UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter:  February 22, 2017

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


·         Strategic Considerations in Navigating the NIH System: An insiders perspective: 2/23

·         2018-19 Fulbright Scholar Competition: August 1, 2017

·         Russell Sage Foundation: Computational Social Science

·         NSF: The Future of Thwaites Glacier and its Contribution to Sea-level Rise

·         Marijuana Research Guidelines

·         Lunch Research Meetings:  IMMIGATION (3/6), Sustainability (Moved to 2/27):  High Performance Computing; (Moved to 3/13)

·         Greener Computing

·         Australia: Tawny Frogmouth

Strategic Considerations in Navigating the NIH System: An insiders perspective

Please join us on Thursday, February 23 at 1:30p in Orbach Science Library 240 for a talk by Howard Moss, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UC Riverside.  Howard will deliver a talk called “Strategic Considerations in Navigating the NIH System: An insiders perspective”. 


Bio: Howard B. Moss, M.D. is the former Associate Director for Clinical and Translational Research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland and is now Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California at Riverside School of Medicine. He is a board-certified psychiatrist with added qualifications in the subspecialty of Addiction Psychiatry. He has authored over 175 peer-reviewed scientific journal publications and three books. He has been Professor of Psychiatry at University of Pennsylvania, Vice Chair of Psychiatry at Temple University, and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh prior to assuming his role at N.I.H., and has held a Senior Scientist Award (K05) from National Institute on Drug Abuse. He has been the Scientific Director of two major Federally-funded research centers (P60) at the University of Pittsburgh, and has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on numerous investigator-initiated research grants.


His research has focused on the clinical manifestations of substance use disorders, their etiology, and the intergenerational transmission of risk and resilience. This work has employed diverse methodologies that include psychiatric epidemiology, neuroimaging, behavior genetics, advanced statistical methods, neurochemistry/neuropharmacology, psychophysiology, and biomarker development.


Note: I’m planning a panel of faculty who have served on NIH study sections recently.  If you have, and would like to participate, please contact me.  A separate session on NSF panels is planned and if you’ve been on a NSF panel recently and would like to participate, please contact me.



2018-19 Fulbright Scholar Competition Deadline August 1, 2017

The Fulbright Scholar Program offers teaching, research or a combination of teaching/research awards in over 125 countries for the 2018-2019 academic year. Opportunities are available for faculty, administrators, professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars and many others.


The application deadline for most awards is August 1, 2017.  U.S. citizenship is required.  For eligibility requirements and detailed award descriptions, visit the Fulbright Scholar website at:  http://www.cies.org/ or contact them at scholars@iie.org.




Marijuana Research Guidance


UCOP has issued guidance on Marijuana Research. http://researchmemos.ucop.edu/php-app/index.php/site/document?memo=UlBBQy0xNy0wMQ==&doc=3663   


This Guidance Memorandum is intended to provide information for University of California (UC) researchers and research administrators regarding the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, Proposition 64, which became law on January 1, 2017, and this new law’s effect on marijuana research conducted at the University of California (UC).



Russell Sage Foundation: Computational Social Science



Russell Sage Foundation (RSF) http://www.russellsage.org/research/funding/call-proposals-computational-social-science



Upper  $150,000

Applications must be limited to no more than a two-year period, with a maximum of $150,000 per project (including overhead).

Letter of Inquiry: (required) 21 Aug 2017
Full Proposal: 15 Nov 2017


Social science research on many topics has often been hampered by the limitations associated with survey data. However, the digital age has rapidly increased access to large and comprehensive data sources such as publicmore » and private administrative databases, and unique new sources of information from online transactions, social-media interactions, and internet searches. New computational tools also allow for the extraction, coding, and analysis of large volumes of text. Advances in analytical methods for exploiting and analyzing data have accompanied the rise of these data. The emergence of these new data also raises questions about access, privacy and confidentiality.

The Russell Sage Foundation's initiative on Computational Social Science (CSS) supports innovative social science research that brings new data and methods to bear on questions of interest in its core programs in Behavioral Economics, Future of Work, Race, Ethnicity and Immigration, and Social Inequality. Limited consideration will be given to questions that pertain to core methodologies, such as causal inference and innovations in data collection. Examples of research (some recently funded by RSF) that are of interest include, but are not restricted to, the following:

Linked Administrative Data

Chetty, Friedman and Rockoff (2014a; 2014b) linked school district administrative records with federal income tax data to identify which teachers, in the short term, have the largest impact on student achievement, and in the longer-term, to show that students assigned to teachers with higher value-added scores have higher college attendance and higher salaries as adults.

Imberman, Lovenheim and Andrews link K-12 student-level administrative data from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), post-secondary administrative data from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and individual quarterly earnings data from the state's Workforce Commission to assess the effectiveness of targeted scholarship programs on educational attainment and earnings in young adulthood.

Private Administrative Data

Normative decision theory implies that a dollar is a dollar no matter its source, but psychological research suggests that financial windfalls or additional expenses have different effects depending on which "mental accounts" they impact. Shapiro and Hastings analyze retail panel data (500,000 households, 6 billion transactions) to understand "mental accounting," or how households think about and spend money from different sources.


Evidence from tax return data suggests no clear trend in intergenerational income mobility for recent cohorts of young adults (Chetty et al., 2014a; 2014b). In contrast, survey data suggest an increasing intergenerational persistence of occupational mobility. To date, no single "big data" source allows the analysis of income and occupational mobility simultaneously. Hout and Grusky are utilizing a machine-learning approach to code taxpayer occupation on Internal Revenue Service forms consistent with Current Population Survey records that already have respondent occupation reliably coded.

Online Surveys and Experiments

Survey response rates for in-person and telephone interviews have declined significantly and surveys are expensive to administer. Salganik and Levy (2015) highlight the advantage of Wiki surveys that have data collection instruments that can capture as much information as a respondent is willing to provide, collect information contributed by respondents that was unanticipated by the researcher, and modify the instrument as more information is obtained.

The literature showing an association between race and economic outcomes is extensive, but it is difficult to determine the extent to which these associations are due to racial discrimination or characteristics correlated with race. Doleac and Stein (2013) use online classified advertisements to examine the effect of race on market outcomes by featuring a photograph of the item for sale, and experimentally manipulating the color of the seller's hand (dark or light-skinned). They find that black sellers receive fewer and lower offers than white sellers, and that buyer communication with black sellers indicates lower levels of trust.

Text Analysis

Bail (2012) assessed competing predictions about how civil society organizations influence media portrayals of Muslims in the aftermath of 9/11. Using plagiarism detection software, he compared press releases about Muslims produced by civil society organizations to more than 50,000 newspaper articles and television transcripts produced between 2001 and 2008. He finds that anti-Muslim fringe organizations were overrepresented in media portrayals and exerted a powerful influence on media discourse, allowing these groups to evolve and become part of the "mainstream."

Enns and colleagues hypothesize that levels of redistributive and egalitarian policy rhetoric will decline as the level of campaign contributions from wealthy donors and business interests increase. Using data on campaign contributions collected by the Federal Election Commission from the 1970s through the present, they incorporate automated content analysis and other qualitative analysis software to examine all speeches and content inserted into the Congressional Record by members of Congress during the same period.

Jelveh, Kogut, and Naidu (2015) used a combination of machine-learning and text tools to examine the extent to which social science empirical research has an ideological bias. Using a large corpus of economic articles, they created partisan scores for economists whose political contributions are recorded in Federal Election Commission data. Articles written by economists with known political ideology provided the text that was mined to predict the ideological scores of economists whose political preferences are unknown.

Social Media

The large volume of data from social media sites and online interactions presents methodological challenges because the data are often highly unstructured and lack demographic information that is central to social science research. Bail (2015) describes the development and application of "social media survey apps" (SMSAs) using Facebook data to illustrate how such data can be mined to study organizational behavior. McCormick and colleagues (2015) developed and implemented a method for retrieving demographic information from non-text images using Twitter data. Barberá (2016) combines voting registration records and home valuations from Zillow with Twitter data to generate representative public opinion estimates. He uses machine learning methods to estimate key demographics (age, gender, race, income, party affiliation, propensity to vote) of any Twitter user in the U.S.

Funding Considerations

Applicants should specify how the proposed project informs and advances RSF's computational social science research priorities in its core program areas: Behavioral Economics, Future of Work, Race, Ethnicity and Immigration, and Social Inequality. RSF values reproducibility and open science, and where applicable, investigators should explain their data release plan (data, code, codebooks) or any prohibitions on providing such materials.

Examples of the kinds of questions that are of interest can be found on the Foundation's website, but examples include:

Program on Behavioral Economics
- What are the psychological consequences of income scarcity and how do they affect individual decision-making and judgment?
- What factors influence decision-making processes that involve tradeoffs between costs and benefits that occur at different points in time, or the tendency to over-value immediate rewards at the expense of longer-term benefits?

Program on the Future of Work
- To what extent have labor market changes affected family formation, transitions to adulthood, or social mobility?
- Job quality is related to many different factors including government policies (e.g., minimum-wage laws or parental and sick leave policies) and employer instituted policies (e.g., flex hours, retirement plans). What are the consequences of such policies for employers, workers and families?

Program on Race, Ethnicity and Immigration
- How do race-related beliefs evolve in the context of growing population diversity?
- What is the impact of immigration policies on the social and political development of immigrants? To what extent have these policies influenced public opinion, inter-group relations or civic participation?

Program on Social Inequality
- To what extent has increased economic inequality (income, wealth, consumption) affected equality of opportunity or social mobility?
- Are changes in the labor market and occupational structure related to changes in economic inequality?

Funding is available for secondary analysis of data or for original data collection. RSF is especially interested in novel uses of new or under-utilized data and new methods for analyzing these data. Smaller projects might consist of a pilot study to demonstrate proof-of-concept. RSF encourages methodological variety and inter-disciplinary collaboration. Proposed projects must have well-developed conceptual frameworks and research designs. Analytical models must be specified and research questions and hypotheses (where applicable) must be clearly stated.


If you want help finding a collaborator, please contact me.



NSF: The Future of Thwaites Glacier and its Contribution to Sea-level Rise


Although I realize funding from this program will interest few faculty, the fact that exists at all may interest more.


Full Proposal Deadline Date: March 1, 2017.

Click for details: Thwaites: The Future of Thwaites Glacier and its Contribution to Sea-level Rise



Considerable uncertainty remains in projections of future ice loss from West Antarctica.  Reducing this uncertainty is an international priority that was recently underscored by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research in its “Horizon Scan 2020” (SCAR, 2015). The recent U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report (A Strategic Vision for NSF Investments in Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research, 2015) places prediction of ice mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) as the top priority for Antarctic research, and singles out Thwaites Glacier as a “region of particular concern”.

Building on this community priority, and recognizing that such research is becoming an increasingly global endeavor with demands that exceed the capacities of any one nation, NSF and the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have developed this joint program with the objective to substantially improve both decadal and longer-term (century-to-multi-century) projections of ice loss and sea-level rise originating from Thwaites Glacier.




2017 Faculty Networking Lunches


Due to other campus meetings on Mondays, the Sustainability Lunch has been moved to Feb 27 and the High Performance Computing Lunch to 3/13


Sustainability Research and Education on 2/27/17 (register here: https://sustainability-lunch.eventbrite.com)

Immigration: Research on immigration  3/6/17 (register here. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ucr-immigation-research-discussion-tickets-31567187307

High Performance Computing on 3/13/17 (register here:  https://high_performance_computing.eventbrite.com)


The goal is get faculty with common interests to meet each other in an informal setting and discuss possible collaborations.  All lunches are held at 11:55-1:00 in University Office Building Room 210.


The immigration lunch is intended to be broad covering all aspects of research on immigration populations as well as immigration policy.  It will catered by a local Persian restaurant and include vegetarian and halal dishes.




Greener Computing

Computers now consume a significant portion of US, campus and home electrical energy. The US government (still) has a website on how to save energy with your desktop or laptop computing. thttps://www.energystar.gov/products/low_carbon_it_campaign/power_management_computer


The most important step one can take is putting the computer to sleep after it is idle for a few minutes.  Years ago, sleep mode was available on laptops to save battery power, but nearly all desktop computers now support it to save energy when plugged in.


See directions below for windows and IOS:


1.      Type “sleep” in the search programs in file box (available when you click on the windows Icon on the lower left)

2.      Select “change when the computer sleeps” (under Control panel)

3.      Select times for turning off the display and putting the computer to sleep.


Mac (IOS)

1.      Click on the apple symbol (Apple Menu) in the upper left of your screen.

2.      Go to "System Preferences"

3.      Click "Show All" (if necessary)

4.      Select "Energy Saver" from the "Hardware" row

5.      Set "Put the computer to sleep when it is inactive for" to 30 minutes using the slider

6.      Set "Put the Display to Sleep when the computer is inactive for" to 5 minutes using the slider

Manually activating power management on Macs Image


Of course, turning the computer off when not in use saves even more energy.  While you are it, turn the lights off when you leave the room. This helps reduce the carbon footprint of the university or your home.



Australia: Tawny Frogmouth


I’m still a bit too busy to go birding in California, and the birds in my yard seem ordinary compared to those from my Australia trip.  So, here’s two photos of Tawny Frogmouths from Australia.  The perch on braches in the day time and are day camouflaged as part of the tree.



(click photo to enlarge)



From the photo above, one might wonder why they are called frogmouths, but it’s obvious from the fledgings below (that haven’t fully mastered the art of camoflauge)


(click photo to enlarge)