April 2019 Newsletter
From the Vice President
Most researchers believe, on some level, that their work is good for society. Here at the University of Idaho, we have an especially rich culture of producing research that aims for positive societal impact, from contributions to public health to various ways of engaging with environmental policy and natural resource management.
I’m looking forward to Tuesday May 7, when from 4-7:30 p.m. the IRIC Atrium and Step Auditorium will be abuzz with excitement during our fourth Short and Sweet (SAS) Research Talks. The theme for the May event will be Public Impact Research. Eight faculty speakers and one doctoral student, from disciplines across the university (and from as far away as the Aquaculture Research Institute in Hagerman!), will succinctly describe examples of their research that address societal needs and sometimes even include the public in the research process. Each presentation will last only six minutes and forty seconds (20 slides per person, 20 seconds per slide).
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), through its Council on Research, is currently in the midst of developing a report on Public Impact-focused Research (known as “PIR”). I am centrally involved in the APLU effort to define PIR and gather information about processes and structures at universities throughout the country that facilitate or obstruct such research. A parallel initiative, Highly Integrative Basic and Responsive Research (known as “HIBAR Research”), is also underway, and Idaho is one of the 10 core universities belonging to the HIBAR Research Alliance. Recognizing and encouraging the public impact of our research dovetails seamlessly with our mission as a land-grant university.
I have asked our nine SAS speakers to address the question “How does research make the world a better place?” in their May 7 presentations. I am excited to hear their brief presentations, and I warmly invite all of you to attend as well. The goal of the SAS events is not only to showcase examples of the University of Idaho’s fascinating research, but to bolster a sense of community on campus and off. This event is free and open to university faculty, staff, and students and members of the community.
Whether you’ve always understood that research makes the world a better place or have wondered whether this is actually the case, I hope you will join us May 7 to experience nine wonderful presentations on this theme and to network with friends and colleagues over refreshments during the intermission and post-event reception.
Janet E. Nelson Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Upcoming ORED Events
How do U of I Researchers Make the World a Better Place?
Find out when nine researchers from across disciplines give “Short and Sweet” presentations on topics ranging from the detection of tick-borne diseases with electric fields to putting the “public” in public impact research.
Faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members are invited to take part in an evening of SAS (Short and Sweet) talks from 4-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, in the IRIC Atrium on the Moscow campus, or via U of I Live. These fast-paced, yet easy-to-understand presentations (20 slides, 20 seconds each), will cover U of I research making a difference in the world.
Learn more about the speakers and topics on the SAS Talks website.
- Deadline April 29 for ORED RISE Funding Programs: Advancing Collaborative Efforts and Arts and Humanities Project Support
- Internal Idaho NSF EPSCoR Seed Funding Opportunity available. Deadline: May 13
- Register now for the Fourth Annual Active Learning Symposium, April 30
Learn more about ORED's new Research and Faculty Development (RFD) team and its services.
U of I Hosts Congressman Russ Fulcher on Campus
President Chuck Staben, Vice President for Research and Economic Development Janet E. Nelson and several other university senior administrators were honored to welcome Idaho Congressman Russ Fulcher April 17 to the U of I Moscow campus. The group provided overviews of our educational and research opportunities across Idaho and included updates of several major projects, such as the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE), the ICCU Arena and our fire sciences programs.
ORED RISE Jumpstart Program Awardees Announced
Seven U of I faculty members from CALS, CLASS, Engineering and CNR were awarded seed funding from ORED to support research, scholarly or creative efforts that significantly differ from those currently being pursued. This funding will help the principal investigators become proficient in a new arena of investigation in preparation for the future development of a competitive extramural proposal.
- Marek Borowiec, CALS, Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Nematology
- Katherine Lee, CALS, Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology
- Clarissa Richardson, CLASS, Psychology and Communications Studies
- Dilshani Sarathchandra, CLASS, Sociology and Anthropology
- Dakota Roberson, Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Ting-Yen Shih, Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Mark Kimsey, CNR, Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences
Faculty, Professionals from Region Meet at the Pitman Center for Proposal Development Workshop
The Office of Research and Economic Development recently hosted a program officer from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Mark Silver, Ph.D., senior program officer in the NEH Division of Research Programs, conducted a two-day regional workshop, where he shared information about the variety of NEH funding opportunities, tips and strategies for developing successful proposals, as well as proposal review criteria during his formal presentation. His overview of programs and funding opportunities that are available through the agency provided insight as to how NEH funding may play a role to support humanities projects within the region.
Faculty members from U of I, Washington State University and Lewis-Clark State College, as well as professionals from regional museums and libraries, attended the presentation and witnessed a mock review panel of actual proposals submitted to NEH. Three U of I faculty members served as reviewers during this process to demonstrate how proposals are peer-reviewed and recommended for NEH funding. Many participants also met individually with Silver in one-on-one meetings to discuss their proposed projects and gain advice on how to increase the competitiveness of their proposals.
“Public outreach is a very important part of the staff’s work at NEH,” Silver said. “The grants we are making are made with taxpayer dollars, so we have to be sure that the word is out there about the grants that are available, and we have to make sure that people understand what it takes to get a grant.”
NEH holds 12 to 18 regional workshops across the county each year to inform the public about their funding opportunities. Silver said these workshops provide important outreach to help boost the number and strength of applications submitted, especially from areas with lower submission rates, such as Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
ORED, COGS Fund Postdoctoral Travel for Conference
The Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) and College of Graduate Studies (COGS) provided the funds for two postdoctoral researchers to attend the 2019 National Postdoctoral Association’s conference in Orlando, Florida. CNR Postdoctoral Fellow Raju Pokharel and CALS Postdoctoral Associate Jane Lucas learned new information, best practices and research on issues impacting postdocs today. They attended sessions on career development, research fellowships, mentoring and networking for success, and a keynote delivered by Immunocore CEO Bahija Jallal: “From the Bench to the Boardroom: Unlocking a World of Possibilities.”
Margaret Vaughn Brings Home Two Educational Research Awards
Congratulations to College of Education, Health and Human Sciences Associate Professor Margaret Vaughn for her paper, "Documenting Adaptive Instruction: The Adaptive Teaching Observation Protocol." The paper earned her the American Educational Research Association's (AERA) Classroom Observation Special Interest Groups’ 2018 Exemplary Paper Award. Vaughn also won AERA’s 2019 ‘Review of Research’ Award for the paper, "Teachers' Instructional Adaptations: A Research Synthesis."
Get to Know ORED
Wild About Animals
One of Kiah Stewart’s fondest memories comes from her childhood home in Sandpoint. Each winter, she watched moose eat fermented apples off the trees in her front yard, then fall asleep in the snow.
“That was the first time I can remember falling in love with animals,” Stewart said. It was a love that would continue throughout her life.
Stewart now leads U of I’s Laboratory Animal Research Facility (LARF), managing all of its operational activities. Among other things, she oversees animal care staff and ensures compliance with state and federal laws.
Stewart is no stranger to U of I. She earned her Bachelor of Science in wildlife resources with a minor in fishery resources from U of I in December 2015.
“I started out in pre-med, and it was just not my path,” Stewart said. “By the time I changed majors, I knew animals were going to be part of my future.”
Shortly after graduation, Stewart looked for work in the Moscow area.
“I applied to the LARF as an animal research aide a few months after I graduated, but I didn’t hear back for over a month,” Stewart said. “The day after my husband and I decided to move back to Sandpoint I got called in for an interview.”
Stewart says her love for animals got her the job.
For the next two years, Stewart honed her skills as an animal research aide, engaging in animal husbandry and custodial care, managing records and training staff before taking a brief hiatus and returning as the facility manager.
“My facility-specific knowledge helped a lot with my transition to the management role,” Stewart said. “I know some of the inner workings of the facility and can provide assistance with minimal training.”
Stewart truly enjoys her new role.
“It’s been a great transition,” she said. “I get to interact with the animals and spend time with a diverse group of people, from new and really established researchers to students, principal investigators and lab techs.”
A Natural Path
Animals are a constant theme in Stewart’s life. She has had a dog, a cat, birds and fish to constantly entertain her, both at and away from home.
“Our dog, Shadow, would go camping and huckleberry picking with us,” she said. “When we were done, we’d go swimming in the river. Shadow would always think we were drowning and would jump in to save us. When she got to us, she would turn around, let us hold her tail and tow us back into shore.”
Stewart gravitated toward animals as she looked for work, volunteering to walk dogs and play with cats at the local animal shelter during high school. During college, she interned at Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue in Sagle, caring for injured and orphaned fawns.
“That was the best summer ever,” Stewart said. “I lived in a tiny, dry, rustic cabin. Getting direct contact with wildlife every day was amazing.”
ORED Tip of the Month
Did you know that there is nearly $60 billion in funding available through the Pivot funding opportunity database? Pivot provides access to an ever-expanding source of funding opportunities covering all disciplines. Pivot allows you to easily establish ongoing searches for funding opportunities matching keywords relevant to your field, as well as find potential collaborators from both inside and outside of the University of Idaho. Questions about using Pivot? Our Office of Research and Faculty Development team is happy to help (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
— Carly Cummings, Director Office of Research and Faculty Development