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The Office for Research – Sponsored Programs and Support Seeking Proposals for Collaborative Research

The Office for Research – Sponsored Programs and Support is soliciting internal proposals for collaborative research through its Developing Collaborative Partnerships for Building Research and Scholarship program. The program has been established to encourage the preparation of proposals for funding to develop new, externally-funded projects that would bring new opportunities to ISU, with emphasis on collaborative efforts by faculty across the university.

Awards ranging from $15,000-$50,000 are available to provide assistance to ISU research faculty who develop competitive  funding proposals for large-scale (minimum $1.5 million), externally funded projects; again, emphasis is on collaborative research or scholarly projects that include more than one college or department. Proposals for this year’s Collaborative Partnership Grant opportunity are due by Monday, October 3, at 5 PM local time; PIs who receive funding from the Collaborative Partnership Grant program will be expected to submit funding proposals to their respective funding agencies within one year of receipt of these funds.
Proposals in response to this announcement can be submitted via e-mail to: Questions regarding this opportunity can be directed to Laura Stewart-Burch at extension 3832, or Steve Wright at extension 2593. Feel free to share this announcement with fellow faculty members.
For more information about the Developing Collaborative Partnerships program as well as all other internal grant opportunities, please visit

ISU/Center for Advanced Energy Studies Researcher Haiming Wen Receives $500,000 Grant to Improve Materials for Nuclear Reactors


POCATELLO – Idaho State University and Center for Advanced Energy Studies researcher Haiming Wen, working with three collaborators at the Idaho National Laboratory, has received a $500,000 grant to improve  the  strength and irradiation resistance of metals used in nuclear reactors.

Wen, an assistant research professor at ISU and a staff scientist at the INL, and his INL collaborators will be working to improve the irradiation performance of metals used in nuclear facilities. The irradiation  performance of materials is critical to nuclear reactors.

“Basically, we are trying to help develop advanced nuclear reactors and to extend the life of currently used nuclear reactors,” Wen said.  “We are trying to develop materials with improved performance and irradiation  resistance and to assess the use of these materials in nuclear reactors.”

Wen will be working with an ISU graduate student and INL scientists James Cole, Isabella Van Rooeyn and Yongfeng Zhang on this project. They will be developing “nanostructures,” tiny structures between the size of microscopic and molecular structures, that could improve the performance of conventionally used materials used in building reactors.

“We will be producing this nanomaterial using advanced manufacturing techniques,” Wen said. “This work focuses on assessing the performance of these materials in a real nuclear irradiation environment. This has never been done before.”

Wen and the graduate student will be performing most of the experiments, receiving help from the INL scientists with computer simulations. Scientists and engineers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Science User Facilities will be helping with neutron irradiation testing.

“In the whole world there are only a few places you can perform neutron irradiation testing of materials, and the most important one is the Advanced Test Reactor at the INL,” Wen said. “It is very exciting to get this opportunity for neutron irradiation.”

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy provided the grant titled “Enhancing irradiation tolerance of steels via nanostructuring by innovative manufacturing techniques.” Wen and his colleagues received the grant this summer and will begin to work on it in October.

This project is comprised of two parts, $500,000 for research and development and around $2.4 million for facility access for neutron irradiation and the post-irradiation examination of the materials. The $2.4 million goes to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Science User Facilities.

Idaho State University psychology professor Erin Rasmussen secures $402,000 to study food insecurity and obesity in women


Dr. Erin Rasmussen, psychology professor, received the grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Rasmussen and her team working on the grant titled “Food Insecurity, Obesity, and Impulsivity” will look at the special conditions that might lead or influence impulse food choice.

Rasmussen described food insecure individuals as those who are concerned or uncertain about where their next meal might come from, and impulsivity as a pattern of choosing immediately available outcomes without thought to long-term consequences. She has studied impulsivity in both rats and humans and has found that both obese rats and obese humans are impulsive when it comes to food, compared to leaner controls.

Rasmussen and her team point to literature that shows that women who are food insecure are more likely to be obese. When a person is food insecure, they are more likely to purchase cheaper foods that are often higher in refined carbohydrates, sugar and fat, instead of fruits, vegetables and high protein foods. This type of diet can blunt their sensitivity to food reward.

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