August 30, 2011

Researchers Face Tighter Conflict of Interest Rules

From Grants Resource Center (GRC):

On August 25, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule that amends the 1995 Public Health Service (PHS) regulations on applicant responsibilities for promoting research objectivity. The new ruling establishes standards to ensure that the design, conduct, and reporting of research funded under PHS grants and cooperative agreements will be free from bias resulting from investigator financial conflicts of interest (FCOI). Institutions have until August 24, 2012 to be in full compliance with the new requirements.

The reasons for the amendments are twofold. First, the growing complexity of biomedical and behavioral research and the increased interaction among the government, research institutions, and the private sector, especially drug companies, suggest that a more rigorous approach to investigator disclosure, institutional management of financial conflicts, and federal oversight is required. Second, the promises of translational research, the challenges of technology transfer, and intense expectations at all levels of government that universities function as engines of socio-economic development generate new pressures on institutions and their faculty members to expand their relationships and deepen their engagement with industry.

The amended regulations include a number of changes with which PHS applicants must comply:

  • Designating institutional officials to solicit and review disclosures of significant financial interests (SFI) from each investigator participating in the PHS-funded research. Each investigator planning to participate in the PHS-funded research must disclose to the institution's designated official the investigator's SFIs (and those of the investigator's spouse and dependent children) no later than the time of application for PHS-funded research;
  • Lowering the SFI threshold from $10,000 to $5,000 for payments, equity interests, and any equity interest in non-publicly traded entities;
  • Excluding income from seminars, lectures, teaching, or service on advisory or review panels;
  • Expanding investigator disclosure requirements to include SFIs that are related to an investigator's institutional responsibilities, with institutions responsible for determining whether a disclosed SFI relates to the research for which PHS funding is sought and constitutes a FCOI.
  • Requiring that institutions maintain an up-to-date, written, enforced policy on FCOIs that is available via a publicly accessible website;
  • Requiring FCOI training for each investigator on any PHS-funded grant or contract prior to engaging in research, and at least every four years thereafter;
  • Requiring PHS-funded awardee institutions to take reasonable steps to ensure that any subrecipient investigator complies with the institutional policy;
  • Expanding the scope of the regulations to include Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase I applications; and
  • Requiring each investigator who is participating in the PHS-funded research to submit an updated disclosure of SFIs at least annually.
GRC will continue to follow this issue and SPO will post updates as they appear. Additional details are available online.

August 24, 2011

Call for Proposals: Cohen Peace Fellowship

This is a call to submit proposals for the Benjamin V. Cohen Peace Fellowship. The Fellowship provides support to conduct basic or applied research on topics related to peace.

For the 2011-12 academic year, Ball State faculty members AND graduate students are eligible to apply.

For faculty members, funds may be used for salary, supplies, expenses, and/or travel. Preference will be given to tenure track faculty members at Ball State University.

For graduate students, funds may be used for assistantship stipend, supplies, expenses, and/or travel and may also include tuition remission during the academic time period of the fellowship.

Completed applications and all required materials are due to the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) by 5:00 PM on September 19, 2011. SPO will route the University Clearance Sheet and forward the completed applications to the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. The Cohen Proposal Evaluation Committee will then review the proposals.

For more information on how to apply for the fellowship, visit the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies website or contact CPCS directly, 285-1622 [email].

August 23, 2011

EPA Fellowships - Undergraduate Environmental Study

Fall 2012 EPA Greater Research Opportunities (GRO)
Fellowships for Undergraduate Environmental Study

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships program, is offering Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) undergraduate fellowships for bachelor level students in environmental fields of study. The deadline for receipt of applications is December 12, 2011 4:00 PM ET for receipt of paper applications, and December 12, 2011, at 11:59:59 PM ET for submittal of electronic applications to Subject to availability of funding, and other applicable considerations, the Agency plans to award approximately 40 new fellowships by July 30, 2012.

Eligible students will receive support for their junior and senior years of undergraduate study and for an internship at an EPA facility during the summer of their junior year. The fellowship provides up to $19,700 per academic year of support and $9,500 of support for a three-month summer internship.


Deadline: 12/12/2011

August 18, 2011

WIPB Offering Student Grants for Video Productions

For the third year, WIPB-TV is offering grants of up to $10,000 to student teams to support the creation of original local video for Broadcast (television show or promotional videos) and Online (website/interactive) delivery.

Students are asked to describe in 500 words or less how their team will collaborate with other students to develop their local video project. Teams may include two or more Ball State University students from any academic discipline. Students may be undergraduate or graduate and must be enrolled as full-time status. All work must be completed by April 2012.

Past grant recipients include Sculpting the Wind: Alexa King and the Making of the Barbaro Memorial Statue, winner of multiple awards including four Emmy nominations. Information about this documentary can be found at

To apply for a grant, interested students should download the WIPB Grant Initiative Call for Proposals (pdf) available at and submit their proposal by Friday, September 23, 2011. No late applications will be accepted.

For questions or more information about the Grant Initiative, visit the wipb website or use the Online Contact Form.

A PBS affiliate, WIPB-TV is licensed to Ball State University, and serves more than 1.5 million people in east and central Indiana and western Ohio. WIPB multicasts three channels: WIPB-HD 49.1, WIPB CREATE 49.2 and WIPB Radar 49.3 broadcast on cable, over the air and Dish Network. Station information is available at

August 17, 2011

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipends

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipends program supports research that contributes to the scholarship, the public's understanding, or the advancement of teaching of the humanities. Projects may be completed during the award period or may be part of a longer-term undertaking. Recipients' work often results in articles, books, databases, or other scholarly tools.

An outright award of $6,000 is provided for two consecutive months of full-time research and writing. In accordance with NEH guidelines, Ball State may nominate two faculty proposals.

Ball State internal application deadline is September 2, 2011.
Deadline for final submission to the NEH is September 29, 2011.

Click here for full guidelines.

Materials to submit for the September 2 internal review:
  • Click to access the Ball State NEH Summer Stipend Internal Application Coversheet (This form is in lieu of ATTACHMENT 1: Supplemental Information for Individuals Form, submitted at the final round)
  • A single copy of the application, including
    1. 3-page (single-spaced) narrative
    2. 2-page (single-spaced) resumé
    3. 1-page (single-spaced) bibliography
    4. 1-page appendix (graphical materials or edition/translation sample, if applicable)
  • You do not need to include reference letters at this time.
  • You do not need to have processed a Ball State clearance sheet.
Please submit your completed internal application to Justin Miller by September 2, 2011.
Proposals will be submitted electronically through

Questions about this program may be directed to Justin Miller.

August 16, 2011

The case of fraud, forgery, and false statements: 5 lessons for grantseekers

Reposted from The Grantsmanship Center's August 2011 newsletter {Centered}

Mail Fraud. Guilty. Document Forgery. Guilty. Making False Statements. Guilty.

In June 2011 a California jury returned its verdict in the case of grant proposal writer Jean Cross, an independent contractor. The charges involved a 2007 grant proposal submitted by a community coalition for funding under the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant program.

After the $35 million grant was approved for funding, one of the key partners, the Desert Sands Unified School District, found that the proposal that had been submitted was "materially different" from the copy they had received from the applicant organization, that memos of understanding had been altered, and that district signatures had been forged. The school district blew the whistle, withdrew from the collaboration, and called for an investigation. The grant was returned to the funding source. Ultimately the proposal writer was charged with fraud, forgery, and making false statements.

While this situation was extraordinary, it's worth looking at, since it highlights at least five crucial lessons for grantseekers.

The proposal writer had approached the coalition about submitting a proposal about ten days before the deadline, according to testimony by the head of the coalition.
  • Lesson #1: Plan. One of the core principles for people who practice sound grantsmanship is planning. Even a relatively simple proposal requires thoughtful planning. In this case, the proposed programming involved a multitude of schools and community organizations. How can solid program planning be accomplished with so many collaborators in just ten days?
Community surveys and meeting results to determine student and family needs were reported in the proposal but could not be verified. Cross acknowledged she "might have copied and pasted" into the proposal information she had collected from other school districts while working on previous grant proposals.

August 08, 2011

Save the Date!: October 13 & 14

Creating Vibrant Communities through the Arts
October 13 - 14th - Monon Community Center, Carmel, Indiana

Looking to advance your arts initiative at a community level? Want to infuse innovation and growth through the arts in your community? Don't miss this exciting learning opportunity for civic leaders, educators, business leaders, arts organization leaders and local elected officials, brought to you by Ball State University Building Better Communities and the Indiana Arts Commission!

This two-day colloquium will feature educational tracks on creating artist live-work communities, establishing cultural districts, and developing community arts education centers. Featuring sessions like "Creating Art Communities" presented by Steve Doolittle of the Paducah Riverfront Development Authority in Kentucky and "Establishing a Cultural District" presented by Andy Vick of the Allegany Arts Council in Maryland, national and local experts will share best practices while providing guidance, insights, and new ideas. Community teams are encouraged to attend this excellent educational and networking opportunity.

Registration: $75 per person or $175 for three people from the same community. Includes evening reception on October 13 and lunch and refreshments on October 14.

Click here for additional information. This web page will be updated with information periodically. (Click on the red exclamation point icon at the top of the page to subscribe to page updates.)

Sponsored Programs Office Annual Report 10-11 Now Available

Each year the Sponsored Programs Office produces an annual report, detailing grant awards and submissions over the last year. Some of the topics covered in the annual report include:
  • Initiatives and Accomplishments of the Office
  • Research Recognition
  • College Funding Profiles
  • Proposals Funded (Internal & External)
  • Proposals Submitted
  • ASPiRE Internal Grants activity
  • Results of Intellectual Property commercialization
  • Activity of Research Integrity committees
The report is accessible through the Sponsored Programs Office website or by clicking here.

PLEASE NOTE COLLEGE AND DEPARTMENT TOTALS: Funded awards, for which there is Co-PI participation, are referenced in both PI and Co-PI departments. However, official college and departmental totals include only the lead investigator.

August 05, 2011

BBC Fellows recruiting undergrad and graduate students for projects

Building Better Communities (BBC) is currently recruiting students for fall 2011 immersive learning projects. BBC Fellows, Emerging Media Fellows and Health Fellows projects allow you to work with an interdisciplinary team to help address a specific challenge for an Indiana business or organization. If selected for a project team, you will gain valuable technical skills, network with potential future employers, and attend professional development training at no cost to you. Selected students are also eligible to apply for a Fellows Leadership Award. Students with leadership experience or special skills in emerging media may apply for this award, which involves a $1,000 scholarship to assist with tuition. Most Fellows projects are available for 3-credit hours, and the program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students.

Now accepting applications for the following projects:

  • Camp Adventure Enviromental Learning Center
  • Charter Schools: Patterns of Innovation - A New Architecture for a New Education
  • Hillcroft Services: Awareness through Marketing
  • Indiana Youth Institute: Positive Youth Development through Sport
  • Old Stories Made New - The Life of George Rogers Clark
  • Parkview Hospital: Planting Healthy Seeds
  • Sustainability Report for Ball State University—Global Reporting Initiative
  • Tuhey Pool - A Plan for the Future
  • Visit Indiana
  • Sustainability Report for Minnetrista Cultural Center
For more information about the projects listed above or to apply online, click here. Check the website often for updates and new projects!

BBC Fellows Now Recruiting for Fall

August 02, 2011

STEM Education Data and Trends

Compared to other states, how well are students in my state prepared in science and math?
What are my or my child's career opportunities in science and engineering fields?
How much are states spending on their schools?

The STEM Education Data and Trends web tool allows you to explore the answers to these and other questions, by providing easy access to data on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and related careers. The interactive tool is organized chronologically from preschool to a career in a STEM field. It lets users select a specific question to retrieve easy-to-understand text and to link to further data and discussion in the National Science Board's biennial Science and Engineering Indicators report.

Go to:
STEM Education Data and Trends Web Tool
STEM Education Data and Trends [Text Only Version]
Science and Engineering Indicators: 2010

August 01, 2011

FY 2010 Report on the NSF Merit Review Process

This FY 2010 Report on the NSF Merit Review Process responds to a National Science Board (NSB) policy endorsed in 1977 and amended in 1984, requesting that the NSF Director submit an annual report on the NSF merit review process. Longitudinal data are given to provide a long-term perspective. In most cases, the data provided are for only eight years due to space constraints; however, additional historical data are available through the electronic version of the report that is posted on the NSB website (

The Foundation continues to exceed its "time to decision" goal of informing at least 70 percent of Principal Investigators (PIs) of funding decisions within six months of receipt of the proposal. The National Science Board conducted a review of the NSF merit review process and concluded that the NSF merit review process is fair and effective. It "remains an international 'gold standard' for review of science and engineering research proposals."

Click here to read the full 2010 report.

Related Links
Archive of Merit Review Reports
Merit Review Process