Registration now open for 2018 Policy Case Competition

Undergraduate and graduate students from all over the U.S. are invited to research, design and present policy proposals on current issues at the 2018 Policy Case Competition, an annual, three round, team-based conference and competition hosted by the Politics Society at New York University. Finalist teams have the opportunity to present their ideas to a panel of industry experts, and the winning team receives a $500 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to propose their policy to real policy-makers.

Registration closes on Feb. 26th. Click here to register, and click here for more information.


Learn to create effective presentations and engaging posters for the Student Expo at upcoming Lunch and Learn

Get the inside track on creating effective posters and presentations for the Student Research and Creative Activity Expo at a Lunch and Learn on Friday, Feb. 16 from 12-1 p.m. in Room 105, Building 21 at the Ridges.

Both graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in presenting their original work at the Student Expo should attend this Lunch and Learn created specifically to share how to create an engaging poster, accompanied by a compelling presentation. All Voinovich School graduate and Undergraduate Research Scholars and students who participate and are judged in the Voinovich School categories in the Student Expo will have their posters funded by the School.

The Lunch and Learn will be presented by Dr. Sarah Davis, an associate professor in the Environmental Studies program, and Laura Alloway, director of Marketing and Communications. It is the first in a series of sessions to encourage participation in the Student Research and Creative Activity Expo on April 12. Future sessions will provide greater detail and individual/peer feedback on poster designs and presentation outlines.

Held at the Convocation Center, the Student Expo is a chance for students to present their original work from various disciplines to peers, faculty, staff and community members. The Expo showcases the many ways Ohio University students are engaged in research, scholarship and creative activity. Posters, exhibits, performances, film screenings and other presentation formats are welcome.

The Voinovich School will offer graduate and undergraduate awards in two categories: environment and public affairs. Awards will be given for the best presentations in each category: $150 (1st prize) and $75 (2nd prize).
The Student Expo is sponsored by the Office of the Research Division, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, Office of the President and the University Libraries.

More information about the event and event registration is available at Registration closes Feb. 28 at midnight and will be capped at 850 presenters, so register soon!

Lunch and Learn February 9 Restoring for Wildlife: Tradeoffs and Benefits of Prairies

Join Rebecca Swab, Director of Restoration Ecology at The Wilds, for a lunch and learn presentation this Friday, from noon-1 p.m. at The Ridges, Bldg. 22, Room 221.

Her presentation will offer an inside look at the complex process of environmental restoration.

The Wilds, a conservation facility located on reclaimed mineland in southeast Ohio, has undertaken restoration efforts to replace low diversity cool season grasslands with high diversity prairies. Studies using microbial biomass as an indicator of health have shown that after reclamation, soil becomes more robust with time.

However, more work is necessary to fully understand the relationship between prairies and soil. As soil health improves, bottom-up improvements can be expected across all trophic levels. However, different wildlife species respond differently to restoration. For instance, long term studies show that pollinators are positively influenced by increases in floral resources, while some grassland bird species are negatively impacted by prairie installations.

So far, results on The Wilds landscape show that engineering sustainable and diverse ecosystems in reclaimed mineland requires innovative techniques and different methods than current reclamation laws require.

Future installments in the lunch and learn presentation series will take place at The Ridges this spring, rotating between buildings 21 and 22 on the following Fridays from noon-1 p.m.

  • February 16, 23
  • March 2, 9, 23, 30
  • April 6

Pizza will be provided, but participants should bring their own water bottles, as this is a zero waste event. For additional information about the series, contact Joe Wakeman, manager of enrollment and student success, at or 740.593.2133.Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 1.11.22 PM.png

Lunch and Learn Jan. 26: Energy Infrastructure 201 at Ohio University

Join Joel Baetens, Ohio University’s Director of Utilities, for a lunch and learn presentation this Friday from noon-1 p.m. at The Ridges, Bldg. 22, Room 221.

Baetens will review the recent changes to Ohio University utilities as they relate to the shift from carbon rich fossil fuels towards clean energy sources that will help Ohio University reach its goal of being carbon neutral by 2075.

The talk will include a discussion of recent plant construction projects, energy efficiency, renewable energy opportunities, and the development of faculty, staff, and student relationships through the involvement of utilities in the learning environment.

Born in Detroit, Joel Baetens graduated from Oakland University with a bachelor’s in electrical and computer engineering. He then pursued the University of Dayton’s Renewable and Clean Energy program. This turned a lifelong passion for efficiency into a career in the built environment.

Joel worked as a project manager for Clean Energy Coalition and then as an energy and utility manager for Eastern Michigan University before joining Ohio University as director of utilities in late 2015.

Future installments in the lunch and learn presentation series will take place at The Ridges this spring, rotating between buildings 21 and 22 on the following Fridays from noon-1 p.m.

  • February 2, 9, 16, 23
  • March 2, 9, 23, 30
  • April 6

Pizza will be provided, but participants should bring their own water bottles, as this is a zero waste event.  For additional information about the series, contact Joe Wakeman, manager of enrollment and student success, at or 740.593.2133.

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Deadlines fast approaching for faculty/staff funding opportunities

Ohio University has an investment portfolio of more than 500 thousand dollars per year for faculty, staff, and student research and creative activity – with more than 100 thousand for new faculty alone. See below for a list of many opportunities available for faculty and staff to receive internal funding.

Ohio University Research Committee (OURC)

  • Competitive awards of up to $8,000 provide seed money for faculty and staff to pursue new research and creative activity projects.  Priority is for new faculty and staff, or established faculty pursuing projects that are a clear departure from previous research foci.
  • Deadline: Thursday, Feb. 08, 2018, 4:00 pm
  • Click here for guidelines and click here for example proposals

Baker Fund Awards Committee

  • Competitive awards of up to $12,000 to faculty and staff support research, scholarship, and creative activity. The Committee seeks to support projects that are near completion and can hopefully be brought to full completion with the assistance of an award.  Two review cycles in fall and spring.
  • Deadlines: Thursday, Feb. 17, 2018, 4:00 pm
  • Click here for guidelines and click here for example proposals

Presidential Research Scholars

  • Competitive awards of $3,000 to recognize faculty excellence in research, scholarship, and creative activity.  This program is targeted to mid-career scholars who have garnered national and international reputations within their respective fields.
  • For FY2018-19, applications will be solicited for Arts and Humanities and Life and Biomedical Sciences; for FY2019-20, applications will be solicited for Social and Behavioral Sciences and Physical Sciences and Engineering.
  • Deadlines:
    • April 19, 2018, 4:00 pm (nominations)
    • June 14, 2018, 4:00 pm (applications)

1804 Fund

  • The Fund was established by the Ohio University Foundation to support the University’s core mission of maintaining, strengthening, and enhancing a learning-centered community. The Fund promotes collaboration among units. The Fund focuses its support through two categories:
    • Undergraduate Learning- Curricular innovations, programs and activities that enhance the undergraduate educational experience.
    • Faculty Research and Graduate Studies -Research, scholarly activities, and innovations in graduate education.
  • Workshops: Jan. 30, 2018, 11:00-12:00 noon and Jan. 31, 2018, 9:00-10:00 am, in 301U Alden Library.
  • Deadlines:
    • February 15, 2018 for preliminary discussions
    • March 15, 2018, 4:00 pm, proposal deadline
  • Click here for guidelines

For a complete list of funding opportunities, click here.

Voinovich School faculty encouraged to nominate students for competitive fellowships

Each year, the Ohio University Graduate College funds five named fellowships awarded through a competitive process to graduate students nominated by a department/school chairperson or faculty member. The fellowships include:

  1. The John Cady Graduate Fellowship
  2. The Donald Clippinger Graduate Fellowship
  3. The Claude Kantner Graduate Fellowship
  4. The Anthony Trisolini Graduate Fellowship
  5. Graduate College Fellowship

Each award provides a fellowship of $15,000, plus a full tuition scholarship for fall and spring semesters. Faculty across Ohio University’s campus and at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs are encouraged to nominate students for the fellowships.

The deadline to nominate students is Friday, February 2 at 5 p.m. The guidelines, nomination form and submission link can all be found here.

Travel Award offers supports graduate student travel to present original work

The Travel Award (TA) supports travel to present original work, including research and creative works. The Travel Award is intended to enhance graduate education through participation in seminars, workshops and conferences, fostering professional development to further students’ careers. The award attempts to cover a majority of the costs associated with such travel but is capped at a maximum of $500.

Interested students must apply by March 20, 2018. For detailed guidelines and more information, click here.

Original Work Grant supports graduate student research and creative work

The Original Work Grant (OWG) supports research and creative work. It is intended to fund direct, project-related expenses such as travel, lodging, materials and equipment related to research. Any graduate student enrolled for at least one credit hour and pursuing a graduate degree at Ohio University may apply for this grant. The maximum amount that a student may request is $750.

Interested students must apply by February 14, 2018. For guidelines, proposal examples and more information, click here.

Competition challenges students to present thesis research in three minutes or less

3MTAll Ohio University doctoral and master’s candidates enrolled as students during spring semester are eligible to participate in an upcoming competition held by the organization 3 Minute Thesis, which challenges participants to present their culminating research project in three minutes or less. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three finalists as determined by a panel of judges, as well as to an additional winner chosen by the audience.

All applicants must be available to participate in one of the semi-final rounds (either Tuesday, February 13 or Thursday, February 15) and the final round on Wednesday, February 21.

Students interested in participating must apply by Friday, January 26.

To learn more about the 3 Minute Thesis, click here. For information about last year’s winners, including Voinovich School alum Karie Whitman, click here.

Director of Ohio EPA to speak at Ohio University’s Dublin location

strategic leadershipOn Saturday, January 27, Craig Butler, OHIO alumnus and the director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, will share his thoughts on strategic leadership as well as the current strategy and challenges of the EPA and OEPA. The event, hosted by OHIO’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, will be open to the public and will take place from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the first floor auditorium of the Ohio University Dublin Integrated Education Center, located at 6805 Bobcat Way in Dublin, Ohio.

Butler has served as the director of the Ohio EPA since his appointment by Governor John Kasich in early 2014. A public servant of more than 24 years, Butler previously served as the assistant policy director for energy, agriculture and the environment in Governor Kasich’s administration and as chief of Ohio EPA’s central district office and southeast district office. He is a member of the Dangerous Wild Animal Board and is a past member of the board of directors for the Ohio Alliance for the Environment. Butler graduated from Mansfield University with a BA in geography and environmental science and later received a master’s in environmental science from Ohio University.

Following Butler’s presentation, guests are invited to attend an hour-long tour and an informal discussion about opportunities for career advancement available through the Voinovich School’s executive MPA at OHIO’s Dublin location.

Those interested in attending the event are asked to RSVP to Joe Wakeman at