Five new centers awarded Signature Centers Initiative grants

INDIANAPOLIS — One team of scientists is searching for an innovative repair strategy for human spinal cord and brain injuries. Another is looking for cures for the “wasting away,” imagesexperienced by patients with cancer, congestive heart failure, AIDS and other underlying diseases.

Both are the recipients of a grant from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis to establish their research centers as viable units whose work will translate into better understanding of disease and the development of better cures and treatments.

The two groups are among five research center teams awarded development funding in Round 8 of the IUPUI Signature Centers initiative Program.

“This is the eighth year that we have been running this internal grant program, and I congratulate the new centers that have been selected for funding,” Kody Varahramyan, IUPUI vice chancellor for research, said.

“The Signature Centers Initiative has become a key cornerstone of the IUPUI research enterprise, playing an important role in enhancing research and scholarly activity, while fostering the development of research centers that are addressing important national and global needs, and contributing to economic and social well-being,” Varahramyan said.

Two of the five centers selected in the latest round have received Category A (three-year) funding:

Center for Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research, Xiao-Ming Xu, director, IU School of Medicine. Focus: To understand molecular mechanisms underlying traumatic spinal cord and brain injuries and to develop innovative repair strategies that can be translated to clinical treatments of these diseases in a timely and responsive fashion.

Indiana Center for AIDS Research, Samir Gupta, director, IU School of Medicine. Focus: To develop internal infrastructure to facilitate novel collaborations among researchers that will lead to improving access to care for all HIV/AIDS patients; and improving retention in care and adherence to antiretroviral therapy especially for racial and sexual minorities.

The other three centers have received Category B (one-year) funding for planning purposes:

Center for Aerial Unmanned Systems Imaging, Dan Johnson, director, IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Focus: non-military applications of unmanned aerial systems (drone) technology such as remote imaging for water quality, mosquito habitat mapping, disaster preparation and precision agriculture; and the utilization and analysis of data collected with unmanned aerial systems.

Institute for Product Lifecycle Innovation, Hazim El-Mounayri, director, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology. Focus: the promotion and management of product lifecycle practice in advanced manufacturing and life science applications in order for American industries to remain competitive in the global market; to serve as a test bed and vehicle for the rapid implementation of advanced product liability tests, digital manufacturing and designing.

Center for Cachexia Research Innovation and Therapy, Teresa Zimmers, director, IU School of Medicine. Focus: U.S. multi-investigator cachexia (involuntary weight loss) research center will support development of interdisciplinary, multi-investigator collaborations through meetings, a research retreat and the development of a regional consortium with Ohio State University; and center will invest in a thematic research program on cardiopulmonary effects in tobacco-associated cancer cachexias.

The IUPUI Signature Centers Initiative fosters the development of centers that are unique to IUPUI and that can lead the way in world-class research and creative activities, and make a difference in the lives of people. The initiative provides each selected center with initial funding for a period of one to three years. The centers are re-evaluated at the end of three years and if approved, receive a five-year designation as an IUPUI Signature Center.

Indiana University launches search for new vice president for research

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A search committee has been formed to identify candidates for 225910_w296the position of Indiana University vice president for research, the university has announced.

Bernice Pescosolido, Distinguished Professor of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington, and David B. Burr, associate vice chancellor for research at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, will co-chair the 18-member committee. The group includes faculty, administrators and students representing IU’s Bloomington, Indianapolis and regional campuses.

The new vice president will succeed Jorge José, who will step down when his five-year appointment ends July 31, 2015. José will serve as Rudy Professor of Physics at IU Bloomington and a member of the Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology at the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis.

To build on the success achieved by José, the committee will conduct an internal search within Indiana University. It will make its recommendations to McRobbie. The university hopes to have a new vice president identified by the time José steps down.

José oversaw an 18 percent increase in federally funded research by Indiana University faculty members in his first four years as vice president for research. The strategic plan for research at IU, the development of which was overseen by his office, helped shape IU’s bicentennial strategic priorities approved by the IU Board of Trustees in December 2014.

He also prioritized efforts to decrease the administrative burden on researchers through increased efficiency, including the implementation of new grants administration software and of an online research compliance review system that greatly reduced turnaround times for research protocols.

Pescosolido, in addition to her Department of Sociology appointment, is director of the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research. Burr is also a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in the IU School of Medicine and an adjunct professor of biomedical engineering in the IUPUI School of Engineering and Technology.

The vice president for research works with various university offices, campus leaders and deans to increase and diversify research and creative works at IU, attract external funding and develop public-private partnerships, technology transfer, graduate education and intercampus research opportunities.

In addition to being responsible for research administration and research compliance, the vice president oversees and is responsible for the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at IU Bloomington and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at IUPUI.

More information about the search is available online.

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.

IUPUI to host Innovation to Enterprise Forum and Showcase

The IUPUI Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Indiana University Research and Technology Corp. will host the 2014 IUPUI Innovation to Enterprise Forum and Showcase: Funding Innovation on Thursday, Nov. 20.

The event will take place from 2 to 4:30 p.m. in the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Campus Center Theater, on the lower level of the center, 420 University Blvd.

The forum will bring together researchers, entrepreneurs, investors and executives from IUPUI and the Indianapolis business community to explore the challenges and opportunities of translating the fruits of academic research into products.

Joseph Trebley, the head of startup support and promotion at the IURTC, will moderate a panel discussion on “Alternatives for Funding New Ventures.” More funding options are available for startup businesses now than ever before. New services have emerged to fill the gap created as banks and conventional venture capital firms have pulled away from riskier early-stage investments.

Panelists are Nick Carter, Kevin Hitchen, Polina Osherov and Jacob Schpok.

Nick Carter, founder of Husk Foods – Carter is a serial entrepreneur – founder of over half a dozen businesses – and is the acting CEO of two startups and an active partner or board member in four other established companies. Born a farm boy, he has a firm understanding of hard work, starting his first business at 16. Carter is the author of “Twelve Seconds,” which teaches entrepreneurs to get their small business off the ground.

Kevin Hitchen, founder of Localstake – Hitchen and his two partners co-founded Localstake to provide growing businesses a new solution for raising capital. Since its launch in 2013, the online investment marketplace for investing in private businesses has been featured in national publications such as TechCrunch, Yahoo Finance and Investopedia. Entrepreneur highlighted Localstake in its Reinvention 2013 article on “Indy’s Innovators.”

Polina Osherov, co-founder of Pattern – Osherov is co-founder of the nonprofit fashion industry networking and advocacy group Pattern and the editor-in-chief of Pattern Magazine, an award-winning, internationally distributed publication about fashion, design and creativity in Central Indiana. She is also a commercial photographer, working with corporate clients, advertising agencies and marketing companies.

Jacob Schpok, executive director for the lieutenant governor’s Office of Small Business and Enterprise – The newly created office was established to ensure Indiana works for entrepreneurs. Under his new role as executive director, Schpok continues to serve as state director of the Indiana Small Business Development Center, which last year helped Indiana businesses raise $70 million in capital and create over 1,600 full-time jobs.

The forum and showcase event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are requested.

‘Al-Mutanabbi Street’ symposium at IUPUI features reading by novelist Randa Jarrar

Award-winning novelist Randa Jarrar will conclude the fall Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series with a presentation at the Herron School of Art & Design Basile Auditorium as part of the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Symposium at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Jarrar’s reading at 7 p.m. Nov. 17 is free, but registration is required .

Jarrar grew up in Kuwait and Egypt and moved to the United States after the first Gulf War. Her first novel, “A Map of Home,” was published in half a dozen languages and won a Hopwood Award and an Arab-American Book Award. Barnes and Noble Review named it one of the best novels of 2008.

In 2010, the Hay Festival and the Beirut UNESCO’s World Capital of the Book named Jarrar one of the Beirut 39 — the 39 most gifted writers of Arab origin under the age of 40. Her work, which includes short stories and essays, has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Utne Reader,, Guernica, The Rumpus, the Oxford American, Ploughshares and Five Chapters.

IUPUI is hosting the inaugural Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Symposium on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18 at University Library, 755 W. Michigan St. In conjunction with Jarrar’s reading and the symposium, Herron is exhibiting its “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” collection.

On March 5, 2007, in the middle of the Iraq war, a car bomb killed dozens and injured more than 100 people. The bomb also devastated al-Mutanabbi Street, a busy avenue of cafés and bookstores that had served as a meeting place for generations of writers and thinkers.

In response to the attack, San Francisco bookseller Beau Beausoleil rallied a community of international artists and writers to produce “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here,” a collection of letterpress-printed broadsides (poster-like works on paper), artists’ books (unique works of art in book form) and an anthology of writing focused on expressing solidarity with Iraqi booksellers, writers and readers.

“Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” includes 260 artists’ books, a publication titled “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here: Poets and Writers Respond to the March 5, 2007, Bombing of Baghdad’s ‘Street of the Booksellers,'” plus 130 broadsides — one for every person killed or injured in the 2007 bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street.

The Herron Art Library at IUPUI will serve as one of only three repositories in the world — and the only U.S. location — to permanently host the complete Al-Mutanabbi Street collection. The symposium is the first of three biennial conferences IUPUI will sponsor to explore the themes and implications of the collection through papers, panels, posters and presentations.

Visitor parking for Jarrar’s reading is available in the North Street Garage, 819 W. North St.; the Vermont Street Garage, 1004 W. Vermont St.; and the Sports Complex Garage, 875 W. New York St.

The reading is co-sponsored by the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute in collaboration with the Reiberg Family and several IUPUI academic units: Herron School of Art & Design, the IU School of Liberal Arts, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, the Office of Academic Affairs, University College and University Library.

2013 call for proposals: Educational and Cultural Affairs Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars and Secondary Educators

Limited Submission URL can be found here.
IU Internal Deadline: 11/20/2013
Bureau’s Proposal Deadline: 12/18/2013

Brief Description: Study of the U.S. Institutes are intensive academic programs whose purpose is to provide foreign university faculty, secondary educators, and other scholars the opportunity to deepen their understanding of U.S. society, culture, and institutions. The ultimate goal is to strengthen curricula and to improve the quality of teaching about the United States in academic institutions abroad.

  • The Study of the U.S. Institute on on Contemporary American Literature
  • The Study of the U.S. Institute on Religious Pluralism in the United States
  • The Study of the U.S. Institute on U.S. Political Thought
  • The Study of the U.S. Institute for Secondary Educators
Award Amount:
  • Approximate Total Funding: $3,690,000
  • Approximate Number of Awards: 5
  • Approximate Average Award:$240,000-$280,000
  • Cost Sharing or Matching Funds: There is no minimum or maximum percentage required for this competition. However, ECA encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs.
Limitation: One per Indiana University

Applicants may submit only one proposal under this competition. If multiple proposals are received from the same applicant, all submissions will be declared ineligible and receive no further consideration in the review process.

To apply for IU Internal competition: For consideration as an institutional nominee, submit the following documents electronically to limited submission, by November 20, 2013 for internal coordination. Please contact Donna Carter at indicating your interest in this program to help expedite the review process.

1. 1-page Executive Summary (double spaced) containing: Name of organization/participating institutions Beginning and ending dates of the program Proposed theme Nature of activity Scope and Goals

  • a. Number and description of participants
  • b. Wider audience benefiting from program (overall impact)
  • c. Geographic diversity of program, both U.S. and overseas
  • d. Fields covered
  • e. Anticipated results (short and long-term)

2. 1-2 page Project Narrative (single-spaced, limitation does not include references). Vision (statement of need, objectives, goals, benefits) Program Activities (advertisement, recruitment, orientation, academic component, cultural program, participant monitoring)

3. A Letter of Nomination from Chair or Dean 4. Abbreviated CV for the PI (not to exceed 3 pages)

IUPUI applicants must copy Etta Ward,