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A Model for Success

A Model for Success

Thanks to Phil Bogdan, Marketing and Communications Manager for the Office of Research and Economic Development, for helping us tell our story. This article was published in the December 2019 / January 2020 Scholars and Researchers newsletter. Michele is just ONE of the amazing people we have involved with our organization. Browse the website to learn more about IMCI services and then join us!

Michele Mattoon is no stranger to change. Since she began her University of Idaho career 18 years ago, she advanced through roles in accounts payable, finance, human resources, grant management and grant compliance.

Now Mattoon is a key figure in an exciting new organizational change at the Center for Modeling Complex Interactions (CMCI), which is now part of a larger, multidisciplinary level III institute under the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED).

The name of this new entity: the Institute for Modeling, Collaboration and Innovation (IMCI).

“I was hired as CMCI’s program manager in 2015, when it was funded through a five-year Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant from the National Institutes of Health,” Mattoon said.

Mattoon says CMCI will continue to advance U of I’s biomedical research and infrastructure under the new IMCI institute, which will now support the university on a much broader scale.

“Think of it this way. CMCI primarily serves our COBRE grant, and IMCI is COBRE plus, allowing us to expand our modeling efforts beyond the biomedical mission of COBRE,” Mattoon explained.

Mattoon says IMCI’s post-doctoral staff has expertise in mathematical modeling, molecular modeling, bioinformatics, population genetics, machine learning, geospatial modeling, and soon statistical modeling.

Mattoon also points out that IMCI’s support services go beyond modeling research.

“IMCI offers support for grant writing, research strategy, and outreach,” Mattoon said. “Anybody putting together a grant proposal that includes a modeling component, we can help them with it.”

Mattoon helps researchers develop their grant proposal budgets, enter information into VERAS, create proposal-specific checklists, communicate with sub-award contacts, and organize and collect various documents for proposal submission. Her colleague, IMCI Director Holly Wichman helps early stage investigators write successful grant proposals through her Grant Writing Working Group.
Whenever proposals are funded, Mattoon helps researchers manage grant finances, compliance with federal regulations, sub-awards, agency reporting, and personnel management, while Communications and Events Coordinator Lydia Stucki, assists IMCI funded projects with financial processing, event and meeting coordination, and communications.

Mattoon says that that IMCI leadership and staff use the same collaborative, service-based model that made CMCI a vital support center for U of I, the state’s leading research entity for addressing large, complex problems. She credits IMCI’s growth and success to IMCI Director Holly Wichman, Associate Director Marty Ytreberg, Assistant Director Tanya Miura, Modeling Core Director Craig Miller, and the many other service-focused leaders and staff that make IMCI successful.

“IMCI serves as a resource for researchers, faculty, students and staff alike,” Mattoon said. We have the people and programs in place to guide and support interdisciplinary research for U of I researchers from all colleges.”

Mattoon says she is confident that IMCI will grow even further as a level III institute.

“When we started, 25 researchers were involved,” Mattoon said. “Now there are over 70 participating researchers from nine different colleges. Our expansion in scope will create all kinds of new and exciting challenges.”

Mattoon says she is looking forward to the years ahead as a new research institute and encourages researchers to contact IMCI staff at

Request for White Papers

Download instructions in pdf form.

The Institute for Modeling Collaboration and Innovation (IMCI) requests white papers outlining ideas for research projects related to our mission. IMCI fosters interdisciplinary research by bringing together modelers and empiricists to address problems across all disciplines and levels of organization.

First consideration of white papers will begin on February 15, 2020 and will be accepted until March 1, 2020. We anticipate supporting the following, contingent on the availability of funds:

Pilot Grants (up to four grants): Selected projects will be funded at up to $80K / yr for 1 -2 years. The white papers will be used to select projects to invite for full proposals.

Mini-Grants (as funds permit): Small grants will generally be funded in the range of $5K to $10K and are intended to support access to technology or other resources needed to promote specific IMCI projects. Applications to support the development of new research proposals are encouraged.

Eligibility criteria:

Pilot grants: Both tenure track and non-tenure track faculty of any rank are invited to apply. Members of the IMCI Admin Team and Internal Advisory Committee are not eligible.

  • One person must be designated as project director (PD). Up to two collaborators / co-investigators are permitted but co-PDs are not allowed. Non-UI personnel, including collaborators, cannot receive funds from these grants.
  • For half of the projects, preference will be given to early career, tenure-track faculty. For this white paper, these are faculty who have never obtained external support as PD/PI from either Federal or non-Federal sources and are within seven years of obtaining their PhD.
  • A subset of the funded Pilot Grants must be for NIH-fundable research. Use the keyword search feature of NIH Reporter ( to see if NIH has funded work similar to what you would propose.

Mini-Grants: Both tenure track and non-tenure track faculty of any rank are invited to apply.

Other criteria and future deadlines:

  • Proposals must be focused on modeling (e.g., mathematical, computational, statistical, molecular).
  • Ties to empirical data are strongly encouraged and empirical work that compliments the modeling can be included in the proposal.
  • A subset of PDs will be invited to write full proposals, due in April 2020. The anticipated start date is mid to late summer, 2020.


The application should consist of a single PDF emailed to IMCI Director Holly Wichman at with the subject line “IMCI WHITE PAPER” and include:

  • Cover letter (maximum 1 page). The cover letter must describe:
    • whether the proposal is for a Pilot Grant or a Mini-Grant;
    • the fit of the proposal to IMCI;
    • the fit of the proposal to NIH, if applicable;
    • the role of the PD and each collaborator on the project.
  • Project narrative (maximum 2 pages). The title, PD, and up to two collaborators should be clearly indicated at the top of the first page. No abstract is required. Font size should be 11-point or larger and margins should be 1”. The narrative should include the central hypothesis, overarching goal, specific aims, context, significance, and an overview of the planned approach. Use of figures is encouraged.
  • Bibliography/references (maximum 1 page). The white paper may include up to 10 full citations.
  • University of Idaho formatted CVs for the PD and collaborators.
  • No budget is required for Pilot Grants at this time. Mini-grant proposals should include the amount requested and a brief budget justification as part of the 2 page project narrative.

IMCI Logos Available

IMCI Logos Available

If you’re working on a poster or presentation and need an IMCI logo, these should get you started! Just right click and “save as.” If you need a black and white version or something different, contact Lydia.

Our Look

Our Look

A new look, or graphic treatment, is part of our transition from a center (CMCI) to an institute (IMCI).

In October, Creative Services attended a Brown Bag Lunch to talk about the U of I brand. They also collected input and ideas from participants for an IMCI graphic.

All of it is so that we can communicate effectively and consistently. View the pdf version of Creative Services’ presentation.

University Communications & Marketing also offer the following resources for your use and reference:

Visual Style Guide
How to represent U of I

Brand Toolkit
Contains templates, downloadable logos, font links,
photo assets, email signature, etc.

Sample Work
Samples of marketing pieces created
within the U of I brand guidelines

Stay tuned for more information!