New Signature Center Initiative Category Announced

The Signature Centers Initiative (SCI) was begun in 2006 in an effort to create strong research units that are uniquely identifiable with IUPUI. The centers were created as an integral part of the Academic Plan for IUPUI, with the goal that they will lead the way in world-class research and creative activities that will substantially enhance IUPUI’s reputation. With these aims in mind, a call for proposals in the Fall of 2006 resulted in a total of 19 center proposals selected for support.  As there was a great deal of interest and enthusiasm for the Signature Centers Initiative, and as the quality of the proposals submitted was very high, in 2007 it was decided to continue the development of Signature Centers across the IUPUI campus. This has resulted in subsequent rounds of calls for proposals.

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research will introduce a new Signature Centers Initiative (SCI) funding category in 2015. This new category is for SCI planning grants that will allow collaborative research groups to build capacity and strengthen a future application for a center grant. The funding level for each approved proposal in this category is expected not to exceed $50,000 for one year.

Note: Proposals for this category require that the applicant has attended the annual SCI workshop, which will take place on January 16, 2015, from 1-3 pm in University Library Room 1126.

For more detailed information on SCI planning grants, please download the SCI guidelines.

Collaborative Research Grants (IUCRG) Applications Available Now

imagesIndiana University is pleased to announce the 2014-2015 Collaborative Research Grants program (IUCRG). This opportunity is open to faculty on all Indiana University campuses. The goals of this competition are to facilitate and support outstanding research and cutting edge discoveries by teams of experts who have not worked together previously in the project’s subject matter. Teams should include experts from different campuses, schools, departments, or disciplines. The maximum funding per project will be $75,000.

The intent of this initiative is to support research which will significantly advance a research field and in doing so, impact the lives of Indiana residents, the U.S. and the world. The program as a whole is designed to help increase Indiana University’s competitiveness for external funding involving innovative and transformative research; proposals must therefore include explicit plans for securing external funding for projects extending from the findings of the IUCRG. IUCRG recipients are required to submit a proposal for external funding within 18 months from the date that IUCRG funds are available. Applicants should make explicit their plans for targeting external funding including but not limited to the funding agency, their RFAs, and institute/program.

IUCRG will fund projects in emerging fields of study, innovative or multidisciplinary research with the potential to significantly increase Indiana University’s research competitiveness, reputation and funding. Proposals should fit at least one of the following subject areas:

  1. Social and Behavioral sciences: innovative multidisciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to issues of local, state, national or international significance; educational research including but not limited to effective approaches to K‐12 STEM education (not curricular development);
  2. Biological and Health Sciences; innovative multidisciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to issues in neuroscience, -omics, biological, biomedical or chemical sciences;
  3. Physical, Applied, and Computer Sciences: innovative multidisciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to compelling issues in physical and applied sciences including material sciences, engineering research, or approaches to other areas of research that rely upon innovative uses of technology, engineering, or computer and applied sciences.

All proposals should indicate which category or mix of categories from this list of areas best describes the proposed research. Arts and Humanities proposals that do not fit into these categories should be submitted to Indiana University’s New Frontiers seed funding program.

Eligibility: All faculty and staff whose appointments allow them to submit external proposals are allowed to apply. A minimum of two faculty members from different campuses schools or departments, or different disciplines from the same campus must collaborate as co-principal investigators on the proposed project. Projects must be for NEW areas of research for the investigators, within their areas of expertise, but not a continuation of previous or current research activities. Faculty previously submitting together for external funding (NIH, NSF, DOD, etc.) are not eligible unless the IUCRG proposal represents a new area of research, or a new collaborator(s) is added to enhance the breadth of the proposed research.

Deadlines: December 3, 2014 (SLA Internal Deadline November 26), 5 pm

Terms of Awards: Applicants can request up to $75,000 for one year. Budgets must be justified and consistent with the scope of the proposed project. Applicants must commit to submitting an external funding proposal within 18 months from the start of the award; failure to do so will preclude eligibility for future internal funding programs. Recipients of funding in 2014-15 will participate in an open Workshop in the spring of 2016 where awardees will present project results and detailed plans to secure external funding. Final reports are required at study completion detailing the project’s progress including proposals submitted and funding received. IUCRG support should be acknowledged in all related publications and reports. Award notices are expected to go out no later than February 21 with funds available March 15, 2015.

Request for Proposals (PDF)

Guidelines

IU investing $7 million for new complexity institute

Indiana University Network Science Institute logo

Indiana University Network Science Institute logo

IU has announced the establishment of the Indiana University Network Science Institute, or IUNI. The $7 million initiative will bring together many of the university’s top minds to explore and embrace the challenge of understanding complex networks that underlie large-scale systems, including the environment, economics, technology and human health.

“Today, more than ever before, exploring the connections and relationships among our most complex networks — from the biological to the economic, political and social — is paramount to solving humankind’s most critical and challenging questions,” IU Vice President for Research Jorge José said. “Through the formation of this new interdisciplinary, university-wide institute, which will reflect all of the major sectors of scientific research and will be supported by the university’s robust technological infrastructure, Indiana University has positioned itself to become the leading global center for understanding the complicated structure and evolving dynamics of the systems that drive our society.”

Complex networks are at the core of an ever more interconnected social, economic and technological planet, and their connectivity and dynamics underpin nearly all aspects of how these systems function. Networks can be associated with topics as diverse as cancer, schizophrenia, even the spreading of rumors, innovations or social unrest.

Echoing the late IU Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom, who said, “When the world we are trying to explain and improve … is not well-described by a simple model, we must continue to improve our frameworks and theories so as to be able to understand complexity and not simply reject it,” José said that focusing on the interactions between huge numbers of system components — be it in the brain or the global economy — places the university at the forefront of shaping new paths for research and innovation.

Three faculty members named as founding co-directors helped lead the effort to create the institute: Distinguished Professor Bernice Pescosolido, Department of Sociology; Distinguished Professor Olaf Sporns, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences; and Andrew Saykin, professor of radiology and imaging sciences and director of the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center at the IU School of Medicine.

The institute will be unique in a number of ways: Affiliated researchers will represent multiple IU campuses and will come from medicine, the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities; in addition to being focused on networks, every project supported by the institute is required to be a collaboration, a reflection of the institute itself. Four research hubs currently form the core of IUNI — Health and Health Care, Network Neuroscience, Science of Science and Social Network Science — each with the capacity to engage and share data and other resources with one another. Outreach activities, workshops and conferences and efforts toward online network science education will add to the scope of IUNI activities.

The three-year initiative — with an opportunity to renew for another three years — will be supported by IU President Michael A. McRobbie’s office, the offices of Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel and Vice President for Research José, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Informatics and Computing, and the School of Medicine.

“This new institute recognizes that we are all part of networks, and that these networks, ever evolving and changing, are inherently complex systems that present challenges to scientists across all fields,” Robel said. “With a contingent of over 100 scientists spanning all disciplines, the ties among network science researchers that already exist in the IU system are ripe for encouragement, with many new ones inevitable through support of IUNI.”

To date, affiliated faculty from 26 different schools, departments and centers have either participated in development of IUNI or expressed an interest in participating in collaborative research through the institute. Faculty participating in the institute represent one of the broadest and deepest cadres of researchers studying networks, including the College of Arts and Sciences departments of physics, psychological and brain sciences, statistics, sociology and geography; the School of Informatics and Computing at IU Bloomington; the School of Medicine; the School of Public Health-Bloomington; the Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI; and centers already focused on different aspects of complex networks, such as the Indiana Center for Systems Biology and Personalized Medicine at IUPUI and the Digital Science Center at IU Bloomington.

The three co-directors applauded the announcement.

“IUNI will provide novel concepts, tools and training to address tomorrow’s challenges,” Saykin said. “We appreciate the university’s vision in supporting team science to elucidate the complex networks that comprise the human genome, brain interconnectivity, health care systems and society — creating a truly exciting and unprecedented opportunity.”

Pescosolido described the nature of the institute as a reflection of the very work that will be conducted there, an exercise in synergy.

“We live in a world where society and the problems we face represent a web of interconnections,” Pescosolido said. “When we think we have fixed one part of it, unforeseen complications arise elsewhere as unintended consequences. These are complex, connected interactions that demand a transdisciplinary approach that brings the expertise across the landscape of science to the table.”

Sporns added that the new institute recognizes the natural strengths already present at IU.

“By design, when it comes to our expertise in complex systems, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” he said. “With the new synergies that will be created through IUNI, we have the unique opportunity to break the mold and approach the many challenges we face in science and society from a fresh and broad perspective.”

 

by Steve Chaplin

Collaborative Research Grants (IUCRG) Available Now

imagesIndiana University is pleased to announce the 2014-2015 Collaborative Research Grants program (IUCRG). This opportunity is open to faculty on all Indiana University campuses. The goals of this competition are to facilitate and support outstanding research and cutting edge discoveries by teams of experts who have not worked together previously in the project’s subject matter. Teams should include experts from different campuses, schools, departments, or disciplines. The maximum funding per project will be $75,000.

The intent of this initiative is to support research which will significantly advance a research field and in doing so, impact the lives of Indiana residents, the U.S. and the world. The program as a whole is designed to help increase Indiana University’s competitiveness for external funding involving innovative and transformative research; proposals must therefore include explicit plans for securing external funding for projects extending from the findings of the IUCRG. IUCRG recipients are required to submit a proposal for external funding within 18 months from the date that IUCRG funds are available. Applicants should make explicit their plans for targeting external funding including but not limited to the funding agency, their RFAs, and institute/program.

IUCRG will fund projects in emerging fields of study, innovative or multidisciplinary research with the potential to significantly increase Indiana University’s research competitiveness, reputation and funding. Proposals should fit at least one of the following subject areas:

Social and Behavioral sciences: innovative multidisciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to issues of local, state, national or international significance; educational research including but not limited to effective approaches to K‐12 STEM education (not curricular development)

Biological and Health Sciences; innovative multidisciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to issues in neuroscience, -omics, biological, biomedical or chemical sciences

Physical, Applied, and Computer Sciences: innovative multidisciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches to compelling issues in physical and applied sciences including material sciences, engineering research, or approaches to other areas of research that rely upon innovative uses of technology, engineering, or computer and applied sciences

All proposals should indicate which category or mix of categories from this list of areas best describes the proposed research. Arts and Humanities proposals that do not fit into these categories should be submitted to Indiana University’s New Frontiers seed funding program.

Eligibility: All faculty and staff whose appointments allow them to submit external proposals are allowed to apply. A minimum of two faculty members from different campuses schools or departments, or different disciplines from the same campus must collaborate as co-principal investigators on the proposed project. Projects must be for NEW areas of research for the investigators, within their areas of expertise, but not a continuation of previous or current research activities. Faculty previously submitting together for external funding (NIH, NSF, DOD, etc.) are not eligible unless the IUCRG proposal represents a new area of research, or a new collaborator(s) is added to enhance the breadth of the proposed research.

Deadline: December 3rd, 2014 5 p.m. http://research.iu.edu/funding_collaborative.shtml.

Request for Proposals (PDF)

IU joins new education technology services partnership

unizin-logo1Indiana University has joined with three other leading U.S. research universities to form the Unizin consortium to provide a suite of services for courses, online learning and big data analytics aimed at significantly improving the way educational content is shared across institutions and ultimately delivered to students.

Unizin, a partnership among IU, Colorado State University, the University of Florida and the University of Michigan, will provide a common technological infrastructure that will allow member universities to work locally and together to strengthen their traditional missions of education and research using the most innovative digital technology available today.

“Leading universities are continuously working to enhance the great value of both a residential and a digital education,” said Brad Wheeler, vice president for information technology and chief information officer at Indiana University.

“By coming together to create Unizin, IU and our partners are ensuring a cost-efficient path for the best tools to serve students whether resident, online or through education to our many alumni.

“And just as universities created Internet2 nearly two decades ago to serve our research mission, the founding universities — with others to join soon — are creating Unizin to serve our educational mission by empowering our faculty with the best tools. The Unizin consortium is an extensible and scalable collaboration that is anchored in the deepest and best values of the academy to advance highly effective education.”

For instructors, Unizin will provide powerful content storing and sharing services that give faculty greater control and options over the use of their intellectual property. Their courses can span residential, online, badges or MOOC delivery models from a single software service.

Students will benefit by gaining access to course materials from some of the best minds in higher education in formats that best serve their individual needs — from massive open online courses (MOOCs) and flipped classrooms, where lectures are given online and class time is reserved for discussion and group work, to traditional in-person courses.

The tools and services eventually provided through Unizin also will allow partner institutions to collect and analyze large amounts of data on student performance within the policies of the member universities. These analytics will enable faculty researchers to gain valuable insight into the ways students best learn, thus shaping future approaches to teaching.

IU discussions around the concept of Unizin began more than a year ago following President Michael A. McRobbie’s announcement of the creation of IU Online in 2012. The consortium is being formed to enable individual campus learning strategies and approaches that are powered by the scale gained from the joint capabilities of leading universities for digital education.

“With Unizin, Indiana University is once again at the forefront of the digital revolution in higher education,” said Barbara Bichelmeyer, executive associate vice president for university academic and regional campus affairs and senior director of IU’s Office of Online Education. “Unizin combines the power of platform, content and analytics so we will be able to better share the great work of our faculty across all of our campuses and provide the high-quality courses people expect from IU at greater scale, while improving economies of scale.”

Each investing institution has signed the Unizin charter and committed $1 million over the next three years to develop and shape the shared services. These combined investments will provide a more efficient path to providing educational services than one-off investments by each institution.

Unizin has been created as an unincorporated association within Internet2, a leading not-for-profit global technology organization with more than 500 member institutions across the higher education, government and business communities. The Unizin platform will be delivered over the ultra-high-speed national research and education network operated by Internet2 on behalf of the U.S. research university members.

Unizin will operate under the direction of a soon-to-be-named chief executive officer, who will report to a board of directors comprising representatives from each of the investing member universities as well as Internet2. As a services-providing organization, Unizin will operate with a professional staff and contracts for evolving services.

“The intent of Unizin is to create a community, akin to Internet2, of like-minded institutions who are willing to invest time and resources into creating a service grounded in openness and collaboration that will allow all members to leverage the tremendous power of today’s digital technologies,” said James Hilton, dean of libraries and vice provost for digital education at the University of Michigan. “Unizin is a service organization in support of its members, and in that spirit, we look forward to welcoming additional members to the Unizin consortium.”

Canvas selected as Unizin learning management system platform

As part of its launch, Unizin has selected Canvas by Instructure to provide a common learning management system for use by member institutions. Canvas is a cloud-based technology platform that provides a wide range of functions associated with university classroom administration, including assignments, grading, student-teacher communication, collaborative learning tools and more.

Unizin members will receive access to Canvas as part of the Unizin service. The Unizin partners selected Canvas in large part because of its commitment to implementing IMS Global open standards and to providing most of its system as open-source software. These values and partnership align well with Unizin’s commitment to both speed in execution and open standards that can help further universities’ missions over time.

“We are excited to have witnessed the formation of Unizin,” said Joel Dehlin, chief technology officer at Instructure. “This team of CIOs and institutions are open, progressive, data-loving and passionate about user adoption — the very things that drive the engineering and product teams at Canvas.”

“Canvas is the first of many technology-related services that Unizin plans to provide to its members that will allow them to take greater control over how the content universities create is used and shared,” said Stacy Morrone, associate professor of educational psychology and associate vice president for learning technologies. “These tools, along with faculty-led research, can enable greater insight from learner analytics that will lead to improved student outcomes.”

Canvas was made available to all IU campuses in April, and Unizin services begin July 1. Teams among the founding and prospective institutions have been meeting to shape additional Unizin services for the next year.

NEH/DFG Bilateral Digital Humanities Program

dfg_logo_schriftzug_blau_orgneh_at_logoThe National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in the United States and the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft e.V., DFG) are working together to offer support for projects that contribute to developing and implementing digital infrastructures and services for humanities research.

In order to encourage new approaches and develop innovative methods in any field of the humanities, these grants provide funding for up to three years in any of the following areas:

  • developing innovative methods—as well as standards and best practices—for building and merging digital collections that are significant and of major current interest, for use in humanities research;
  • developing and implementing generic tools, methods, and techniques for accessing and processing digital resources relevant to humanities research;
  • creating new digital modes of scholarly communication and publishing that facilitate international cooperation and dissemination of humanities scholarship; and
  • developing models for effectively managing digital data generated in humanities research projects (for example, texts, audio files, photographs, 3D objects) and exemplifying those models in case studies.

Collaboration between U.S. and German partners is a key requirement for this grant category. Each application must be sponsored by at least one eligible German individual or institution, and at least one U.S. institution (see Section III, Eligibility, below), and there must be a project director from each country. The partners will collaborate to write a single application package. The U.S. partner will submit the package to NEH via Grants.gov, and the German partner will submit it to DFG via regular postal service and preferably also by e-mail.

Program Statistics

In the first four competitions the NEH/DFG Bilateral Digital Humanities Program received an average of nineteen applications per year. The program made an average of five awards per year, for a funding ratio of 27 percent.

The potential applicant pool for this program is limited, since applications require international cooperation between German and US institutions.

The number of applications to an NEH grant program can vary widely year to year, as can the funding ratio. Information about the average number of applications and awards in recent competitions is meant only to provide historical context for the current competition. Information on the number of applications and awards in individual competitions is available from odh@neh.gov.

Receipt Deadline September 25, 2014 for Projects Beginning May 2015

Questions?

If you have questions about the program, contact the Office of Digital Humanities staff at odh@neh.gov. Applicants wishing to speak to a staff member by telephone should provide in the e-mail message a telephone number and a preferred time to call.

Global Crossroads re-opens with latest technology

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis’ Global Crossroads Laboratory can’t reduce distances to faraway places, but it makes engaging the world a lot easier.

A ceremony marking the re-opening of the facility, in Room 2132 in the Education/Social Work building, will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23. The ceremony will feature a light reception at 4 p.m. and remarks at 5 p.m. by Amy Warner, vice chancellor for external affairs, and others integral in the renovation of the facility. The event is free and open to the public.

Global Crossroads is a collaborative partnership funded by the IUPUI Office of International Affairs, University Information Technology Services and a $25,000 Learning Environment Grant from the IUPUI Center for Teaching and Learning. The facility contributed to IUPUI becoming a recognized leader in comprehensive campus internationalization.

Global Crossroads re-opens with the latest high-definition video conferencing technology, using sensitive microphones suspended from the ceiling and EagleEye Director for voice and facial recognition to personalize live classes and meetings. The technology determines who is talking and switches from a camera classroom view to focus on the individual who is speaking. The classroom view returns when the individual stops speaking.

The interactive video and audio equipment for face-to-face distance communications is designed to support international learning, dialogue and partnership.

Global Crossroads is available for incorporating interactive video into courses on a semester-long or case-by-case basis. To learn more about making international connections for classes or course development ideas, contact Dawn Michele Whitehead, director of curriculum internationalization, at dmwhiteh@iupui.edu. For more information on upcoming training sessions on use of the facility or to reserve the room, email oiaevent@iupui.edu.

School of Informatics and Computing’s Davide Bolchini receives Google Faculty Research Award

Davide Bolchini, interim chair of the Department of Human-Centered Computing and assistant professor of human-computer interaction at the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, recently received the prestigious Google Faculty Research Award.

The award is accompanied by a $44,252 grant that will support the study “Augmenting Screen-Reader Navigation by Linkless Dialogues” being conducted by Bolchini and human-computer interaction Ph.D. candidate Prathik Gadde. The study investigates how the blind and visually impaired can interact with and navigate through complex websites to compensate for their lack of sight. The study will examine novel solutions that could make surfing the Web easier for visually challenged users.

“The blind user experience with the Web is still very far from enjoyable,” Bolchini said. “There is so much more that we can do to make it not just slightly better but considerably more natural and desirable. Together with our stellar graduate students, we will explore strategies to help blind users understand where they are on a complex website, where they can go next from a page, or what to do to know more about a topic. This can make a significant difference in daily Web navigation tasks.”

The work will leverage the five-year collaboration with the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The study will build upon the research on “aural informatics” in collaboration with professor Steve Mannheimer and Executive Associate Dean Mathew Palakal in the Department of Human-Centered Computing, which already has a prior Google Research Award and two NSF-funded projects on Web accessibility, non-speech sounds and aural navigation.

Google Research Awards‘ mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. As part of that vision, the Google Research Awards program aims to identify and support world-class, full-time faculty pursuing research in areas of mutual interest.

This round, Google received 550 proposals from 50 countries. After expert reviews, 105 projects were selected for funding, with an acceptance rate of 19 percent.

Imaging symposium presents opportunities to learn from IUPUI experts, build collaborative research

The IUPUI Imaging Research Symposium takes place from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, in the Lilly Auditorium of University Library, 755 W. Michigan St.

Academic and industrial researchers and investigators are invited to learn more about the imaging technologies available at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis during a daylong event that includes 20-minute talks, poster displays, special guest lectures and opportunities to tour IUPUI imaging laboratories.

Presentations by campus researchers will highlight several IUPUI imaging capabilities as well as the applications of advanced imaging methods to address current scientific, medical and engineering questions. The goal of the symposium is to promote knowledge of the IUPUI imaging community and to foster collaborative research opportunities.

Experts from the Indiana Institute for Biomedical Imaging Sciences, the Indiana Center for Biological Microscopy, the Nanoscale Imaging Center, The 3D Imaging of the Craniofacial Complex Center and the Electron Microscopy Center, all members of the IUPUI Imaging Research Initiative, will discuss their imaging facilities and their research.

Invited guest speakers include Dr. Daniel C. Sullivan from Duke University Medical Center and Andrew J. Bowling of Dow AgroSciences, Indianapolis.

Sullivan will discuss “Quantitative Imaging in Medicine” from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. and Bowling will discuss “Imaging & Crop Development” from 2:15 to 3 p.m. Guided tours through several IUPUI imaging laboratories will be available from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

More information and a registration form are available on the IUPUI Imaging Research Initiative website or by emailing Mark Holland at imgres@iupui.edu.

Exhibition: 10,800 Minutes: Not Enough

August 30 – September 19, 2013
Marsh Gallery, Herron School of Art and Design, Eskenazi Hall

10,800 Minutes: Not Enough will feature works by seniors and graduate students in Herron’s printmaking program. These new works will have been created either individually or by teams of students.

Student participants include: Senior printmakers: Talia Ariens, Anna Clinch, Nick Goldy, Brittanie Mathis, Rachel Moore, Colton Pedro, Ashley Tesmer, and Ben Walter. Graduate student printmakers: Stephanie Beisel, Ellie Ingram, Eric Johnson, Katherine Johnson, and Liz Wierzbicki.

Artists Reception on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Marsh Gallery