October 25, 2017


UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter


Michael Pazzani

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development

Grant Opportunity Search:


In this Newsletter


·     CORRECTION: Limited Submission: Brain Research Foundation 2018 Fay/Frank Seed Grant

·     USDA Presentation with Irma Lawrence - October 27, 2017

·     Why was my NSF Proposal declined?

·     Visit by NSF CISE Assistant Director: An Expanding and Expansive View of Computing

·     Honing your Proposal Writing Skills

·     Visit by Vipin Chaudhary from NSF - October 30, 2017

·     NSF Call for Science and Technology Centers

·     ORI Seminar Series: The Common Rule Revisions

·     Reminder: Research Lunches

·     Center for Advanced Neuroimaging User Meeting - December 1, 2017

·     Baby Flamingo


CORRECTION: Limited Submission: Brain Research Foundation 2018 Fay/Frank Seed Grant


In the last newsletter, we concentrated so much on the format that we didn't notice we provided info from Penn State on how to apply. We've updated it to include the UCR process.


·     Internal Submission Deadline: Friday, November 17, 2017

·     Funding Organization's Deadline: Monday, January 8, 2018

·     Award Cycle: 2018

·     Discipline/Subject Area: Neuroscience Research

·     Eligibility: Full-time Assistant or Associate Professor working in the area of brain function

·     Apply at


Brain Research Foundation has invited eligible US institutions to nominate one faculty member (Assistant or Associate Professor) to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the Fay/Frank Seed Grant Program.


Brain Research Foundation’s Annual Seed Grant Program was initiated in 1981. The purpose of our program is to provide start-up monies for new research projects in the field of neuroscience that will likely lead to extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other outside funding sources.

Objectives: The objective of the BRF Seed Grant Program is to support new and innovative projects, especially those of junior faculty, who are working in new research directions. BRF Seed Grant awards are not intended to supplement existing grants.

Funding and award period: Each total grant is limited to $80,000 (direct costs) for a two year grant period. The first grant payment of $40,000 will be made upon completion of the Seed Grant Acceptance Form (June 2018). The final payment of $40,000 will be made contingent upon receipt of a Preliminary Progress and Financial Report (June 2019). Funds must be utilized within the grant period.

Funding Specifics:

1.) Funding is to be directed at pilot research projects that are both innovative and will likely lead to successful grant applications to NIH and other public and private funding entities.

2.) Assistant Professor – Junior faculty with a new research project that will generate pilot data that will lead to RO1 funding or a comparable outside grant will be first priority. Must provide abstract and specific aims for current grants and indicate if there is any overlap.

3.) Associate Professor – Faculty who are pursuing new research directions. Must explain how the project is a new research direction. Must provide abstract and specific aims for current grant(s) and indicate if there is any overlap.

4.) A new technique is not considered a new direction unless it pertains to a different area of study.

5.) Seed Grants are NOT to be used for bridge funding between grants.


USDA Presentation with Irma Lawrence


Irma Lawrence, National Program Leader for the USDA HIS Education Grants Program, will visit UCR on October 27, 2017. During her time on campus, she will give a presentation on current USDA initiatives and opportunities from 11:00-12:30pm in Campbell Lab/University Lab Building, Room 101.


Irma is passionate about diversifying the aging USDA workforce and encourages underrepresented students to apply for USDA internships that often lead to permanent jobs. She is very interested in expanding the pipeline from UCR to USDA/NIFA because she has only recently recognized UCRs diverse student body and our world class faculty in plant biology, entomology, and microbiology (and other areas that she is currently unaware of).


Why was my NSF proposal declined?


Recently, we went through the reviews of some NSF proposals from last year. Here are some comments on the intellectual merit. Avoiding these mistakes will increase the chances of acceptance.

·     Because the topic is similar to some of the work from the PI's past graduate/postdoc work, I suggest that the PI articulate how the proposed work represents a new and independent direction from past work with mentors. 

·     The rationale for the expected relationship … was not richly described or grounded in relevant literature

·     More thought seems needed on the plan for gathering and analyzing data

·     There was some concern that the planned experiments did not map directly to the hypotheses outlined

·     My only serious criticism of the proposal (which is why I rated it as "very good" rather than "excellent") is that the topic of focus … does not seem to be particularly well-motivated lack of detail in the description of the experiments…,

·      lack of justifications some of the experimental conditions

·     A minor weakness is the lack of detail

·     The proposal rests on a great deal of speculation.

·     there are already many similar reports in literature

·     The concepts are not new and some of them are from the PI's previous postdoc work a few years ago

·     The proposed work, however, is not completely novel.

·     The research topic is not theoretically grounded in the literature.

·      While many details are included in the proposed approach, it is not entirely clear how…

·     The innovation of this proposal is modest

·      The panel noted few weaknesses on Intellectual Merit; however, the proposal would have benefited from careful proofreading.

·      The proposed experiments on … were considered short on preliminary data and lacking appropriate controls.


Visit by NSF CISE Assistant Director: An Expanding and Expansive View of Computing


Speaker: Jim Kurose (Distinguished Lecture Series)

Category: Colloquium

Affiliation: National Science Foundation

Location: Bourns A125

Date: Friday, October 27, 2017

Time: 11:10am — 12:00pm 



Advances in computer and information science and engineering are providing unprecedented opportunities for research and education. My talk will begin with an overview of CISE activities and programs at the National Science Foundation and include a discussion of current trends that are shaping the future of our discipline. I will also discuss the opportunities as well as the challenges that lay ahead for our community and for CISE.



Dr. Jim Kurose is the Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE). He leads the CISE Directorate, with an annual budget of more than $900 million, in its mission to uphold the nation's leadership in scientific discovery and engineering innovation through its support of fundamental research in computer and information science and engineering, state-of-the-art cyberinfrastructure, and education and workforce development. 

Dr. Kurose is on leave from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is a Distinguished Professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences. He has served in a number of administrative roles at UMass and has been a Visiting Scientist at IBM Research; INRIA; Institut EURECOM; the University of Paris; the Laboratory for Information, Network and Communication Sciences; and Technicolor Research Labs. 

His research interests include network protocols and architecture, network measurement, sensor networks, multimedia communication, and modeling and performance evaluation. Dr. Kurose has served on many national and international advisory boards and panels and has received numerous awards for his research and teaching. With Keith Ross, he is the co-author of the textbook, Computer Networking, a top down approach (6th edition) published by Addison-Wesley/Pearson. 

Dr. Kurose received his Ph.D. in computer science from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics from Wesleyan University. He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).


Honing Your Proposal Writing Skills


George A. Hazelrigg, a program director at NSF has some hints on writing propsoals. Here are my favorite excerpts. See for more.


It should be totally obvious that the most important thing a reviewer wants to know when he or she picks up a proposal is what it’s about. Ergo, for NSF, the first sentence of paragraph one, page one should begin, “The research objective of this proposal is...” In my experience, any other sentence used to start the proposal results in a lower rating.


There are many words that, to reviewers, mean “not research.” These include “develop,” “design,” “optimize,” “control,” “manage,” and so on. If your statement of your research objective includes one of these words, for example, “The research objective of this proposal is to develop....,” you have just told the reviewers that your objective is not research, and your rating will be lower.


Visit by Vipin Chaudhary from NSF - October 30, 2017


Vipin Chaudhary from NSF will be visiting UCR on October 30, 2017. Chaudhary will be giving two talks while at UCR:


CSE colloquium: "Opportunities for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure in Science and Engineering" 

11:10-12:00pm, Bourns A125


Business School colloquium: "“NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps™): Preparing Scientists and Engineers to Accelerate the Economic and Societal Benefits”

5:40-7:10pm, Anderson Hall 118


You can find more information about Dr. Chaudhary here:


NSF Call for Science and Technology Centers


The National Science Foundation issues a call for the Science and Technology Centers every few years. These are typically $5M a year for 5 Years (renewable for another 5). When the call comes out, it's too late to put a team together, so NOW is a good to time to think about something ambitious. Below are summaries of the last STCs awarded in 2016.


Center for Bright BeamsJ. Ritchie Patterson, Georg H. Hoffstaetter, Cornell University

Accelerators are important scientific tools that use beams of charged particles to investigate particle physics. This center's overarching research goal is to decrease the cost of key accelerator technologies while simultaneously increasing the intensity ("brightness") of charged particle beams by two orders of magnitude (roughly 100 times more intense). This STC will contribute to scientific advances in many disciplines, ranging from physics, to chemistry, to biology, by enhancing accelerator capabilities. The center will partner Cornell University with the University of Chicago; Chicago State University; the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Florida; the University of Maryland; Brigham Young University; Morehouse College; Clark Atlanta University; the University of Toronto; the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and TRIUMF (Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics and accelerator-based science).


Center for Cellular ConstructionWallace Marshall, Zev J. Gartner, Wendell Lim, University of California, San Francisco

Cell biology is a rapidly expanding field of science that explores the structure and properties of cells, yielding revolutionary discoveries in biology. This center's goal is to transform cell biology into a discipline that uses tools from engineering, and the physical and computer sciences to generate a greater understanding of the rules that govern cell behavior, while also enabling the design of cells that have useful functions. The center will develop tools to predict, design and test the impact on cellular function of changes to their internal organization. It will also create tools for building multicellular and multi-organism structures and develop living "bioreactors" that will generate products of commercial value. This STC will partner the University of California, San Francisco with University of California, Berkeley; San Francisco State University; Stanford University; the IBM Almaden Research Center; and the Exploratorium.


Science and Technology Center for Engineering MechanoBiology, Yale E. Goldman, Vivek B. Shenoy, Rebecca G. Wells, University of Pennsylvania; Guy Genin, Ram V. Dixit, Washington University in St. Louis; Christopher Chen, Boston University

Mechanobiology is a field that focuses on how forces influence plant and animal systems. This center's mission is to discover the principles that govern how biological systems communicate using molecular and cellular methods. The center will provide the intellectual foundations and materials for engineering new and powerful cell-based devices, and for training students in the foundations of mechanobiology. The center will bring together leading researchers from a diverse group of disciplines and institutions at the intersection of biology, mechanics and engineering. This STC will partner the University of Pennsylvania with Washington University in St. Louis; the University of Maryland; the New Jersey Institute of Technology; Bryn Mawr College; Alabama State University; and Boston University.


Science and Technology Center on Real-Time Functional ImagingMargaret Murnane, Rafael Piestun, Markus B. Raschke, University of Colorado at Boulder; Naomi S. Ginsberg,University of California, Berkeley; Jianwei Miao, University of California, Los Angeles

As discoveries in science and technology proliferate at the nanometer and atomic scales, real-time functional imaging, which gives researchers the ability to detect what's happening at those tiny scales, becomes increasingly important. This center aims to advance real-time functional imaging by moving away from the current approach of using microscopes that employ a single imaging method -- optical, X-ray, nano-probe or electron microscopy, for example -- by combining and improving those techniques. Ultimately, the center seeks to enhance the research community's understanding of the structure and functionality of various types of matter as they change over time. This STC will partner the University of Colorado at Boulder with Fort Lewis College; Florida International University; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of California, Irvine and the University of California, Los Angeles.


ORI Seminar Series: The Common Rule Revision


UCR’s Office of Research Integrity (ORI) is proud to present the first talk in the 2017-18 Seminar Series. The ORI Seminar Series focus on ethical dilemmas and hot topics in human subjects research.


November seminar, entitled “The Common Rule Revisions: Implications for Social Sciences, Humanities and Biomedical Research”, will be led by Dario Kuzmanović, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Office for Research Integrity. The talk will take place on November 2 at 1:00 pm in HUB 367.


Summary: Scientists and universities have long complained about the conflicting and burdensome patchwork of regulations governing research in the US. In the past 2 years, there have been major federal initiates to change that governing landscape and improve efficiencies. The 2017 Common Rule revisions are the most comprehensive changes to the human subjects protections in the last 30 years. If accepted, these changes will have an effect on all those who do research with humans. The proposed changes are expected to affect everything from oral histories to tissue research. This talk will also discuss how another piece of regulations (21st Century Cures Act) promises to have an ever more profound impact on all types of research done in universities. 

This seminar is free and open to the public. No registration is required but seating is limited. Light refreshments will be provided


Reminder: Research Lunches


You can still RSVP for the upcoming Research and Economic Development Research Lunches


Numerical Simulation Research Lunch, November 13 starting at noon in UOB 145 


Autism Research Lunch, November 20 starting at noon in UOB 210 

The lunches are catered by a local Thai restaurant and include vegetarian and gluten-free options.


Center for Advanced Neuroimaging User Meeting - December 1, 2017


The Center for Advanced Neuroimaging (CAN) will host a user meeting on Friday December 1st from 3-5:30 PM. The open house will consist of presentations covering updates from the center and testimonies of current users, and an informal reception. The presentations will be held in the Goldman Library (PSYCH 3210) from 3-4:30. The reception will be held in the fMRI building and center staff will be on hand to give tours and answer questions.


Gentle reminder: pilot scanning hours are available to UCR researchers for the initial testing of experimental ideas and for collecting preliminary data for grant applications. For details, please visit or see attached documents.


Baby Flamingo


Here's a photo of a baby flamingo. I usually don't include pictures of the zoo birds, but it's cute. This is from Safari West, in Santa Rosa, which fortunately was not severely impacted by the fires.