Grants and Contracts

Our role in the pursuit of sponsored programs

The NMU Grants and Contracts Office has central responsibility for proposal submission and award management for sponsored research, scholarship, instructional and other sponsored activities at Northern Michigan University. The office also bears responsibility for research compliance as it relates to activities supported by external funds. The Grants and Contracts Office balances service to faculty and staff with strict adherence to university, federal and sponsor agency regulations and policies.

That balance guides the office in its mission to support faculty, staff and students in applying for internal and external funds for all sponsored activities and managing awarded projects, bringing integrity, clarity and ease to sponsored programs grant administration processes at NMU.Through these activities the Grants and Contracts Office guides the university’s research and sponsored activity endeavors on a forward path to fostering effective scholarly research, program development and student success.

Learn more about our support of sponsored programs.


2018 PRIME funding available

The 2018 round of PRIME awards-- Progressive Research and Innovative Mutual Exploration-- are due July 20, 2018. Guidelines are the same as previous years, focusing on interdisciplinary projects that involve students and promise high-impact results that lead to external funding. Two informational presentations will be held in the Olson Library to answer questions and discuss possibilities. These presentations will be scheduled soon. More information is available on the PRIME webpage.

Internal Opportunities

Internal funding for Northern Michigan University faculty, staff and students exists to enhance the academic experience and professional growth by providing financial support for new initial research projects, scholarly activities, papers for publication and creative works. More information and deadlines.


Grants and Contracts News

External Grant Opportunity for Female Students pursuing Postgraduate degrees

The American Association of University Women has a call for applications to their 2019-2020 fellowships and grants programs. Awards range from $2,000 to $35,000 and are open to women who are furthering their careers, working on a program to benefit women and girls, or pursing postgraduate studies. Due dates are November to December 2018. Details are available here.


NMU Education Department Receives Funding through the American Institutes for Research (AIR)

Joseph Lubig's project, "Comprehensive Center - Great Lakes Regional Center," will receive funding from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to meet a three-fold goal: 1.) Establish consistent expectations of High Leverage Practice implementation for all teacher candidates among teacher education faculty, teacher candidates, and clinical partners; 2.) Reinforce consistent implementation of HLPs by teacher candidates in clinical practice prior to and during student teaching, and 3.) Develop consistent feedback protocols between teacher education faculty and clinical partners so teacher candidates receive feedback on their implementation of HLPs and support in self-analyzing and improving their own performance.


Recently Funded: Project exploring the intersection between student learning outcomes and social justice

Wendy Farkas of the English Department has received funding for her project, "Civic Learning in the Major by Design." This grant will assist with assembling a small task force to generate an action plan to take to the English Department.  This task force will read three books and over the course of the project, outline a civic learning social responsibility framework/lens for teaching all English course and a pre/post survey to administer to our English majors upon entrance and exit from the English major to assess student learning outcomes.  The project comes from exploring framing student learning outcomes within a social justice framework to promote civic engagement and emphasize social responsibility to align with the newly developed Core Values and Mission of the University.  


Funding Awarded to Diverse Students in a Thriving Career Field

NMU Social Work Department's mission is to prepare competent professionals committed to advancing social justice, human rights, and the dignity and worth of diverse individuals, groups, families and communities through generalist social work practice.  CAAM (Community Action Alger Marquette) and NMU's Abigail Wyche are partnering to improve self-sufficient and stability for homeless and special needs households in an affordable housing setting by offerings: 1) employment support, 2) financial accountability, 3) cohort development, and 4) housing case management. NMU will provide: 1) student participation in the project, 2) social work faculty oversight, 3) weekly meetings with service coordinator, 4) notify service coordinator of issues, 5) report outcomes at end of project period.


Webinar Series: "Getting Started in Sponsored Research"

Follow this link to access a series of six webinars to help guide you through the ins and outs of conducting informed and meaningful research. "The Getting Started in Sponsored Research webinar series is ideal for faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs and residents, community members, patients and others who want to see the 30,000-foot view of sponsored research. This live webinar series is offered at no cost." Upon successful completion of the 30-min. webinars, participants will receive a certificate!


Continued Funding Secured for 2018 Math and Science Center

Chris Standerford of the Seaborg Center has received funding from the State of Michigan for the continued support of the 2018 Math and Science Center. The Glenn T. Seaborg Math Science Center is one of 33 regional centers in the Michigan Mathematics and Science Centers Network which provides leadership, curriculum support, and professional development and student services in the general public.

Department of Education Receives Teacher Education Program Funding

The NMU Department of Education, headed by Joe Lubig, has received funding from the Michigan Department of Education to begin a teacher education program call STEP UP to MESS (Secondary Teacher Education Program for the Upper Peninsula in Mathematics, English Literacy, Science, and Social Studies). This project will pair para-pro or full-time substitute teachers with a mentor within or near their school as they complete an accelerated program to obtain their teaching license. This project is a combination of the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Education, and 24 local schools, and will cover tuition expenses, books, travel, and planning of this project. It focuses on the needs of rural schools. 


How to Make Time for Research and Writing

For great tips on how to make time for research and writing, read this article by The Chronicle of Higher Education:

How to Make Time for Research and Writing


Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition Awards NMU Faculty Member

Jacquie Medina of the Health and Human Performance Department has been awarded funds for her project "Winter into Spring - Inquiry and Art in our Local Environment". This project is to facilitate development of an Outdoor Education Program focused on understanding, observing, and interpreting a local ecosystem over time, specifically through the late winter months into spring. Students in grades 4-6 will begin with classroom curriculum and also experiences in the field. This project provides community outreach and education through sharing of the learning outcome products within North Star Academy which will occur in the form of "books", presentations to younger students, and other forms of display.



Education Department Receives Funding

Joe Lubig of the Education Department received funding for a proposal titled "Educator Evaluation Research and Evaluation Activities" which is a qualitative study that is designed to analyze and extend answer survey responses solicited from practicing teachers and principles in rural schools regarding their experiences with the implementation, impact, and barriers related to teacher evaluation practices.  

Sharp and students investigate bacterial evolution

Microbiologist Josh Sharp garnered his a significant federal grant in FY2017 from National Science Foundation. Working with a colleague from Amherst College, Dr. Alexandra Purdy, Sharp will assist in an investigation of bacterial gene expression and environmental factors that influence evolution over time. The project, “Architecture and evolution of a conserved bacterial regulatory pathway that influences host and microbe carbon metabolism,” was submitted under NSF’s undergraduate research funding program, thus ensuring funds will go toward supporting undergraduate students working in Sharp’s lab.

Motorcycle Safety Funding

Stephanie Zadroga-Langlois of the Continuing Education Department has received continued funding for motorcycle safety classes. This program offers comprehensive training and classes at seven sites in locations throughout the western and central Upper Peninsula.

NMU supports defense industry growth in UP

Poised to expand defense and homeland security industry growth sectors within the state, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) awarded funds to NMU’s Center for Rural Community and Economic Development and the Office of Continuing Education and Workforce Development (CEWD) to support such efforts in the UP. NMU’s project will begin with an inquiry phase of a multi-step plan, led by Stephanie Zadroga-Langlois, director of CEWD. The initiative has two specific goals: 1) to assess the current ecosystem as it relates to known defense and homeland security sectors that exist in the region, and 2) to increase the number of jobs, business opportunities, business growth and new business within these sectors

Upper Peninsula Area Health Education Center

Cindy Noble has received continued funding for the Upper Peninsula Regional Health Education Center. The regional center offers medical, dental, physician's assistant, and chiropractic pre-professional programs to NMU students.  Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Early Assurance Program, an initiative that targets students from under-served rural to urban areas, first-generation college students, graduates from low-income high schools, students who are Pell grant-eligible, or those who are interested in practicing medicine in a high-need specialty in areas where there are health care shortages.

Multicultural Center Receives Continued Support for Jump Start Program

Shirley Brozzo, director of NMU's Multicultural Education and Resource Center has received support for the Jump Start program. This program is a King Chavez Parks Initiative of the State of Michigan designed to improve retention rates among academically and economically disadvantaged students through academic and career workshops and networking opportunities. Jump Start students are paired with upperclassmen peer mentors who design programs to meet the needs of their student mentees to help them become acclimated to life as a college student both academically and socially.


Northern Michigan University Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program

McNair Program Project Director Heather Pickett has been awarded funds for the McNair program at NMU.The McNair program is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. This program is designed to increase graduate rates and post-baccalaureate success among first generation, low income students and minority students that are underrepresented in graduate education. An additional 3% increase in funding was given this year to intensify the programs service (providing additional tutoring, counseling, etc.).This award is for the fourth year of a five year McNair program and is a continuation for the yearly funding from the U.S. Department of Education.


NMU Upward Bound Math and Science Receives Funding for Career Building Program

Julie Bowerman from The Upward Bound Program in the Seaborg Center has been awarded funds from the U.S. Department of Education for the Upward Bound Math-Science (UBMS) program. This is a year round academic program that includes a six-week summer experience for students who have completed the academic year requirements. The UBMS program works to help low-income and first-generation-to-college high school students and exposes students to a variety of career fields, improving problem-solving skills and enriching their appreciation for science and mathematics through hands on projects and group activities. This is a continuation for the yearly funding from the U.S. Department of Education. 

Eco-tourism project funded by Michigan Humanities Council

David Kronk and Scott Jordan of the School of Health and Human Performance received an award from the Michigan Humanities Council. The Third Coast Conversations funding program awarded $5,000 to the project, which will utilize tactics like Community Cafe events to spread awareness of sustainable eco-tourism and help business owners in the area learn about a novel "green" rating system. Kronk and Jordan have already held informational meetings in Munising, and will continue to guide Marquette and Munising businesses in use of "a sense of place" in sustainable business tactics.

Department of Education Receives Career and Technical Education Grant

Dr. Joe Lubig has been awarded funds from the Michigan Department of Education to increase the percentage of Career and Technical Education teachers that meet teacher certification and licensure requirements, and assist in efforts to recruit and retain Career and Technical teachers in the U.P. Dr. Lubig will be traveling to various sites to recruit and inform potential teachers from the existing technical workforce, and veteran career centers. 


Funding Awarded to Breast Cancer Research

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and Elizabeth Wuorinen were granted a Pipeline-to-Proposal award for their research project entitled Rural Community Coalition for Cancer Research (RCCCR). Their aims are to identify the needs of UP breast cancer patients at the time of diagnosis and while undergoing treatment; to determine patient-focused action plans to be implemented by rural clinicians through hospital- and university-based collaborations; increase stakeholder involvement in the project to include American Indians, who are at a greater risk for developing cancer; refine questions to determine appropriate funding avenues with development of future PRORI LOIs.



The education department's Dr. Joe Lubig was awarded funding by the Michigan Department of Education for the Title IIA(3)-Improving Teacher Quality.  NMU submitted an additional proposal to expand the current STEP UP to MESS programming to 1.) support mechanisms specific to the needs of rural schools, to include, but not limited to, factors impacting achievement in rural schools; access to resources in rural environments; and identification of high-leverage practices specific to rural school needs, and 2.) support training for rural school leaders modeled on best practices aimed at improving student outcomes.  This additional funded also extended the end-date of the current project to September 2018.  With these additional funds, the total project for STEP UP to MESS is $598,769.


Are young researchers being left out of the grant process? 

This article from the Chronicle of Higher Education outlines the many factors that perpetuate the lack of young researchers applying for and receiving grant funds and how that needs to change.


Tips for Writing a Successful NIH Grant

Need help planning and writing a proposal? Check out this video from insiders at NIH's Center for Scientific Review.


National Science Foundation Eliminates Submission Deadlines

In this article from Science magazine, the NSF outlines why it's cutting grant submission timelines and how that changes the process for applicants. 


Brain Researchers in Uproar

For an interesting read from Nature International Weekly Journal of Science, check out this article.


Great News for Young Researchers

In an attempt to attract researchers from a wider range of ages and experience levels, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) has just announced plans to encourage younger researchers to apply for grants. Read more here


NSF Comes to Detroit

NSF's Spring 2018 Grants Conference is scheduled for June 4-5 in Detroit. Register to receive details when the become available. 


Recently Submitted Proposals

Dan Truckey of the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center has just submitted a proposal entitled "Trekking through History." The project, which was developed with the assistance of MPA students Glenda Ward, Myron Johnson, and Chelsea Birdsall, would create an online historic walking tour site.application for communities across the U.P. Working with local historical societies to create a virtual walking tour of their towns, the proposal aims to create a mobile application allowing people to utilize mobile devices to access the walking tour. This is intended as an innovative way to engage visitors in communities and assist with heritage tourism discovery.

The English department's Wendy Farkas has recently submitted a proposal to the Spencer Foundation. This project, in an effort to increase NMU students' retention, reading comprehension, reading motivation, and reading self-efficacy, will conduct mix-methods exploratory research.  Pre-close reading comprehension assessment and surveys will be distributed to incoming students in Fall 2019.  Upon students' exit from NMU, a randomized sample will be administered to the post-close assessment and surveys.  An analysis of data will show change, in any as well as strengths and weakness of disciplinary literacy instruction at NMU.  Additionally, literacy center faculty will partner with area schools and provide professional development for educators and services for community members with below basic and basic reading levels.  

Joe Lubig and Steve VandenAvond have submitted a proposal to the Braitmayer Foundation for funding to implement a series of professional development workshops to certify high school teachers in the online delivery of dual enrollment courses that meet the quality standards for online course design and delivery. Northern Michigan University will mentor practicing rural high school teachers in the areas of English, social studies, mathematics, and science in the co-construction of college level content courses situated in an online environment. Budget items include costs for participating teachers to attend two 2-day workshops at NMU, substitute teacher costs, and costs associated with the participating teachers to attend the Action In Education conference, held at NMU.

John Lawrence, along with Robert Belton, Paul Mann, and Matthew Jennings, of the Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center, have applied for funding for a their project titled, "Rapid Colorimetric Allele-Specific Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Assay to Identify the R132".

Elizabeth Wuorinen and Scott Drum of the Health and Human Performance department are seeking funding for rural community cancer research. This project will identify the needs of U.P. breast cancer patients at the time of diagnosis and while undergoing treatment, determine patient-focused action plans to be implemented by rural clinicians through hospital- and university-based collaboration, and include American Indians, who are at greater risk for subsequent cancer development. 

Josh Carlson and student, Kristin Beck, of the Psychology department have submitted a proposal to Sigma Xi for support to utilize an cell phone app that will reduce levels of anxiety through attention bias modification using a dot-probe task. The app is targeted at women with a high risk for breast cancer. The benefits of reducing anxiety in this population is twofold: first, adherence to screening for cancer should increase in the study population; second, the reduction in anxiety and depression would have a positive impact in day-to-day life for these individuals.

Julie Bowerman of the Seaborg Center submitted a proposal to the US Department of Education to renew/continue the Upward Bound Math Science program at NMU for an additional 5 years. The Upward Bound Math Science program generates the skills and motivation necessary in participants ti complete a program of secondary education and to enter and succeed in a program of postsecondary education in math and/or science related coursework.

Josh Carlson of Psychology submitted a proposal to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation for funding to measure levels of attentional bias, anxiety, and gray matter volume before and immediately after attention bias modification training or attention control training, and 6 weeks following the termination of training. The proposal aims to assess the extent to which reduced extended amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex gray matter volume following attention bias modification underlies reductions in attentional bias and anxiety, and the extent to which these punitive changes in gray matter volume persist after treatment termination,

John Lawrence of the Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center submitted a proposal to NIH which will look to compare several cell culture techniques and their respective patient-derived xenografts to determine what technique(s) best retain the migratory characteristics and genetic profiles of their respective brain metastasis specimens. Metastatic brain tumors will be collected and patient-derived brain metastatic cell lines will be created. This project involves a large portion of student involvement, both graduate and undergraduate.  

Elizabeth Wuorinen of the department of Health and Human Performance submitted a proposal to Patient-Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI) for funding to examine whether mobile exercise technologies are an effective way to increase adherence in cancer survivors living in a rural area of Upper Michigan. 

Melanie Reaves of the department of Education, Leadership, and Public Service submitted a proposal to the Caplan Foundation for an Art-Based Parent Education Program (ARC). This program would combine art and child development to educate parents and caregivers with children 0-8 years old. ARC would combine monthly art and child development expert meetings with guest speakers on child development, nutrition and more with participants and their families.

Jill Leonard of the Biology department recently submitted a project proposal to NSF titled "Physiological Pathways Underlying Movement Phenotypes in Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)". This project will aim to characterize the physiological mechanisms related to the expression of movement phenotypes in wild Brook Trout which allow for resiliency to environmental change. It is critical to gain a better understanding of life history expression (and evolution) in fish, such as the Brook Trout. The response of such species to climate change and environmental impacts is crucial to fishery management and conservation.

Chris Standerford of the Seaborg Center has been contracted by the Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP) to provide the Professional Learning Component of the the Great Lakes Stewardship grant RFP. This grant comes from the Great Lakes Fisheries Trust, which has supplied $10 million over the past 10 years. Through this grant, 9 hubs were established to support place-based education and stewardship in classrooms all across Michigan. The Seaborg Center will take over professional learning components.

More than 20% of the students at Marquette Alternative School qualify for free or reduced school lunch. In collaboration with NMU's School of Education and School of Art & Design, this project, Cultivating Creative Thinkers for Rural Rejuvenation (CCTRR) will integrate art with all academics (STEM + Art = STEAM), giving local teachers the opportunity to further professional development with the support of face-to-face instruction. In addition, academic service learning (ASL) and project-based learning (PBL) will be achieved through online learning coursework during the academic year, concluding with a week-long summer educator training course on NMU's campus. Educators participating in the online academic courses will be able to gain professional development credit based on demonstrated mastery of competencies and performance-based outcomes.

A proposal submitted to the Superior Health Foundation by Lenae Joubert and Meagan Hennekens aims to reduce high stress in health care occupations through exercise.  More specifically, the project hopes to test the effectiveness of yoga vs walking, compared to controls, to reduce stress in Northern Michigan University nursing students during an entire academic semester. 

Joe Lubig of the Education department has just submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation entitled Superior STEM: A Collaborative Pathway to Quality Teacher Licensure. Research will be conducted on NMU, Bay de Noc Community College, Marquette Alger Regional Educational Service Agency, and others to increase the number of teachers in STEM disciplines, specifically in rural areas.

Yu Liu of the Chemistry department is working on a proposal to the National Science Foundation that will explore the versatility of the aromatic donor-acceptor interaction in supramolecular catalysts. Students and post-doc researchers will collaborate with Liu to test these catalytic systems in a variety of reactions, especially asymmetric catalytic reactions.

Lisa Eckert, a professor in the English department and Director of Graduate Education, has submitted a proposal to the Spencer Foundation that examines how rural schools can best use available resources to dissolve boundaries between disciplinary specializations and emphasize intersections between humanities and STEM disciplinary curricula. Dr. Eckert is interested in how visual representations of boundaries become narrative reality -- and, conversely, how those realities can be challenged by understanding where and how these representations originate. 

Lesley Larkin's NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) Summer Stipend proposal is to complete a chapter of the book "reading in the Postgenomic Age." Larkin, a professor in the English department, has an advance contract from the Indiana University Press.

A proposal submitted by the Education department's Bethney Bergh will propose to examine the effects of enhanced and interconnected support systems for students in rural middle schools. Sponsored by the University of South Carolina, NMU's Joe Lubig was contacted to partner for this application to the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

Chris Standerford's proposal submitted to the Michigan Department of Education aims to earn funding for the Central Upper Peninsula MiSTEM region, which would provide resources to STEM programs in Alger Delta, Dickinson, Iron, Marquette, Menominee, and Schoolcraft counties.

CAAM and Abigail Wyche of NMU's Social Work department are partnering to improve self-sufficient and stability for homeless and special needs households in an affordable housing setting by offering: 1.) employment support, 2;) financial accountability, 3.) cohort development, and 4.) housing case management. NMU will provide student interns or participation in the project, along with social work faculty oversight as weekly meetings are held with the service coordinator, so that they can be notified of issues.

Elizabeth Wuorinen in Health and Human Performance has submitted a proposal to examine the effects of outdoor exercise as compared to indoor exercise or usual care on the overall well-being of breast cancer survivors as they transition from prehabilitation, through treatment, and into the post-treatment survivorship. The highlights of this study are to determine whether prehabilitation will help breast cancer survivors remain active through treatment and post-treatment; determine whether outdoor exercise will have greater positive effects on remaining active, increasing their sense of well-being, and significantly change their lifestyle to have an effect on their quality of life. 


National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend Proposals:

Sirpa Nelson of the English department submitted a proposal for a 15 minute documentary podcast on the diverse experiences of Somali immigrants in Minnesota.  Her podcast seeks to uncover solutions that Somalis in Minnesota have to the problems of violence and assimilation. This accessible and finely-tuned podcast will uncover refugee histories and memories while keeping in mind questions regarding the Somalis with in American communities.

Hanna Kassab from the Political Science department submitted a proposal for a book that will discuss the nationalization of food among nations in conflict. Like land, cuisine is just another front in the demonization of the other and the glorification of the self. Conflict over food national ownership can be found around the world, such as hummus between Lebanon and Israel. Hanna will look to answer the question “Is food a uniting factor or a dividing one among nations in discord?”