Message from the Director
Faculty and students at Ferris are helping to solve real-world problems. It has been
in our DNA since the institution was founded in 1835.
The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs staff: Tom Dowling, Wendy Stapp and
With a strong foundation in advancing higher education, our faculty bring expertise
in applied and basic research in health care, pharmaceuticals, environmental surveillance,
engineering, and biotechnology.
As a student-focused institution, we intentionally promote the scholarly and creative
works of our students. Since 2011, our Student Research Fellows (SRF) program has
supported over 100 students to complete faculty-mentored projects over the summer
months. In 2022, this program was expanded and now features a campus-wide Student
Research and Creative Activities Symposium. ()
In this FY22 Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) Annual Report, you will
find details of scholarly and creative grant awards to 14 Colleges and units across
- 35 new sponsored projects totaling nearly $2.5 Million, with an additional $7.7 Million
in funding under review or pending. These projects bring faculty, students, and sponsors
together to truly make an impact.
- New projects range from diversity and inclusion efforts to research on e-cigarette
usage, ways to make credentialing more transparent, and tackling the opioid use crisis.
- A doubling of research-based expenditures with funding from Federal, State and private
sources including the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Coalition
to End Domestic and Sexual Abuse, US Department of Education, US Department of Defense,
National Science Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Sciences and the National
Endowment for the Humanities.
Our Institutional Review Board (IRB) continues to play a vital role in advancing the
educational and research mission of the University. In FY22, nearly 150 new research
projects in healthcare, teaching and learning were managed and approved by the IRB.
Many of these research projects are part of elective or required graduate courses
in doctoral (DCCL, pharmacy) and master’s degree (social work and public health) programs.
Behind the scenes, the ORSP staff coordinates grants administration – ranging from
compiling and submitting competitive proposals, assistance with post-award grant execution,
communicating with funding partners, and ensuring compliance with University, state
and federal regulations.
We truly enjoy the pursuit of funding for innovative ideas, including research and
institutional grants, equipment, and internship programs. We also work with stakeholders
across campus, including general counsel, advancement, the Office of the Provost,
intellectual property experts, and our finance partners to ensure that projects are
supported at all levels.
On behalf of the grants management team at Ferris, we appreciate the opportunity to
work with you and look forward to continued success in 2023 and beyond.
Tom Dowling, Ph.d.
Director, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
FY 2022 Key Impacts
Grant Dollars Awarded in FY22
Total Award: $611,929.00
Project Director: Dr. Minji Sohn
Sponsor: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Title: “Collaboration to Harmonize Antimicrobial Registry Measures (CHARM)”
The project includes several health system partners in Michigan and will support development
of an interactive dashboard for antimicrobial usage patterns among health system partners.
Additionally, the program has begun to receive national attention and we have begun
discussions about adding out-of-state institutions. We will be sharing our experience
with the CDC to discuss a national initiative.
Total Award: $65,000
Project Director: Joy Pulsifer (VPSA/Student Life)
Sponsor: Michigan Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence
The new Cooperative Agreement that MCEDSV is proposing to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) and its DELTA Impact subcontractors is one that builds
on a strong history of implementation of primary prevention strategies.
Total Award: $149,082.00
Project Director: Dr. Greg Gogolin
Sponsor: Department of Defense – National Security Agency
Title: “Open Source/Social Media Intelligence Curriculum, Partnerships, Capacity Building
Proposal for Information Security & Intelligence”
This proposal includes a student scholarship aspect and a capacity building aspect.
Improving Healthcare Training
Total Award: $91,427.00
Project Director: Dr. Sue Owens
Sponsor: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Title: “Academic-Practice Partnerships: Creating 360-degree Video for Nursing Education
in the Northwest Region of Michigan”
Academic-practice partnerships will be developed between Spectrum Health Big Rapids,
District Health Department #10, Mission Point, West Shore Community College and Ferris
State University School of Nursing (SON). The SON has solicited assessment and skill
needs/gaps/remediation from these agencies for developing virtual resources with 360-degree
video for Registered Nurses (RN) and nursing students.
FY22 OSRP Results
New Grant Funding FY18 - 22
Grant Funding by Unit FY18 - 22
Grants Awarded by Unit FY18 - 22
Research-Related Expenditures FY20 - 22
Message from the IRB Chair
Faculty members at Ferris State University continually contribute their innovative
research efforts and produce many great contributions to their fields of knowledge.
David White, Chair of the Institutional Review Board
The Institutional Review Board (IRB) serves the important function of ensuring that
all human subjects research at Ferris complies with the highest ethical standards.
This mandate requires that our researchers not only comply with federal regulations
and other applicable laws, but also with university policies, as well as with the
best practices in human subjects’ research. Our IRB members include faculty and staff
members from the various colleges at Ferris, and each member brings their unique background
and expertise to help ensure we can properly assess the acceptability of research
projects, regardless of the discipline. Without the work of the IRB, research efforts
would stall and so too, would the essential effort of our great faculty members.
In FY22, our IRB had 317 actions, including 147 new applications, 94 study closures,
28 renewals, and 23 modifications to existing projects. Our Research Integrity and
Compliance Officer, Maureen Wawsczyk, works hard to collect, screen, and resolve problems
with study applications before forwarding them to committee members for review. She
is also involved in appointing and onboarding new IRB members and managing relationships
with external partners and IRBs involved in affiliation agreements.
Over the next year, the IRB will be engaged in an active process improvement phase.
We appointed a policy workgroup to organize existing policies and procedures, as well
as all other research related guidance, into one centralized handbook to make it easier
for researchers to find the guidance they need to ensure the integrity of their projects.
This process is also intended to be a thorough review of existing policies as we attempt
to update and improve what we are doing to ensure our ongoing commitment to best practices.
The IRB remains committed to ongoing education of the campus community. In 2022, we
established an IRB learning community to facilitate our educational sessions and provide
an open form to address contemporary topics in research compliance and answering many
how-to questions. These efforts are integral to helping our community grow and learn.
David R. White, Ph.D.
FY22 IRB Results
New IRB Applications by Unit
AA = Academic Affairs, CASE = College of Arts, Sciences and Education, CET = College
of Engineering Technology, CHP = College of Health Professions, CLS = Hispanic/Latino
Cultural Center, COB = College of Business, DCCL = Doctorate of Community College
Leadership, FLITE = Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education, KCAD
= Kendall College of Art and Design, MCO = Michigan College of Optometry, PHR = College
of Pharmacy, RSS = Retention & Student Success