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ENE Memo: September 29, 2014

From the Head: 9/29

Priorities 2014 – 15: Research

The goal in our strategic plan related to engineering education research is to tackle the big questions. Our aim is to create a world-renowned interdisciplinary research concentration at Purdue that addresses the big questions and challenges facing STEM education, with particular emphasis on engineering. We are committed to deploying our unique infrastructure and capability to be a pathfinder based on systematic research, policy development, and assessment and to reshaping the national research agenda by asking questions that challenge fundamental assumptions about engineering education across both the span of life and the different modes of participation in engineering. We also are committed to influencing the direction of and resource allocation for engineering education scholarship nationally and internationally.

Our research priorities for this year are:

  • create a competitive preeminent team bid

  • diversify our funding sources

  • make a smooth transition into Wang Hall

  • plan a major research grant / center proposal

We have made excellent progress on the preeminent team front. One of the nine finalists from across the college is from ENE; the final proposal pitches are scheduled for October 9. The other ENE led proposal from the preliminary round has enormous potential to be developed into a successful large grant proposal.

In terms of diversifying our sources of funding, series of fruitful brainstorming discussions have been held over the past month. The issue we are addressing is the high dependence of our research enterprise upon awards from the NSF (National Science Foundation). This makes us vulnerable to a downturn in funding if something changes in the policies or level of funding available from NSF. Over the years we have been quite successful with gaining funding from foundations and industry. However the quantum of these funds has been much smaller than that from NSF. Our challenge is to build a more diverse portfolio of research funding. This might include more endowed fellowships for students, and creating endowed research staff positions.

This spring our research activities will move to Wang Hall (level 3). The creation of this first-of-type facility will enable us to stay at the forefront as a beacon of engineering education research. It will be the home for all our graduate students. This co-located, integrated research ecosystem is one of the most significant developments in the short history of ENE. It is essential that we realize the full potential of this once-in-a-decade opportunity. Therefore it is critical that we plan thoroughly for this transition and for how we will inhabit this exciting new place. We will need to very carefully consider how we will share the facilities on a dynamic basis and how we will maintain it as a community space, for now and for the future.

Now that we have a purpose designed research place, and given the growth in faculty numbers, we are in excellent shape to seek large scale funding (~$10M) for a major research project or center. An advantage of a single large grant over a number of years is that we are not chasing lots of new grants each year. However a possible downside can be the level of administration and reporting that comes with a large, center-type grant. The point is: We need to find effective  ways to support our growing research enterprise that are efficient in the overhead (people's time and energy) needed to secure the funding, manage the expenditure and to service the grant in terms of reporting requirements. Put simply, how can we gain some real economies of scale in our overall research enterprise?


Calendar: 9/29

Fall 2014

  • Sept. 29: TULIP: "Transfer of Learning in Teaching Practice", ARMS 1314, 1:30-3:00pm
  • Oct. 1: Faculty Meeting, ARMS B098B, 9:30-10:20am
  • Oct. 1: Associate Professors Meet with Head, ARMS B098B, 10:30-11:20am
  • Oct. 2: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS B071, 3:30-4:20pm
  • Oct. 9: Preeminent Teams Round 2 Presentations, 9:00am-approx. 2:30pm
  • Oct. 9: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS B071, 3:30-4:20pm
  • Oct. 16: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS B071, 3:30-4:20pm
  • Oct. 17: ENE Staff Meeting, ARMS B1103, 8:30-9:20am
  • Oct. 22: TULIP, ARMS B098B, 1:30-3:00pm
  • Oct. 22-25: FIE Madrid
  • Oct. 23: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS B071, 3:30-4:20pm
  • Oct. 29: Faculty Meeting, ARMS B098B, 9:30-11:20am
  • Oct. 29-30: ENE Graduate Program Open House, Armstrong Hall
  • Oct. 30: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS B071, 3:30-4:20pm
  • Nov. 6-7: ENE Industrial Advisory Council, meeting Nov. 7, Dunville Room (ARMS 3041), 8am-3:30pm
  • Nov. 6: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS B071, 3:30-4:20pm
  • Nov. 7: College of Engineering Staff Awards, Location (TBA) 6:30pm.
  • Nov. 12: Faculty Meeting, Wang Hall, 9:30-11:20am
  • Nov. 13: ENE Interdisciplinary Colloquium, ARMS Atrium, 3:30-5pm
  • Nov. 17: TULIP, ARMS 1314, 1:30-3:00pm
  • Nov. 19: Faculty-PhD Matching, ARMS B098B, 9:30-11:20am
  • Nov. 20: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS B071, 3:30-4:20pm
  • Nov. 26-28: Thanksgiving
  • Dec. 4: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS B071, 3:30-4:20pm
  • Dec. 10: Faculty Meeting, ARMS B098B, 9:30-11:20am
  • Dec. 10: TULIP, ARMS B098B, 1:30-3:00pm
  • Dec. 21: Commencement

*Lunch Gatherings (every Wednesday, Noon-1:00) ARMS 1314

News and Information: 9/29

Safety Committee

The most recent meeting minutes of the Safety Committe are available HERE. One of the Departmental Action Items from the 2014 REM Recertification is for everyone to review the biweekly meeting minutes.

Kudos: 9/29

… to Krishna Madhavan, Aditya Johri, Hanjun Xian, G. Alan Wang, and Xiaomo Lu on publication of "Tools for large-scale data analytic examination of relational and epistemic networks in engineering education" in Advances in Engineering Education.

… to Amy van Epps, Jim Whitford, Sean Brophy, Mike Loizzo and David Radcliffe for helping out at the ENE display as part of the Homecoming festivities. 

Funding Opportunities: 9/29

Selected Funding Opportunities

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.

NSF Tectonics The Tectonics Program supports a broad range of field, laboratory, computational, and theoretical investigations aimed at understanding the deformation of the terrestrial continental lithosphere (i.e. above the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary). The Program focuses on non-magmatic deformation processes and their tectonic drivers that operate at any depth within the continental lithosphere, on time-scales of decades/centuries (e.g. active tectonics) and longer, and at micro- to plate boundary/orogenic belt length-scales. Deadline: January 12.

NSF Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research (IBSS) The Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research (IBSS) competition promotes the conduct of interdisciplinary research by teams of investigators in the social and behavioral sciences. Emphasis is placed on support for research that involves researchers from multiple disciplinary fields, that integrates scientific theoretical approaches and methodologies from multiple disciplinary fields, and that is likely to yield generalizable insights and information that will advance basic knowledge and capabilities across multiple disciplinary fields. Deadline: December 2.

DOD-DARPA Strategic Technology Office DARPA is seeking innovative ideas and disruptive technologies that offer the potential for significant capability improvement across the Strategic Technology Office focus areas. This includes technology development related to Battle Management, Command and Control (BMC2), Communications and Networks, Electronic Warfare, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT), Maritime, and Foundational Strategic Technologies and Systems. Deadline: September 17, 2015

Limited Submissions

Preproposals should be e-mailed to Purdue's open limited submission competitions, limited submission policy, and templates for preproposals may be found at

Limited Submission: NIH Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (R25) The goal of this NIGMS R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce. To this end, this funding opportunity announcement encourages the development of creative educational activities with a primary focuses on research experiences, courses for skills development and mentoring activities. Only one application is allowed per institution.

Limited Submission: NSF Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity The Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity (PFI:BIC) program supports academe-industry partnerships, which are led by an interdisciplinary academic research team with a least one industry partner to build technological, human, and service system innovation capacity. These partnerships focus on the integration of technologies into a specified human-centered smart service system with the potential to achieve transformational change in an existing service system or to spur an entirely new service system. A "smart" service system is a system capable of learning, dynamic adaptation, and decision making based upon data received, transmitted, and/or processed to improve its response to a future situation. Up to two proposals may be submitted by an institution.

  • Internal Deadline:

  • Monday, October 20 – Preproposals due to

  • Monday, October 27 – Review committee rankings due

  • Sponsor Deadline: January 28

Limited Submission: Blavatnik National Awards The Blavatnik National Awards honor America’s most innovative young faculty-rank scientists and engineers. Every year, one nominee in each category (Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry) will be named a Blavatnik Laureate and awarded $250,000 in unrestricted funds. To be eligible, nominees must meet the following criteria: born in or after 1973, hold a doctoral degree, currently hold a faculty position, and have made significant research contributions in their field. Purdue may nominate only one candidate per category.

Internal deadlines:

  • Monday, October 6 – Candidate should compile all of the documents below, in order listed, into a single PDF document and send to Clearly identify the targeted category and subcategory.

    • Up to four page curriculum vitae

    • Up to 2,000 characters (~ ½ page) rational for nomination (why is candidate well suited for this award?)

    • Up to 1,000 word (~ 1 ½ – 2 pages) research statement

    • Up to four documents representing the candidate’s best work: publications (full-text) and/or patents (abstract)

  • Monday, October 20 – Review committee rankings due

  • Sponsor Deadline: November 25

Limited Submission: NEA Our Town Grant The National Endowment for the Arts will provide a limited number of grants for creative placemaking projects that contribute towards the livability of communities and help transform them into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core. Our Town prioritizes partnerships between arts organizations and government, private, and nonprofit organizations to achieve livability goals for communities. Our Town consists of two programs:

  • Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Designs Projects – Non-profit must partner with a local governmental entity, one of which must be a cultural (arts or design) organization. Only one submission is allowed as lead.

  • Projects that Build Knowledge About Creative Placemaking – Universities can serve as partner but not lead on this programs. There is no limit on the number of applications an institution can serve on as a partner.

  • Internal deadline:

  • Monday, October 20 – Contact if interested

  • Sponsor Deadline: December 15 – Step 1 (SF-424); January 15 – Step 2 (application)

  • Funding Resources

The EVPRP website includes a link entitled Funding Resources. This link includes sections containing Internal and External Funding Resources. Additionally, there is a link for Search Tools and Alerts. Those who would like assistance in setting up their Pivot E-mail funding alerts may want to take advantage of our tutorial, which may be found on the Search Tools and Alerts link.

Another resource for corporate and foundation funding opportunities is the University Development Office.


**Purdue faculty and research staff: To directly receive this newsletter in your inbox, please sign up for the listserv here: Only e-mail addresses will be accepted. **

NIH Grants Process Overview This website provides an overview of the steps involved in submitting a proposal to the NIH.

NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Special Guidelines for Submitting Collaborative Proposals under the US NSF/GEO – UK NERC Lead Agency Opportunity

As always, we appreciate your sharing this information with your faculty. Please contact Sue Grimes (, Kristyn Jewell (, or Perry Kirkham ( with any questions.

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