UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter:  December 21, 2014

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  



·         Keck Foundation

·         US Department of Education GAANN grants

·         New NIH Biographical Sketch Format Required Starting January 25, 2015

·         NSF and NIH SBIR/STTR Workshop Dec 5

·         Cluster Hiring

·         Stony Brook Cluster Hiring: Cyber-security as part of the new National Security Institute

·          Purdue University:  Cluster Hire in K-12 Integrated STEM Teacher Education

·         University of Kansas:  Assistant/Associate Professor of Haitian Languages/Caribbean Studies

·         Virginia Tech: FOOD SYSTEMS AND HEALTH

·         Evening Grosbeak



Keck Foundation


The Keck Foundation offers the opportunity to discuss potential proposals with universities before full proposals are submitted. They foundation allows each university to submit one medical research and one science or engineering proposals (see http://www.wmkeck.org/grant-programs/grant-programs.html for details)  If you are interested in applying to Keck for the upcoming submission, please contact Helen Magid helen.magid@ucr.edu as soon as possible.  An abstract of less than one page will help focus the conversation and is needed by January 10.  An ideal abstract might a disruptive proposal that you haven’t submitted to a federal agency because it’s too early or one that was declined by a federal agency with reviews that indicated that the research is extremely innovative and exciting and would have a large impact, but is too risky due to the lack of preliminary data.


In my experience, the most common reasons that proposals are rejected by Keck is that they are not ambitious enough, i.e., an incremental advance over the state of the art vs. creating a new paradigm.


Funding is awarded for projects in medicine, science and engineering for research that:





US Department of Education GAANN grants


Soon, the U.S. Department of Education is expected to release its next GAANN (Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need) solicitation.  The grant provides fellowships for 4-7 Ph.D. students per Ph.D. program. Each year, the department determines which areas of national need.  In general, engineering, physical sciences and life sciences are always included in the list.  However, recent legislation is likely to expand this to include Ph.D.’s in Education, Humanities and Social Science.


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.


When the call for proposals comes out, we’ll immediately notify graduate programs.  However, GAANN often gives less than 45 days to apply, so it pays to start thinking about this now.




New NIH Biographical Sketch Format Required starting January 25, 2015


(from Mitch Boretz) NIH is implementing a new biographical sketch format as of January 25, 2015. Proposals due before then can use the old format or the new; proposals after January 25 must use the new format. The guidelines for the new format are at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-15-024.html. You can get a template and example of the new bio format at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm#format.


Below are the new guidelines.  You now can include links to things like videos or animations showing results of your work, or even TV items about you. If you use MyBibliography or SciENcv, you are allowed to provide a link to a list of ALL of your publications.



New Biographical Sketch Format Required for NIH and AHRQ Grant Applications Submitted for Due Dates on or After January 25, 2015


Notice Number: NOT-OD-15-024


Key Dates Release Date: November 26, 2014


Related Announcements: NOT-OD-15-032 supersedes this notice. NOT-OD-14-091


Issued by: National Institutes of Health (NIH) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)


Purpose: This Notice confirms that NIH and AHRQ will require use of a new biosketch format in applications for research grants submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2015. Between now and that time, applicants will have the choice of using the old or new biosketch format.


Background: The transition to the new biosketch format follows a Request for Information and a series of pilot Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) using the new format over the last year. Input from the pilots suggests that the instructions for the new forms were clear and that a majority of the applicants and reviewers felt that the new format would be helpful in describing the past experience and qualifications of researchers.


New Format: The revised forms and instructions are now available on the SF 424 (R&R) Forms and Applications page. The new format extends the page limit from four to five pages, and allows researchers to describe up to five of their most significant contributions to science, along with the historical background that framed their research. Investigators can outline the central findings of prior work and the influence of those findings on the investigator’s field. Investigators involved in Team Science are provided the opportunity to describe their specific role(s) in the work. Each description can be accompanied by a listing of up to four relevant peer-reviewed publications or other non-publication research products, including audio or video products; patents; data and research materials; databases; educational aids or curricula; instruments or equipment; models; protocols; and software or netware that are relevant to the described contribution. In addition to the descriptions of specific contributions and documentation, researchers will be allowed to include a link to a full list of their published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as MyBibliography or SciENcv .


Tool to Help Build the New Biosketch: The Science Experts Network (SciENcv), which serves as an interagency system designed to create biosketches for multiple federal agencies, will be updated and available within a few weeks to support the new biosketch format. SciENcv pulls information from available resources making it easy to develop a repository of information that can be readily updated and modified to prepare future biosketches. A YouTube video provides instructions for using SciENcv.


Inquiries Please direct all inquiries to: Grants Information Office of Extramural Research (OER) National Institutes of Health (NIH) Phone: 301-435-0714 Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov




NSF and NIH SBIR Workshop December 5th


UCR hosted a workshop on the NSF and NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs on Dec 5, 2014.   It featured talks by an NSF program director, a local entrepreneur involved with the SBIR program, and a panel of UCR faculty who have been involved in these grants.   Below are links to the speaker presentations


Steven Konsek: Overview of SBIR/STTR at National Science Foundation (presentation here:  http://research.ucr.edu/webdocs/vcr/misc/SBIR-STTR__NSF_Webinar_5Dec2014_Konsek.pdf)


Molly Schmid: Overview of NIH SBIR/STTR programs (presentation here:  http://research.ucr.edu/webdocs/vcr/misc/SBIR-STTR_NIH_UCR_5Dec2014.pdf)




Cluster Hiring


The next four items are job ads from other universities. The goal is not to encourage UCR faculty to apply for these jobs, nor to serve as specific ideas for cluster hiring at UCR, but rather to serve as examples of the goals and ambitions behind cluster hiring.

Stony Brook hiring multiple Senior/Junior Positions in Cyber-security as part of the new National Security Institute


Multiple Faculty Positions in the National Security Institute (NSI).


Stony Brook University, the flagship state university of New York, is establishing the National Security Institute (NSI). The NSI vision and its core mission are bold: to secure our homeland by researching and developing technologies and insights for secure, trustworthy, and available communications and computing platforms. NSI's goal is to become a world leader in research, the education of professionals, security technology, business and policy, and raising awareness. NSI will span multiple disciplines and establish public-private partnerships to develop new holistic socio-technological solutions for securing our highly-digital societies; it will engage not only in research but also in the education of professionals in defense, national and cyber-security, assurance, healthcare, and policy. A comprehensive assurance education program will be established, to train not only Stony Brook students but also the broader corporate and academic community. NSI will leverage the team's strengths to spawn a steady stream of successful security-centric technology startups.


NSI is part of a bold new initiative, undertaken as part of the New York SUNY 2020 vision plan, to hire more than 250 faculty members at Stony Brook to expand teaching and research in emerging fields of study that cut across traditional boundaries of academic disciplines. During the next few years, NSI will recruit a total of six new faculty members whose research interests span a wide spectrum of areas, including Computing Hardware Security, Cloud Computing and Distributed Systems Security, Health Technologies Security, Security and Privacy in Online Social Networks, Big Data Security and Privacy, and Regulatory Compliance and Policy among others.


Academic appointments for cluster faculty will be based on their areas of research and will be hosted as appropriate, in the Departments of Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Psychology, Applied Math, the College of Business and the School of Health Technology and Management. A number of these positions will be joint appointments.


Currently we seek multiple tenure-track faculty members at the junior or senior level to begin in the Fall of 2014. Exceptionally qualified candidates in all areas of cyber security are invited to apply. In this round of recruitment, applications from candidates with expertise in Computing Hardware Security, Cloud Computing and Distributed Systems Security, Health Technology Security, Security and Privacy in Online Social Networks, Big Data Security and Privacy, and Regulatory Compliance and Policy are particularly encouraged.





Purdue University:  Cluster Hire in K-12 Integrated STEM Teacher Education


POSITION: Purdue University is transforming its STEM teacher education as it exists today—from a model of instruction in demarcated subject areas to a model in which teachers learn to integrate scientific inquiry, engineering and technological design, and mathematical thinking and reasoning as pedagogical approaches to STEM instruction. To this end, the Colleges of Education, Science, Engineering, and Agriculture at Purdue University invite applications for three full-time, tenure-track, jointly appointed positions at the level of assistant, associate, or full professor to join the new K-12 Integrated STEM Teacher Education Initiative. Specifically, we are seeking dynamic, innovative, and collaboration-oriented applicants for:


        One position in Physics Education: Joint appointment in the College of Education (Department of Curriculum and Instruction) and the College of Science (Department of Physics and Astronomy). The majority appointment/tenure home and minority appointment will be determined based on the interest and credentials of the candidate. If applicant’s PhD is in an education-related field, then a minimum of a Master’s degree in physics is preferred.


        One position in Engineering Education: Majority appointment/tenure home in the College of Engineering (School of Engineering Education) and a minority appointment in the College of Education (Department of Curriculum and Instruction); a PhD in engineering or education with at least one degree in engineering or closely related field is required for this position.


        One position in Agricultural Education: This position is a majority appointment in the College of Agriculture (Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education); Minority appointment in the College of Education (Department of Curriculum and Instruction); a PhD in education with one degree or professional experiences in agriculture, food or environmental sciences, or closely related STEM field is required for this position. The integrated STEM initiative at Purdue is focused squarely on the teaching and learning of science and mathematics through the integration of engineering and technological design. Successful candidates will be expected to make a strong contribution to advancing the integrated K-12 STEM teacher education initiative; build collaborative relationships with colleagues in the cluster hire and related disciplines; and provide leadership for ongoing efforts to transform K-12 teacher preparation in STEM disciplines.


Purdue University is an ADVANCE institution, and the Colleges of Education, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Agriculture are committed to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort, including research, teaching, and engagement.



University of Kansas:  Assistant/Associate Professor of Haitian Languages/Caribbean Studies


The University of Kansas African & African-American Studies Department invites candidates to apply for a tenure-track faculty position at the Assistant or Associate Professor level. The area of specialization is open, but special consideration will be given to applicants who can teach Haitian Creole and who have professional knowledge of global Haitian communities and Afro-Caribbean history and culture.  The successful candidate will demonstrate evidence of excellence in teaching, research, and service.  The candidate selected may also lead our Institute of Haitian Studies as her/his primary service to the department, as well as will have opportunities for affiliation with the University’s Kansas African Studies Center and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, both Title VI National Resource Centers. The search is part of an emerging cluster of hires in the area of “Migration, Immigration, Diaspora, and Human Trafficking.”






As part of Virginia Tech’s continuing expansion in the areas of basic and translational biomedical research, the university has undertaken a series of cluster hires in areas such as Prevention and Treatment of Obesity, Infectious and Vector Borne Disease, Drug Discovery, Food Microbiology, and Psychosocial and Community Factors in Health.  For 2013-2014, the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS) is soliciting candidates for six tenure-track faculty positions focused on molecular, translational, and behavioral approaches to the enhancement of Food Safety and Human Health.

The cluster in Food Safety and Health cluster is timely because chronic human diseases increasingly threaten the well-being and lifespans of not just the aging members of our population, but youth who have adopted unhealthy lifestyles.  Informed by the knowledge generated through basic biomedical research, nutrition, environment, and lifestyle can help ameliorate or exacerbate a person’s susceptibility to and the progression of a wide spectrum of diseases ranging from hypertension to diabetes.

The disciplines at Virginia Tech, and in CALS specifically, encompass a spectrum ranging from basic molecular research to community systems to crop production.  Nutrition, environment, and lifestyle can help ameliorate or exacerbate a person’s susceptibility to and the progression of a wide spectrum of diseases ranging from hypertension to diabetes.  The cluster is designed to address and ultimately leverage these interrelationships.  Specifically, how the nature of methods of production and processing affect the nutritional value of food.  How pricing, labeling, and sociocultural values influence food choice and preparation.  What is the impact of built-environment, community norms, and socioeconomic status in determining lifestyle and food choices.  Exploiting knowledge of the origins and etiology of chronic human diseases to develop means for early detection and prevention or more effective therapeutic interventions to foster lifelong health and well-being in an economically sound and environmentally sustainable manner are cluster goals.

Faculty positions associated with the cluster are divided into two general themes: “Health Promotion and Disease Prevention” and “Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems” The first six positions are tenure-track assistant professor faculty positions within the two areas to promote synergy in and between departments.  The four health positions are in the Departments of Biochemistry

 and Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise. The two in food systems will be located at the Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center (ESAREC) and affiliated with the Departments of Horticulture and Food Science and Technology.


Evening Grosbeak


Here’s a photo of an evening grosbeak from Big Bear Lake.  This bird is somewhat rare in Southern California but a group has been returning to the woods next to the Big Bear Civic center for several years.