October 2015: The total external awards received in October 2015 was $2,012,671.

List of Awards


UM Research Board

Applications Due: Tuesday, Feb. 09, 2016


UMSL Entrepreneurs Workshop, Informational Sessions

Friday, Dec. 11, 2015
Noon to 1 p.m. Boardroom, ITE 4633 World Parkway Circle Berkeley, MO 63134
Lunch Provided

To register for this one-hour informational session, contact Lynette Oliver at beckld@umsystem.edu 314-657-3768

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St. Louis Institute of Nanoscience and Nanomedicine (SLINN) Symposium

December 12, 2015
Download the SLINN Symposium "Save the Date" for more info

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→ "Traumatic Stress: New Mechanisms and Effective Treatment" Conference

March 9 & 10, 2016

The impacts of a physical trauma are well understood in the medical community, and treatment approaches have become quite advanced. Our ability to study the brain and its reactions to physical and chemical stimuli is relatively new, but growing at incredible speeds. "Traumatic Stress: New Mechanisms and Effective Treatment" will bring together a group of internationally recognized researchers to deliver a whole new perspective on what physically happens in the brain during and following traumatic stress. They will explore not only the physical, but the behavioral and emotional reactions to traumatic stress through the lens of groundbreaking new research. Most importantly, they will offer a fresh perspective on care and treatment. This conference will change how you look at traumatic stress in the brain and what to do about it.

Cost of Training:
Standard Registration: $299
Graduate Student Price: $49

Clayton Plaza Hotel
7750 Carondelet Avenue
Clayton, MO 63105

Conference Website











































































UMSL Innovator

December 2015, Volume XV, Number 6

ora logo

> A Review of ORA Activities, 2002–2015

Until 2002, the Office of Research Administration (ORA) and the Graduate School were organizationally one unit although their budgets and staffing were separate. In 2002, they were split into two independent units, which was similar to the practice at most other universities across the country. In quick succession, campuses in Kansas City and Rolla also established separate research offices.

With the ORA and the Graduate School at UMSL re-merging into one unit next month, we wanted to take a brief look back at the ORA’s activities as an independent unit over the past 13 years.
In 2002, the ORA was a small sponsored programs office with $16 million in research expenditures. Today, the number of UMSL faculty remains approximately the same as in 2002, but research expenditures have exceeded $20 million.  It is important to note that in the same span of time, federal funding for research has declined by 25%.

One of the early initiatives of the ORA was to establish a mechanism to support funding for new faculty startups. Prior to the adoption of this method, science departments were unable to recruit new faculty if they did not have ready access to hundreds of thousands of dollars for setting up startup accounts even though they had funding for salaries. The mechanism functions similar to a mini-bank where loans are extended by the ORA to the recruiting department to be amortized by future F&As accrued to the new recruit until the loan is fully paid off at which point F&A distribution reverts back to the usual distribution pattern. This has fully mitigated the problem of startup funding and has relieved the campus from such burden.

Since 2002, the ORA has evolved into much more than just a sponsored programs office. When the UM System designated economic development as the fourth dimension of the UM mission, the ORA assumed responsibility for developing and managing various economic development programs. Along with that, the ORA also established or managed three research centers on campus:

The MIMH joined UMSL in 2010 in the midst of financial difficulties and the retirement of its long-serving director. A major restructuring took place, its operations moved to ITE and a new director was recruited. The combination of such changes enabled MIMH to recruit high caliber researchers. Today, with 60 faculty and research staff, MIMH is the most productive research unit on campus. MIMH conducts basic and applied research, provides community outreach services and conducts professional training programs in mental and behavioral health across the region and the state. MIMH investigators are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DOD), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and others.

The CNS was established in 2006 with the recruitment of a new director and an associate director. The center leads collaborative, interdisciplinary scientific research in conjunction with industry. Twenty scientists from chemistry and biochemistry, physics and biology form the intellectual core of the center with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and industry.

The CND was a small, established center when its reporting line was transferred to the ORA. It brings together a dozen scientists from physics, biology and psychology to study the role of noise and nonlinear dynamics in biological systems, demonstrating behavioral stochastic resonance in living animals. The center has been funded by grants from the Office of Naval Research, the NIH, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the NSF.

Internally, we launched the technology transfer office within the ORA. This new enterprise currently has 88 technologies under management with 21 of those licensed to either established or startup companies.  An exciting example is a non-invasive glucose-level testing device designed to help diabetics better manage their disease without the pain of invasive blood sampling, which illustrates university research at its best – conducting cutting-edge research, producing knowledge, and developing technologies that can improve lives.

On the economic development front, the ORA has pursued a wide range of strategic initiatives including the establishment of the Center of Research, Technology and Entrepreneurial Expertise (CORTEX, http://cortexstl.com/), an innovation district that currently spans 200 acres in Midtown St. Louis, in partnership with two other research universities and a teaching hospital with UMSL’s share of the equity at nearly 15%; development of Innovative Technology Enterprises (ITE, http://www.ite-stl.org/), a new 53,000 square feet information technology and biotechnology startup incubator and high performance computing center, financed by three grants totaling $2.5 million; and the oversight of a 90,000 square feet Center for Emerging Technologies (CET, http://cortexstl.com/the-district/innovation-centers/cet/), a biotechnology business incubator.

The ORA looks forward to continued productivity across all its areas of responsibility – sponsored programs, technology transfer, economic development and resources for researchers and innovators across the UMSL community.

> MIMH's Andrea Purnell Appointed to RAC Board of Commissioners

Andrea Purnell
Andrea Purnell, communications director, MIMH

Andrea Purnell, communications director at the Missouri Institute of Mental Health (MIMH), has been appointed to the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) Board of Commissioners by the Honorable Steven Stenger, St. Louis County Executive.  

RAC was founded in 1985 “to promote, encourage and foster the arts and cultural institutions in St. Louis City and County, and to contribute to the economic development of the area through a strong presence of the arts,” and is directed by a board of 15 commissioners. Each commissioner serves up to a four-year term.

The Regional Arts Commission’s mission is to “create an environment that nurtures artists, as well as arts and cultural organizations.” The largest annual funder of the arts in the region, RAC works to “transform St. Louis into a more vibrant, creative and economically thriving community by elevating the vitality, value and visibility of the arts.” It has awarded more than 6,300 grants totaling over $84 million to support artists, cultural organizations and programs. The commission also serves as a regional leader in “providing innovation, access and creative solutions to economic and community development.”

Purnell, an artist, writer and actor, has appeared in numerous films and theatre projects. In her current position at the MIMH, she uses her expertise in the arts to disseminate mental health awareness in innovative and engaging ways throughout the community.  For example, she worked with St. Louis’ Modern American Dance Company (MADCO) in 2015 to present an interpretive dance piece focused on mental health and recovery during the MIMH open house and Research and Innovation Week at UMSL.

In recent years, Purnell has garnered a number of prestigious awards including the 2013 Grand Center Visionary Award-Emerging Artist. She also was included in the 2014 ALIVE Magazine “Buzz List.”

This appointment is significant and speaks well of Andrea’s accomplishments and the high quality of her work conducted at the MIMH.

More About the Regional Arts Commission:

The mission of the Regional Arts Commission is to create an environment that nurtures artists, as well as arts and cultural organizations, by:

RAC advocates respect, inclusion and appreciation of the diverse cultures of all individuals, and are always striving to achieve creative methods of community growth.
Visit www.racstl.org for more information.

> External Awards Up 33% in 1st Quarter

External funding to research institutions has a cyclic nature and changes based on a number of variables such as trends in federal funding. To illustrate, external awards by award issue date in the first three months of FY 2015 dropped 6% over the same period in FY 2014, but then jumped 68% in FY 2016. Looking at awards by journal entry dates, external funding in the first quarter for FY 2016 at UMSL saw an uptick of 33.48% over FY 2015, increasing from $4,069,122 to $5,431,341.

> Pre-Award Updates & Reminders

National Science Foundation (NSF):
Revisions to NSF Proposal Guide Effective 1/25/16
The NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) NSF 16-1 is effective for all proposals submitted on or after January 25, 2016. NSF investigators are encouraged to read about the changes (summarized at the beginning of the document) prior to submission. A few significant changes are as follows:

National Institutes of Health (NIH):
ASSIST is Now Open for Fellowship Grant Applications
ASSIST is NIH’s online system for preparation, submission, and tracking of grant applications through Grants.gov to NIH. It is now available for most common NIH mechanisms including Fellowships. ORA pre-award staff encourages NIH investigators to use ASSIST and to load your own documents in ASSIST. Benefits of Using Assist include the following:

eRA Commons:
Update your eRA Commons Profile
Please take a moment to update your profile in eRA Commons. Whether you are planning to submit a proposal or collaborating on someone else’s proposal, this information must be current.

> Resources for Faculty & Student Entrepreneurs

The University of Missouri System, UMSL and the St. Louis community offer many resources for entrepreneurs on campus, from help with market research and business plans to proof-of-concept and seed funding to get started, prototyping equipment, lab and office space, and more. Some of these resources are even offered at no charge.

Contact your Technology Transfer Office (TTO), which is part of the Office of Research Administration, for information on resources related to your project:

The Office of Research Administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis publishes The UMSL Innovator once each month. The online and e-mail publication is designed to inform the campus community of grants received; highlight the research and commercialization accomplishments of UMSL faculty, graduate students and staff; and provide information on important deadlines and events. Also included is recent news about research and commercialization at the University and elsewhere. Recipients are UMSL faculty, students and staff. E-mail wilgerst@umsl.edu if you have questions, comments or suggestions on content.

The Office of Research Administration provides leadership and support in the development, execution and operation of programs in sponsored research, technology transfer and economic development throughout the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

© 2015 University of Missouri-St. Louis

341 Woods Hall | (314) 516-5899 | ora@umsl.edu | www.umsl.edu/research

Pivot Funding Opportunitites Database

Search the PIVOT Database for external funding opportunities and potential collaborators!


The National Academies: NRC Research Associateship Programs

Description: The mission of the NRC Research Associateship Programs (RAP) is to promote excellence in scientific and technological research conducted by the U.S. government through the administration of programs offering graduate, postdoctoral, and senior level research opportunities at sponsoring federal laboratories and affiliated institutions.

Application Due Dates:
February 01, May 01, August 01, November 01, 2016

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→ National Institute of Justice (NIJ): Graduate Research Fellowships

Description: The Graduate Research Fellowship in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (GRF-STEM) provides awards to accredited academic institutions to support graduate research leading to doctoral degrees in areas that are relevant to ensuring public safety, preventing and controlling crime, and ensuring the fair and impartial administration of criminal justice in the United States.

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Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation: Dissertation Fellowships

Ten or more dissertation fellowships ($20,000 each) are awarded each year to graduate students who are approaching the final year of their PhD work. These fellowships are designed to contribute to the support of the doctoral candidate to enable him or her to complete the thesis in a timely manner and are not for support of doctoral research.

Questions that interest the foundation concern violence and aggression in relation to social change, intergroup conflict, war, terrorism, crime, and family relationships, among other subjects. Dissertations with no relevance to understanding human violence and aggression will not be supported. Priority will also be given to areas not receiving adequate attention and support from other funding sources.

Application Due Date
Applications for dissertation fellowships must be received by February 01, 2016, for a decision in June.

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→ The Wilson Ornithological Society: Louis Agassiz Fuertes Grant

The Wilson Society's most prestigious award is available to all ornithologists, although graduate students and young professionals are preferred. Any avian research is eligible. Up to two awards of $2500 are given annually.

Description: Each year, the Society offers five categories of research grants. The focus of each differs somewhat, as does the amount of the award. Willingness to report results of the research as an oral or poster paper at an annual meeting of the Society within the next 5 years and a brief write-up and a photograph of the awardees for the web page is a condition of all grants. Generally, any avian research is eligible, conducted anywhere in the world.

This grant is the Wilson Society's most prestigious award. Any avian research is eligible.

Application Due Date:
February 01, 2016

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EDA Aims to Integrate Economic Development Across the Federal Government

EDA is seeking applications for a cooperative agreement to conduct research and analysis that results in tools for better aligning and integrating federal economic development programs. A core piece of this work will involve the creation and delivery of comprehensive, usable economic development program content that will facilitate access to and maximize the efficiency of such programs. Ultimately, such tools will permit communities seeking federal and other assistance to achieve their economic development objectives. Any of the following are eligible to apply: a district organization; an Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes; a state; a city or other political subdivision of a state, including a special purpose unit of a state or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions; an institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education; or a public or private non-profit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a state. One award of $300,000 is expected. Applications are due on January 13, 2016.