Info for Researchers

Research Updates

  1. Find Funding for Commercialization
  2. Research Collaboration
  3. Improve your Broader Impact and Education Sections
  4. Right Sizing Research
  5. Patent Databases
  6. Office of Undergraduate Research
  7. NIH Early Career Reviewer (ECR) Program
  8. AFOSR Spring Review
  9. MRSEC Seed Grant Program
  10. Upcoming Research Grant Opportunities
  11. Lily Grant Office Notification
  12. Grant Writing Crash Course
  13. Upcoming Classes in the Research Administration Training Series (RATS)
  14. Research News & Publicizing Research


1. Find Funding for Commercialization

Check out the new OSP website with opportunities for funding for commercialization, innovation and collaboration with industry.

2. Research Collaboration

The University has a number of resources to find collaborators. Check out the new page on collaboration and links to local and national collaboration resources.

3. Improve your Broader Impact and Education Sections

Many grants require or encourage broader impact, outreach, diversity, education, K12, or similar outreach activities. Leveraging and teaming with existing programs can often help you leverage and enhance these sections in your proposal. The Office of Sponsored Projects now has a page of campus, local, and national resources to help you with these sections of your grants.

4. Right Sizing Research

Please see the recent article by Vivian Lee.

5. Patent Databases

The U.S. Patent Database is the single largest, cross-referenced technical database in the world. It contains more than 8 million inventions grouped into classifications by technical problems and solutions.

Dave Morrison, the Marriott Library’s expert on patent searching, can be reached by email at or by phone at 5-6802. His ‘how-to’ guide is available here.

6. Office of Undergraduate Research

There are many options to involve undergraduates in your research at the U. You can help your students obtain funding or many departments offer credit-for-research programs. See the Office of Undergraduate Research page for more details.

7. NIH Early Career Reviewer (ECR) Program

The NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) Early Career Reviewer (ECR) program was developed to:

• Train qualified scientists without prior CSR review experience to become effective reviewers
• Help emerging researchers advance their careers by exposing them to peer review
• Enrich the existing pool of NIH reviewers by including scientists from less research-intensive institutions as well as those from traditionally research- intensive institutions

For more information, click here

8. AFOSR Spring Review

The AFOSR Spring Review provided an opportunity for AFOSR funding managers to discuss their programs, what they have funded, what they hope to fund, changes, and items of interest. Videos are posted here.

9. MRSEC Seed Grant Program

The Executive Committee of the Utah MRSEC (Materials Research Science and Engineering Center) is pleased to announce the continuation of the MRSEC Seed Grant Program at the University of Utah. Applications are now being accepted for the Fall 2013 cycle. Instructions for the application are attached here, and also can be retrieved from the MRSEC web site

Proposals should be submitted to the MRSEC Executive Committee at

The application deadline is September 1, 2013.

This program was created as a part of the MRSEC sponsored by the NSF, USTAR, and the University of Utah, in response to the following NSF instructions:

“Seed funding: NSF intends to provide flexibility for the center to respond quickly and effectively to new opportunities, and pursue high risk/high impact and transformative research. These may include (but are not limited to): seed support for junior faculty and for investigators changing fields; emerging areas of interdisciplinary research; programs to link the university effort in materials with industry, national laboratories, and other sectors; the development of tools and cyber infrastructure for remote access to instrumentation; and innovative interdisciplinary educational ventures.”

Seed funding through the MRSEC is not intended to provide a substitute for individual investigator funding from extramural agencies. Successful applicants are expected to use the results generated by seed funding to pursue extramural funding.

The MRSEC Seed Grant Program will support new basic and translational studies in all areas of materials research. The emphasis of this program is on developing new research directions that can either be integrated into one of the two existing Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs)or developed into a third independent IRG. The two existing IRGs are focused on (i) Plasmonics, and (ii) Organic Spintronics.

Applications should not have overlap with existing extramural research grants. The award can be up to $30,000 for an individual PI, although additional funding (up to a total of $50,000) may be considered for a proposal with two or more PIs. Funding is for one year with the possibility (on rare occasions) of extension for a second year of support. Only one application per faculty member as a PI or co-PI is permitted.

10. Upcoming Research Grant Opportunities

External Funding Opportunities
Alfred P. Sloan: Research Fellows
Submission Deadline: August 15, 2013

National Science Foundation: Faculty Early Career Development Program
Submission Deadline: August 15, 2013

The Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise
Submission Deadline: August 15, 2013

Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy: The Fund for Discovery

Dana Foundation: Clinical Neuroscience Research
Dana Foundation accepts applications on a rolling basis.

Night Rover Challenge
Registration is now open for teams wishing to compete in the $1.5 million energy storage competition known as the Night Rover Challenge, sponsored by NASA and managed by Cleantech Open of Palo Alto, Calif. Registration for the competition will close October 25, 2013. The competition will be held January 20, 2014 through March 24, 2014.

For information about the Night Rover Challenge, Challenge rules, requirements, and how to register, visit here 

“The goal of the Night Rover Challenge is to stimulate innovations in energy storage technologies of value in extreme space environments, such as the surface of the moon, or for electric vehicles and renewable energy systems here on Earth,” said Michael Gazarik, NASA’s associate administrator for Space Technology at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “NASA wants this challenge to generate new ideas that will allow planetary rovers the ability to take on a night shift, and possibly create new energy storage technologies for applications of benefit here on our home planet.”

To win, a team must demonstrate a stored energy system that can power a simulated solar-powered exploration vehicle that can operate through multiple cycles of daylight and extended periods of darkness. During the Night Rover Challenge energy storage systems will receive electrical energy from a simulated solar collector during daylight hours. During darkness, the stored energy will be used for simulated thermal management, scientific experimentation, communication, and rover movement.

This is a Centennial Challenge in which NASA provides the prize purse for technological achievements. The challenge is extended to individuals, groups and companies. Unlike most contracts or grants, awards will be made only after solutions are demonstrated successfully. Since the program’s inception in 2005, NASA’s Centennial Challenges has awarded more than $6 million to 15 different competition-winning teams through 23 events. Competitors have included private companies, citizen inventors and academia working outside the traditional aerospace industry.

The Night Rover Challenge is part of the Centennial Challenges Program within NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in NASA’s future missions. For more information about NASA’s investment in space technology, visit here

DoD Autism Pilot Award
The ARP Pilot Award supports conceptually innovative, high-risk/high-reward research that could ultimately lead to critical discoveries or major advancements that will drive the field of ASD forward. Research projects should include a testable hypothesis based on a strong scientific rationale. To see the funding opportunity, click here.

Grant Opportunities in Stem Education
NSF has a new funding opportunity: the EHR Core Research (ECR) program seeks proposals that will synthesize or expand research in STEM learning, STEM learning environments, workforce development, and participation in STEM. The full ECR proposal target deadline is July 12.

GE-NFL Head Health Challenge I
General Electric and the National Football League have established a joint initiative to advance the detection and management of mild traumatic brain injuries. In this Head Health Challenge I, they will award up to $10 million for improved technologies and methods that enable more accurate diagnoses of mild brain injury and prognosis for recovery following acute and/or repetitive injuries. In addition to benefiting athletes, this program also will benefit soldiers and civilians who suffer head trauma.
NineSigma is hosting the Head Health Challenge. More information is available here. To submit a proposal, please register here. Download and complete the required Response Template. Follow the instructions in the Template to submit your proposal online. No proposals will be accepted via email. The submission deadline for brief non-confidential proposals is July 1, 2013. Award decisions will be announced in early 2014.

Grant Modifications
Click here to see modifications to grant opportunity postings

11. Lily Grant Office Notification

Effective June 19, 2013 we will require that all grant request applications be submitted at least 60 days before the event date but not more than one year before the event date.

We are making this change to allow for more application review and processing time. However, we realize this will prevent organizations from submitting requests for programs occurring between July 19 – August 19, 2013. If this impacts you, please contact us so we can assist you.

Please check the portal for this and any additional future application requirement changes. If you have any questions, please contact the Lilly Grant Office at 1-877-545-5946 or

Thank you,

Lilly Grant Office

12. Grant Writing Crash Course

October 11-13, 2013
The Lodges at Deer Valley Resort
Park City, Utah

Open to all Faculty members and Postdoctoral Scholars

Experienced University of Utah faculty will provide individualized instruction in the mechanics of effective grant proposal writing, how to sell your idea to a sponsoring agency, how to develop specific aims and justifications and the political and social aspects of “grantsmanship.” Participants will work on their grant proposals at the GWCC, receiving real-time feedback to strengthen their proposals and enhance their likelihood of funding. A high faculty-to-trainee (PI) ratio is provided and attendance is highly limited. If you do not have seed or personal funding available for the registration fee, we encourage you to discuss other options with your department chair or research dean. Registration fees include two nights lodging at the Deer Valley Resort, use of recreational facilities and most meals. A spouse/partner and up to two children are welcome to accompany the participant (additional charge if more than two children attend). To register, or for more information, please contact Tony Onofrietti, Director of Research Education at 801-585-3492.

The Grant Writing Crash Course is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and led by Dr. Gary C. Schoenwolf, distinguished Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy

13. Upcoming Classes in the Research Administration Training Series (RATS)

For questions concerning RATS, please contact Tony Onofrietti (801-585-3492) or visit the RATS website

Conflict of Interest Compliance Challenges
Tuesday, June 25 10:00-11:30 a.m.
HSEB, Rm. 5100A

Introduction to the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP)
Wednesday, July 17 2:00-4:00 p.m.
WEB, Rm. 1230

14. Research News & Publicizing Research

Interested in the cool research going on at the U? For the latest news on research, go to news. If you are interested in publicizing your research, guidelines and information on how to, along with contact information, may be found at: Publicizing Research and Working with the Media.

Campus Events Calendar

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To upload or view all campus events, please visit the Events Calendar here.


Imagine U TV Ads Capture Two Telly Awards

Imagine-U-ThemeLineStackedThe University of Utah’s Imagine U branding campaign is making its mark in the world of television as two commercial spots are recognized with the prestigious Telly Award.

The ad “Step One” claimed the top honor of a Silver Telly, while another version of the ad, “Experience,” garnered a Bronze Telly.

“The results demonstrate that the University of Utah has a powerful story to tell,” said Bill Warren, the U’s chief marketing and communications officer.  “These engaging spots help send a message worldwide that the U offers a collaborative learning environment in which students, faculty, staff and the community imagine, and then do.”

The Telly Awards – issued by a New York City-based organization of the same name – identify the best in television, video and film production each year with a field of more than 11,000 entries.

“We are honored to be recognized among this superior video work,” said Brian Rasmussen, the U’s marketing director. “These awards speak to the collaborative effort of our marketing professionals working to showcase the limitless possibilities and experiences at the University of Utah.”

The spots, which began airing on Utah television stations on Jan.1, reflect the input of students, faculty, staff and alumni.  The commercials will continue to appear periodically throughout the state and region on the Pac-12 Network.

For more information about the Imagine U campaign, click here.

UNP Host Picnics in West Salt Lake

UNP-logoUniversity Neighborhood Partners, a department of the University of Utah invites the university community and residents of west Salt Lake to join them for dinner and activities at local neighborhood parks this summer, beginning June 18 at Jordan Park. A six-week program, Partners in the Park aims to encourage and promote higher education to the youth, acquaint residents with the university and strengthen community engagement.

“Partners in the Park helps connect the U with westside residents and non-profit agencies in a fun and informal way,” said Teresa Molina, associate director of University Neighborhood Partners. “These first interactions often create an opportunity to more openly discuss continuing education after high school, and help to begin addressing obstacles early on. For many, Partners in the Park is the first step on a pathway to higher education.”

Read more here.

“Second Suns” Features Moran’s Dr. Tabin

SECOND-SUNS.resize2“Second Suns,” the new book written by New York Times bestselling author David Oliver Relin, released June 18, chronicles the ongoing efforts of Dr. Geoffrey Tabin, co-director of International Ophthalmology at the University of Utah’s John A. Moran Eye Center, as he and his colleague Dr. Sanduk Ruit traverse the globe helping to cure preventable blindness.

Tabin and Ruit founded the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) and have dedicated their time and efforts to no less than eliminating preventable blindness in the world. Using a revolutionary 10-minute surgery costing about $20, and a system that includes building self-sustaining hospitals in emerging nations and training local doctors who then train other local and international doctors in this surgical process, they are responsible for restoring sight to more than 1 million individuals in some of the world’s most isolated and impoverished nations, including those in the Himalayas and Sub-Saharan Africa.

“We are thrilled that this book will bring to people’s attention the amazing work being carried out by Dr. Tabin,” said Dr. Randall Olson, CEO of the Moran Eye Center and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Utah. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I know of no person who has done more to help cure preventable blindness in emerging nations than Dr. Geoff Tabin. We are extremely proud to have him as part of the Moran Eye Center team, and know he is changing not only lives, but villages and countries with his efforts. His story and his life’s work fit perfectly with the Moran Eye Center’s history and vision that no person – regardless of their means or nationality – should be without hope, understanding and treatment.”

Read more here.

Governor Signs SB42

Governor Bill SigningIt’s official! On June 14, 2013, Gov. Gary Herbert signed Senate Bill 42 into law, which expands the University of Utah’s School of Medicine class size from 82 students to 122 by the year 2015.

During the signing ceremony, which took place in a classroom laboratory, Herbert told the crowd that an important role of government is to improve the lives of people, and that the bill would do that by ensuring Utahns would have better access to health care by increasing the number of providers.

Currently, Utah ranks fourth from the bottom in the number of primary care physicians per capita, while it also ranks among the fastest growing states in the nation.  To meet the growing health care shortage, the law will increase the medical school class by 20 students—from 82 to 102—beginning in the fall of. An additional 20 students will be added to the incoming class of 2015 for a total of 122 students annually. These students are expected to have a strong Utah connection, which means many are likely to stay in Utah to practice medicine. Additionally, the admissions process and curriculum encourages students to go into primary care.

The governor signed the law in front of a crowd of faculty, students, and lawmakers. “All of us at the University are committed to training the best and the brightest future medical providers our state as to offer; for the good of our population, for the good of our communities, and for the good of our world,” said Vivian Lee, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, dean of the medical school and senior vice president for health sciences. Lee also expressed gratitude to the governor, the Utah legislature and Sen. John Valentine (R) – District 14, who sponsored the bill, for their support.

The governor also signed Concurrent Resolution 12, which recognizes and supports the efforts of University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute in confronting and curing cancer, and House Bill 81, which directs the creation of a public education program around cytomegalovirus. Rep. Rhonda Menlove (R) District 1, spoke about HB81 with many of her family members also in attendance.  She has a grandchild who suffers from the condition, which can cause hearing, vision, neurological and developmental problems.

University of Utah Names Dean for Marriott Library

Alberta Davis Comer, new dean of the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah.

Alberta Davis Comer, new dean of the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah.

The University of Utah has named Alberta Davis Comer as dean and director of the J. Willard Marriott Library and University Librarian effective August 19, 2013.
Comer holds a master of library science degree from Indiana University-Bloomington and has served as dean and associate dean of library services at Cunningham Memorial Library, Indiana State University since 2004.

“Alberta Comer has a national reputation as an inspiring and thoughtful leader,” says Michael Hardman, interim senior vice president of academic affairs at the U. “She brings to the U an expansive knowledge of libraries, as well as a strong focus on students, faculty collaboration, and the cultivation of positive community and donor relations. We welcome her to Utah and the university.”

Under her leadership, Indiana State University developed a number of innovations, including an academic library consortium across three universities (Indiana State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College) in partnership with a county public library to establish an integrated online library catalog system. She has served as editor of Indiana Libraries, published by the Indiana Library Federation, as well as editor of Cognotes, the daily paper of the American Library Association Conference.  She is a member of the American Library Association, the American Indian Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Indiana Library Federation.

Read more here.

Hands-Free Talking, Texting are Unsafe

David Strayer, a University of Utah psychology professor, with a driving simulator that was part of a major new study he conducted for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

David Strayer, a University of Utah psychology professor, with a driving simulator that was part of a major new study he conducted for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Using hands-free devices to talk, text or send e-mail while driving is distracting and risky, contrary to what many people believe, says a new University of Utah study issued today by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

“Our research shows that hands-free is not risk-free,” says University of Utah psychology Professor David Strayer, lead author of the study, which he conducted for the foundation arm of the nonprofit AAA, formerly known as the American Automobile Association.

“These new, speech-based technologies in the car can overload the driver’s attention and impair their ability to drive safely,” says Strayer. “An unintended consequence of trying to make driving safer – by moving to speech-to-text, in-vehicle systems – may actually overload the driver and make them less safe.”

Read the full story here.

Campus Construction and Commuter Updates

New Department Locations

Carlson Hall demolition begins in the coming weeks to make way for the new College of Law Building. Departments that were housed in Carlson Hall have moved to the following locations.


The parking lots behind Carlson Hall and the law building continue to be closed with a limited number of parking spots available in the lots between the law building and chemistry building. Additional spots will become available when fall semester begins. Vehicles can park in the stadium lot while construction is underway this summer.

Public Transportation

The campus shuttle and UTA bus stop at the Fieldhouse have been closed for the duration of construction on the law building. Instead, please use the existing stop around the corner on University Street to catch red and green shuttles. For detour information for UTA buses, click here.

Sidewalks and Pedestrian Traffic

The south entrance to the law building remains closed for the duration of construction. The sidewalk on the north side of the law building is accessible and has been reconstructed to make it accessible for people with disabilities.

During July, many of the sidewalk entrances around the Sorenson building construction site will be closed to accommodate utility work.

  • The sidewalk between the HPER building and the construction site will remain open along with the sidewalk to the west of the construction site.
  • Bike lanes and wheelchair ramps are located to the north of the construction site and west of Milton Bennion Hall.


The Marriott Library fountain remains closed while it is refurbished. The surrounding trees will be pruned to improve the health and appearance of the landscape.

Motor Pool has changed its name to Fleet Services.

More Information:

A map of construction zones and timeframes is available here.

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Campus Events Calendar

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To view all campus events, please visit the Events Calendar

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Info for Researchers

Research Updates

Finding funding, spending grant money, and more...

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