Click here to see this online
test image
CHAD Director’s Update:
Volume 1, Issue 2 – February 2015

This is our second CHAD Director’s Update. This spring will see many new activities from CHAD and I will be asking for your feedback and help as we aim to provide services most useful for your research efforts.

In This Issue
CHAD Pilot Grant Awardees

Congratulations to this year’s CHAD Pilot Grant Award winners! Dr. Nick Burd was awarded a grant entitled “Protein ingestion after endurance exercise for muscle mass maintenance and metabolic health” and Dr. Aaron Johnson was awarded a grant entitled “Technology-assisted vocal exercise for older adults”. Please be on the lookout for this year’s request for proposals later this spring.

OVCR Large Equipment Grant Awards

Congratulations also go out to Drs. Ian Rice and Manuel Hernandez for spearheading successful submissions to the OVCR’s office for large research equipment. This was a program that also required matching funds from the College and the departments, so thanks to our college for their support! The intent of the equipment is to be used as a shared resource to spark interdisciplinary research efforts. While the equipment will be maintained by Drs. Rice and Hernandez, there will be information for shared use that will be distributed to all after purchase and set up. Specifically, Dr. Hernandez will maintain a SMART EquiTest System for computerized posturography and balance and Dr. Rice will maintain an instrumented treadmill and motion capture system for disability research.

CHAD Research and Faculty Development Academy (RFDA)

The CHAD RFDA Seminar Series is off to a rousing start! This past fall we held 3 seminars and, in case you weren’t unable to attend, the videos are available here. This spring promises to be as educational with the following planned seminars:

AHS Library Resources: Not your grandparent’s library!” (February 18, noon-1pm) where our new AHS librarian JJ Pionke will fill us in on all the latest assistance that the library can provide to PIs and students in terms of research.

Data Research Services: Meeting New Federal Requirements” (March 17, noon-1pm), where Heidi Imker will tell us about central campus services for assistance with data management plans and data storage and maintenance. This is an emerging as a requirement in many applications so it is important for you to know there is help.

Other valuable seminars will follow thereafter. Please mark your calendar and attend as your schedule allows.

CHAD Request for Application (RFA) Search Service

New this semester! CHAD will be implementing a targeted RFA Search Service for interested faculty. We will be sending around a fillable data sheet where you can enter specific search terms or combinations of search terms that CHAD interns will use to do targeted funding opportunity searches using and Grantforward. Please complete the Targeted Grant RFA Search Service form if you are interested in utilizing this time saving service.

CHAD Grant Readers Program

Also new this semester! CHAD will be implementing a program that will provide valuable feedback on ‘near final’ grant proposal drafts utilizing internal UIUC experts or external experts. CHAD will work with PI’s, senior faculty and department heads to strategically identify experts to provide valuable feedback to PIs. Proposals will not be distributed to any reviewer until confidentiality agreements have been signed. Taking advantage of this service will require a ‘flexible’ proposal deadline and proposals of significant scope and cost (e.g. NIH R21 or RO1). Exceptions may be made for smaller proposals on a case-by-case basis. Eligibility criteria and a brief application process will be announced soon.

Illinois Health Sciences Initiative (IHSI)

Dr. Neal Cohen (whom many of us know and work with) has been named the new Director of the IHSI. The mission of IHSI is to catalyze, facilitate, enhance and coordinate IHSI-related research activities. CHAD is working with IHSI to promote the research agenda of AHS. I’m sure IHSI will have many helpful services in the near future, stay tuned!

Research Working Groups

Part of CHAD’s mission is to facilitate research working groups. To this end we have begun to facilitate interactions between our college and the College of Engineering. We have chosen to direct our initial efforts with this campus group due to the numerous current RFA’s for health and technology-related research, the potential for a new engineering-based College of Medicine that could help to transform our research capabilities, and our current faculty interests. The Chittenden Symposium on “Mobility, Technology and the Future of Health” (January 29) was a tangible example of our efforts to facilitate your research and foster interdisciplinary interactions with the College of Engineering. We hope you will participate in this and other future opportunities.

Interactions with Research Partners

CHAD is currently interacting with several on-campus and off-campus entities to promote your research agenda. We are currently working on relationships (at various stages) with Clarke Lindsey Village, the Mayo Clinics, Carle Foundation Hospital, VA hospitals (Marion, Hines, Danville), Illinois Active Aging, Cancer Community at UIUC, UIUC Office of Corporate Relations, the new UIUC Office of Proposal Development, and the UIUC Health Care Engineering Systems Center to name a few. If you need assistance with contacting these entities or understanding how they can assist you please contact CHAD. Also, if you have a working relationship with an entity that might benefit other AHS researchers and are willing to share please contact CHAD.

Biostatistical Support

Reminder! Sa Shen is available for you and your students statistical needs related to grant proposal submission and data analysis and interpretation. Please contact her at for your statistical needs.

Grant Proposal Library

We are beginning to create a CHAD Grant Proposal Library of successful federal grants that can be used by faculty as examples for grant writing purposes. We currently have R-21 and K award examples and are looking for examples of successful RO1 and RO3’s that faculty might be willing to share with their colleagues as examples. Please contact me ( if you have any questions or might be willing to contribute to the library.

Please feel free to contact me if you’d like more information on any item or if you have items of interest to be included in future Updates. In addition to informational items, I’d like to use this forum as a way to communicate ‘best practices’ so that faculty can learn from each other’s successes and challenges as they relate to research, compliance and outreach.

That’s it ‘till next time! Have a great semester!

Jeff Woods