UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter:  Feb 24, 2013

Michael Pazzani

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development


Back Issues of Newsletter: http://or.ucr.edu/vcr/newsletters.aspx


·         NIH Career Development Awards: Which Mechanism is Right for You? Feb 28, 11:00am

·         NIH Internet Resources

·         NIH workforce and diversity programs

·         Research funding: Same work, twice the money?

·         NASA Funding

·         NSF: Enabling Collaborations between Social Science and Computer Science

·         2013: Year of the Comet

·         Cute Baby Ducks

NIH Career Development Awards: Which Mechanism is Right for You? Feb 28, 11:00am


On Feb 28 at 11:00am in 210 UOB, a webinar will be shown on the NIH Career Development Awards. These awards provide protected time for research and career development for investigators in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences. These awards have a common goal: to help develop highly trained, independent research scientists. There are various types of transitional Career Development mechanisms. The most commonly awarded K’s are the K08 (Mentored Clinical Scientist Developmental Award), K23 (Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award), and K01 (Mentored Research Scientist Development Award), but there are many to choose from the K01 to the K99 as well as the F32, F33 and R00.


Deciding on the correct mechanism for you will be influenced by many factors, including whether you have a research or health professional degree and whether you have had any previous federal funding among others. Unlike other NIH grants, K awards usually have a higher success rate.


This webinar is open to faculty, postdocs and grad students.


NIH Internet Resources


NIH provides many formal mechanisms for identifying grant opportunities.  See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/oer.htm for the NIH grant search engine.  However, there is much value in identifying trends and topics before formal announcements of funding programs are announced.  Two of my favorite NIH resources are Deputy Director for Extramural Research Sally Rockey’s blog http://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/rock-talk/ and NIH Director Francis S. Collins, twitter feed. (see https://twitter.com/NIHDirector


On these less formal, social media sources, you can find information such as the following:

·         The proposed Brain Activity Map initiative, a potential $3B 10 year project which aims to developing technology to map the activity of every neuron in the brain in real time.    This is likely to involve a collaboration between NIH, NSF, DARPA (see http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/18/science/project-seeks-to-build-map-of-human-brain.html).  For background on the project, see  The Brain Activity Map Project and the Challenge of Functional ConnectomicsA. Paul Alivisatos, Miyoung Chun, George M. Church, Ralph J. Greenspan, Michael L. Roukes, Rafael Yuste Neuron - 21 June 2012 (Vol. 74, Issue 6, pp. 970-974) http://www.cell.com/neuron/abstract/S0896-6273(12)00518-1 This plan may start with 2-photon calcium imaging techniques but would depend on the development of new methods.

·         The Early Career Reviewer program. The NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) Early Career Reviewer (ECR) program was developed to help emerging researchers advance their careers by exposing them to peer review.  See http://public.csr.nih.gov/ReviewerResources/BecomeAReviewer/Pages/Overview-of-ECR-program.aspx for information on how to get involved with reviewing for NIH.

Research funding: Same work, twice the money?


Perhaps due to budget situation in Washington, agencies and the federal government are looking for efficiencies (or at least trying to ensure that others are efficient).   For example, the report, Opportunities to Reduce Duplication, Overlap and Fragmentation, Achieve Savings, and Enhance Revenue, GAO-12-342SP, Feb 28, 2012 http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/588818.pdf reported on “a complicated patchwork of fragmented and overlapping programs has largely resulted from federal efforts to both create and expand programs across many agencies…”  


A recent article examined the abstracts of funded projects and a fairly small but not insignificant amount of overlap between the projects across agencies (see Garner, McIver & Waitzkin (2013), Research funding: Same work, twice the money? Nature 2013 Vol: 493(7434):599-601. DOI: 10.1038/493599a http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v493/n7434/full/493599a.html).


Faculty seeking grant funding may want to avoid even the appearance of duplication by taking steps such as:

·         Making sure that the statement of work or significant aims are distinct across proposals.  One way to achieve this is to be more specific, i.e., instead of only a broad goal include more detail.   NIH has declined proposals when there is considerable overlap between the specific aims of a funded project and a new proposal or a competing continuation.

·         When publishing papers, be more precise on acknowledging funders.  Instead of reporting “This work was funded by NSF, DOE and DARPA” it would be better to report “the simulation in section 2 was performed by Student X funded by DOE and the theoretical analysis in section 3 was performed by Student Y funded by NSF.”  DOE is particularly sensitive to overlap with NSF.



NIH workforce and diversity programs

The National Institutes of Health have a reputation for being focused on the research mission and not placing the same emphasis on workforce issues as NSF.  However, that is changing.   A recent Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce concluded that “Achieving diversity in the biomedical research workforce is critical to the full realization of our national research goals and is in the best interest of our country.”  (see http://acd.od.nih.gov/dbr.htm).  Given UCR’s demographics, we should be very competitive in funding programs that seek to create a diverse workforce.  Given the state budget cuts, we’ll need to look more for federal funds to help us implement diversity and outreach programs.  Here is some info on some NIH workforce and diversity programs.   Research and Economic Development is ready to help those interested in applying.

Bridges to the Baccalaureate (R25)

·         Objective:  Improve the rate of students from underrepresented groups completing baccalaureate degrees in biomedical or behavioral science.

·         Strategy:  Support of comprehensive student development programs through institutional partnerships.

·         Program Director:  Michelle Hamlet, Ph.D.

·         http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Research/Mechanisms/BridgesBaccalaureate.htm

Bridges to the Doctorate (R25)

·         Objective:  Improve the rate of students from underrepresented groups completing doctorate degrees in biomedical or behavioral science.

·         Strategy:  Support of comprehensive student development programs through institutional partnerships.

·         Program Director:  Michelle Hamlet, Ph.D.

·         http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Research/Mechanisms/BridgesDoctoral.htm

MARC U-STAR Training Grant (T34)

·         Objective:  Increase the pool of honors students from underrepresented groups in biomedical sciences with the academic and research skills to succeed in Ph.D. programs.

·         Strategy:  Support institutional programs of academic and research training that support undergraduate students.

·         Program Director:  Shawn Gaillard, Ph.D.

·         http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Training/MARC/USTARAwards.htm

Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards: IRACDA (K12)

·         Objective:  Develop a diverse group of biomedical scientists who pursue independent academic research and teaching careers and strengthen science educational offerings at partner regional minority-serving institutions.

·         Strategy:  Promote partnerships between research-intensive and minority-serving institutions to benefit postdoctoral scientists mentored in research and teaching.

·         Program Director:  Shiva Singh, Ph.D.

·         http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Training/CareerDev/TWDInstRes.htm

Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Program: 

·         Objective:  Increase the number of students from underrepresented groups in biomedical and behavioral sciences completing doctorate degrees.

·         Strategy:  Support institutions that enroll students from UR groups that provide developmental activities designed to strengthen academic, research, and professional skills.

·         Program Director:  Robin Broughton, Ph.D.

·         http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Training/MBRS/RISEDescription.htm

Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) (R25)

·         Objective:  Increase entry and completion of PhD training programs by baccalaureate students from groups underrepresented in biomedical sciences and increase diversity of awardee institution’s Ph.D. training programs.

·         Strategy:  Support institutional programs providing extensive research training and academic development at research intensive institutions through research apprenticeships.

·         Program Director:  Michael Bender, Ph.D.

·         http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Training/PREP/

Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program (R25)

·         Objective:  Increase workforce diversity in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and enhance the student diversity in awardee Ph.D. programs.

·         Strategy:  Support comprehensive student research training and professional development at research intensive institutions.

·         Program Director:  Daniel Janes, Ph.D.

·         http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Training/MBRS/IMSDDescription.htm

MARC Ancillary Training Activities (T36)

·         http://nigms.nih.gov/Training/MARC/MARCAncillaryTraining.htm 

Research on Interventions (R01)

·         http://nigms.nih.gov/Training/Interventions.htm 

Research Supplements to Promote Diversity

·         http://nigms.nih.gov/Research/Mechanisms/PromoteDiversity.htm

Support of Competitive Research Programs (SCORE)

·         http://nigms.nih.gov/Training/MBRS/SCOREDescription.htm


NASA Funding


The primary funding for investigator-driven research at NASA is the joint “Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences” (ROSES).  Unlike the broad opportunities available at the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, research opportunities at NASA are heavily tied to NASA missions and data.  For example, in Earth Science, research can include “theory, modeling, and analysis of SMD science data; Earth surface observations and field campaigns that support SMD science missions; development of integrated Earth system models; and development of systems for applying Earth Science research data to societal needs.”  Awards range from under $100,000 to $1 million per year


The 2013 ROSES solicitation is available at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={01BFD3EE-87EF-FC55-1F52-EB37A9F139F0}&path=open


Here’s more info on the available funding opportunities


NOI/Step 1

Due Date



Due Date

Earth Science Research Overview



Land Cover / Land Use Change


(Step 1)


(Step 2)

Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry



Terrestrial Ecology



Carbon Cycle Science


(Step 1)


(Step 2)

Carbon Monitoring System: Continuing Prototype

Product Development, Research, and Scoping



Physical Oceanography



Ocean Salinity Science Team



Ocean Salinity Field Campaign Analysis and




Ocean Vector Winds Science Team



Cryospheric Science



IceBridge Science Definition Team



Sea Level Rise



Atmospheric Composition: Aura Science Team



Atmospheric Composition Campaign Data

Analysis and Modeling



Terrestrial Hydrology



NASA Energy and Water Cycle Study






Earth Surface and Interior



Rapid Response and Novel Research in Earth




Submissions through


PACE Science Team



The Science of Terra and Aqua



Suomi NPP Science Team For Climate Data




Earth Venture Suborbital -2



NASA Data for Operation and Assessment



New (Early Career) Investigator Program in Earth




The GLOBE Program Implementation Office



Advancing Collaborative Connections for Earth

System Science



Instrument Incubator Program



Earth Science Applications: Cross-Cutting Topics



Earth Science Applications: Health and Air




Earth Science Applications: Water Resources





NSF: Enabling Collaborations between Social Science and Computer Science


NSF expects to fund Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGERs) in the area supported by the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program (see solicitation NSF 12-596: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504709 ). EAGER is a funding mechanism for supporting exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. NSF is using EAGER mechanism to encourage novel interdisciplinary research resulting from new collaborations between one or more Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) researchers and one or more Social, Behavioral and Economic Science (SBE) researchers. The proposed research should fit both the Trustworthy Computing and the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences perspectives within the SaTC solicitation.


Below are examples of the types of topics that computer and social and behavioral scientists could conceivably study together under such an EAGER project.

·         Methods, including automated methods, for detecting deception or adverse intentions directly relevant to cyber-attacks.

·         Social network analysis and other methods of detecting malware propagation, for instance via social media.

·         Socio-technical solutions to reduce end-user risk exposure, such as crowdsourcing.

·         Research to ascertain the tradeoffs between security and privacy and how better mixtures of these could be found or negotiated.

·         Methods, including automated methods, to train, incentivize, or nudge end-users to improve their cybersecurity position.

·         Motivators and indicators of insider threat and countermeasures to such threat among end-users, user communities, national and international communities, and so forth.

·         Factors behind susceptibility of subpopulations to cybercrime-e.g., youth, the elderly-and countermeasures.

·         Systemic and structural factors that promote or undermine a secure cyberspace.


See http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2013/nsf13037/nsf13037.jsp for more details.

2013: Year of the Comet?


As a child, I was interested in astronomy. I still recall the thrill of getting a telescope for a present and observing the rings of Saturn.  I also recall a bright comet in the evening sky in 1965 and unfortunately the disappointment in 1986 when Halley’s Comet wasn’t as bright as prior years.  2013 is shaping up to be a potentially good year for comets.  (see

http://www.universetoday.com/100049/the-year-of-the-comets-three-reasons-why-2013-could-be-the-best-ever/ ).   The first comet that is likely to be visible to the naked eye will appear in early March and is best on March 12 (see http://www.universetoday.com/100169/comet-panstarrs-how-to-see-it-in-march-2013/).  


Cute Baby Ducks


In the last newsletter, I erred in calling a Surf Scoter a Surf Scooter.  Norm Ellstrand was kind enough to point this out to me.  Now, I’m undecided between showing a bird that Norm can’t identify (which would be tough), or showing one I’m sure to get right.  Here are some cute baby ducks.


Baby Ducks on a log

(click to enlarge)


By the way, if you looking for great photos of a wide variety of birds, see Mark Chappell’s site: http://faculty.ucr.edu/~chappell/INW/birdsindex.shtml. As an added bonus, he’s a professor of biology and less likely to misidentify a bird than a computer scientist.




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