White House Neuroscience Initiative

In case you missed it, the White House announced this week their new initiative to fund research focusing on neuroscience innovation.

“The BRAIN Initiative — short for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies — builds on the President’s State of the Union call for historic investments in research and development to fuel the innovation, job creation, and economic growth that together create a thriving middle class.” BRAIN Initiative Challenges Researchers to Unlock Mysteries of Human Mind http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/04/02/brain-initiative-challenges-researchers-unlock-mysteries-human-mind

Here is a brief introduction to the project from NIH Director, Francis Crick.

On The Clock: The BRAIN Initiative http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slQ8ELULNP0

For more information, please see:

NIH: Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative: http://www.nih.gov/science/brain/

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 averhey@umich.edu.


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

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’ – AnnArbor.com

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

Workshop – Research Proposal Writing

Geared toward writing proposals for research grants, this workshop will be an intensive overview of the research description of a proposal from the perspective of the reviewer. Areas covered will include: approaching a sponsor, components of a proposal, matching the narrative to the sponsor’s guidelines, writing style/recommended length, common errors to avoid, and persuasiveness. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions and answers.

  • Date:  October 31
  • Time:  8:00am-12:00pm
  • Location:  Pendleton Room, Michigan Union
  • Presenter:  Chris Black
Sponsored by the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects.

Need help putting graphics into NIH grants?

The Taubman Health Sciences Library is holding a class on just this topic!  This session will cover the basic features in Microsoft Word to help with preparing grant applications, including image placement, captioning, and wordwrap. There will be a brief presentation, and then instructors will assist you with specific issues–please bring sample documents.

  • Date:  Oct. 24
  • Time:  9:30-11:00
  • Location:  2802 Med Sci II

Register here.  If you have any questions, please contact Merle Rosenzweig (oriley@umich.edu).

You can also view a video of this workshop and related documentation
online from the Medical School’s Office of Research:  http://www.med.umich.edu/medschool/research/support/proposal.htm#tutorials

The video itself can be accessed here.

On the Horizon: Librarians & Data Management

On the Horizon continues! What else have we brought back from MLA’12? A better understanding of the needs of diverse audiences.

We work with a large variety of researchers between the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Public Health, in addition to the University of Michigan Health System, and every researcher can have a specific need when it comes to data management.

“What “open data” means – and what it doesn’t” © 2010 Libby Levi for opensource.com CC BY-SA 2.0

Susan McGuinness from the University of California, San Diego’s Biomedical Library presented on new roles for librarians in data management in research. Essentially, it boils down to understanding your audience’s needs. Data now is becoming problematic, with challenges including the proliferation of disparate devices, storage locations, and researchers themselves. To this end, Ms. McGuinness recommends adapting the librarian’s bread and butter, the reference interview, into a data interview, not only so that the librarian can understand the unique needs that may crop up later in the course of research, but so that the researchers themselves can begin to think about the structure and storage of their data at an earlier point in the research process. She highlighted a publication from Purdue Libraries on conducting a data interview as an excellent resource for librarians hoping to add this to a suite of services.
With pushes from some of the top funders – NSF and NIH – for data management plans as required grant components, another role for librarians is to help researchers prepare these components. Several schools are collaborating on a fascinating resource (also heralded at the Special Libraries Association 2012 conference): DMPtool lets institutions and researchers create boilerplate templates, which are then customizable for diverse projects. With funders establishing the new norms that not just publications are required to be shared, but the actual primary data as well, there is certainly a burgeoning role for librarians to play in the process, just as there is in the open access publication movement.

More Powerful, Persuasive Grant Proposals

License - AIMLESS

Professionals in healthcare spend a lot of time writing, from clinic notes to research notes, articles and grant proposals. We study how to write for our professional peers, but there are different challenges to writing for an outside audience. When I was approached to write my first book, the editor specifically asked for a writing sample to prove I could write for the general public, because those challenges are so different from what we usually do.

Last week, an article was published in Washington Technology about how word choices can impact on the credibility of proposals. They were thinking proposals to government agencies in general, but I immediately thought, “grant proposals.” The same issues often come into play, and how to write convincingly for government funding agencies is important to all of us. The article gave details about most common errors and how to identify them — when words are a crutch or a boast, vague or timid, slang or jargon, redundant or unnecessary qualifiers.

Bob Lohfeld: 100 words that kill your proposal:

Finding Funding for Medical Research Workshops

The Finding Funding for Medical Research workshop will serve as an introduction to digital and other informational resources for faculty researchers seeking funding for their medical/health sciences work. The session will cover how to formulate a search strategy and will introduce several key internet tools including the University Library, Office for Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP) and Foundation Center websites, the Community of Science, SPIN and Foundation Directory Online funding databases, and other ORSP and Library resources.

Intended Audience: Faculty and research administrators in the health sciences who are interested in learning what resources are available for sponsored project funding and learning how to access and search funding databases.

Session Dates: (these are repeat sessions; register only for one)

  • Tuesday, April 17, 9am to 11am
  • Tuesday, May 15, 9am to 11am
  • Friday, May 18, 9am to 11am
  • Wednesday, June 6, 1:30pm to 3:300pm
  • Thursday, June 21, 9am to 11am

Register: http://teachtech.umich.edu. Click on “All Sessions” and scroll to the individual session you wish to in enroll in or do a search on the workshop name.

Gates Annual Letter 2012

Since 2009, Bill Gates has written an annual letter for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation website.  Always engaging and detailing important issues and initiatives around the world, the Gates annual letter describes important issues for all of us to consider – including public health, education and global development.   As described in Mr. Gates own words: “My annual letter this year is an argument for making the choice to keep on helping extremely poor people build self-sufficiency.”   To take a look at his letter addressing global innovation in agriculture, global health,  U.S. education, and an update on the work of the Gates  Foundation, go to http://www.gatesfoundation.org/annual-letter/2012/Pages/home-en.aspx.

New Workshops–EndNote & Grants

Need help using EndNote with grants?  We have 2 new  workshops to help.

Inserting Graphics into NIH Grant Applications, Nov. 3, 1:30-3:00, 2802 Med Sci II

Changes in the NIH grant application reduce the number of pages available for the research plan, making proper placement of images, charts and graphics critical. This session will cover basic features in Microsoft Word to help with grant application preparation, including image placement, captioning and wordwrap. Instructors will assist you with specific issues that you’re encountering in formatting your grant application; please feel free to bring sample documents! This workshop was developed in response to feedback from faculty members to both the Medical School Office of Research and the Health Sciences Libraries. The session will cover all versions of Microsoft Word.

Using EndNote for NIH Grant Applications, Nov. 30, 9:30-11:00, 2802 Med Sci II

EndNote can help you in tackling the many hurdles of writing a grant: formatting references according to the grant instructions for the initial funding application, the annual progress reports, and biosketches.