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ENE Memo: June 29, 2015

From the Head: 6/29

Then and Now

Last week I presented a paper at the University-Industry Innovation Network conference in Berlin. In November 1975, I gave my first paper at an international conference, also in Berlin. Much has changed in Berlin in the intervening forty years.

Back then Berlin was a divided city, in a divided Germany. It was in the midst of the Cold War. That conference in 1975 was the second meeting of the fledgling European Society of Artificial Organs. It was held at the very upmarket Hotel Kempinski in West Berlin which seemed to revel in being the decadent place that the communist East Germans portrayed the West as being. Also playing to their stereotype at the time, the East German television broadcasted stories of the happy life in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR). During the trip I visited East Berlin for a day. For someone brought up in the aftermath of WW II and the shadow of the Cold War, it was fascinating to experience a communist country and to see the parts of Berlin that were the backdrop for the National Socialists.

The conference I attended last week was only the third in the series. It was held in the former East Berlin, in the part of the city I had visited back in 1975. It was an amazingly different place. Yet there were still many reminders of the old East Berlin, even though the Berlin Wall came down over 25 years ago.

As part of recent this trip I visited the Adlershof Science and Technology Park, a fascinating place that represents the contemporary focus on innovation in Berlin; a place in Germany where creativity and risk taking seem to flourish. This park has historical links to aerospace innovation in the 1930s and the former Tempelhof airport where the around the clock airlift by the allies broke the Berlin Blockade in 1948. As one example of dramatic changes in Berlin, the conference reception in 1975 was a very formal affair held at the Charlottenberg Place, hosted by the Senator for Berlin. In contrast, the event on 2015 was held at the decidedly edgy Eweke, a former power sub-station and center of the techno music scene in the early post-wall days in Berlin.

In addition to the massive geo-political and social changes that have occurred in the forty years between my conferences in Berlin, it is interesting to reflect on how a career evolves in unpredictable ways. In 1975, I had embarked on my PhD in artificial organs in Scotland in a recently opened Center for Bioengineering.

As it turned out, I never held a position that was based on my PhD; being a brand new field (back then), conventional positions in bioengineering did not open up back in Australia until sometime later. So I pivoted to engineering design research and later engineering education, always with a strong focus on collaboration with industry and community groups.

This unpredictable career brought me back to Berlin forty years later wearing an entirely different hat. As the Head of the bioengineering unit in Scotland, Robert Kennedi, used to observe back when I was a student there; “the PhD is a broadening, not a narrowing, degree.” So while in a PhD program you dive deeply into to a relatively narrow topic for your dissertation, the process should cause you to both understand your fundamentals much more completely and to be able to think much more critically.

Thus a PhD provides a platform to take your career wherever it will go; to places you never imagine at the time.


Calendar: 6/29


  • June 15-July 10: STAR  (Student Transition, Advising and Registration), FYE Advising area 
  • July 3: Independence Day (observed), university holiday
  • July 21-23: Teacher Workshop, WANG 3520/70B/64 (Simulation Class Rooms)
  • Aug 7: ENGR 132, 8 week module ends, ARMS
  • Aug 8: Commencement
  • Aug 15: ENE End-of-Summer Potluck, Happy Hollow Park, Shelter #1, 4-9pm


  • Aug 19: ENE Faculty Advance (incl. visit by Provost) , WANG 3501, 9:30am-3:30pm
  • Aug 24: Classes commence
  • Aug 27: ENE Research Seminar ARMS BO71 3:30pm (Weekly) 
  • Aug 28: ENE Staff Meeting, 8:30-9:30, TBD
  • Sept 2: ENE Faculty Meeting, 9:30-10:30am, WANG 3501
  • Sept 2: Assistant Professor meet with Head, 10:30-11:30am, WANG 3501  
  • Sept 7: Labor Day
  • Sept 9: Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:30am, WANG 3501
  • Sept 16: ENE Advance Follow-Up, 9:30-11:30am, WANG 3501
  • Sept 19: Family Day
  • Sept 30: ENE Faculty Meeting, 9:30-10:30am, WANG 3501
  • Sept 30: Associate Professors meet with Head, 10:30-11:30, WANG 3501
  • Oct 4/5: Big Ten + Grad Expo
  • Oct 12/13: Fall Break
  • Oct 16: ENE Staff Meeting, 8:30-9:30am, TBD 
  • Oct 28: ENE Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:30am, WANG 3501
  • Oct 28/29: ENE Grad Program Open House
  • Nov 4: ENE Advance Follow-Up, 9:30-11:30, WANG 3501
  • Nov 7: Homecoming
  • Nov 13: ENE Industrial Advisory Council, 8:00am-3pm, WANG 3501
  • Nov 18: Faculty-PhD Student Matching, 9:30-11:30, WANG 3501
  • Nov 26/27: Thanksgiving
  • Dec 2: ENE Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:30am, WANG 3501


Kudos: 6/29 Joi Mondisa and Sara McComb (Schools of Industrial Engineering and Nursing) on the publication of "Social Community: A Mechanism to Explain the Success of STEM Minority Mentoring Programs" in Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning

Funding Opportunities: 6/29

Selected Funding Opportunities:

NSF Dear Colleague Letter: NSF STEM Teacher Leader Initiative NSF is requesting proposals for new ideas and approaches that can be piloted for up to two years with the goal of discovering successful models for long-term, more established programs to support teacher leaders. Proposed activities should provide more opportunities for the nation to take advantage of these teacher leaders and for them to serve as a resource for improving K-12 STEM education. Deadline: July 22

NSF Division of Physics: Investigator-Initiated Research Projects (PHY) The Division of Physics supports physics research and education in the nation’s colleges and universities across a broad range of physics disciplines that span scales of space and time from the largest to the smallest and the oldest to the youngest. This solicitation invites research proposals in the following areas: Accelerator Science; Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics; Computational Physics; Elementary Particle Physics; Gravitational Physics; Integrative Activities in Physics; Nuclear Physics; Particle Astrophysics; Physics of Living Systems; and Quantum Information Science. Deadlines vary by topic.

NIH Strategies to Increase Delivery of Guideline-Based Care to Populations with Health Disparities (R01) This FOA invites applications to conduct innovative and feasible studies to test strategies to accelerate the adoption of guideline-based recommendations into clinical practice among populations with health disparities.  Applications that propose strategies with a focus on providers who care for clinical populations with excess burden of cardiovascular, lung, blood, and sleep diseases and disorders, in concert with the health care delivery systems in which they practice, are strongly encouraged. Applications that test systems, infrastructures, and strategies to implement guideline-based care for NHLBI disorders in clinical care settings are also of high programmatic interest. Deadline: October 21

NIH Spatial Uncertainty: Data, Modeling, and Communication  The purpose of this FOA is to support innovative research that identifies sources of spatial uncertainty (i.e., inaccuracy or instability of spatial or geographic information) in public health data, incorporates the inaccuracy or instability into statistical methods, and develops novel tools to visualize the nature and consequences of spatial uncertainty. 

  • R01  Deadline: February 5
  • R21  Deadline: February 16
  • R03  Deadline: February 16

NIH Multidisciplinary Studies of HIV/AIDS and Aging This FOA invites applications proposing to study HIV infection, HIV-associated conditions, HIV treatment, and/or biobehavioral or social factors associated with HIV/AIDS in the context of aging and/or in older adults. Research approaches of interest include clinical translational, observational, and intervention studies in domestic and international settings.  Deadline: September 7

DoD Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) DURIP is designed to improve the capabilities of U.S. institutions of higher education to conduct research and to educate scientists and engineers in areas important to national defense, by providing funds for the acquisition of research equipment. This announcement seeks proposals to purchase instrumentation in support of research in areas of interest to the DoD, including areas of research supported by the Army Research Office, the Office of Naval Research, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.  Deadline: September 25

DoD-ONR Expeditionary Intelligence Surveillance, Reconnaissance Science and Technology  The opportunity presented by this BAA is to perform research that enables improvement to expeditionary Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities that are applicable to both amphibious and irregular warfare. This BAA is intended for proposals related to basic research, applied research, or advanced technology development. White papers due July 10; Proposals due August 28.

NEA Arts Education Partnership (AEP) Program  The purpose of this Program Solicitation is to select an organization (Cooperator) to administer the Arts Education Partnership (AEP), a national coalition of more than 100 organizations representing the arts and education fields as well as the government and private sectors. As the AEP enters into its third decade, the NEA seeks a new Cooperator to build on the significant achievements of the AEP and its national coalition.  The cooperative agreement award is for up to $525,000 and requires negotiable nonfederal matching fund. Deadline:  August 4.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation National Leadership Program Centers RWJF is developing four new boundary-spanning leadership programs that reflect their vision to work with others to build a national Culture of Health. This solicitation invites eligible applicants to serve as a national leadership program center for one or more of RWJF’s new leadership programs. The four new programs (and their working titles) are: Diversity in Health Policy Research, Interdisciplinary Research Leaders, Multisector Leaders for Health, and New Clinical Scholars.  Deadline: July 29

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Psychosocial Grants  Two opportunities are currently accepting Letters of Intent.  The Psychosocial: Launch Grants are designed for early career researchers. Funding will support studies that aim to explain and/or improve psychosocial outcomes of those affected by childhood cancer. The Psychosocial: Family Impact Grants are designed for established investigators. Funding will support studies that aim to explain and/or improve psychosocial outcomes of those affected by childhood cancer. These grants are designed to fund researchers who have novel approaches to understanding the psychosocial aspects of pediatric cancer whose proposals will have clinically significant impact. LOI deadline: July 20

Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation Grants  The foundation funds the following categories: Laboratory research in the basic sciences to find a cure for spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D); Clinical and functional studies of the medical, psychosocial and economic effects of SCI/D, and interventions to alleviate these effects; Design and development of assistive technology for people with SCI/D; and Fellowships for postdoctoral scientists, clinicians and engineers in the field of spinal cord research.  Deadline: September 1

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards at the Scientific Interface  These awards are intended to foster the early career development of researchers who have transitioned or are transitioning from undergraduate and/or graduate work in the physical/mathematical/computational sciences or engineering into postdoctoral work in the biological sciences, and who are dedicated to pursuing a career in academic research.  Preproposal due September 2; Invited application due January 8.

Limited Submissions:

Preproposals and rankings to the EVPRP should be e-mailed to Purdue’s open limited submission competitions, limited submission policy, and templates for preproposals may be found at For any case in which the number of preproposals received is no more than the number of proposals allowed by the sponsor, the EVPRP will notify the PI(s) that an internal competition will be unnecessary.

Limited Submission: NSF Mid-Scale Innovations Program in Astronomical Sciences (MSIP) The MSIP is designed to fill the need for a well-defined budgetary and competitive selection process to support astronomical projects of intermediate to large cost (but below the MREFC threshold). This solicitation fills part of the mid-scale gap, from $4M to $30M.  The demand in this funding range covers a wide variety of activities, from highly focused short-term science experiments to long-term multi-use facilities. Other opportunities for support include major new instruments for existing telescopes, laboratory astrophysics experiments, and design and development programs for possible future mid-scale and MREFC initiatives. This program will be formally divided into four subcategories: 1) limited term, self-contained science projects; 2) longer term mid-scale facilities; 3) development investments for future mid-scale and large-scale projects; and 4) community open access capabilities. The MSIP will emphasize both strong scientific merit and a well-developed plan for student training and involvement of a diverse workforce in instrumentation, facility development, or data management.  For this opportunity, Purdue may submit only three preliminary proposals.

  • Internal deadlines: Contact by July 13.
  • Sponsor deadline: Preliminary proposal due September 16; Invited full proposal due February 22.

Limited Submission: NEA Arts Education Partnership (AEP) Program  The purpose of this Program Solicitation is to select an organization (Cooperator) to administer the Arts Education Partnership (AEP), a national coalition of more than 100 organizations representing the arts and education fields as well as the government and private sectors. As the AEP enters into its third decade, the NEA seeks a new Cooperator to build on the significant achievements of the AEP and its national coalition.  The cooperative agreement award is for up to $525,000 and requires a negotiable nonfederal match in funds. Purdue may submit only one proposal under this opportunity.

Limited Submission:  Proctor & Gamble Higher Education Grant Program  The Procter & Gamble Fund Higher Education Grant Program has been established to provide support for efforts of regionally accredited U.S. colleges and universities that will better prepare students for success in business. Based on the scope of the project, grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 will be awarded. Awards are for one year only.  Grants will be provided for specific projects or programs, not for operating support. Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to:  Improving curriculum to be at the cutting edge in relevance and effectiveness; Fostering and enabling leadership opportunities and learning; Creating a learning environment that encourages and enhances innovation and creativity; and Strengthening diversity in thought, participation and ongoing interaction. Purdue can submit two applications per college

Anticipated Funding Opportunities:

These solicitations are anticipated to be released soon based on the timing of previous solicitations for the program or notices of intent to publish. We are posting this information to help with proposal planning efforts but please keep in mind that the release dates and/or scope of a solicitation can change from year-to-year so be sure to read the solicitation carefully once it is released.

DOE Notice of Intent to Issue FOA: Bioenergy Technologies Incubator 2 EERE plans to issue the FOA in July.


NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Research Initiation Initiative (CRII) Frequently Asked Questions

Registration open for NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding & Grants Administration – San Diego, CA  October 14-15, 2015

DOE RFI: Advanced Biofuel Blends in Small Engines  Responses are due August 30.  

Please contact Sue Grimes (, Kristyn Jewell (, or Perry Kirkham ( with any questions.

To suggest content for future issues of ENE Memo, contact David Radcliffe by midday Friday for the following week's issue.