President Mary Sue Coleman on the “Innovation Deficit”

President Mary Sue Coleman, along with 163 other university presidents and chancellors, wrote an open letter in Politico to the leaders in Washington D.C. to close the “innovation deficit.”

in·no·va·tion def·i·citnoun [in-uh-vey-shuhn def-uh-sit] (From

1. the gap between needed and actual federal investments in research and higher education.

2. the flat or declining investment in research and higher education at a time when other nations
such as China, Singapore, and Korea are dramatically increasing their investments in those areas.

The presidents and chancellors who signed the letter are deeply concerned about federal funding cuts to research and higher education. Their letter draws attention to the value of investing in universities, especially since economists agree that roughly half of economic growth since WWII can be attributed to technological innovation.

As Congress faces tough budgetary decisions, President Mary Sue Coleman and her colleagues hope to remind representatives of the value of scientific research as an investment in the future.

Tracking Grant Outcomes with PubMed Alerts

Caitlin_Suzy-thumb-271x202-742My name is Caitlin Kelley and I am a earning an MSI from the University of Michigan School of Information (UMSI) in order to become a health sciences librarian. I chose my career path because it enables me to help connect people to the latest information and research to help connect communities and individuals with important health information. Through UMSI’s Alternative Spring Break program, I spent a frigid week in March at the National Library of Medicine in Washington, DC where I got a firsthand perspective of how funding and research are connected, and the larger role libraries play in the practical application of research.

I set out to complete a project on research outcomes from NLM grants. The project was an exciting opportunity to learn more about different ways libraries can contribute to scientific pursuits, along with other special issues facing researchers.

Since the scientific community is constantly asked to justify grant spending on research, it has become increasingly important to know exactly how grant money is being spent and the results of the research. My project was designed to promote accountability for NLM grants by tracking the publication outcomes from individual grants. Being able to point to tangible statistics on publications helps the NLM demonstrate the success and importance of their awards. To do this, I generated a semi-automated grant tracking mechanism that searches PubMed for publications attached to any NLM grant from a particular year. I turned every year of searches into a PubMed alert, which sends a monthly email with any new publication information to the NLM Extramural Program. From there, they are able to import the data and curate it to show the research impact of grants they’ve awarded.

Creating these alerts is a part of a larger trend in research justification and accountability. Tracking publication outcomes is just one way of doing this, albeit an imperfect one because of a myriad of issues, including inconsistencies in grant acknowledgement in publications or a failure to publish results from a grant. Despite its imperfections, the importance of trying to understand the impact of research is undeniable, especially since funding is only getting more competitive.

My experience at the NLM was a professionally important experience as I begin my career. It helped lay a foundation for understanding the medical research environment and the type of practical role the library can play in broader issues.

Get more on the story at the NLM’s In Focus news release:

Caitlin Kelley is an Information Services Intern at Taubman Health Sciences Library. She is earning an MSI from the University of Michigan School of Information (UMSI). After graduation next May, she hopes to continue working to promote health information and literacy.

UM Med School Wins AMA Grant to Revamp Medical Education Curriculum

Just 11 schools were awarded grants from the American Medical Association in response to their challenge, Accelerating Change in Medical Education, and the University of Michigan’s Medical School is one of the winners.

Over the coming five years, the University of Michigan Medical School will design and phase in changes to the current curriculum, while also working with the other AMA winners to establish best practices.

Dr. Rajesh Mangrulkar, the associate dean for medical student education points out:

“We need to bring medical education into the 21st century, where data-driven, team-based health care, grounded in science and quality, and informed by ethical, social and patient-centric factors, is the norm…Our new curriculum will ensure we produce doctors who will be ready to lead changes in different aspects of health care that will have an impact on patients and their communities.”

Read the full announcement from the University of Michigan Health System, and learn more about the AMA initiative and other winning schools here.

One-stop Health Sciences Funding Portal

At the University of Michigan we’re pretty blessed to have access to the plethora of resources our university has – but navigating those resources when they’re managed by a variety of different schools and departments can be challenging. In an effort to address that challenge, your liaison librarians have developed a research guide that aims to consolidate the disparate resources at your disposal: the Health Sciences Grant Information Portal, or HS-GIP. The guide takes you through the steps of the funding cycle:

  1. Finding funding sources
  2. Grant writing
  3. Post-award processing

This post will walk you through a couple of the guide’s key features, then leave you to explore and give us your feedback if you so desire!

The main page lets you navigate – via the gold tabs – to funding resources for students, health-sciences specific funding (more on that below) and general funding databases that let you search across disciplines & funding types:


That Health Sciences Specific Funding tab I mentioned earlier leads you to an area that encompasses information on specific government agencies, including NIH, NSF, and the DoD:

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 10.22.06 AM

There is also an  area to help you locate collaborators, whether within your research field or if you are looking for interdisciplinary participants:

hgip collaborators

I hope you’ll forgive me for including a plug for my 2nd year project as a ULA – but you can also find a link to the wonderful portal (U Mich log-in required) – which is geared toward faculty looking for foundation funding on the main page:


Is there anything you’d like to see on the Health Sciences Grant Information Portal, or have any other suggestions? Send us an email at:

Synergies between Libraries and Development Departments: A ULA 2nd Year Project Retrospective

As part of the University Library Associates program, all ULAs complete a second year project, typically outside of their “home” library. Frequently, ULAs choose to explore another area of the library, or a different library on campus – but I elected to work with the Office of University Development (OUD) in an effort to forge stronger links between my previous professional experience as an institutional gifts officer at the California Academy of Sciences and my MSI degree by exploring the intersection between libraries and development departments.

New York Public Library, 1915 from the Copyright Office Collections via Shorpy

New York Public Library, 1915 from the Copyright Office Collections via Shorpy

Project Overview

I was working with OUD’s Foundation Relations division to create content for their new information portal for faculty, (which requires a UMich log-in). My goal was to create foundation profiles that would synthesize large amounts of information and clarify the foundation’s interests and application process to decrease the barriers to faculty application.

The Process

ULA 2nd yr process

I pulled together information from a variety of sources, including internal research from Development, publicly available foundation funding activities, and coverage of limited submissions/managed foundation from the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects. I also utilized library resources such as Foundation Directory Online and the Chronicle of Philanthropy, as well as scouring the foundations’ web presence through their sites and social media accounts.

I would then synthesize this massive amount of information into a concise and palatable web profile tailored toward faculty researchers who might be asking themselves, “Does my research align with Foundation X’s mission, and could we be a funding match?


A collaboration between librarians and development officers seems both natural and fruitful. There is a trove of information out there, and synthesizing it can certainly be aided by development’s expert knowledge of the funding relationships and a librarian’s capacity for effective information organization. My supervisor likened the process to the resource pyramid for evidence-based medicine:

Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) Resources. Dartmouth Biomedical Libraries. 2008. 6 Apr. 2012.

Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) Resources. Dartmouth Biomedical Libraries. 2008. 6 Apr. 2012.

And when I thought about the process for actually creating these foundation profiles, it became clear to me that I too was elaborating on building blocks of knowledge about specific funders, and using each new building block to inform the next, so I came up with a development evidence pyramid:

Development evidence pyramid

I also was able to draw useful parallels from both my coursework at the School of Information and my professional experience as a University Library Associate:

  • Understanding your audience is paramount: information has to be timely & relevant
  • Iterate: Fail quickly and improve work based on feedback.
  • Awareness is crucial: a resource is pointless if no one knows about it.

TL;DR: Are you a faculty member (or do you work with faculty members) and are seeking funding? Explore this resource!!

And, if you have the time, swing by the Hatcher Gallery today from 10 am to noon – the other ULAs and I will be presenting on our projects!

Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): Ethics and Politics (Week of February 11, 2013)

This week was packed with news stories and events that have implications for health care, research, funding, and science writing.  Tuesday sparked two major discussions on Twitter.  The first was regarding the speech given by Jonah Lehrer (former journalist at The New Yorker and science writer) at a media learning seminar for which he was paid $20,000 by the Knight Foundation.  As explained by Scientific American, this speech was expected to be a sincere apology and explanation of his actions after being caught plagiarizing and fabricating quotes in his writing both at The New Yorker and in his books.  Instead, the disgraced journalist proceeded to explain his actions in terms such as, “For some cognitive biases, being smart, having a high IQ, can make you more vulnerable to them.”  Understandably, science writers took umbrage and started the hashtag #worth20K to highlight science writing and journalistic efforts worthy of being paid $20,000.

This brought up questions of professional ethics, and another hashtag that comes up when science and health collide #bioethics.

The second major news event of Tuesday was the State of the Union (SOTU) Address.  The importance of funding science and research initiatives was highlighted in the President’s speech and Twitter took a closer look at those issues.  These tweets came from a variety of tags including #SOTU and #science.

Part of the conversation around SOTU focused on the Affordable Care Act and peeking out were some health and technology issues that showed up in #HealthIT.

On the topic of health and technology, is this weekend’s #TEDxManhattan.  TEDx are independently organized Technology, Education, and Design conferences based on the same format as the original TED conferences.  The topic for this particular conference is “Changing the Way We Eat.”  TEDxManhattan will be streamed via the internet, and live tweeted via the #TEDxManhattan and #TEDxMan hashtags.

And if you want to chat about sustainable foods a little closer to home:

2013 Research Partnership Program

The following Faculty/Student funding opportunities were recently promoted by Stephen R. Forrest, Vice President for Research, and Janet A. Weiss, Dean and Vice Provost for the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies.

The Spring/Summer Research Grants Program
Deadline: February 16, 2013

Purpose: The grants support faculty scholarship while also providing financial support opportunities for professional and intellectual development for participating students.

Number of Awards available: 50

Award: These grants will support a doctoral student with a 0.50 GSRA position.

Eligibility: Preference is given to faculty members who include a thoughtful plan for student mentoring in their applications. Tenure track and emeritus faculty, research track faculty, clinical track faculty, and librarians are eligible to submit applications if they are affiliated with a department, interdisciplinary program or school which has a Rackham doctoral program. Lecturers, visiting and adjunct professors are not eligible. A faculty member may submit only one application for each round of funding. Faculty members who received a Spring/Summer Research Grant must allow three years to pass from the last award before submitting a new proposal. Employment through this program is limited to students enrolled in Rackham doctoral programs. Students who have received a Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship or a 2013 Rackham Centennial Award are not eligible for support.


The Rackham Centennial Fellowships
Deadline: February 14, 2013

Purpose: The fellowships are designed to enable graduate students enrolled in a Rackham program to work on their own research, scholarly, or creative projects in collaboration with faculty members during the Spring/Summer 2013 term.  The student’s proposed research, scholarly, or creative activity should directly relate to and help achieve progress toward their degree.

Number of Awards available: 100

Award: Award recipients will receive a $6,000 fellowship for living expenses during the Spring/Summer 2013 term.

Eligibility: Graduate students enrolled in a Rackham program (with additional requirements listed at


The Distinguished Faculty and Graduate Student Seminars Program
Deadline: February 14, 2013

Purpose: The program awards groups of faculty, students or graduate programs who propose innovative seminars and colloquia to foster collaboration and stimulate new research.

Number of Awards available: 5

Award: Ranges from $5,000 to $10,000 and may be used to complement funds from department, college or external sponsors.

Eligibility: Any member of the tenure track faculty and/or research scientist community may serve as the principal contact in making a proposal.


New Resource: Funding for Public Health Graduate Students

In response to lots of interest from our colleagues at the School of Public Health, the Taubman Health Sciences Library has developed a new research guide: Funding Sources for the School of Public Health.

Geared primarily toward graduate students seeking fellowships, internships, and research funding, this guide has information on:

"Fund" 2012 from United Nations OCHA on the Noun Project - public domain

“Fund” 2012 from United Nations OCHA on the Noun Project – public domain

If there is funding information you’re not seeing on the guide, or have an opportunity you might like included, please contact the Preet Rana (, Judy Smith (, or Irina Zeylikovich (

Funding Pulse – November

“Fund” 2012 from United Nations OCHA on the Noun Project – public domain

Welcome to the November issue of Funding Pulse – an aggregation of health-related funding news from the previous month to keep you updated on the latest fiscal trends at UMHS and related entities, and upcoming opportunities:

Information Session: W. M. Keck Foundation Call for Concept Papers (internal submissions)

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012, 9:30-10:30 am, Palmer Commons Boardroom 5 (6th Floor)

If your work focuses on basic science (rather than clinical or translational), and you are working on or considering “high-risk/high reward projects focused on the development of pioneering instrumentation, new technologies and novel methodologies that advance and facilitate research (not medical treatment),” this session is for you! Contact Ann Verhey-Henke for more information about the internal competition at


Flat federal grants force U-M cancer center researchers to find creative funding sources –

U-M Cancer Center gets $28.4 million grant from NCI – U of M Health News

Mary Sue Coleman on U-M’s safety overhaul, Coursera and how fundraising ‘comes naturally’ –

U-M researcher receives Grand Challenges Explorations grant for research in global health – U of M Health News

National Institutes of Health supports emerging research to diagnose, prevent diseases with metabolic profiling – U of M Health News