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December 18, 2015
In This Week's Issue
6th International Symposium on Gait and Balance in Multiple Sclerosis

Sensory contributions and rehabilitation to improve Gait and Balance in MS

September 9 and 10, 2016
World Trade Center Portland
25 SW Salmon Street, Two World Trade Center
Portland, OR 97204

Symposium description

This conference focuses on how inputs from the visual, vestibular and somatosensory systems influence gait and balance in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). The morning session will examine the contributions of these sensory systems to gait and balance and specifically the impact of each sensory system on people with multiple sclerosis. The afternoon sessions will focus on current evidence-based interventions that use sensory system input to improve mobility and balance in people with MS. In addition, the impact of multimodal sensory inputs provided by virtual reality will be explored.

Click here for more information.


Celebrating the Work of Graduate Students

Image of Research         

Deadline: January 15, 2016

Illinois Graduate and professional students from all disciplines are invited to submit entries consisting of an image and brief text that articulates how the image relates to the scholarly or creative work. Images can represent research either concretely or abstractly and should tell a narrative that captures the attention and imagination of both specialists and general audiences.

Entries will be judged by a multidisciplinary panel for connection between image, text, and research; originality; and visual impact. Prizes will be awarded for top submissions including a $500 prize for the first place entry. Please consider encouraging your students to submit to the contest. Previous winning submissions can be found online.

Research Live! Competition

The Graduate College is excited to announce the winners of the 2015 Research Live! competition. Twelve finalists competed in the first ever Research Live! competition on Wednesday, November 11 at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

  • 1st Place: Ipek Tasan, “Finding the Partners in Crime Causing Colon Cancer” (Biochemistry)
  • 2nd Place: Marc Ryan Gancayco, “Sublancin: An Antibiotic with a Sweet Side” (Chemistry)
  • 2nd Place: Vahid Mirshafiee, “Targeted Delivery of Anticancer Drugs to Tumors” (Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering)
  • People's Choice: Robin Holland, “Taking Down the Powerhouse” (Pathobiology)

The 65 entrants in the competition were tasked with presenting on one research topic using two slides for just three minutes. Presentations were scored on delivery, clarity, effectiveness of visual material, and accessibility of language. Interested in more of the Research Live! story? Check out the #ILLINOISResearchLive hashtag on twitter and view photos on Facebook. Videos of the final presentations are available online.


The Graduate College invites proposals from faculty and graduate students for 2016-17 Focal Point projects. The full Request for Proposals (RFP) is available on the Graduate College website at Focal Point seeks to stimulate the formation of new intellectual communities and interdisciplinary research activities among faculty and graduate students. Proposals should be uploaded to the Graduate College website by March 18, 2016.

The 2016 Focal Point RFP solicits proposals on a broad range of topics. We especially encourage new proposals for:

  • collaborative research communities addressing issues of domestic under-represented minorities in graduate education, aligning with the campus’s diversity initiatives. Such projects may also propose collaborations with domestic institutions to strengthen diversity in graduate education.
  • project teams who collaborate with international institutions or NGOs to establish new partnerships for graduate education in the pursuit of innovative topics with international/global impact.

We welcome Phase II proposals that build upon successful projects and provide new directions and opportunities for graduate students.

Phased Innovation Award for Mechanistic Studies to Optimize Mind and Body Interventions in NCCIH High Priority Research Topics (R61/R33)

APPLICATION DUE DATE: January 15, 2016, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date. No late applications will be accepted for this Funding Opportunity Announcement .

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.


Retirement Research Foundation Accepting Applications for Projects to Improve Lives of Aging Americans

Awards in 2015 ranged from $7,500 to $214,000

The Retirement Research Foundation is accepting proposals from nonprofit organizations for local and national projects designed to improve the quality of life for older Americans.

Grants will be awarded in support of projects that provide direct services, advocacy, and education and training for professionals working with elders, as well as for research that investigates causes of and solutions to significant challenges faced by older adults.

Applicants who want to discuss a project before submitting a full proposal should send a brief Letter of Inquiry to the foundation at least three weeks prior to each deadline.

See the RFF Web site for eligibility and application guidelines, as well as examples of previously awarded grants and grant amounts: Complete RFP.

Deadlines: February 1, 2016, May 2, 2016 & August 1, 2016

$50,000 for Educational Projects that Benefit, Serve, and Enhance the Quality of Life of Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury/Disease, Their Families and Caregivers

Paralyzed Veterans of America advocates for better health care and benefits for paralyzed veterans, aids them in the search for a truly satisfying career, and provides them with a path to adventure through adaptive sports. Through its charitable arm, the Paralyzed Veterans of America Education and Training Foundation, the organization supports educational projects that benefit, serve, and enhance the quality of life of individuals with spinal cord injury/disease, their families, and caregivers.

The foundation has five topic categories for funding consideration: consumer, caregiver, and community education; professional development and education; research utilization and dissemination; assistive technology; and conferences and symposia. Projects in any of these categories should be designed to improve the quality of life for individuals with SCI/D, educate consumers about the consequences of and complications associated with SCI/D, improve the knowledge and skills of SCI/D healthcare professionals, and aim to prevent the occurrence and complications of new SCI/D.

The foundation supports one-year projects with a maximum of $50,000; conferences and symposia are supported with a $15,000 maximum award.

For complete program guidelines, application instructions, and a list of grant recipients from previous years, see the PVA Education and Training Foundation website.

Deadline: February 1, 2016 @ 11:59 p.m.

The Disability Determination Process (DDP) Small Grant Program



The Disability Determination Process (DDP) Small Grant Program

awards $10,000 stipends for graduate-level research on improving disability determination processes.

The DDP Small Grant Program is a one-year stipend program that allows graduate students, both full and part-time, to conduct supervised independent research on improving the efficiency and reducing the complexity of disability determination processes. Policy Research, Inc, (PRI) is pleased to announce the sixth round of this federally-funded stipend program. This program is directed by PRI of Delmar, NY, and is funded through a grant (#IDD11000001) from the Social Security Administration.

We will be holding two informational conference calls titled “DDP Application Overview “on Thursday, January 28th 2016 (ET) and Wednesday, February 3rd 2016 (ET). All students interested in submitting an application to the DDP Small Grant Program are invited to attend. We will provide a brief introduction to the program, review the elements of a successful application and answer questions.

Please click here to register for the call on January 28th:

Please click here to register for the call on February 3rd:       

For more information and to view the Request for Applications (RFA), please visit  Contact us at with any questions.

Impact of the Use of Glucose Monitoring and Control Technologies on Health Outcomes and Quality of Life in Older Adults with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) (DP3)

APPLICATION DUE DATE: March 3, 2016, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.


Federal Statistical Research Data Centers

AHS Colleagues, please see the information below. The IHSI and UIUC Economics Department are applying to become a Federal Statistical Research Data Center. They are seeking a short paragraph from potential campus users to support their proposal. Please see the attached powerpoint and links to see what kinds of data would be available to you. If you think you could benefit from access to these restricted datasets, please send a short paragraph and NIH bio to Gill, Ben or Mark as below. If you have any questions please contact Sa Shen ( Thanks


Many thanks for coming out to the information sessions hosted by IHSI. This was a great opportunity to learn about the campus-wide application for a Federal Statistical Research Data Centers. I’m sure that you all appreciated Julian’s insight as much as I did.

At this point it’s up to you to figure out what data set that you might be interested in working with (, and write a one-paragraph proposal to include in this application. I’ve attached Julian’s talk which also details some of the data sets, an example proposal, and all of the steps that are needed to get involved if the center is approved.

You can submit multiple proposals directly to Ben Marx ( or Mark Borgschulte ( As the application is due at the end of January they really need these before the end of the year.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask Ben, Mark or myself. I’ll be in touch with a reminder before the end of the year about the proposals, and will keep you all in the loop about the progress of the application in 2016!

Best wishes,



Gillian Cooke, PhD

Research Development Specialist Neuroscience

Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Initiative (IHSI)

901 West University Avenue, MC-261

Urbana, IL  61801

Email: |Office: 217-300-6709

NIH unveils FY2016–2020 Strategic Plan

Detailed plan sets course for advancing scientific discoveries and human health.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today released the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2016–2020: Turning Discovery Into Health, which will ensure the agency remains well positioned to capitalize on new opportunities for scientific exploration and address new challenges for human health. Developed after hearing from hundreds of stakeholders and scientific advisers, and in collaboration with leadership and staff of NIH’s Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICOs), the plan is designed to complement the ICOs’ individual strategic plans that are aligned with their congressionally mandated missions.
Fellowship opportunities for graduate students interested in disability policy research

I am pleased to announce that Mathematica Policy Research has released a request for applications for two fellowship opportunities for graduate students conducting research related to disability policy. These opportunities are funded via the Social Security Administration’s Disability Research Consortium.

The summer fellowship program is an opportunity for students in Master’s programs or early in doctoral programs (pre-dissertation phase) to spend the summer of 2016 at Mathematica’s Washington, DC office to learn more about conducting an independent research project related to disability policy. The last two years of this program have been highly successful, and we are looking forward to another fantastic experience for this year’s fellows.

We are also pleased to offer a new opportunity this year. The dissertation fellowship program will offer financial support via a $28,000 stipend to students conducting doctoral dissertation research on topics related to disability policy. This program is geared to more advanced graduate students, and in contrast with the summer fellows program, dissertation fellows will remain at their home institution.  This fellowship program will run for one year and will begin in or around May 2016.

Applications for both programs are due on February 12, 2016. I have attached a descriptions of each to this email. They contain information on each program’s eligibility criteria and application submission guidelines, as well as contact information for students who may have additional questions. This information can also be found at

You are receiving this email because your university has a graduate program in an academic discipline that routinely conducts disability policy research (including but not limited to: economics, sociology, psychology, public policy, public administration, special education, or counseling) or has a concentration in disability studies. We ask that you distribute this flyer to department chairs or other relevant contacts within your institution who may be able to share this opportunity with interested graduate students.

Illinois Research Connections


The University Library and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research are pleased to announce the BETA launch of Illinois Research Connections searchable web portal of research and scholarship for faculty and researchers at Illinois:

Important notes about this BETA LAUNCH

  • This is an initial, information-gathering introduction.
  • It will expand in both scope and value over time.
  • During initial launch and testing, some profiles will be robust and accurate while others will be incomplete.
  • We will be actively working in the coming weeks and months to develop a resource that is both inclusive and representative of the breadth of research strengths at Illinois.
  • IRC BETA currently limits portal access to Illinois IP addresses only, so be sure to access the site from the University’s network.