UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter:  December 2, 2012

Michael Pazzani

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development


·         Research and Economic Development Update

·         US Department of Education GAANN workshop:  Dec 8, 2012

·         NSF INSPIRE program supports interdisciplinary collaboration

·         NSF: Changes to Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide

·         NIH Warning:  Changes to Public Access Policy Reporting Requirements

·         Principle Investigators or Principal Investigators?

·         Hooded Mergansers


Research and Economic Development Update


A few months back, the Office of Research (OR) was renamed to be the Research and Economic (RED) Office. While we are still designing a new web site, we have named the URL to be http://research.ucr.edu.  (The old URL still works too).  Some recent additions to the web site include

·         PowerPoint from talk by NSF Division Director Jane Silverthorne:  Grand Challenges in Organismal Biology: http://research.ucr.edu/OrApps/VCR/Talks/20121102-Silverthorne.aspx


·         New Faculty Guide to Research Funding: ((also appropriate for  existing faculty)


In other developments with RED, Two licensing officers have recently joined the Office of Technology Commercialization.  Please welcome them to UCR.


Christopher Del Vecchio has extensive experience involving intellectual property and patent matters including patent prosecution and patent analysis.  He has worked as a patent analyst evaluating the patentability of international patent applications on behalf of the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C., in the fields of mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, materials science, chemical engineering, pharmaceutical drugs, and biotechnology, among others.  He has conduct patentability searches and analysis regarding patents filed by Fortune 500 companies, such as Black & Decker, Johnson & Johnson, Siemens, among others.  He holds a B.S. in biology from Virginia Tech, a M.S. in biotechnology from Georgetown University, and a J.D. from Roger Williams University School of Law.  He studied international patent law at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property in Munich, Germany where he attended seminars at the European Patent Office and German Patent Office.  He is admitted to the California Bar and is a member of the California Bar Association, Intellectual Property Division.  Chris’s focus and support will be in the engineering areas at UCR.”


Richard Tun comes to UCR with a background in science and law.  He received his BSc (Biochemistry) and Ph.D. (Immunology) from King’s College London, U.K., and held post-doctoral positions at UC Irvine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Southern California.  He went on to receive his law degree from Loyola Law School Los Angeles and passed the California State Bar and US Patent Bar.  Richard subsequently worked as a Patent Attorney in several law firms representing clients, such as the University of California, both on US and International patent matters.   Now as a Senior Licensing Officer at UCR Richard will use his experience to facilitate the transfer of research work to the commercial marketplace for public use via any patent and licensing means available to the University. Richard’s focus and support will be in the life sciences areas at UCR.”


US Department of Education GAANN workshop:  Dec 8, 2012


Soon, the U.S. Department of Education is expected to release its next (Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need solicitation.  Last year it was Dec. 15, with a proposal deadline in mid January.  It pays to start now to prepare a proposal that provides up to $600,000 in funds for Ph.D. fellowships. Every UCR PhD-granting program in an “area of national need” is eligible.


To prepare campus to respond, Research and Economic Development in coordination with the Graduate Division has scheduled a workshop for 3 p.m. December 11 in Science Library 240 for PIs and administrators in departments and programs that envision submitting GAANN proposals this time around.  If your program is in Engineering you will have received a similar invitation.


Background:  Who is eligible?  Every GAANN solicitation includes designated “areas of national need” that change slightly for each competition. 


In 2011 the GAANN solicitation included these areas: 


·       Area Studies

·       Biological Sciences/Life Sciences

·       Chemistry

·       Computer and Information Sciences

·       Engineering (All Fields)

·       Foreign Languages and Literatures

·       Mathematics

·       Nursing

·       Physics

·        Educational Evaluation, Research, and Statistics

Every GAANN to date has included Life Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, Computer Science, Math, and Physics.  Other areas, including Earth sciences, sometimes are included, sometimes not.


If the rules don’t change, each department or degree program will be eligible to submit one proposal. A department that already has an active GAANN award can submit a proposal to support graduate students in a different area.


GAANN proposals include a great deal of pro forma material, including the Evaluation section, letters of support and cost sharing, and budgets, which Research and Economic Development will supply to each applicant. 


The challenge of the GAANN is to maximize points in every section and receive a score as close as possible to 100. Typically, one needs a score of 96 or higher to be funded. Last year, proposals with higher scores (>97) received more fellowships than those that just made the pay line.


The purpose of the workshop will be to identify what we can do to make our proposals as successful as possible.   Last year, the three people holding the workshop supported the submission of 13 successful GAANN proposals (at UCI, UCR and Rutgers).


We hope to see you at the GAANN workshop at 3 p.m. December 11 in Science Library 240.


Randy Black, RED      Mitch Boretz, BCOE      Mike Mueller, CNAS



NSF INSPIRE program supports interdisciplinary collaboration


National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a solicitation for Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE). INSPIRE was launched in November 2011 with the pilot program CREATIV: Creative Research Awards for Transformative Interdisciplinary Ventures. 


INSPIRE is open to interdisciplinary research in all areas supported by NSF.  As was the case for the CREATIV pilot, proposals may only be submitted by invitation.  Unlike CREATIV where proposals were invited following discussions with relevant program officers, this INSPIRE solicitation requires the submission of letters of intent. (I still recommend speaking with program directors).


For this solicitation, NSF will support projects that fall under three tracks:


·         Track 1: A continuation of the previous CREATIV mechanism; see the Dear Colleague Letter for more information, available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2012/nsf12011/nsf12011.jsp.  Proposals will be assessed through NSF internal merit review, and must involve at least two distinct NSF programs or divisions.  Projects will be funded for up to $1 million over five years.


·         Track 2: To support mid-scale projects (larger than Track 1) with funding of up to $3 million per project for up to five years.  Proposals will be assessed be through a combination of internal and external merit review.  Projects must involve at least three distinct NSF programs or divisions.


·         Director’s INSPIRE Awards: Prestigious awards to individual investigators to support interdisciplinary research with the potential to be highly transformative.  There is no direct submission process for these awards; proposals must be submitted to Track 1 and the relevant program officers may nominate the project for Director's INSPIRE Award consideration.  Awards of up to $1.5 million over five years will be supported.  Projects will be assessed be through a combination of internal and external merit review, and projects under consideration for this award will also remain eligible for funding through Track 1. 


Given the novelty of the INSPIRE program, it is strongly recommend that applicants fully read the review criteria.  In addition to the two standard review criteria of intellectual merit and broader impacts, proposals will be assessed on:

·         Interdisciplinary: How the project will lead to integration of multiple disciplines.  In addition Track 2 projects, that involve three or more research areas, must describe how links will be built between communities.  Projects considered for the Director’s INSPIRE awards will have large potential for making exciting transformative progress.

·         Broader Impacts: Proposal should describe how the research will benefit society.  Track 2 projects are expected to have significantly greater impacts that Track 1.

·         Suitability: The proposal must explain why the project is suited for INSPIRE.


Letters of Intent: Letters of intent are required for this solicitation.  The deadlines for Track 1 and Track 2 are outlined below.  Submission of a letter of intent to Track 1 is required to be considered for the Director’s INSPIRE Awards.

·         Track 1: December 10, 2012 - March 29, 2013; invitations to submit a full proposal will be issued on April 29, 2013.

·         Track 2: December 10, 2012 - February 20, 2013; invitations to submit a full proposal will be issued on March 29, 2013.

·         Director’s INSPIRE Awards: Same as Track 1: December 10, 2012 - March 29, 2013.


Due Dates:  Full proposals are due on the following dates:

·         Track 1: May 29, 2013

·         Track 2: May 13 2013

·         Director’s INSPIRE Awards: May 29, 2013


Total Funding and Award Size:

Total funding of up to $63 million is available to support INSPIRE.  It is estimated that 45 to 50 INSPIRE awards will be made, divided as follows:

·         Track 1: 30 to 40 awards; maximum award size of $1 million over five years.

·         Track 2: 10 to 15 awards; maximum award size of $3 million over five years.

·         Director’s INSPIRE Awards: three to seven awards; maximum award size of $1 million (Track 1 base level), plus $500,000 (additional funding from the Director’s INSPIRE Award) over five years.


Additional Resources:

·         The complete solicitation is available at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2013/nsf13518/nsf13518.htm?WT.mc_id=USNSF_25&WT.mc_ev=click.

·         The CREATIV Dear Colleague Letter is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2012/nsf12011/nsf12011.jsp

A list of projects funded through the CREATIV program is available at http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=124898.




NSF: Changes to Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide


NSF announced last month changes to Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide for proposal  due January 14, 2013, and later. http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf13001


One change is that NSF no longer allows universities to request a lower indirect cost (F&A rate) than the negotiated rate. (except as noted in the GPG sections on participant support and international travel grants, or as specified in an NSF program solicitation).


Mitch Boretz summarizes other changes


As far as PIs are concerned, there are really only four significant changes to proposals:


1. The summary now must have three sections: Overview, Intellectual Merit, and Broader Impacts. These three sections are limited to a combined total of 4,600 characters, including spaces. NSF prefers that summaries be plain text, but it can easily accommodate summaries with special characters.


2. The Project Description section must contain a section on Broader Impacts inside the 15-page limit. Also in the Project Description, Results from Prior Support must address the intellectual merit and broader impacts of your past or ongoing NSF-supported work and results.


3. The Biographical Sketch now calls for a list of Products rather than Publications. You still are limited to five most relevant and five other significant products. These items can include not only publications, but also data sets, software, patents, and copyrights. Unacceptable products are unpublished documents not yet submitted for publication, invited lectures, and additional lists of products.


4. The Facilities/Equipment/Other Resources section is now a narrative; the boxes for each type of resource will disappear. If a person is going to work on the project but not be paid, that person’s name should not appear in the budget; rather, that person’s role in the project should be identified here (without quantifying the value of the effort).


If you are submitting an NSF proposal before January 14, use the old guidelines.




NIH Warning:  Upcoming Changes to Public Access Policy Reporting Requirements


Starting with Spring, 2013, NIH will delay processing of non-competing continuation grant awards if publications arising from that award are not in compliance with the NIH public access policy.  The award will not be processed until recipients have demonstrated compliance.



Principle Investigators or Principal Investigators?


A Principal Investigator (PI) is the primary investigator on an award. It is commonly misspelled as “principle investigator” (which is someone who investigates principles).  According to Google, the phrase “principle investigator” is used on NSF’s web site 1,340 times while the correct version is used 51,800 times for an error rate of 12.4%.  NIH fares much better with an error rate of 1.9%.  Military web sites have an error rate of 5.8%. ONR’s Guidance for Preparing White Papers and Proposals http://www.docstoc.com/docs/4361249/Guidance-for-Preparing-White-Papers-and-Proposals-Undersea-Weapons contains the advice “... a well prepared document reflects well upon the principle investigator and his organization.”


The UCR web site contains 128 instances of “principle investigator” and has an error rate of 5.9%.  Before sending me an e-mail quoting one of my numerous typos and grammar errors, please keep in mind I type with two fingers, write the newsletter in early morning, and rarely can find my reading glasses.


Hooded Mergansers


The hooded merganser is one of the birds that got me interested in bird watching.  It migrates from Canada and the northern US each fall to find unfrozen bodies of water.   During the final stages of my interview, Rollanda O'Connor mentioned that while walking to campus she encountered them in the winter.   Well, that sealed the deal for me.   This photo of two male hooded mergansers is from the AgOps area of UCR.


Hooded Mergansers

(click to enlarge)




Michael Pazzani

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development

Professor,  Computer Science & Engineering

University of California, Riverside

200 University Office Building

Riverside, CA 92521



Assistant:  Gloria Gallego