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
  • Dapeng Zhan, associate professor of mathematics, is among 30 researchers nationally who have been awarded a 2016 Simons Fellowship in Mathematics. The Simons Fellows Program provides funds to faculty for up to a semester-long research leave from classroom teaching and administrative obligations.

You can read more about these awards, as well as other faculty recognition, under Faculty Focus > Awards on the Research website.

As you may be aware, national and international faculty awards are an important component of institutional reputation, and are counted in one of the four “phase I” AAU institutional indicators. To ensure that MSU faculty and the university as a whole receive appropriate recognition, it is important that individual faculty, departments, and colleges are active in nominating members for appropriate prizes and – where appropriate – in inviting external support for MSU faculty candidates for such awards. Learn more here...

Plant Resiliency Institute

The MSU Board of Trustees recently approved the Plant Resiliency Institute, which will conduct fundamental research to identify mechanisms that contribute to plant resilience and impact plant productivity. Research will include understanding how plants cope with environmental conditions associated with climate change. The institute was established through the MSU Global Impact Initiative with additional funding from AgBioResearch, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the College of Natural Science.

Research Administration Project

The Research Administration Project (formerly the Kuali Coeus Research Administration Project) has made significant progress toward creating a web-based application to facilitate research proposals throughout the various aspects of their life-cycle.

  • In August of this year, the Sponsored Programs Administration will begin to use the new system. In parallel, the collective MSU research community will receive view-only access to the award module components: institutional proposals, negotiation, award, and subaward.
  • By April of next year, access to the system will be provided to the campus community; specifically, full functionality for proposal development, and conflict of interest.

More ...

Drone Update

Just a reminder that if you plan to purchase a drone, the purchase must be reviewed by the MSU UAV and USV Review Board. (Read MSU's "New MSU Interim Policy on Drone Acquisition and Operation" (PDF) here.)

Please plan ahead to ensure you include adequate time for the board to convene. Also, all unmanned aircraft weighing more than 250g (8.8 oz) must register with the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System registry before flight can take place.

Please call (517) 432-4499 for more information, or visit the Export Control and Trade Sanctions website if you have a drone that has not yet been registered.

Conflict of Interest

If you receive funding from U.S. Public Health Service awarding components, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for grants, cooperative agreements, or research contracts, you must complete disclosure and training prior to engaging in those projects. Note that disclosures must be completed annually, but training is valid for four years.

If you are unsure whether you need to complete disclosure or training, or would like assistance, please contact the Conflict of Interest office online or call (517) 884-7000.

Save the Date

A good source of information about upcoming workshops and seminars regarding research funding is the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies website. You may also sign up for the email list here.

For the 2016-17 academic year, two major research-related conferences have already been planned:

  • FBI Academic Alliance Conference, Sept. 12, 2016
  • Write Winning Grant Proposals Seminar, Jan. 5, 2017


The Research @MSU.edu website provides a comprehensive, magazine-like collection of the latest research stories from around campus.

The Spartan Ideas website is a collection of thoughts, ideas, and opinions independently written by members of the MSU community and curated by MSU Libraries.