2018-2019 Funding For Excellence Faculty Research Awards Announced!

The fourth year of Funding For Excellence Faculty awards program attracted 25 applications, representing a diverse segment of research and scholarly activity from across the University. The applications were reviewed by members of the UMKC Research Advisory Council and 9 applications were awarded totaling $109,312. 

The funded applications for the 2018-19 are:

Child Obesity and Health Messaging Preferences among Missouri Policymakers: The CHAMP Study “, Matthew Chrisman, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Health Studies

“A Complete Record of Magma Storage and Eruption over the Last 70,000 Years at Askja Volcano, Iceland “, Alison Graettinger, Assistant Professor, Department of Geosciences, College of Arts and Sciences

“How Leadership Gender Affects Far Right Party Evaluations and Reaction to Scandal”, Debra Leiter, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, College of Arts and Sciences

“Post-translational Regulation of the SAGA Chromatin Modifying Complex”, Ryan Mohan, Assistant Professor, Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics, School of Biological Sciences

“Magazine Mavericks: Marital Collaborations and the Invention of New Reading Audiences in Mid-Victorian England”, Jennifer Phegley, Professor, Department of English Language & Literature, College of Arts and Sciences

“Early Detection of Fake News on Twitter”, Praveen Rao, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, School of Computing and Engineering

“Enhanced Energy Transfer/Storage of Solar Thermal Collector “, Sarvenaz Sobhansarbandi, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, School of Computing and Engineering

“Assessment of Climatic Impacts of Urbanization in Kansas City Metropolitan Area and the Potential for Cool Roofs to Counter Future Climate Change”, Fengpeng Sun, Assistant Professor, Department of Geosciences, College of Arts and Sciences

“Mitigating Barriers to PTSD Treatment Using Home-Based Telehealth”, Joah Williams, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences

The Funding for Excellence Program is an institutionally funded grants program to support the highest level of research, scholarship,and artistic endeavors by UMKC faculty. The three goals of the FFE program are to:

  • Enhance the research stature and scholarly reputation of UMKC;
  • Support excellence in the scholarship, research,and creative endeavors of tenured and tenure-track faculty members of all ranks; and,
  • Provide a financial means to achieve a tangible result.

We’re Here to Help: Leslie Burgess


Program/Project Support Coordinator

My focus

Support is the key word in both my title and in describing my role in the Office of Research Services.  Serving initially in the department as the executive assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Research, my position has grown to encompass a variety of areas in need, such as marketing/communications projects like our quarterly research newsletter, our Annual Report, Explore, and various research symposia. In support of UMKC’s new strategic plan goal to significantly increase the number of research grant proposals, I will begin training in Pre-Award services, which assists faculty in finding and applying for funding opportunities.

Where I came from

I have lived in the Kansas City area my whole life, and have worked in academia since graduating from UMKC, first with a BA in Psychology followed later by a MA in Higher Education Administration. My first position at UMKC was in the Counseling and Testing Center as an assistant and test proctor. I then accepted a position at the Kansas City Art Institute where I enjoyed serving as a campus coordinator until graduate school called me back to UMKC to further my educational goals.  I was a Graduate Research Assistant for the International Academic Office during that time and loved helping students study abroad. I joined the Office of Research team shortly after graduating in 2013.

What I love about working in Research Administration

The focus of my undergraduate degree was research and analysis in Psychology and this has been the first position I’ve had that taps into that interest.  I’ve been grateful for an inside view of the amazing research projects being conducted by our faculty.Overall, I love being a part of the ORS team and working with a wonderful group of dedicated, supportive colleagues.

Some favorite things

My husband and I enjoy taking our 3 year old daughter on adventures around the city, from weekend trips for produce at the River Market to rides on the KC streetcar. There are always new art openings to check out and restaurants to try.  Although the winters can be challenging, Midwest seasons are in my blood and I look forward to the warmer months where we venture out to hike, boat, camp, and grill. During downtime I catch up on reading for the book club I host.  

We’re Here to Help: Chelsea Dahlstrom


Senior Grants and Contracts Administrator

My focus

I assist faculty with everything from proposal development to submission to award creation. At UMKC, we are fortunate to work with brilliant and innovative researchers and scholars across all disciplines from the Health Sciences to the Humanities, and it is a pleasure to support them in their academic pursuits.

Where I came from

I’ve called Missouri home for most of my life. After receiving my bachelor’s degree in History and Religious Studies from the University of Central Missouri in 2005, I began my career in higher education in their Admissions Office and have stayed in higher ed since that time. In 2009, I moved to Kansas City to pursue my Master’s in History and Gender Studies here at UMKC and after graduating, started working in the Office of Research Services and Sponsored Programs.

What I love about working in Research Administration

Most of our faculty’s work is aimed at improving people’s lives and introducing groundbreaking knowledge to the world, so it’s meaningful knowing that I play a small role in that. Given that we serve all of campus, I get to work with researchers in almost every department, and therefore, get a front row seat to all the incredible projects happening at UMKC.

Some favorite things

My wife and I have a 15 month old son who keeps us pretty busy. We spend as much time as we can outdoors, while balancing all that fresh air with a healthy dose of Netflix.

Grants 101

When: Wednesday, September 26th, 9am-10:30am
Where: Office of Research Services, 2nd Floor conference room
5211 Rockhill Road

The Office of Research Services provides a Grants 101 training four (4) times a year.  This training introduces the participants to the structure and functions of the Office of Research Services.  Additionally, it discusses key funding sources and the proposal development and submission processes.

This training creates an opportunity for the novice and the experienced researchers to visit the ORS office, meet the pre- and post-award administrators that support their individual departments, and learn all about the ways the office assist them with their proposal submissions through their award close-outs.

If you have not done so, you will want to sign up for the ORS Listserv to make sure that you don’t miss the next scheduled Grants 101 training.  You can do so by clicking the following hyperlink:  http://ors.umkc.edu/about/ors-listserv.

Mark Your Calendar

University of Missouri System Research Summit: Human in the Digital Age
Please join UM System President Mun Choi and UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal, as well as faculty researchers and administrators from across the University of Missouri System, for another in the recent series.


Funding For Excellence

The proposal deadline for the FY19 round of the Funding for Excellence Faculty Research Grants  program is Friday, September 28 at 5:00.  A full description of the Funding for Excellence Program as well the application submission portal and a budget matrix are available on the Office of Research Services web site at:   Funding for Excellence Program

Briefly, the Funding for Excellence Program (FFE) is an institutionally funded grants program to support the highest level of research, scholarship, and artistic endeavors by UMKC faculty. FFE grants are awarded once a year, on a competitive basis, by a decision of the UMKC Research Advisory Council. The program will provide funding for faculty projects up to $15,000. The three goals of the FFE program are to:

  • Enhance the research stature and scholarly reputation of UMKC
  • Support excellence in the scholarship, research, and creative endeavors of tenured and tenure-track faculty members of all ranks; and,
  • Provide a financial means to achieve a tangible result.


Please email Leslie Burgess (Burgessla@umkc) or me (dreyfusl@umkc.edu)  with any questions you may have on the program in general of the upcoming submission deadline.

We’re Here to Help: Sandy Wilson


Finance and Accounting Manager

My focus

My area of focus is finance and administration.  As part of the fiscal leadership team, I help project, prepare, and monitor our operating budget, process accounts payable and accounts receivable transactions, complete account reconciliations and other finance and administrative tasks.  I also hold the role of HR Facilitator, the liaison between the UMKC-HR Office and the Office of Research and Development Staff.  I provide communications and assistance to the ORS staff in areas of benefits, payroll & records, training, recruitment, and employee relations.

Where I came from

After graduating from Emporia State University with a Business Administration Degree, I worked several years at KU Medical Center in the Accounts Payable and the Grant Accounting Offices. Upon moving to California, I worked for several years at California State University-Los Angeles in the General Accounting Office until my family and I relocated back to the Kansas City Metropolitan area where I began working in the Kansas City, Missouri School District in the Early Childhood Program.   After leaving the KCMO School District, I came to UMKC and have worked in the Office of Research Services for twelve years.

What I love about working in Research Administration

I work with a wonderful group of Research Administrators in the Office of Research and Economic Development who are dedicated and committed to a job well done.  It is rewarding to work with a group of people who go up and beyond to assist others in making their research dreams come to fruition.   I enjoy hearing about the array of interesting and potentially life, health, and technology, changing research that’s being conducted at UMKC.  I also enjoy having the opportunity to interact and supervise student employees.  We’ve had some great student employees working in our office and it is always a pleasure to see them develop, mature, and graduate from UMKC.

Some favorite things

My favorite things are my family (smile).  My husband, Vincent, and I have been married for 29 years and we have three children. Two daughters and a son. Our oldest daughter, Alexandria, is a graduate of UM-Columbia School of Law; she will be getting married this July.  Our second daughter, Victoria, is a junior at the University Central Missouri, majoring in Criminal Justice.  Our youngest, Vincent Charles, is a freshman in high school, who enjoys playing basketball and is currently on the tennis team at his high school. In my free time, I enjoy reading, going on long walks, attending worship services at my church, teaching primary Sunday school, and participating in volunteer opportunities that focus on children, women and the homeless.

Mark Your Calendar

UMKC Technology Jump is now accepting proposals.

Please see the attached announcement for information and an application for the Office of Technology Commercialization’s Tech Jump.  Please contact Eric Anderson at ericwa@umkc.edu or 816.235.5091 with questions.

Applications must be received by Midnight, April 30, 2018.


One Health Research Symposium

August 19-20, 2018,
Kansas City Convention Center
301 W 13th St. 2100 Entrance, Room 2103 A
Kansas City, MO 64105



Science to Art

Science to Art images are due on April 27th and questions can be directed to Shaylee Yount of the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute syount@kclifesciences.org

2nd Annual RFP for Neuromuscular/Musculoskeletal Diseases Announced

The Executive Committee for the Kansas City Consortium on Musculoskeletal Diseases (KCMD) is pleased to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Neuromuscular/Musculoskeletal Research Grants to be submitted to the KCMD for funding consideration. Funding for this grant program is provided by the member institutions. Background, Scope, Eligibility, Review Criteria, Application Procedures, the Review Process, and submission instructions are provided here.   Applications are solicited from clinical, translational and basic scientists engaged in research at one of the four member institutions of the Kansas City Consortia on Musculoskeletal Diseases with expertise in neuromuscular/ musculoskeletal disorders (e.g., ALS or osteoarthritis).  Genetic, molecular, cellular and systems approaches aimed at elucidating the development and progression of such diseases are encouraged.  Proposals must clearly identify how the research team intends to generate critical preliminary data needed for future collaborative proposal submissions to external agencies. Proposals must be from collaborative research teams spanning two or more organizations.  Funding of up to $50,000 per team is available.