UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter:  January 5, 2013

Michael Pazzani

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development



Corporate Partnerships

I’m pleased to announce that Misty Madero has joined the Research and Economic Development Office.   Misty will specialize in negotiating contracts with corporations including sponsored research, material transfer, and confidentiality agreements with corporate partners.


Misty Madero comes to the University of California, Riverside after nearly 13 years of service to Arizona State University (ASU).  At ASU, she served as a Senior Contract Officer with the Office of Industry Research & Collaborations, where she managed various types of contractual agreements with industry sponsors.  Misty holds a Masters in Public Administration and a Bachelor in English.    She is also a member of the National Contract Management Association.    Misty can be reached at (951) 827-2210 or misty.madero@ucr.edu.  Material transfer agreements may be sent to MTA@ucr.edu and confidential disclosure agreements (also called nondisclosure agreements) may be sent to cda@ucr.edu.


Misty’s goal is to get same day signature on most CDA agreements. She can provide template agreements that will speed up most corporate relationships.   Involving her early in the contract discussions with a company can help shape the agreement toward something that meets the company’s goals and is easy to implement at UCR.


Meeting Potential Collaborators at UCR


Some faculty have mentioned to me that they’d like to find ways to meet and identify other faculty at UCR for potential research collaborations.  There are several ways to address this.  Stan Fletcher in the Research and Economic Development Office has put together a search engine and web site with the abstracts of all federal grants at UCR (see http://or.ucr.edu/OrApps/SP/Blog/Awards.aspx). If you type a phrase such as “data mining” you can find all federal awards on this topic.


For those that want to meet others in person,  my office is sponsoring a series of lunch seminars on various topics.  Suggestions for additional topics are welcome.  The goal is to have 5-15 faculty present brief 3-5 minute presentations on their current work and desired future directions on topics that inherently cross colleges at UCR.  My office will provide lunch and a laptop and projector.  Below is a tentative schedule of topics.


Feb 1:    Big Data: managing, analyzing, visualizing, and extracting useful information from large, diverse, distributed and heterogeneous data sets so as to: accelerate the progress of scientific discovery and innovation


Feb 15: Health Care Disparities:  Research on population-specific differences in the presence of disease, health outcomes, quality of health care and access to health care services that exist across groups


Feb 22: Entrepreneurism:  For faculty interested in seeing their research become the foundation for commercial products


March  1: Materials synthesis and processing


March 15: Video and Image Analysis.  Technologies for collecting, storing, retrieving and analyzing images and video and applications of these technologies.


March 22: Social and Graphical Networks: Analysis of graphical structure made up of a set of entities (such as individuals or organizations) and the relationships between these objects.  Social networks and the analysis of them is an inherently interdisciplinary academic field which emerged from social psychology, sociology, statistics, computer science, and graph theory.


March 29: High-Throughput Screening and Drug Design


If you are interested in attending and presenting, send me mail (pazzani@ucr.edu) including a talk title, and one of the above themes into which your talk fits.  If fewer than 4 faculty sign up for a topic, the seminar will be canceled.   All seminars will start at noon and be held in University Office Building 210. I’m very interested in faculty from ANY department proposing additional with the goal of building collaborations that might otherwise not happen. 



NSF Acceptance Rates

Each year, NSF computes the acceptance rates of various universities and programs.  In a future newsletter, I’ll identify some “sweet spots,” i.e.  programs with high acceptance rates.  Here, I focus on data comparing UCR to other universities.






U of Cal - Merced




U of Cal Berkeley




U of Cal Davis




U of Cal Irvine




U of Cal Los Angeles




U of Cal Riverside




U of Cal San Diego




U of Cal San Francisco




U of Cal Santa Barbara




U of Cal Santa Cruz




U of Cal SD Scripps





It’s part of my role to help UCR attract more funding and increasing the  acceptance rate of UCR at NSF and other agencies is one way to achieve this.   I have heard some concern among faculty about whether the federal funding goals in mean work for faculty.   I don’t think it involves more work for UCR if we focus on increasing the acceptance rate vs. submitting more proposals.   If UCR’s acceptance rate were the same as UCSB, it would result in an increase of funding of about 50% from NSF. 


In the past few months, the Research and Economic Development Office have set up an Office of Proposal Development, headed by Randy Black to assist faculty in submitting quality proposals.  Randy works closely with Mitch Boretz in BCOE and Mike Mueller in CNAS on collecting information on assessment, evaluations, and outreach programs at UCR that are essential to the broader impacts of  NSF and other agencies. Assistance is also available with proofreading and making sure the proposal addresses the review criteria.


We have also provided an electronic guide with valuable advice on proposal writing.  (see http://or.ucr.edu/OrApps/RD/Instruction/New%20Faculty%20Guide%20to%20Research%20Funding%20Institutional.pdf). Below is a general piece of advice from this guide


The fundamental requirement of the proposal narrative at the time of submittal is that it be a well-written document that responds fully, clearly, and persuasively to the research goals and objectives and review criteria defined by the sponsor in the funding solicitation, or the agency guidelines in the case of an unsolicited proposal.


On Feb 1, at 10:10, I will lead a panel of faculty who will discuss proposal writing for NSF and share their perspectives and experiences. Details are below.  Future workshops will focus on other agencies including NIH and NEH.

NSF: Stay within the Lines


In the past year, 6 proposals submitted to NSF from UCR were returned without review.   In most cases, it was minor errors in proposal format that resulted in the proposal being returned.   Unfortunately, this is an increasing trend at NSF.   For more than a decade, Congress has been pressuring all federal agencies to be accountable and budget increases at agencies have been dependent in part on demonstrations that the agencies adhere to policies and procedures.   NSF has been singled out as an agency that is well managed and part of that is making sure that proposals conform to requirements.    A recent report, FY 2011 Performance and Financial Highlights, http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2012/nsf12002/nsf12002.pdf  included this quote:

NSF continued its comprehensive, multistage review program resulting in a recipient reporting compliance rate of 99 percent every quarter beginning in December 2009. This effective program established NSF as a leader sought out by the accountability and transparency community for government-wide process improvement recommendations.

The following examples of reasons for returning proposals should serve as reminders about how compliant NSF can be (and how easy it is to create metrics that measure items of so little importance).



NSF announced last month changes to Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide for proposals due January 14, 2013, and later.   Pay attention in particular to a change that the Biographical Sketch now calls for a list of Products rather than Publications (see http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf13001).


Workshop: Submitting a Winning NSF Proposal, February 1, 10:10am


On Friday, February 1 at 10:10 in the Genetics Auditorium, a workshop will be held in which UCR faculty discuss strategies for writing a successful NSF proposal.   I served as a division director at NSF for four years and was involved with the review of over 8000 proposals.    I’ve collected lists of common mistakes at NSF and will discuss.  In addition, several faculty will present their insights on NSF including



Keck Foundation: Limited Submission: Deadline Jan 21


The Keck Foundation http://www.wmkeck.org/grant-programs/grant-programs.html  strives to fund endeavors that are distinctive and novel in their approach. It encourages projects that are high-risk with the potential for transformative impact. "High-risk" comprises a number of factors, including questions that push the edge of the field, present unconventional approaches to intractable problems, or challenge the prevailing paradigm.


Supporting pioneering discoveries in science, engineering and medicine has been our mandate from the beginning. By funding the high-risk/high-impact work of leading researchers, we are laying the groundwork for new paradigms, technologies and discoveries that will save lives, provide innovative solutions, and add to our understanding of the world. Both Senior and Early Career investigators are encouraged to apply.


UCR may submit up to four proposals in the science and engineering category, and four in medicine.  The key criteria for selection by Keck, and hence by UCR, is that the proposed project be novel with high impact and that it have high risk, perhaps too risky for NSF or NIH to fund.

Interested faculty should submit a prepropsoal following the format at http://or.ucr.edu/ord/limitedsubmissions.aspx  by January 21, 2013.


Federal Funding Priorities


Late last year, there was a series of webinars on federal funding priorities of various agencies.  The presentations are now online and can be accessed through the links below.  Video is also available at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2omq8x5P5V7exeij7QCOcYb9a0sWOQcl


Kei Koizumi

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy


Elizabeth Albro

Department of Education


Elizabeth Albro

Department of Education


Mark Poth

National Institute of Food and Agriculture


Michael Sieverts

National Science Foundation


Shai Akabas

Bipartisan Policy Center


Eric Rohlfing

Department of Energy Office of Science



Michael Nelson

Health Resources and Services Administration



Thomas Russell

Air Force Office of Scientific Research



Emily Linde and Scott Cooper

National Institutes of Health



David Han

Office of Naval Research



Jeremy Leffler

National Science Foundation



Nadina Gardner

National Endowment for the Humanities



Carolyn Clancy

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality



David Shillcut

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration



Funding Opportunities by Email


Several faculty have mentioned to me that it would be nice to get email on funding opportunities.  It turns out that the grant search engine UCR subscribes to has this facility.  Just go to http://pivot.cos.com (and create an account with your UCR email address), and enter a search query such as “data mining.”  You’ll see the funding opportunities currently available, and if you click on “Save your query” you’ll get a weekly email such as


From: fundingalert@cos.com [mailto:fundingalert@cos.com]
Sent: Sunday, December 23, 2012 3:21 PM
To: Michael Pazzani
Subject: COS Funding Alert for Michael Pazzani


Funding alerts for your saved searches

Results: December 23, 2012


Data Mining









Common Goldeneye


In spite of its name, the common goldeneye is a somewhat rare bird, particularly for UCR.  A diving duck, it is one of the last to migrate south and prefers to stay as far north as possible,  just avoiding frozen waterways.   I took this photo of a female common goldeneye in the AgOps area of UCR the day after Thanksgiving.

Common Goldeneye

(click to enlarge)