Faculty research support

Wayne State is a nationally recognized urban center of excellence in research and one of only 10 U.S. public universities in major cities holding the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's designation as an institution with "very high research activity," as well as the foundation's most comprehensive classification for community engagement. WSU is among the nation's top public universities for total research expenditures ($245.8 million) according to the National Science Foundation.

The College's hands-on learning environment stems from studying and working under the direction of recognized world leaders who conduct pioneering research and development.

Wayne State University is also a University Research Corridor (URC) partner with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. The URC partners formed this alliance to improve the understanding of the vital role these three universities have played, and will play, in revitalizing the state's economy.


The mission of Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies is to provide services and support to faculty to promote research and scholarly activities in the College of Engineering.  

Specificially, the office:

  • disseminates information on federal, state and industrial funding opportunities
  • facilitates interdisclipinary collaborative research and partnerships among departments, colleges, institutions, industries and national laboratories
  • processes research proposals and maintains budget and account information
  • oversees the Research Advisory Committee
  • oversees the Graduate Program Directors

Research support office

The College of Engineering Research Support Office exists to assist faculty with all administrative, financial and compliance aspects of proposal submission and management of their externally-funded research awards.

Each department within the College is assigned a Sr. Grant/Contract Administrator who serves as a dedicated resource for proposal development and post-award management needs. These individuals are the first point of contact for any research funding questions or issues that may arise. 

The Research Support Office provides the following services to College of Engineering faculty:

  • Assistance with proposal preparation, including budget development
  • Review of completed proposal package for sponsor compliance and submission of proposal to sponsoring agency
  • Generation of monthly financial expenditure reports and projections for all sponsored awards, including cost share accounts
  • Review of personnel appointments and change in labor distribution requests on sponsored awards
  • Rebudget requests
  • Expenditure allowability review and expenditure transfer requests
  • Effort reporting
  • No-cost extensions
  • Facilitating financial reporting and award closeout with Sponsored Program Administration
  • Historical proposal, award and expenditure reporting for PIs, departments and the College

Proposal preparation and submission

Below is a general overview of the proposal development and submission process. For a more detailed outline, please review Engineering's process flows for Proposal Submission and Contract Processing.

  1.  Find funding and develop your proposal. Be sure to read the funding guidelines to verify that your research fits within the program's goals and parameters.
  2.  Contact your Sr. Grant/Contract Administrator well in advance of the deadline to notify them of your intent to submit. They will work with you to develop a budget with the information you provide.
  3.  Work with your Sr. Grant/Contract Administrator to create an internal proposal record in Cayeuse/Evisions and route it for institutional review and approval.
    • This includes providing the finalized proposal documents required by the sponsor such as the abstract/statement of work, budget, justification, etc.
    • Please provide ample time for institutional review and approval, especially if faculty from other Colleges/Units are involved. Additional time and documentation is needed if institutions outside of Wayne State are to be involved with the proposal.
  4.  The College's Lead Grant/Contract Administrator (Lindsey Saunders) will complete a final College-level review for University and sponsoring agency compliance. If the proposal meets the requirements, the proposal will be submitted on behalf of the University to the sponsoring agency by WSU Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA).
  5.  If a proposal is funded, the Research Support team works with SPA to facilitate account establishment once all documentation has been received. Required documentation includes the official award document, proposal with budget, pertinent correspondence and any approvals such as IRB/IACUC letters.

Please note:

  • Any proposed cost-sharing (voluntary and mandatory) requires Engineering Business Office review and approval prior to proposal submission, along with a valid funding source for the commitment.
  • Faculty are NOT authorized to sign contracts or agreements on behalf of the University. Any research-related document requiring signature (a contract, award, non-monetary agreement) must be submitted to the Research Office prior to processing. These documents likely need to be reviewed and approved by SPA and WSU's Office of General counsel prior to institutional signature. Please work with your Sr. Grant/Contract Administrator to initiate this process.

Proposal deadline policy

The College of Engineering's Research Support Office has aligned itself with WSU's Sponsored Program Administration's deadline policy in order to better serve faculty members.

The below is excerpted from SPA's proposal submission policy:

"All proposals in final form, including all necessary attachments, should be submitted via Cayuse to SPA at least three (3) full university business days prior to the funding agency's submission deadline in order to receive comprehensive review. Please note that this change from five (5) business days was made in order to provide our researchers with additional time to finalize their proposals.

For example, if a proposal is due to the funding agency by Friday at 5:00 pm, it would need to be submitted to SPA no later than 5:00 pm on Tuesday of that week. For complex proposals such as federal contract applications, center grants, program projects, proposals with more than three consortium partners, and other similar multiple-unit applications, an additional two days is highly recommended to ensure adequate time for review.

Proposals received after the internal deadline:

Of course, SPA will review all proposals whenever they are submitted; however, those proposals submitted less than three (3) full University business days before the agency's deadline will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis by the designated SPA Grant & Contract Officer [Engineering's Research Support Officer] following the completion of proposals submitted on time. Reasonable efforts will be made to complete the review and submission process before the funding agency's deadline. However, a successful submission cannot be guaranteed due to the high volume of proposals at major deadlines coupled with the level of review required to ensure electronic submission system requirements (e.g. Grants.gov) have been met. SPA cannot be responsible for failed submissions of proposals received after the deadline."

Contact us

Weisong Shi

Weisong Shi
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies




The Senior Grant/Contract Administrators should be the first point of contact for any pre- or post-award needs.

Please see below for departmental assignments (effective 11/25/2019):

Department Sr. GCA Email Phone
Automotive Research Center Meghan Connolly meghan.connolly@wayne.edu 7-1365
Biomedical Engineering Julie Decker juliedecker@wayne.edu 7-3781
Chemical Engineering & Materials Sciences Rochelle Smith rochelle.smith7@wayne.edu 7-6495
Civil & Environmental Engineering Meghan Connolly meghan.connolly@wayne.edu 7-1365
Computer Science Julie Decker juliedecker@wayne.edu 7-3781
Dean's Office Meghan Connolly meghan.connolly@wayne.edu 7-1365
Electrical & Computer Engineering Rochelle Smith rochelle.smith7@wayne.edu 7-6495
Engineering Technology Meghan Connolly meghan.connolly@wayne.edu 7-1365
Industrial & Systems Engineering Rochelle Smith rochelle.smith7@wayne.edu 7-6495
Mechanical Engineering Meghan Connolly meghan.connolly@wayne.edu 7-1365
Name and Title Email Phone
Lindsey Saunders, Lead Grant/Contract Administrator (Pre-award services) lindsey.saunders@wayne.edu 7-1953
Lauren Orleman, Associate Director - Research Administration lauren.orleman@wayne.edu 7-2978