UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter:  Oct 13, 2013

Michael Pazzani

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development


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

Grant Opportunity Search: http://pivot.cos.com  


·         UCOP Research Opportunity Fund

·         Venture Capital: Grayhawk Capital, Nov 12 12:10PM

·         Foundation Funds:  Kress History of Art &  McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience

·         BD2K: NIH Big Data to Knowledge

·         NIH BRAIN Update

·         Research  on Aging

·         Distinguished Speaker:   Larry Smarr, Oct 18, Cyberinfrastructure for Research

·         Grants, Proposals, and the Government Shutdown

·         Birds: Introduced Species

UCOP Research Opportunity Fund Deadline


Research Opportunity Funds are available to help pilot or seed new projects that can demonstrate a strong systemwide benefit to UC research and enhance UC’s ability to compete for funding, advance research discoveries, support innovative graduate student research, inform public policy or otherwise impact the lives of Californians.   Projects must have strong campus support and a clear path for development into long-term, self-sustaining programs.  Funding is open to all fields, and may be used for workshops or meetings, proposal development, public or industry outreach, or other projects that can demonstrate system-wide benefit to UC research. 

Funding requests are accepted throughout the year, and are reviewed and awarded on a quarterly basis.  We encourage you to submit requests as early as possible, particularly if you have questions or want to determine whether your project is appropriate for systemwide research funding. 

For more information, please refer to the updated OVERVIEW, FAQS and examples of RECENTLY FUNDED PROJECTS located at http://www.ucop.edu/research-graduate-studies/_files/research/documents/research_opp_fund.pdf

The deadline for submitting Research Opportunity Fund requests to be reviewed in the spring quarter is Friday, November 8, 2013. 

Venture Capital: Grayhawk Capital, Nov 12 12:10PM


In the last newsletter, I announced the appointment of Gunnar Hurtig as Director of New Ventures. Continuing toward the goal of supporting faculty and students in forming high tech companies, I’m pleased to announce that Brian Burns from Grayhawk capital will give a talk on venture investment on Nov 12 at 12:10PM in The Academic Senate Large Conference Room (Room #220 University Office Building).  Brian will cover


1.      Current Venture Capital  Trends

2.      Intro to Grayhawk Capital

a.      Brief History/Past Investments

b.      Grayhawk Investment Targets

c.       Grayhawk Process

3.      Q&A



Brian N. Burns co-founded Grayhawk Capital in 1999. Grayhawk Capital recently raised its third venture capital fund, Grayhawk Venture Fund II, LP. Mr. Burns has more than 20 years of private equity and venture capital experience. Prior to co-founding Grayhawk Capital, Mr. Burns served as Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of the investment subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp., a $3 billion NYSE company, from 1998 to 2000.  He has also served as Vice President of two other venture capital firms, SunVen Capital and Anderson & Wells, from 1989 to 1998. He has spent a total of 16 years managing SBIC’s. Mr. Burns began his career at Arthur Andersen & Co., working there from 1981 to 1989, becoming a Senior Manager in the Audit Division. Mr. Burns has served on the board of 14 privately held companies and is a member of ASU’s W.P. Carey Alumni Board of Directors. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Arizona State University and has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1984.


Foundation Funds:  Kress History of Art &  McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience


If you are looking for something to do while waiting for the federal government to open, consider a foundation grant.   Pivot (http://pivot.cos.com) can search for foundation grant opportunities as well as federal.  Some examples include


Kress History of Art: Institutional Fellowships.  Advanced training in European art history requires direct exposure to the object of study, prolonged access to key information resources such as libraries and photographic archives, the development of professional relationships with colleagues abroad, and sustained immersion in European cultures. These related needs are often best satisfied by extended engagement with a European art research center. The Kress History of Art: Institutional Fellowships are intended to provide promising young art historians with the opportunity to experience just this kind of immersion.


Deadline: Nov 30, 2013


McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience: The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience supports innovative research designed to bring science closer to the day when diseases of the brain can be accurately diagnosed, prevented, and treated. To this end, the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience invites letters of intent for the 2014 McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Awards. These awards encourage and support scientists working on the development of novel and creative approaches to understanding brain function. The Endowment Fund is especially interested in how a new technology may be used or adapted to monitor, manipulate, analyze, or model brain function at any level, from the molecular to the entire organism. The program seeks to advance and enlarge the range of technologies available to the neurosciences, and research based primarily on existing techniques will not be considered.


Deadline: December 2, 2013


While I can’t list every opportunity in this newsletter for every department, Pivot can.  Give it a try.

BD2K: NIH Big Data to Knowledge

Recent National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and National Library of Medicine (NLM) advisory council meetings have included updates on several aspects of the NIH BD2K Initiative, which aims to address challenges related to the use of biomedical Big Data by supporting research and training in data science.  Below is an overview of the latest activities related to each of the four primary components of the BD2K Initiative:  Centers of Excellence, Facilitating Broad Use of Data, Analysis Methods and Software, and Enhancing Training


Centers of Excellence:  NIH’s goal is to establish Centers of Excellence for Biomedical Big Data, including investigator-initiated and NIH-specified Centers.  The Centers program will incorporate research relevant to the three other focus areas of the BD2K Initiative.   

·         The FOA for investigator-initiated Centers of Excellence for Biomedical Big Data was released on July 22, 2013 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HG-13-009.html).  Letters of Intent are currently  due on October 20, 2013, and applications are due on November 20, 2013.

·         An Applicant Information Webinar was hosted by NIH on September 12, 2013.  NIH intends to make presentation slides and an archived version of the webinar available on the BD2K website (http://bd2k.nih.gov). 

·         NIH will continue to update the “FAQs for the BD2K Center RFA” section of the BD2K website (http://bd2k.nih.gov/faqs.html#sthash.ImQPJZ3F.dpbs).  You may also submit additional questions by emailing NIH directly at BD2KCenterRFA@mail.nih.gov.


Facilitating Broad Use of Data:  NIH’s goal is to better enable the broad use of biomedical data by encouraging data and software sharing, cataloging research datasets to facilitate data location and citation, and engaging with the community to develop data standards.

·         A workshop on Enabling Research Use of Clinical Data took place on September 11-12, 2013.  The need for policy changes, tools, methods, and infrastructure was discussed.  An archived webcast of the workshop is available at http://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?Live=13122 and http://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?Live=13124.

·         A BD2K Data Catalog FOA is expected in FY 2014

·         A BD2K FOA on Frameworks for Community-Based Development of Data and Metadata Standards is expected in FY 2014.


Analysis Methods and Software:  NIH’s goal is to support the development and dissemination of analysis methods and software to meet the needs of the biomedical research community.

·         Responses to NIH’s recent RFI on the Development of Analysis Methods and Software for Big Data (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-HG-13-014.html) will be used to inform a workshop on the topic tentatively planned for Spring 2014.

·         A workshop on Data Integration is also tentatively planned for Spring 2014.


Enhancing Training:  NIH’s goal is to enhance training for biomedical Big Data by increasing the availability of training grants that foster the development of computationally skilled experts in the biomedical sciences and identifying ways in which training grant mechanisms can be used to strengthen the quantitative skills of all biomedical researchers.

·         NIH received approximately 100 responses to its RFI on Training Needs in Response to BD2K (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-HG-13-003.html), and the comments were used to inform a workshop on Enhancing Training for Biomedical Big Data that took place on July 29-30, 2013.  An archived webcast of the workshop is available at http://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?Live=12972 and http://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?Live=12974.  Workshop participants agreed that training should foster the broad development and use of Big Data, the ability to manage data, and the ability to work in integrated teams.  A report on the workshop is currently being drafted by NIH.  


Additional information about the BD2K Initiative, including updates on relevant notices, funding opportunities, FAQs, webinars, and workshops, is available on the BD2K website at http://bd2k.nih.gov, where you can also sign up for the BD2K Listserv.



NIH has issued a report on high-priority research areas for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies in FY 2014.  See http://www.nih.gov/science/brain/ACD_BRAIN_interimreport_executivesummary.htm for details. Below is a summary.


1.      Generate a census of cell types. Characterize all cell types in the nervous system and develop tools to record, mark, and manipulate neurons in vivo; priority given to methods applicable to many animal species including humans.


2.      Create structural maps of the brain. Map connected neurons in local circuits and distributed brain systems to link structure and function; faster, cheaper, scalable technologies for anatomic reconstruction of neural circuits.


3.      Develop new large-scale network recording capabilities. Record dynamic neuronal activity from complete neural networks over long periods in all brain areas.


4.      Develop a suite of tools for circuit manipulation. Develop tools for optogenetics, pharmacogenetics, and biochemical and electromagnetic modulation; emphasis on achieving modulation of circuits in patterns that mimic natural activity.


5.      Link neuronal activity to behavior. Understand how neuronal activity underlies cognition and behavior; develop technologies to quantify and interpret animal behavior at high temporal and spatial resolution.


6.      Integrate theory, modeling, statistics, and computation with experimentation. Foster collaborations between experimentalists and scientists from statistics, physics, mathematics, engineering, and computer science.


7.      Delineate mechanisms underlying human imaging technologies. More effective use of clinical tools for diagnosis and treatments of brain disorders by improving spatial resolution and temporal sampling of human brain imaging techniques.


8.      Create mechanisms to enable collection of human data. Integrate research teams of clinicians, engineers, and scientists to maximize collection of data from humans undergoing brain monitoring or receiving neurotechnology.


9.      Disseminate knowledge and training. Provide training for newly developed methods and their application (i.e. courses in imaging, electrophysiology, optogenetics, statistics, and computational neuroscience.


Distinguished Speaker:   Larry Smarr, Oct 18, Cyberinfrastructure for Research


If you would like to meet with Dr. Smarr after his talk, please contact Toni Grahams (Toni.graham@ucr.edu)



High Performance Cyberinfrastructure for Data-Intensive Research

Larry Smarr

Harry E. Gruber Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, UC San Diego

Director, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology


Friday, October 18, 9:10AM

Genomics Building Auditorium



With the increasing number of digital scientific instruments and sensornets available to university researchers, the need for a high performance cyberinfrastructure (HPCI), separate from the shared Internet, is becoming necessary.  The backbone of such an HPCI are dedicated wavelengths of light on optical fiber, typically with speeds of 10Gbps or 10,000 megabits/sec, roughly 1000x the speed of the shared Internet.  We are fortunate in California to have one of the most advanced optical state networks, the CENIC research and education network.  I will describe future extensions of the CENIC backbone to enable a wide range of disciplinary Big Data research. One extension involves building optical fiber "Big Data Freeways" on UC campuses, similar to the NSF-funded PRISM network now being deployed on the UCSD campus, to feed the coming 100Gbps CENIC campus connections.  These Freeways connect on-campus end users, compute and storage resources, and data-generating devices, such as scientific instruments, with remote Big Data facilities. I will describe uses of PRISM ranging from particle physics to biomedical data to climate research. The second type of extension is high performance wireless networks to cover the rural regions of our counties, similar to the NSF-funded High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) currently deployed in San Diego and Imperial counties.  HPWREN has enabled data-intensive astronomy observations, wildfire detection, first responder connectivity, Internet access to Native American reservations, seismic networks, and nature observatories.


Larry Smarr became founding director in 2000 of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), a University of California San Diego/UC Irvine partnership. He holds the Harry E. Gruber professorship in the Jacobs School’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UCSD. For the previous 15 years as founding director of both the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the National Computational Science Alliance, Smarr helped drive major developments in the planetary information infrastructure: the Internet, the Web, scientific visualization, virtual reality, collaboratories, and global telepresence. His views have been quoted in Science, Nature, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, Wired, Fortune, Business Week, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, and the Australian Broadcasting Company. He gives frequent keynote addresses (www.calit2.net/newsroom/presentations/lsmarr/index.php) at professional conferences and to popular audiences.

Smarr serves as PI on the NSF’s OptIPuter and the Moore Foundation’s CAMERA microbial metagenomics projects, as well as co-PI on the NSF GreenLight Project. Smarr was a member of President Clinton’s Information Technology Advisory Committee and served until 2005 on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health and the NASA Advisory Council. He served on Governor Schwarzenegger’s California Broadband Taskforce in 2007.

Smarr received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975 and conducted observational, theoretical, and computational based astrophysical sciences research for the next 20 years. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1990 he received the Franklin Institute's Delmer S. Fahrney Gold Medal for Leadership in Science or Technology. In 2006 he received two Lifetime Achievement awards: the IEEE Computer Society Tsutomu Kanai Award in distributed computing systems, and the ESRI Award.

Research on Aging


A meeting to bring together researchers on aging from a variety of fields and perspectives.   The goal is to form interdisciplinary connections to make contributions to aging research or to seek external funding for research.  If you’d like to attend, fill out the doodle poll below.




Attendees will be asked to make very brief presentations on their research. The goal is to identify learn more about others research at UCR to  initiate collaborations for joint publications and/or funding.


Grants, Proposals, and the Government Shutdown


General Guidance – You should submit proposals by the due date and time unless otherwise informed.  You may continue work on existing awards unless notified otherwise. Below is  Specific Guidance for NSF, NIH and DOD (MURI).

National Science Foundation

·         Fastlane and Research.gov are not accessible during the shutdown.  

·         Once normal operations resume, NSF will issue guidance regarding any funding opportunities that have a deadline or target date that occurs during the government shutdown.   It is not necessary to circumvent Fastlane and submit NSF proposals via Grants.gov by the original deadline.

·         Do not use the delay as an excuse to postpone completing a proposal.  Proposals with deadlines in late October will not have deadlines extended if the shutdown ends.  Proposals with deadlines while the government is closed may have deadlines a couple of days after the government re-open.

·         See http://www.nsf.gov/outage.html for details

·         The NSF Grants Conference scheduled in Denver, CO, on October 21-22, 2013 has been cancelled.


National Institutes of Health:

·         The eRA Commons is not accessible during the funding lapse.

·         For the duration of the funding lapse, applicants are strongly encouraged by NIH not to submit paper or electronic grant applications to NIH during the period of the lapse.

·         SPA will submit your proposal if you wish to ignore NIH's recommendation.

·         Do not use the delay as an excuse to postpone completing a proposal.  Proposals with deadlines in late October will not have deadlines extended if the shutdown ends.  Proposals with deadlines while the government is closed may have deadlines a couple of days after the government re-opens.

·         See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-13-126.html for details


·         DOD grants submissions are run by contractors and appears to be operating normally.  DOD officials are reported to be communicating with PIs normally about proposals and awards.

·         DOD Multidisciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative (MURI):  White Papers are due no later than 4:00 P.M. (Eastern Time) on Tuesday, 15 October 2013.  NOTE:   The White Papers are submitted by PIs via email and the due date and time is unchanged.  Please cc your contract and grant officer  on your white paper submission.

Birds: Introduced Species

In the last newsletter, I had a photo of an Orange Bishop, a species introduced by man to southern California.    This week, I feature two such birds.  The first is the pin-tailed whydah.  A week or so ago, Marie Bronoel from the UCR libraries emailed me and some other birders about an unusual bird first spotted by Lizbeth Langston near Andulka Park in Riverside, She gave a great description of pin-tailed whydah which I had observed in South Africa and in Huntington Beach.  Here’s a photo of the one from Andulka Park (from the trees behind the tennis courts near the fence that separates the park from private property).   There were several female whydah’s in the area so it appears to be a breeding colony.

Pin-tailed Whydah

(click to enlarge)


The second introduced species is a bird from Southeast Asia, the nutmeg mannikin.  It is becoming more common in the US and was been added to California's official state list by the California Bird Records Committee.  It is also in Andulka Park, but the photo below is from when several visited my house in Riverside a few weeks ago.



Nutmeg Mannikins

(click to enlarge)





The fall migration is underway in southern California, and I’ll return to native birds in future newsletters.



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:  Toni Graham