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Tuesday, May 26


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M.S. in Post-Secondary Science Education

Good morning!

My name is Leah Bricker and I am an assistant professor of science education in the school of education. I coordinate the Master's in Post-Secondary Science Education degree here in the SOE.

Gina Hedberg was kind enough to add me to this listserv (thank you, Gina) so that I could provide you with some additional information about this degree. Because I am involved in many discussions and collaborations about how to best support science teacher education, Gina thought this list might be a good place for me to start re: letting you know about this degree track.

The M.S. degree I reference was dreamed up and implemented by Brian Coppola (Chemistry) and Joe Krajcik (formerly in the SOE). When Joe left Michigan and I accepted my current position, I was asked to coordinate this M.S. degree and revamp it. Here is the revised course planning sheet. In addition, the website for the degree is: http://www.soe.umich.edu/academics/masters_programs/psse/

The degree is for any current PhD student in the sciences who also wants to earn a Master's degree in post-secondary science education. 

I wanted you to know about this in case you know of any interested students in your departments. I'm happy to talk with any of you about this in more detail, and I am happy to speak with any interested students.

Thank you!

2016-17 S&T Policy Fellowships Applications Are Open!

Please share this announcement and the message below with your PhD candidates and post-doc networks.

Applications for the 2016-17 AAAS S&T Policy Fellowships are now open. On May 28 at 2:00pm EST we will be hosting a live chat session with current and alumni fellows. This is a great way to engage with fellows, ask questions, and learn more about the impact of the fellowships for STEM career paths.

Some posts for social media :
·         Twitter: Become a @AAASFellowships fellow! “Engaging directly w/ US Missions abroad has been incredibly rewarding.” http://www.aaas.org/page/applications-are-open
·         Facebook and/or LinkedIn: Share this post.

Preparing an Award-winning NSF GRFP application - post from Inside Higher Ed

Preparing an Award-Winning NSF GRFP Application
May 21, 2015 - 9:04pm
Alex T. Williams is a PhD student at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. You can find him on Twitter @AlexT_Williams or at his website.
Disclaimer: The yearly specifics and official details of the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) can be found on this website—this post is meant only as a helpful resource.
The NSF GRFP provides students an annual stipend of $32,000 for three years and is one of the most prestigious fellowships in graduate school. It also has a surprising statistic—about 1 out of 7 applicants receive the award. The good news is this means that you have a realistic chance of winning! The downside is that all of those applicants are probably competitive. With applicants so tightly grouped together, some people see this as a negative—“it just comes down to luck,” they complain. But you should see this as an opportunity: it means that the small things can make your application stand out. And small things often come down to preparation.
Because of that, I spent five months preparing my application. That sounds like a long time, but when you consider the prestige and value of the award, it is time well spent. Here’s the timeline that I followed:
Start researching everything you can find about the program—from websites like GradHacker, to discussion boards like thegradcafe, to Google search results. Some of my favorite websites offered detailed explanations of how to approach each essay, provided a roundup of resources, and shared what it’s like to be a reviewer. There are also these collections of actual essays. They will look intimidating—in retrospect I think it is probably because only the most confident applicants chose to share their essays online.
After reading all of this advice, write a first draft of your essays. Even though the essays will have a strict page limit, allow yourself to go over the limit by a hundred words. You can trim the word count as it gets closer to the deadline. Remember—show, don’t tell. Saying that you were in a research program is not effective. Explaining what you learned from the research program is much better.
Start sharing your essays with your classmates, advisors, and former winners in your field. At this stage, you want experts that can point out flaws in your methodology and theory. Don’t be afraid to contact former winners that chose to list their email on the NSFwebsite. If you write respectfully and your email illustrates that you are taking this application seriously (e.g. asking for advice months in advance), I’ve found that most people are happy to share their opinions. Their feedback is helpful because they will only be able to understand your research through the essays—since they don’t know you personally—just like a reviewer. My field had rarely won, so there were three winners in the past five years. Of those, one gave me very detailed advice and feedback on my essays.
Start contacting winners outside of your research field. I contacted individuals that created websites offering advice, people who were listed on NSF’s website and were in a related field, and winners that attended my university. At this point, you need people who can point out flaws in your reasoning that may be blind spots to people in your field. For example, one of the best pieces of advice I got, as someone who was applying for an award in communications, was from a computer scientist. He asked me why I thought newspapers still mattered—which no one had asked me before. So I added a line about how many people still read newspapers. It was an essential part of my argument that I had glossed over. I received helpful feedback from at least seven winners that I did not previously know who were not in my field.
Start whittling down your essays to the required length. At this point, you should know what your main narrative is. Focus on communicating it concisely. Because reviewers typically read applications quickly, format your essays to help them quickly comprehend your narrative by using “signposts.” For example, at the end of each essay I created “Intellectual Merit” and “Broader Impact” sections that summarized my main points in the essay. At the end of each paragraph, I summarized the main point of that paragraph. I used bullet lists or tables when I could. And I labeled each section of my essays in bold. My personal statement had the following headers:Mentorship; Work Experience; Community Service; Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts; Future Goals. This meant that even if a reviewer only skimmed my essay, my main points were clearly labeled.
To save space, I read that a former winner used this citation format. Reviewers aren’t going to be looking up your citations, or likely even glancing at them, so they are almost a formality. The first citation on my research proposal, for example, just used a [1] for the in-text citation. The last section of my essay was formatted like this:References: [1] Pew Research Center 2011. [2] Wahl-Jorgenson 2002. Journalism Studies, etc.
Focus on refining your essays. They should now be within the required length. The application will be due in late October or early November. Ask people to try and read all of your essays in five minutes and then ask them if they can briefly answer: what you are interested in researching; what your previous research was; how you will carry out your research; and how your research will benefit society. If they cannot answer each of these questions, you need better signposts. During this last month, you should not be changing anything substantively. You should only be tweaking things style-wise to make the essays easier to comprehend.
I submitted my application in November. In April I received an email with the subject line “2013 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Notification.” I nervously opened the email and began skimming until the word “congratulations” jumped out—I had won!But by then, I had realized that win-or-lose, I had grown a lot from the application process. By working on drafts with my advisor, I had gotten to discuss my research plans with him in-depth. And I learned how to explain my research interests and why they matter in a clear manner. Regardless of the outcome, it was time well spent.
While there is no secret recipe for an award-winning application, I believe that this timeline maximizes your chances. You will have spent five months carefully researching web resources, contacting former winners for advice, and ensuring that your essays are easy to comprehend. So if you are planning on applying for the NSF GRFP this fall, start working this summer!
What has been the best piece of advice you have received on writing grant applications? Tell us in the comments!

10th International Conference on Behaviour, Physiology and Genetics of Wildlife 2015 - Berlin, Germany - Call for abstracts - Online registration will open on Monday, 25th May

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) we wish to extend a cordial invitation to you to participate in the “10th International Conference on Behaviour, Physiology and Genetics of Wildlife”.

Online registration and abstract submission will open on Monday, 25th May 2015! The online registration link will be given at the conference website.Deadline for early bird registration and abstract submission: 30th June 2015
The aim of this meeting is to foster an exchange of ideas between wildlife scientists from different disciplines with an interest in both wild and captive animals, with a focus on mammalian species.

Main topics:- Behavioural Ecology
- Stress & Disturbance
- Reproduction Biology
- Conservation Genetics
- Conservation Biology

Parallel sessions and workshop topics:Please find information here

Please circulate information about the 10th International Conference on Behaviour, Physiology and Genetics of Wildlife 2015 to your colleagues, for example by forwarding this e-mail.
Thank you very much in advance.

We are looking forward to welcoming you and your colleagues at the conference!
Anke Schumannon behalf of the Conference Organising and Scientific CommitteeLeibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW)Alfred-Kowalke-Str. 1710315 BerlinGermany
Phone:              +49 (0) 30 5168 127
Fax:                  +49 (0) 30 5126 104

E-mail conference newsletter 
If you have not attended this conference before but would like to receive our conference newsletter, please send an e-mail with your name tosymposium@izw-berlin.de.You have already attended this conference but your e-mail address has changed recently? Please send an e-mail with your name tosymposium@izw-berlin.de.

Monday, May 4

GSI position for Math 385 - Mathematics for Elementary and Middle School teachers

A GSI position available for Fall 2015: Math 385-Mathematics for Elementary and Middle School Teachers. Strong math content knowledge is an important qualification for this GSI position

In Fall 2015, Math 385 will have two sections: MW 1:00-2:30 and MW 2:30-4:00. The core material in Math 385 is numbers and operations, place value, and fractions. Central objectives of the course include supporting students in using the meaning of numbers and operations in order to understand and justify why computational procedures work, and encouraging the development of problem solving skills.

The GSI will work closely with the instructor on all facets of the course in order to help meet student needs. Duties include but are not limited to the following: collaborate with instructor to revise worksheets and homework; contribute exam problems and help edit exams; attend classes to help facilitate group work; prepare and deliver some lessons; hold three office hours per week; assist with grading of homework and exams; meet with instructor regularly; administrative tasks (copying, etc.).

This is a 50% GSI position. The anticipated workload is 16.5 -20 hours per week. You can find more information on qualifications and view/apply to the position here:  http://umjobs.org/job_detail/109556/grad_stu_instr_math_385-fall

If you have questions after reviewing the posting, please direct them to math-gsi-applications@umich.edu

Large House Available

The following message is from Alicia Farmer, Communication Coordinator for UMBS:

This is from our old landlord who has nice properties ridiculously close to campus (Division St. at Madison!) and reasonable rents. Plus she tries to get grad students in and create community among the people in her properties (they're all in 1 block and share a common court).  I'd like to post it on her behalf if possible.

I have just one house available for rent in September, located close to campus, law quad, stadium, and downtown. If incoming students in your department may be interested, I would be glad to show it to them. It has 5 bedrooms, three of them actually suites. Hardwood floors. Three and one-half baths. Large livingroom and diningroom. Kitchen with modern cabinets, refrigerator, stove, dishwasher. Front porch. Plenty of storage room in walk-out basement. Two off-street parking spaces.
The house is approved for occupancy by 6 people.

Rent is $3200 plus utilities.

I am responsive to tenant needs, and if something is broken, I fix it promptly. 

Please contact Mary Hathaway at hathapond@sbcglobal.net

Friday, May 1

IT resources for graduate students

Tech Resources for Grad Students - LSA IT has put together some information to help graduate students better understand what technical resources are available to them. an introductory document with many useful links can be found here.  Plus, a primer on High Performance Computing / Flux, together with live training events are available. (Contact: lsait-ars@umich.edu)

MATLAB now free for students - MATLAB is now available for free to all students - for their personal machines - under the new campus license. This is the same version of MATLAB and toolboxes that is available to faculty and staff. Here are instructions for obtaining the software. (Contact: Eric Pinaud)

Thursday, April 30

Michigan Sea Grant Graduate Student Research Fellowship

Michigan Sea Grant Graduate Student Research Fellowship

Michigan Sea Grant is offering one- to two-year fellowships from 2016 – 2018, totaling up to $160,000 for graduate students enrolled full-time at Michigan universities who are interested in research relevant to current Great Lakes ecological, habitat or fisheries management issues. This fellowship will provide tuition and stipend support for a student’s research and will enhance academic and professional development opportunities.
Research fellows will work with an agency sponsor and faculty member at an accredited institution in Michigan to conduct a research project that supports existing Great Lakes research at federal, tribal and state agencies. Applicants submit a short proposal for their research as part of the selection process and are expected to have letters of support from agency and faculty sponsors. Michigan Sea Grant will assist interested students in identifying an agency sponsor who conducts research in their area of interest.
About the Fellowship
  • Supports exceptional graduate students (M.S. or Ph.D.) engaged in research relevant to the Great Lakes, ongoing agency research efforts, and to the Michigan Sea Grant Strategic Plan.
  • Fellows will work with an agency mentor to ensure results are useful and contribute to ongoing Great Lakes research.
  • Fellows will be provided with professional development opportunities that include conducting a research project, data collection and analysis, and preparation of project reports and presentation materials.
  • Fellowship funding will be available in February 2016, but the fellowship can begin in either 2016 or 2017, as appropriate.
  • Support: Up to $80,000 per year for students, including tuition, stipend and benefits.
    • Requires a 50% non-federal match (e.g., faculty salary).
    • Update: A budget is required; see below.
  • Students must be enrolled in or admitted to a full-time graduate or professional degree program at a Michigan academic institution.
  • Students may be working toward a degree in any discipline related to Great Lakes coastal or ecosystem issues.

How to Apply

Proposals are due to Michigan Sea Grant by 5 p.m. (EST)May 29, 2015. Proposals not received by the deadline will not be considered.
Proposal Requirements: Research Fellowship
  • Update: Budget – The budget should outline proposed expenses (e.g., tuition, stipend, research expenses, travel, supplies, etc.) up to $80,000 per year for two years. The budget should also indicate the source and allocation of the 50% non-federal match (e.g., $40,000 non-federal match for a $80,000 funding request from Sea Grant).
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) – Two pages maximum and must include contact information for the graduate student applicant and primary advisor(s).
  • Research project narrative – Two pages max.
  • Career goal statement – One page max.
  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable).
  • Letters of recommendation from primary academic advisor and an agency sponsor.
Online Submission Process:
  • Please allow sufficient time for all application materials to be received before the deadline. Late applications will not be accepted. We suggest that fellowship applicants access the fellowship application submission form to complete Parts 1 and 2 at least two weeks before the deadline. This step will initiate a system-generated request for recommendation letters and allow enough time for those letters to be received by the deadline.
  • After completing Part 2 of the online application form, the academic advisor and agency sponsor will receive a system-generated request for the letter of recommendation with instructions on how to log in and upload the letter as a PDF.
  • After completing Part 1 and 2 of the online application (be sure to click save), you will be emailed a Fellowship Code that you will need when logging in to complete your submission.
  • Complete Budget Form 90-4 to describe proposed budget. Upload this as part of the online application.
Proposal Evaluation: Research Fellowships
Selection criteria include academic ability, research proposal integration with agency research, the research and career goals of the student, appropriateness of academic background, communication skills, and support from faculty and agency advisors.
Applications that do not meet the requirements may be rejected without review. Notification of funding decisions will occur in September 2015, and fellowship research will be conducted within the two-year period from 2016 through 2018.
Questions about the RFP?
All questions related to the Michigan Sea Grant Graduate Student Research Fellowship Request for Proposals should be submitted to the Michigan Sea Grant Research Program by emailing MSG-RFPinfo@umich.edu by 5 p.m. (EST) Friday, May 8. Answers will be posted to the Michigan Sea Grant RFP web site by May 15.

TOMORROW- Fulbright Information Session

The 2016-17 program will provide grants to 1,900 U.S. students for projects in over 140 countries. Is this email not displaying correctly?
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Campus deadline: September 8, 2015 at noon

Fulbright Program for U.S. Students

The 2016-17 program will provide grants to approximately 1,900 U.S. students for projects in over 140 countries. Types of grants:
  • Academic grant - a self-designed program that may include coursework at a foreign university, independent field/library research, or any combination of these. 
  • Arts grant – a self-designed program to train in the creative or performing arts, usually via classes at an art or music school, training with a professional, or a combination. 
  • English Teaching Assistantship – a placement as an assistant to an English teacher at the primary, secondary, or university level. Placement is typically part-time and an additional independent project is expected.


To apply for this program through UM-Ann Arbor, applicants must:
  • be U-M students, alumni, or staff;
  • be U.S. citizens;
  • have completed an undergraduate degree by the beginning of the award; and
  • demonstrate the language skills necessary to complete the proposed project.
  • Enrolled students are required to apply through U-M.  

Information Sessions

 Friday, May 1
• Wednesday, May 6

Sessions are held from12pm-1pm in 1644 School of Social Work Bldg.
​ ​
Laptops are welcome and encouraged.


After attending an info session, please review the Countriessection of the Fulbright website, and see below for individual advising or contact iifellowships-fulbright@umich.edu.

• Academic grant advising
• Arts grant advising
• English Teaching Assistantship advising


Resources on CTools

U-M Fulbright Resources: login to CTools, click "Membership," then "Joinable Sites." Search for "Fulbright Resources" and click to join.

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   International Institute
   School of Social Work Building
   1080 S. University Ave.
   Suite 2660
   Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106

   College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

University Of Michigan

Tuesday, April 28

Final Call for Applications - Win up to $50K for Your Sustainability Project

Dow Sustainability Fellows
Final Call for Applications:
Win up to $50K for Your Sustainability Project!   

Request for ProposalsDo you have an idea to help protect the environment and enhance quality of life for current and future generations? If so, then consider entering the Dow Distinguished Awards for Interdisciplinary Sustainability competition, which provides up to $5,000 in "seed money" to pursue a collaborative project, and up to $50,000 for full implementation.

As a component of U-M's Dow Sustainability Fellows program, this competition welcomes proposals spanning the full breadth of sustainability topics, including but not limited to: energy, water, communities, food, built environment, transportation, and other areas. Details about the awards program are here, and a few key details are outlined below.

Project & proposal requirements
  • Describe a compelling and practical effort to foster sustainability beyond the U-M campus - at the local, national, or global level
  • Clearly articulate a new and innovative concept and have the potential for societal benefits and sustainability impact
  • Be led by students from U-M Ann Arbor
  • Have a faculty advisor (Additional staff and faculty team members are also encouraged)
Involve at least three different schools/colleges at UM-Ann Arbor
Examples of winning projects from last year
Distinguished Award Winner: BLUElab India
Read more
Seed Grant Winner: Shrimp Farming in Detroit
Read More
Distinguished Award Winner:  De-silting irrigation ponds
Read more

Deadline and submission
The program is accepting project proposals until May 28, 2015 or until 15 viable proposals have been received, whichever comes first. So, if you're interested, be sure to submit a proposal ASAP.
Information about this Dow Sustainability Awards competition is available here. If you have any questions, please contact Anne Wallin at (734) 763-6131 or apwallin@umich.edu.
Planet Bluesustainability.umich.edu/dow

Monday, April 27

Mathematical Ecology

This Fall, I will be teaching Mathematical Ecology.  If you are interested in getting a solid grounding in theoretical ecology, this course is for you.  

The study of ecology is the exploration of complex, intinsically dynamic systems. Ecologists formulate mathematical models to describe this complexity; the equations that result are interesting both for their biological predictions and their mathematical form. Full analytical solution of model equations is typically impossible, yet to the mathematically prepared mind, they can yield up their secrets.

This course is intended to provide students with the tools needed to formulate and analyze ecological models. It is an overview of the major categories of models and the mathematical techniques available for their analysis. Although the focus is on ecological dynamics, students in other disciplines—including evolutionary biology, natural resources, public health, chemical and bioengineering, economics—will find the methods readily applicable to their own fields. The course presumes mathematical maturity at the level of advanced calculus with prior exposure to ordinary differential equations, linear algebra, and probability.

An additional dimension to the course is its focus on the use of computer algebra systems in mathematical analysis. Students will gain practical skills in these techniques.

See http://goo.gl/eyrMsv for more details.

Aaron King
Associate Professor

Gaining traction: Career exploration for PhDs in the bio sciences

Gaining Traction: Career Exploration for Ph.D.s in the Bio Sciences

Friday, June 12, 2015 - 9:15am to 1:30pm
Michigan League
This half day session includes a three part workshop to help kick-off career exploration and engagement for students in the Biological Sciences. You may attend all or any of the sessions. Lunch will be provided.
9:15 am – 10:45 am
Identifying Transferable Skills: Connecting to a Broader Array of Careers

This session focuses on identifying the skills you have gained in your graduate work and their applicability to other career paths. You will be guided through a process for translating the skills you have acquired and help you consider how the skills you've cultivated while in graduate school might apply to a broader array of career opportunities.
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
What’s Your Elevator Pitch? Selling Your Skills

This session focuses on learning to convey elements of your professional story and ‘brand.’ Participants will practice translating and framing their skills and experiences and career interests for a broader audience in a concise and accessible way.
12:15 pm - 1:30 pm
Lunch and Discussion
Career Panel: Making a Plan for Engaging in Careers

This panel will feature Ph.D.s in the bio sciences who have put their doctoral training to use in a variety of areas. Panelists will share:
  • How they made the transition to their career path.
  • Concrete recommendations on what students need to do to be successful in defining their career path.
  • Targeted advice on how to prepare for the broader job market.

Thursday, April 23

Future of Training in the Biosciences

Dear Colleagues,

Today’s graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the biosciences face a far different career landscape than their professors once did – and their successors will see even more change. 

To address this challenge, the University of Michigan is hosting a national meeting, Future of Bioscience Graduate and Postdoctoral Training on May 4th and 5th, 2015Registration to attend the meeting is closed, but there will be a plenary session open to the public on Monday, May 4th from 9 a.m.-noon in the Auditorium of the Rackham Graduate School. 

U-M President Mark Schlissel will give an introduction at 9:00am, and Janet Weiss, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate School, will moderate. Four distinguished speakers will address the problems and solutions for how graduate students and postdocs in the biosciences are educated and trained. 
·       Gregory Petsko, D. Phil., Professor of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College
·       Keith Yamamoto, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chancellor and Research Executive Dean at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine
·       Patricia Labosky, Ph.D., of the Office of Strategic Coordination in the Director's Office of the National Institutes of Health
·       Richard Boone, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the Graduate Division and NRT Program Officer at the National Science Foundation.

Visit http://www.rackham.umich.edu/fobgapt for more information about the meeting and the plenary session
On behalf of the organizing committee,
Peter Hitchcock, PhD
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Cell and Developmental Biology
Associate Dean
Rackham Graduate School
W. K. Kellogg Eye Center
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48105-0714

Office: 734-763-8169