Funding opps, awards, and recent news about UMSL researchers & innovators
Funding opps, awards, and recent news about UMSL researchers & innovators
External Awards, Monthly Report: Feb. 2021
External Awards, Annual Report: FY21 to date

UMSL Recognizes Six Faculty Members for Outstanding Research, Innovation

The Office of Research and Economic and Community Development honored (shown above, clockwise from top left) Jianli Pan, Nancy Singer, Jerome Morris, Katherine O’Daniels, Michael Gearhart and Shea Kerkhoff with awards for their research and innovation. Pan was named the Innovator of the Year. Morris was chosen Senior Investigator of the Year. Gearhart was selected Junior Investigator of the Year. Singer, O’Daniels and Kerkhoff were named Co-Investigators of the Year. 
The 2021 awards winners will be recognized in person at the 2022 Research & Innovation Reception next spring.

Dr. Timothy Dombrowski, assistant professor of finance

Natural Disasters, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology

UMSL Finance Professor Explores Emerging Areas of Research


Timothy Dombrowski, assistant professor of finance, began his undergraduate career in mathematics and accounting. But he found a natural bridge between his undergraduate passions and his current field when he visited the finance department at Louisiana State University, where the faculty won him over and he eventually earned his PhD.
With interest in most areas of research where he can apply mathematics, particularly finance, accounting, economics and technology, Dombrowski has recently examined and published on risks in mortgage markets and real estate finance, specifically how geographic (spatial) characteristics of these assets affect the risk and return of a portfolio.

But now, he's turning toward natural disasters and emerging technologies. 
He and a team of collaborators are looking at how natural disasters impact mortgage markets with the goal of quantifying the projected impact of climate change on the assets' value.
He is also beginning to explore research in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies with the objective of establishing an interdisciplinary blockchain research lab at UMSL. His interest is specific to the Cardano peer-reviewed cryptocurrency platform, which aims to solve many of the concerns attached to other cryptocurrencies (e.g., Bitcoin or Ethereum) such as platform scalability and sustainability. For example, according to Dombrowski, Cardano does not require as much electrical and computing power as Bitcoin requires. The blockchain research lab's broader goals would be to teach UMSL students how cryptocurrencies work and about the programming languages involved and to help students develop the skills to write and compile smart contracts. 
Dombrowski sees the financial industry moving into a much more technologically innovative space where what he teaches at UMSL will continue increasing in relevance. He is excited to find collaborators across campus and work with local St. Louis businesses. If you’re interested in learning more about his work or collaborating with him, visit his faculty webpage for more information.  
A newly installed UMSL Innovation wall in the lobby of the Science Learning Building contains plaques recognizing UMSL inventors on issued U.S. patents.

UMSL Honors Faculty Innovation

A tribute to the inventiveness of faculty and staff at the University of Missouri–St. Louis now stands in the lobby of the Science Learning Building
Last month, facilities staff members completed construction of the UMSL Innovation wall, comprised of plaques recognizing UMSL inventors on issued U.S. patents. The display was spearheaded by UMSL's offices of research and technology transfer.
If you have an invention or discovery to disclose for analysis and possible patent protection, please contact Tamara Wilgers, Director, IP Management & Commercialization (


The NIH Common Fund has published two new funding opportunities to address health disparities and advance health equity. The NIH has established a new initiative called UNITE to end structural racism and racial inequities throughout the biomedical research enterprise. 
1) RFA-RM-21-021 Transformative Research to Address Health Disparities and Advance Health Equity (U01 Clinical Trial Allowed)

2) RFA-RM-21-022 Transformative Research to Address Health Disparities and Advance Health Equity at Minority Serving Institutions (U01 Clinical Trial Allowed)
All applications are due on May 28, 2021, by 5 p.m. local time of the applicant organization. If you have questions about the FOAs, please email We also encourage applicants to visit our Application Resources and Frequently Asked Questions

Pre-application webinar slides and a recording will be posted on the Transformative Research to Address Health Disparities and Advance Health Equity website.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:
New Health Equity Scholars for Action

Diversifying who does research makes evidence stronger and helps us put that evidence into action. Yet racism and discrimination often stand in the way of the career path for many people, especially Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), individuals from low-income communities, individuals with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and first-generation college graduates.

RWJF's new Health Equity Scholars for Action program provides support to help you thrive professionally and personally, and contribute to evidence that can help build a Culture of Health. Grants, up to $250,000 each, are available for research projects about health, well-being, and equity; the award includes mentorship and coaching as well as a community of support to help build your network and develop career opportunities.

Want to know more? Attend an applicant webinar on May 4, 2021, to find out what we're looking for and hear answers to frequently asked questions.  

William T. Grant Foundation:

Institutional Challenge Grant
The Institutional Challenge Grant encourages university-based research institutes, schools, and centers to build sustained research-practice partnerships with public agencies or nonprofit organizations in order to reduce inequality in youth outcomes. To do so, research institutions will need to shift their policies and practices to value collaborative research. They will also need to build the capacity of researchers to produce relevant work and the capacity of agency and nonprofit partners to use research.
Online application opens May 18, 2021
Proposals due Sept. 14, 2021, 2 p.m (CT)

Your Source for Industry-Sponsored Research and Collaborations 

Find industry research challenges in your areas of expertise and make sure to post your own projects and ideas on the portal as "investigator-initiated projects" (IIPs) for companies to review for potential collaborations. 
Contact Tomy Ames ( with questions.
Research Enabled is a collaboration between the University of Missouri and Southern Illinois University systems and is funded in part by a grant award from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration. 

UMSL Qualitative Research Workshop: May 7

"Smart Pens, Apps, and Smart Phones: How to Harness Technology in Ethnographic Research" 
SPEAKER: Julian Thompson, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Criminology, Law and Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago
Friday, May 7, 2021
10 a.m. – noon


The Office of Research and Economic & Community Development research units strive to enhance the campus research enterprise, from maintaining an investigator-focused infrastructure and streamlining research processes to facilitating and diversifying investigators' avenues for funding and commercializing research discoveries. Please feel free to stop by (341 and 346 Woods Hall) to find out more about how we can help you succeed. Or visit, email or call 314-516-5899. We look forward to hearing from you!
The Research Development, Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA), and Research Compliance units administer grants and contracts for sponsored research and other activities at UMSL. Staff can assist you with many aspects of both internal and external funding, including the following:
  • funding opportunity identification
  • grant writing
  • research compliance
  • pre-award budgeting and submission
  • post-award financials
  • project close-out
To find your pre- or post-award accountant, download the Staff Responsibilities chart.
The Office of IP Management & Commercialization, also known as "Technology Transfer" or the "TTO," assists faculty in protecting and bringing their research discoveries and inventions, whether patentable or copyrightable, to market. 
So, why do universities engage in Technology Transfer? Watch this quick video by the Association of University Technology Managers:
Video: About Technology Transfer
Your tech transfer staff work to analyze the technology regarding intellectual property protection and the market need to determine whether patent applications should be filed and/or copyrights should be registered. For those inventions that can be protected (and even some that cannot), we then look for potential industry partners, which could include established companies and/or startup ventures, to license and commercialize the discovery.
We also process all Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), and research-related fee-for-service agreements, among others, for UMSL. 
Please visit our website for more information or to disclose an invention. Feel free to visit us at 346 Woods Hall. Email: