The Peter White Scholar award amount totals $17,500.  The project can begin upon notification of the award.  Projects should be planned for no more than 12 months. All funds must be encumbered on or before the end of the 12-month award period.

Email a single PDF document including all proposal elements (discussed below) to Note faculty applicants are responsible for obtaining the appropriate department head signature on the cover sheet. Hard copies of the cover sheet are acceptable if submitted by the due date if you do not have the means to scan/email electronic copies. Electronic signatures from Adobe documents are acceptable and binding signatures. See instructions here if you are not familiar with creating and saving PDF documents.

Application Instructions | Past Recipients

Award Synopsis

In order to facilitate significant enhancement of scholarly research at Northern Michigan University, the Peter White Fund annually supports the Peter White Scholar Award. The Peter White Scholar Award is intended to support faculty with a proven scholarly record and are undertaking a project that would significantly advance his/her work. Thus, projects funded by this award are intended to go above and beyond those funded under the Faculty Grants program. Sample proposals can be found here.

The Peter White Scholar will:

  1. Engage in scholarly research and/or creative activities
  2. Prepare one or more works for publication or presentation and
  3. Develop applications for external funding

In addition, the Scholar is expected to present an open colloquium on the results of the year’s work and submit a Final Report within one month after the end date of the award.

Eligibility and Nomination

All full-time faculty who will be teaching during the next academic year (those who have an employment contract such that they would normally teach the year after the application year) are eligible to apply for the award. Faculty who will be on sabbaticals or other leaves, part-time or adjunct faculty, administrative or support staff and students are not eligible. Faculty and staff who believe that a colleague is especially qualified should submit a nomination to the Dean of Graduate Education and Research at least one month prior to the application deadline. The Dean will contact the nominated individual to notify them of the nomination.

A faculty member who has received a Peter White Scholar Award is eligible to reapply for the same award after a five-year interim. Questions regarding eligibility should be directed to the Dean of Graduate Education and Research.

Application Instructions

It is helpful to look over the evaluation criteria on the evaluation form. Proposals will be evaluated based up scholarly significance, guided by these proposal requirements. Proposals that do not follow the guidelines will lose points.

The proposal consists of a cover sheet, an abstract (250 words or less), a narrative, and the appendices. The abstract, narrative, and appendices should be combined into a single PDF document and emailed to

  • Narrative Format: The narrative is limited to 10, double-spaced pages. Single spacing is not allowed. Proposals must have one-inch margins and be printed in Times New Roman, 12 point font size.  Also, the applicant's name must appear in the top right hand corner of each page and the entire document must be paginated. Applicants with a visual impairment should contact the Grants & Contracts Office for information regarding alternative formatting instructions. 
  • Narrative Body: The narrative will describe the project objectives, the scholarly significance of the project, the relationship of the work to current research in the discipline, the project methods, and timetable,  the projected project outcome ((deliverable(s)), and plans for seeking external funding.
  • Budget: A detailed budget and corresponding budget narrative/justification is required. A budget justification template is available here. An itemized budget of all anticipated expenditures must be included with the following categories:
  1. Faculty salary and fringe benefits
  2. Student assistant salary and benefits
  3. Supplies (items greater than $200 require a specific statement of justification in the budget narrative)
  4. Contractual services
  5. Travel
  6. Equipment
  • Appendices: The appendix will contain a curriculum vitae documenting the investigator’s research productivity (Note:  the CV is limited to two pages) and any supporting documents (e.g., citation lists, supporting technical data, letters of invitation or agreement for collaboration).

All proposals that include release time must contain a detailed description of how the request for released time will be handled within the department. The department head and appropriate dean must approve requests for a released time in a written document attached to this proposal when the proposal is submitted to the Grants Office.

Any applicant that proposes to use human subjects (e.g., clinical or survey work) must have applied for approval of NMU’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) (see: Application for the Conduct of Research Involving Human Subjects). Any project involving the use of animals must have applied for approval of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) (see: Application to use Vertebrate Animals in Research, Testing, or Instruction). Applicants must attach a copy of their Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Animal Care (IACUC) approval letter, or confirmation of application from the Chair of IRB or IACUC, with their application to be considered for funding.

**NOTE: If your project involves human subjects but you believe it to be exempt per policy 45 CFR 46.101 you still need an exemption form.

Proposal Evaluation

The evaluation rubric used by the Faculty Grants Committee can be downloaded here. The Committee will make recommendations to the Dean of Graduate Education and Research. It is within the Committee’s purview to recommend that no award be made. Proposals from eligible applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Scholarly significance
  • The soundness of the project plan
  • Impact of the anticipated outcomes
  • Research productivity of the investigator
  • Appropriateness of the budget justification.

Voting Policy:  Each proposal must be read and evaluated by a minimum of five (5) voting members of the Faculty Grants Committee. In the event that less than five committee members are available for grant assessment, alternate committee members will be called upon to fill in. Committee members who have a grant under consideration will be excluded from any deliberations concerning the Peter White Scholar Program. Alternates will take the place of these members. Ex officio committee members may contribute to discussions, but will not take part in the actual ranking of proposals.


Each Peter White Scholar must file a Final Project Report by June 30 following the 12-month grant period. The report guidelines can be found here.  All funds must be encumbered on or before the end of the one-year award period.

The Scholar is also expected to present a colloquium on the year’s work to the university community at the annual Peter White Award Banquet.


Name: John Bruggink

Department: Biological Sciences

Project Title: Homesite Ecology Of Gray Wolves In The Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem


Name: Russell Prather

Department: English

Project Title: Three Solo Echibitions, Three Group Exhibitions, a Scholarly Paper and a Funded Residency


Name: Joshua Carlson

Department: Psychological Science

Project Title: Testing for Neuroplastic Changes in an Extended Amygdala Network as a Target Mechanism for Attention Bias Modification Outcome


Name:  Gabriel Brahm
Department:  English
Project Title: The New Culture Wars on Campus: Academic Freedom and the “Jewish Question”


Name:  Matthew Gavin Frank
Department:  English
Project Title: The role of carrier pigeons in the illicit global diamond smuggling trade: A book length essay


Name: Lesley Larkin

Department: English

Project Title: Reading in the Postgenomic Age


Name:  Zac Cogley
Department:  Philosophy
Project Title: Anger is a gift: How psychology and ethics illuminate moral responsibility


Name:  Marek Haltof
Department:  English
Project Title: Screening Auschwitz: Wanda Jakubowska’s The Last Stage (1948) and the Politics of Commemoration


Name:  Jaspal Singh
Department:  English
Project Title: Imagining Nations and Homelands: Gender and Sikh Identity in Indian and Diasporic Literature


Name:  James McCommons
Department:  English
Project Title: Biography of George Shiras III: World’s First Wildlife Photographer


Name:  John Smolens
Department: English
Project Title: The Schoolmaster’s Daughter, A Novel


Name: Neil Cumberlidge
Department: Biology
Project Title: The Freshwater Crabs of Eastern Africa: production of a major taxonomic revision using advances in biodiversity informatics. 


Name: Stephen Burn
Department: English
Project Title: Neurofiction: Contemporary American Fiction and the Brain


Name: Robert Whalen
Department: English
Project Title: The Digital Temple 


Name: J. Marek Haltof
Department: English
Project Title: The Holocaust in Polish Film: Uncovering the Path
Award: $15,000


Name: Neil Russel
Department: Physics


Name: Osvaldo J. Lopez
Department: Biology
Project Title: Towards a vaccine against the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Virus (PRRSV): Using vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and lactic-elevating dehydrogenase virus (LDV) as models in mice.


Name: Suzanne Williams
Department: Chemistry
Project Title: Using biocalorimetry to investigate proteins that are markers for the onset or progression of Alzheimer’s disease.