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.

Internal Opportunities- Please check regularly for revised deadlines

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 about opportunities for faculty is available on the Faculty Internal Opportunities page. Additional information about opportunities for students can be found on the Student Internal Opportunities page. Contact Erica Goff at ext. 2456 with questions.

Updates and information: COVID-19

National Science Foundation is accepting proposals for non-medical, non-clinical-care research related to COVID-19.


During this unprecedented and immensely interesting time, we all are learning as we maneuver this new temporary "norm." While we are doing our part by sheltering in place, we are also remaining accessible to help answer any questions and to help with any and all steps related to proposal development and submission. At least there is something we can count as normal! We will be available via email during this time, and can arrange meetings in a number of electronic forms. Additionally, you can be assured to get answers in real time by messaging via Gmail chats (or using video) during my newly established Office Hours:

MWF- 11 a.m. -2 p.m.

TR- 1-3 p.m.

I will be accessible outside of these windows, but am assuredly available during these times. I'd also like to offer some links to resources and information related to the current situation from Federal sponsors and sources related to research.

News of COVID from National Science Foundation

Natural Disasters information from National Institutes of Health

Special Reports from National Science Foundation

A Director's Blog about COVID-10 origins from NIH

A Director's Blog about social distancing from NIH

Letter to the Community from NSF


Kristin Beck, Assistant Director of Grant Development and Training Coordinator:

Remote Office Hours: Tuesdays 11:00am - 12:00pm, EST for immediate feedback, or please contact via email at


Grants and Contracts News, Events, and Deadlines


News, Opportunities, and Tips


Humanities Connections planning grants: Collaborative projects wanted

The Humanities Connections program seeks to expand the role of the humanities in undergraduate education at two- and four-year institutions. Awards will support innovative curricular approaches that foster productive partnerships among humanities faculty and their counterparts in the social and natural sciences and in pre-service or professional programs (such as business, engineering, health sciences, law, computer science, and other technology-driven fields), in order to encourage and develop new integrative learning opportunities for students.

Program URL:
Sponsor Instructions:

Science of Organizations (SoO) funding from NSF: Research on organizational development

SoO funds research that advances our fundamental understanding of how organizations develop, form and operate. Successful SoO research proposals use scientific methods to develop and refine theories, to empirically test theories and frameworks, and to develop new measures and methods. Funded research is aimed at yielding generalizable insights that are of value to the business practitioner, policy-maker and research communities. SoO welcomes any and all rigorous, scientific approaches that illuminate aspects of organizations as systems of coordination, management and governance.

Program URL:


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.


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


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!


Biologists Irate at NSF's New "One Proposal Cap"

NSF's biology directorate announced that researchers could submit only one proposal a year in which they are listed as a principal investigator (PI) or co-PI. The cap applies only to the directorate’s three core tracks and excludes several other NSF programs from which many biologists receive support. For more information, follow this link. Additional questions and answers can be found here.


Recent Funding Received 


Peter White 20202 Award Recipient: Russell Prather      

Northern Michigan University English professor and visual artist Russell Prather is the 2020 Peter White Scholar Award recipient. The funding will enable him to create new works, participate in three solo and three group exhibitions, deliver a scholarly paper and complete a two-month artist's residency. 

The solo exhibitions are scheduled to be held at the Muskegon Museum of Art, Dennos Museum in Traverse City, and Caza Sikes Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio. The group shows will be held at the Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art (MICA), the University of South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and in Grand Rapids, where the international art biennial called ArtPrize is held. 

Prather describes his creations as visually volatile renderings of simple forms and ordinary objects from layers of transparent and translucent media. He uses both additive and subtractive methods to create the layers. Examples include painting tinted acrylic medium onto multiple sheets of clear polyester film or cutting out shapes from sections of insect screening and other materials. Prather aligns the layers on metal rods and suspends them from the ceiling or stretches them on aluminum screen frames that he mounts on light boxes that sit on the floor.

Prather will deliver his scholarly paper on how contemporary artists use transparency, both as material and metaphor, at the 11th International Conference on the Image at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He will also engage in a spring 2021 two-month residency at Mission Street Arts in Jemez Springs, New Mexico.

Prather has a longtime dual interest in literature and visual art. Much of his scholarship has focused on the poet and artist William Blake,whose work takes the form of “illuminated” or “prophetic” books, which use a relief printing method to combine interlinked poetry and visual images. Prather's work is informed by literature in a fundamental way, he said, via its very structure. 

The annual Peter White Scholar Award, worth $17,500, is intended to support a faculty member with a proven scholarly record who is undertaking a project that would significantly advance her/his work. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


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

Granite island

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.


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. 


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.




Recently Submitted Proposals


A proposal recently submitted by Elizabeth Wuorinen of the Health and Human Performance department seeks funding from the Pardee Foundation to research what types of exercise programs are most effective for helping survivors of breast cancer to overcome the deleterious effects of treatment. is utilizing outdoor exercise (OE) programs more effective than traditional indoor activities (IE)? Wuorinen's research aims to find an answer for this question.


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.