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April 16, 2009 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2009-04-16

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P iC4i9 an4,3atIV

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Thursday, April 16,2009



NIH process
for funding
worries some

For a slideshow of Tax Day photos from Protestors gather on the Diag yesterday as part of a national string of "tea parties." They demonstrated against the
the Diag, go to michigandaily.com. nation's sour economy, tax policy and recentgovernment bailouts. Tens of thousands of protestors attended similar
events throughout the country and mailed tea bags to their representatives to show their discontent.
Sdents head one last time

Amid rush to apply
for new funds, some
caution that shoddy
proposals could pass
Daily StaffReporter
After the federal stimulus plan
opened up more than $10 billion for
the National Institutes of Health to
dole out in the next two years, they
now have researchers and scien-
tists across the country lining up
for their slice of the pie.
With the April 27 stimulus dead-
line application fast approach-
ing, University Internal Medicine
Researcher Jeffrey Ruth and other
University scientists have joined in
on what has become a frantic rush
to generate preliminary data.
Amid the flood, Ruth said the
process has been very different
from the typical NIH mechanism
for Research Project Grants. Ordi-
narily, these grant applications
cover five years of study and are
around 25 pages long. By contrast,
the stimulus grants are half the
length of a traditional NIH propos-
al and span only two years for the
same amount of funding.
"You write the grant, get it in as
quick as possible and you have one
shot at it - no resubmissions," said
Ruth. "It's basically a rush to get
the money out into the economy."

The American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009 will pro-
vide the NIH with $10.4 billion for
the next two years, according to a
recent statement issued by Ray-
nard Kington, the acting director
at the NIH. The NIH will, in turn,
allocate funds to colleges across
the country for the coming year.
University's research expenditures
came from NIH-funded grants,
according to one press release. The
University's Medical School, which
received more than $301 million
for the 2008 fiscal year, ranked sev-
enth amongall universities ingrant
funding from the NIH.
Exact figures for the NIH allo-
cation from the stimulus package
have not yet been announced for
Ruth said the shortened time-
frames and requirement of fewer
specifications reflect the focus
of the stimulus grants in encour-
aging researchers to generate
experimental data as quickly as
possible, instead of following the
more methodical, time-intensive
traditional process.
Previously involved with study
sections for the U.S. Department of
Defense, Ruth said the pressure for
expediency in reporting data has
drawn concern in some scientific
The government has had diffi-
culty with recruiting enough spe-
cialized reviewers to accommodate
the volume of incoming grants.

About to lose their
health care, seniors
get check-ups, meds
Daily StaffReporter
Faced with the prospect of being
without health insurance coverage
in the very near future, graduating
seniors are flocking to University

Health Service to get one last free
check up.
UHS offers students currently
enrolled at the University many
free health services includingclini-
cal visits, radiology and laboratory
tests. The services are covered by a
health insurance fee that students
pay as part of tuition, according to
the UHS website. The fee also cov-
ers services for a one-to-two week
grace period following each term.
Many students are now looking

to take advantage of UHS before
they lose the free benefits.
Karen Klever, director of man-
aged health care and student insur-
ance said that, there is generally an
increase in overall routine clinical
appointments made during March
and April.
Klever added that last year there
was an increase in student traffic
during these months in different
clinics of UHS. In the pharmacy
there was a 13-percent increase,

while in the allergy clinic there
was a 29-percent increase.
UHS director Robert Winfield
said he thinks that the usual rush
before summer is due to the anxiety
some students are feeling because
they know that the services includ-
ed in their tuitions will end soon.
"March and April, specifically
April, are a very busy time at the
pharmacy," Winfield said. "People
come into health service doing

Our energy future: bie rgbiofuel

U' fundraising office
bucks trend, continues
to hire in downturn

By JASMINE ZHU fuels will be dictated by how much
Daily StaffReporter land people are willing to devote to
harvesting the technology.
With its rich abundance of "You need massive amounts of
corn and soybeans, the state of non-food competing biomass that
Michigan is in a prime position do not create other problems like
to become a leader in bioenergy. soil erosion," he said.
Bioenergy currently serves as the Zurbuchen, who is also a profes-
second leading source of renew- sor in the College of Engineering,
able energy, according to the U.S. added that the future of biofuel as
Department of Energy. a source of alternative energy is
Bioenergy, which accounts for often called into question due to its
3 percent of the total energy used commercial inviability. Many fac-
in the country according to the tors in the economy would have to
U.S. Department of Energy, is a change in order to achieve sustain-
renewable energy source that uses able biofuel production.
materials of biological origin and "The issue is more about eco-
directly generates biofuel. nomics and the critical density
Derived from recently deceased of vehicles and fueling stations
organisms biofuel commonly together to make alternative fuels
comes in the form of ethanol or practical and profitable," he said.
renewable diesel. "There is the classic chicken-and-
Center for Entrepreneurship egg problem there."
Director Thomas Zurbuchen said Currently, the University's
the possibility of biofuels becom- Michigan Memorial Phoenix
ing a viable replacement for tra- Energy Institute is in the process
ditional energy sources like fossil See BIOENERGY, Page 7A

Chemical Engineering student Bobby Levine adjusts the tops on bottles containing
algae that could potentially beused to create bioenergy.

Though the number
of gifts to 'U' has held
steady, officials say
values have declined
Daily StaffReporter
Facing an economy filled with
tight wallets and the word reces-
sion in the air, many colleges across
the country are cutting back on
their fundraising and development
staffs. But in an interview yester-
day, Vice President for Develop-
ment Jerry May said the University
isn't following the trend.
May said although the current
economic picture has made it more
difficult for fundraisers, the Uni-
versity continues to make fund
development, which raises money
for the University's endowment
and special projects.
"We continue to put an emphasis
on fundraising and private support
because it means the difference
between a good university and a
great university," he said. "We're
just not letting up on our emphasis
on fundraising."
May said he feels it is important
to continue fundraising efforts
because private philanthropy helps
to increase the University's acces-
sibility and overall quality.
"Fundraising has become an

essential part of the revenue
stream of the University," he said.
"It especially adds to the quality
of the institution, and it especially
adds to the money that provides
students access to the Univer-
But May also said the economy
has made the mission of raising
money for the University obviously
more difficult.
"It's harder than it was six
months ago," he said. "Fundrais-
ing is hard to begin with, but now
that you have an economic down-
turn, you have some people that
just don't have as much money as
Despite the current economic
times, May said there are still
potential donors out there.
"There are still people that
frankly have the money," he said.
"But it takes a while for people psy-
chologically to get past that sense
that they don't have as much."
May said that in general, the
number of donations to the Univer-
sity has stayed consistent, but that
the average gift amount is lower
than before.
"We've been averaging about 25
to 30 new pledges a month," May
said, noting that was a normal
amount of activity. "But the size of
the gifts have been decreasing."
This decline in giving is one of
the reasons some schools - includ-
ing the University of Washington

Public Health program helps unemployed shift gears
Online course made a University online certificate pro- the University's School of Public assists with job placements.
gram called Foundations of Public Health and provide them with up According to The Associated
available through No Health. to $10,000 for two years of tuition, Press, 12.6 percent of the state was
This certificate program, made books and fees. unemployed in March, which is
l Worker Left Behind available through the No Worker No Worker Left Behind is an ini- the highest it has been in decades
Left Behind Act, allows recently tiative within the Michigan Work- and the worse unemployment rate
By VERONICA MENALDI displaced workers and students force Agency that helps dislocated in the country.
Daily StaffReporter who recently graduated to start workers signup forunemployment, Diane Carpenter, the No Work-
their career in public health send resumes out to employers and er Left Behind coordinator, said
The Michigan Department of through online training. market specific qualities. It also having No Worker Left Behind
Energy, Labor& Economic Growth The funding will allow partici- helps workers establish connec- fund the certificate is "great" as an
approved fundinglast month to aid pants to receive the certificate at tions to training organizations and See UNEMPLOYED, Page 3A


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Michigan football to play night game at Iowa.

INDEX NEW S .................................2A CLASSIFIEDS...........,.......... 6A
Vol. CXIX,No.131 OPINION....P........ ........ 4A SPORTS...... .........8 A
Cc2O9TheMichiganDaily MICHIGAN NEWS.............5A THE BEST OF ANN ARBOR....1B

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