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Innovation Development Grant

Innovation Development Grant

The purpose of the Innovation Development Grant is to encourage academic-driven innovation that supports the mission and strategic plan of Ferris State University. We seek innovative projects or initiatives that:

  • Encourage and facilitate innovative degree initiatives in emerging fields
  • Promote and advance innovative experiences that blend theory and practice.

How to Apply

Guidelines for Innovation Development Grant Applicants

Applicants must complete both the Phase 1 and Phase 2 applications. You may reference the full application as a pdf. Please use the electronic forms linked below to submit your application.

Phase 1 - Concept Form: Complete this First

This form is the first step, and is designed to gather information to determine if this grant is a funding fit for the project or idea. Start Phase 1 now.

Phase 2 - Proposal Form: Complete this Second

After completing the Phase 1 form, use the Phase 2 form to share specific details about the proposal. Start Phase 2 now.

Innovation Advisory Team

The Ferris Innovation Advisory Team was created to assist in the development and execution of the Innovation Development Grant application and review process, as well as support HatchEd, the University Innovation Fair and Idea Incubator event.

  •  Innovation Advisory Team Members
    • Sandy Alspach - A&S
    • Sandy Balkema - A&S
    • Michael Berghoef - A&S
    • Peter Bradley - RSS
    • Lee Davis - KCAD
    • Tom Dowling - COP
    • Brady Flachs - A&S
    • Jody Gardei - Staff Center
    • Michele Harvey - CET
    • Luke Hedman - CET
    • Steve Hundersmarck - COB
    • Jina Jackson-Rockwell - COB
    • Emmanuel Jadhav - COHP
    • Ali Konieczny - FLITE
    • Jenny Lamberts - COP
    • Wendy Lenon - COHP
    • Jon Moroney - KCAD
    • Dave McCall - RSS
    • Andrew Peterson - EIO
    • Schuyler Pike - A&S
    • Avesh Raghunandan - MCO
    • Kelley Senkowski - EIO

Innovation Development Grants Awarded

  •  Spring 2021

    Modular Skills Trainer – Lenna Westerkamp (CHP) in collaboration with Shannon Love (CHP), Pam Smyth (CHP), Luke Hedman (CET) - $3,000

    The objective for the project is to create a portable skills trainer to enable students to practice skills at home. The portable skills trainer has the potential to be commercialized and sold at a low cost to institutions/individuals outside of Ferris to help provide sustainability. Additionally, the skills trainer will be developed to meet the needs for nursing students. Afterwards, the goal is to adapt the trainer to enable of other health profession majors to utilize as well, including respiratory therapy, dental hygiene, clinical lab science, pharmacology, and optometry.

    Quality Certificate Online – Mark Dunneback (CET) - $8,000

    This project aims to provide an innovative method to offer the Quality certificate (four courses) as a fully online option. Currently the certificate is only offered as a face to face program, on Big Rapids and FSU-GRCC campuses. Constraint: Three of the four courses in the Quality certificate require a hands-on application, using part samples of known dimension, and measurement devices of known accuracy and precision.  Response: This project will create a purchasable kit for students taking these online courses, validated by the students taking the courses here on Big Rapids campus face to face.



  •  Fall 2020

    Building the Autonomous Vehicles Program at Ferris – Mohamed Abusharkh (COB) in collaboration with Rusty Leonard (CET) - $9,900

    The project aims at building the platform for Ferris to start a program in a highly in-demand interdisciplinary programs: Autonomous vehicles. AV technology and skill sets are moving targets for the industry and for higher education. There are very few established programs in AVs. Despite the excitement and high interest around the area, significant work is needed to evaluate alternative technologies or pinpoint materials to be the program’s focus. By the end of this project, we will have built the plans, software environment, prototypes and course materials that will allow Ferris to offer an AV-focused program in any preferred format.

    Foundations of Behavioral Health and Social Justice Course – Carolyn Sutherby (CASE) in collaboration with Rita Walters (CASE) and Mischelle Stone (CASE). - $8,500

    The purpose of this project is to offer an experimental course that focuses on behavioral health and social justice concepts within social work and law enforcement. This project addresses the current gap in FSU curriculum by offering a course designed to introduce students to the concepts of behavioral health and social justice from the perspective of two different, but interconnected disciplines: social work and law enforcement. By critically analyzing the ideological, behavioral, and language differences and similarities that characterize these professions, students will learn ways to strengthen social work/law enforcement collaborations.