January 20, 2018
UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter
Michael Pazzani
Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development
Grant Opportunity Search:
In this Newsletter
  • Don't worry about the government
  • Senior Associate Vice Chancellor For Research Announcement
  • Sabbatical Plans
  • Collaborative Seed Grant Program 2018
  • Office of Research Integrity Update
  • ORI Seminar Series - Ethical Issues in HIV Cure-related Research in the United States
  • UC & OptumLabs Data Warehouse (OLDW)
  • 10 Common Grant Writing Mistakes
  • Rules of Life (RoL): Forecasting and Emergence in Living Systems (FELS)
  • Limited: NSF INCLUDES
  • HLB BSL-3 Applications
  • Vermilion Flycatcher
Don't worry about the government
Kaitlin Chell with the assistance of Charles Greer, Jose Aguilar and Tami Thacker prepared the following summary of the impacts of a government shutdown.

Financial Aid
The majority of UCR students have already received their financial aid for winter quarter, so as long as the shutdown isn’t too prolonged, students should be okay.
As for GI Bill benefits, the guidance on the VA website says w ork will not be completed on any  new  application or  any  enrollment certification received during a shutdown. The VA will not process payments for any education benefit program, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill, if UCR certifies a student’s enrollment to the VA during a shutdown. Only applications and enrollment certifications received and completed before a shutdown will be paid. Since UCR students have been back in school for two weeks now, this verification process likely has already taken place. UCR student veterans should also still receive their living allowance through the end of the winter quarter.
Research Grants
Will the shutdown halt funding to current or future research at UC Riverside?
No, the shutdown would not halt funding on current research projects. Current research projects are funded under prior authorizations. The federal government will not review new grant applications during the shutdown. USDA has a couple of research labs at UC Riverside (staffed with USDA employees) and the staff would be furloughed and not permitted to work during the shutdown.
If funding is halted, will professors have to immediately stop conducting their current research?
The majority of UC Riverside's federal funds are from federal grants under prior authorizations. These projects will not need to stop. It is highly unlikely, but an agency can issue a “Stop Work Order”, which would be more likely to occur on contract to construct something than on a fundamental research grant. 
Since some professors are paid through federal funds, will the shutdown force researchers to wait for their paychecks until the shutdown ends?
No, the shutdown will not impact anyone’s paycheck that is supported by federal funds. Federal grants are issued on a reimbursable basis. In other words, UC Riverside incurs the costs and submits documentation to the federal government for reimbursement of those costs. UC Riverside and all universities will be reimbursed when the shutdown is over.
What about grant proposal submissions?
In general, researchers should submit proposals by the due date and time unless otherwise informed. However, certain websites, like NSF’s Fastlane is not be accessible and federal employees at most science agencies will be prohibited from working (remotely or in the office) so there will be no access to phone or email during the shutdown. Faculty should consult each federal agency’s specific guidance.

This morning: NSF web site indicates " Due to the lapse in government funding, National Science Foundation websites and business applications, including, FastLane, and will be unavailable until further notice. We sincerely regret this inconvenience. NIH indicates "Because of a lapse in government funding, the information on this website may not be up to date, transactions submitted via the website may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted."

Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

I'm pleased to announce that Gillian Wilson has agreed to server as UCR's Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Research. Dr. Willson joined the Department of Physics & Astronomy in 2007 and has served as Chair of the Research and Economic Development Advisory Board since early 2017. She also currently serves as Chair of the systemwide UC Observatories Advisory Committee and was Interim Deputy Director of UC Observatories until she stepped down to join RED. At UCR, Gillian has previously served as Chair of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Executive Committee and as Interim Divisional Dean for Physical Sciences and Mathematics. She was recently selected as a Association of Public & Land-grant Universities (APLU) Council on Research (CoR) Research Leader Fellow, one of only eight Fellows selected nationally. Gillian's own research expertize is in observational cosmology and galaxy evolution. She is the principal investigator of “SpARCS", one of the world’s largest and most scientifically-productive galaxy cluster surveys.

Dr Willson will be responsible for developing UCR’s shared research core facilities to enable researchers at UC Riverside to have access to the state-of-the-art technology for their scientific research and scholarship. She will also pursue activities aimed at increasing funding opportunities and developing collaborative partnerships across disciplines, including positioning UCR’s Centers and Institutes to be globally relevant in the 21st century, and helping to develop a strategic research vision for the campus.

Collaborative Seed Grant 2018
The Office of Research and Economic Development (RED) is pleased to announce the continuation of the collaborative seed grant program. The grants are internal funds for UCR faculty teams to collaborate and publish in advance of proposing multi-investigator projects and centers to external agencies. Teams with seed funding who generate preliminary results and gain experience working jointly have proven more successful when they later compete for multi-investigator and/or multidisciplinary grants.

Serving as a catalyst for UCR faculty to form new teams, the seed grant program is intended to initiate new intellectual directions for faculty and to make UCR more competitive for multidisciplinary grants. Selection criteria for seed grants reward projects that create new relationships and synergies across schools, departments or centers. Key considerations include whether the project can be leveraged toward new externally-funded research, and whether the project cannot be otherwise initiated using regular department or school resources. An ideal project would apply for external funding within 6-10 months following seed funding.

·       Large Project Seed Grants: Enable a team of two or more UCR faculty to obtain initial results or data to prepare for a center grant, defined as at least 3 UCR faculty and 4 UCR graduate students. Examples include NIH program project (P-50) grants, NSF Science and Technology Centers, NSF Engineering Research Centers, DOE Manufacturing Centers, NEH Summer Institutes, or USDA/NIFA Coordinated Agricultural Project, etc. Large Project seed grants have a maximum budget of $65,000 and funds may be spent from July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019. The collaboration must involve faculty from two or more different departments.
·       Small Project Seed Grants: Enable a team of two or more UCR faculty to obtain initial results or data that will make them more competitive for any peer-reviewed federal program. A typical Small Project grant would include summer support for a graduate student plus supplies. . Small Project seed grants have a maximum budget of $10,000 and funds may be spent from July 1, 2018- December 31, 2018. The collaboration must involve faculty from two or more different departments.

Proposals are invited from all UCR individuals eligible to serve as a Principal Investigator. (For additional information on PI eligibility see  Policy #527-3 .) Although external collaborations with universities or companies are encouraged, seed funded projects must involve at least two UCR faculty (a PI and at least one UCR co-PI) and funds may not be used to support outside institutions. A faculty member may participate as PI or CoPI on only one seed grant. A faculty PI on an award made through the Large or Small Collaborative Seed Grant Program in, 2016 or 2017 cannot be a PI or CoPI on a seed grant in 2017, unless they have been awarded a grant as a result of the prior seed grant or applied three times for funding based on the seed grant.

Funds may be used for any activity directly related to the conduct of the research, e.g. salaries and benefits for students, postdocs, or research scientists, research supplies, equipment/facility recharge, etc. Funds may not be used for faculty summer salaries, administrative staff, course buyouts, seminar speakers, consultants, conferences, or travel, except to federal agencies or proposer workshops. Small project seed grants will receive all funding at the start of the project. Large project seed grants will receive 50% of funds to initiate the project, with the remainder made available upon completion and approval of a brief report on project status. All funds must be expended by the end of the project period. To focus on projects that can make rapid progress, unexpended funds will be returned.

The internal proposal deadline for both Large and Small Seed Grants is March 27, 2018.

Awardees of Large Grants are required to submit both a brief interim report to release the remaining 50% of the funds and a final project report within 60 days of the award period end. Small Grant awardees are required only to submit a final project report within 60 days. The final project report should include the results of the research, a financial statement and plans or efforts underway to obtain external funding. Lack of timely reporting may result in exclusion from future award opportunities.

Proposals will be reviewed by UCR faculty with comments returned to explain funding decisions. The alignment of projects with the goals of innovation and high impact, and the feasibility of completing the project and submitting a collaborative grant proposal are evaluation priorities. Proposals that are disruptive, use technology in new ways, or launch entirely novel approaches are specifically encouraged. The assessment will consider the extent of inter-disciplinary and inter-departmental collaboration as well as the potential for subsequent extramural funding. Deans of the PI and co-PIs also will be asked for input on the importance of the project for their school.

Bearing in mind that not all reviewers will have an extensive knowledge of their field of inquiry, faculty should use proposal language accessible to the most faculty. Both types of Seed Grant proposals use the same application format:
1.    Application Form  (pdf)
2.    Research Plan - No more than 3 pages, single-spaced, 12 point font with one-inch margins. Typical proposals should include: a brief introduction and one-year objectives, research plan - specific aims and methodology, and anticipated results.
3.    External Funding Target: What specific federal funding opportunity will be targeted for subsequent funding? What is the proposed timeline for applying for external funding? Projects that do not indicate a specific opportunity will be returned without review.
4.    Budget with breakdown of cost categories.
5.    CVs (no more than 2 pages for each investigator).
6.    Results of prior seed grant(s).

Applications should be submitted through the "EasyChair" system at  

Questions on the EasyChair application system should be directed to Bri Cates at  or 951-827-4800

Office of Research Integrity Update
The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) strives to promote excellence in research while ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations. ORI has oversight and responsibility over the various research compliance committees on campus.

Beginning in 2015, ORI has implemented several changes and updates to our programs, in order to provide comprehensive information and resources to researchers via our webpages. These changes include:

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
  • New external IACUC page
  • New internal IACUC page – behind a firewall (coming soon)

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

Promoting Research Objectivity (PRO) Committee - formerly the Conflict of Interest Committee

Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (SCRO)
Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)
  • New RCR webpage with specific requirements and sound narration
Research Misconduct (RM)
  • New RM webpage

Increased Outreach
ORI Seminar Series - Ethical Issues in HIV Cure-related Research in the United States
UCR’s Office of Research Integrity (ORI) is proud to announce the next talk in the ORI Seminar Series ( The seminars focus on ethical dilemmas and hot topics in human subjects research. This talk is co-sponsored by UCR SoM’s Center for Healthy Communities.  

February’s seminar, entitled “ Ethical Issues in HIV Cure-related Research in the United States”, will be led by Karine Dubé, DrPH and Research Assistant Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill. This seminar will take place on Thursday, February 8 at 2:00 pm in HUB 367.

Karine previously served as a research program manager for the Collaboratory of AIDS Researchers for Eradication (CARE) at UNC-Chapel Hill. She also is the co-founder and co-leader of the CUREiculum (, a collaborative program aimed at making HIV cure science accessible to the community and the HIV research field. Karine also has served as a research and program analyst with amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.

Karine has extensive experience working in resource-limited settings and developing clinical research site capacity. She managed a pox-protein prime-boost HIV-1C vaccine cohort development program, two HIV-1C prospective incidence studies and a clinical research site capacity development effort in Maputo, Beira and Chókwè, Mozambique with the United States Military HIV Research Program, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. and FHI 360 (from 2008–2013).

The ORI seminars are free and open to the public. No registration is required but seating is limited. Light refreshments will be provided. 
UC & OptumLabs Data Warehouse (OLDW)
As part of the strategic partnership between UC and OptumLabs, UC researchers will be provide 7 researchers with free access (aka: “research credits”) to OptumLab’s data warehouse. OptumLabs is an open, collaborative center for research and innovation focused on improving patient care and value. The database includes de-identified plan enrollment information, medical and pharmacy claims, and lab results from multiple payers, all integrated across care settings and longitudinally linked at the patient level.
UC will be soliciting proposals for research ideas that leverage the OptumLabs data. Examples of research projects using OptumLabs data include: Variation in care, Utilization, Safety and efficacy, Predictive modeling, Policy and incentives, Outcomes, Methods, Literature review, Health economics, Guidelines/Quality of care, Epidemiology, Disparities, Delivery of care, and Comparative effectiveness.
Dr. Tsotras , from Computer Science, and  Dr. Brown  from SOM, have been selected as primary UCR contacts to explore the OLDW.  
Timeline ( dates could vary slightly ):
·       Announce Call for Proposals: January 8, 2018
·       Research Proposal Form due February 2 by 5 PM (see below for link)
·       Brief overview of project, data required, and resources available
·       Review by UC BRAID-selected review committee and by OptumLabs research staff (the latter for feasibility only)
·       Notification of selected candidates by end of March
·       Additional details on the timeline, process for the OptumLabs review and data access will be described in the January 8 CFP announcement
Eligibility (*note the change from last year):
·       The Principal Investigator, or at least one Co-PI, must be full time faculty at one of the five UC academic medical centers (UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UCSD, UCSF) and eligible to submit grants
·       Principal Investigators or Co-PIs at all 10 UC campuses are eligible on proposals (with at least one Co-PI meeting the above criteria)
Note : You do not have to wait for the competition to get started. If you wish to purchase a data license to access to the OptumLabs Data Warehouse, you can move forward immediately. You will find  the  Sandbox Fee Schedule  on the UC- OptumLabs  micro-site .
Get more information  by visiting the UC-OptumLabs microsite/knowledge repository:
Ask questions  about the OptumLabs data or your research idea by contacting Sarah Thayer, PhD (OptumLabs, Director of Research) at .
Stay up to date  on the latest OptumLabs opportunities and information by signing up for the OptumLabslistserv

Research Proposal Form:

10 Common Grant Writing Mistakes

By Jude P. Mikal and Gina Rumore 
So your grant proposal came back with an unenthusiastic response from reviewers. Was it because they found your science lackluster? Maybe. But there’s a good chance the problem was important nontechnical questions that you left unanswered in the proposal itself.

Questions like: So what? Who cares? Is this project trying to do too much? Or too little? And why is this researcher going it alone?

In our hypercompetitive funding climate, it’s critical for investigators to write clear, cohesive, compelling proposals that foreground the science and its potential significance. With so much at stake, it’s a shame to watch a proposal rejected for something that could have been avoided with a little work upfront. Given that we have a collective 15 years of experience working with scientists to sharpen their grant proposals, we thought it might help researchers to have a list of the 10 most-common nonscientific errors we see in grant writing.

No. 1: Square pegs and round holes. Too often scientists start with a compelling research idea, but fail to adapt it to the stated priorities of the organization they’re asking for money. Your proposal has to highlight its responsiveness to the funder’s interests, or all the reviewers will see is that your idea is a poor fit for them.

Solution: Review the proposal guidelines as well as the agency’s mission statement, published priority areas, and evaluation criteria. They provide critical insights into how to construct a proposal, and which elements of research to emphasize. When we see a proposal that seems unresponsive to those measures, we work with scholars to create a checklist based on the grant agency’s evaluation criteria and funding priorities. Then we go down that list with the investigators to assess how many issues have been resolved in the proposal.

No 2: Poor planners. Most grant proposals start with a one-page project summary. Ideally, it lays out the research objectives, the relation to the funder’s interests, the theoretical contribution, and the steps to completion.

We’ve seen two major missteps on this front: (1) scholars who draft a vague summary page, or (2), those who depart in the actual proposal from decisions they explained in the summary. Either way, the result is a proposal that reads as inconsistent, meandering, and noncommittal.Solution: First, go through and highlight the inconsistencies between the summary page and the full proposal. Once you’ve done that, you can judge how easy they are to resolve. Sometimes, inconsistencies can represent arguments and methods that need to be more fully developed in your proposal.

No. 3: "The loner." That’s what we call a grant proposal ambitious in scope, but meager in investigators.
In the past, grants were often viewed as a one-person show — a single investigator assisted by his or her graduate students. Not anymore. Today agencies and foundations tend to value projects that require cross-disciplinary participation. Incorporating novel research perspectives requires one or more co-investigators to ensure those perspectives are thoroughly integrated.

Solution: It’s pretty simple. Add another investigator (if appropriate) to lend credibility to your proposal. Research-development professionals on your campus can help, as we often have networks to facilitate cross-departmental and cross-college connections among faculty members.

No. 4: Promising too much or too little. It’s hard enough to identify the ideal scope of a research project, but many researchers also fail to align the proposed scope of the work with the time period specified by the agency, or the amount of money it has available. We see this happen in two main ways:
  • New faculty members — accustomed to operating on a shoestring budget — may overpromise by including unpaid labor in their proposal. Or they fail to allocate paid time in their proposed budget for analyzing data and writing up results.
  • Meanwhile, more seasoned researchers may be reluctant to make bold proclamations about the transformative potential of their project. To compensate, they overdevelop the initial phase of the project, and leave subsequent aims paltry and underdeveloped.

In both cases, the result is a grant proposal that seems out-of-sync with the funding mechanism.

Solution: The most effective tool for rectifying scope is to have investigators construct a timeline (and include it in the proposal) that covers all phases of the project, from where they are now to publication of research results.

No. 5: Throwing spaghetti. Often new investigators have trouble committing to a research direction. As a result, they start chasing grant opportunities with very limited relevance to their research interests, or to where they want to go as scholars. Their plan? Decide on a research direction based on where they get funding.

In short, they throw spaghetti at a wall to see what sticks. All they succeed in doing is wasting a lot of their time and energy drafting proposals that require new teams and new areas of expertise. Worse, the failed proposals are often discarded rather than resubmitted — because the topic was only of limited interest to the investigator in the first place.Solution:There are no shortcuts here. Fixing misdirection requires you to sit down — alone, with a colleague, or with someone from your campus grants office — and sift through your rejected proposals to find a common theme. Parse out which of the failed proposals were motivated by real interest in the work, and which were motivated purely by money. Then focus on the former.

No. 6: Running in place. Occasionally a faculty member seems constantly busy — but with work that fails to move them toward their overall goals. They attend every meeting and every seminar, but write few papers or grant proposals. They can be identified by various projects that seem to be waiting on someone or something beyond their control that never seems to come through: colleagues, pilot data, IRB, budget numbers.

These investigators are characterized by a frenzy of activity, and a slew of abandoned projects.
Solution: "Busyness" represents currency for scholars who have had limited measurable success. Keeping busy means they’re doing something, even if all of their effort seems to be achieving nothing. Rather than tell these scholars to slow down, we encourage them to draft grant proposals that set small, measurable goals for which they can be held accountable.

No. 7: Death by 1,000 cuts. The most exciting research proposals promise to make significant and innovative contributions, as well as transformative advancements in a field. But as we’ve noted, many researchers are reluctant to make such bold statements in a grant proposal. Instead they list a series of micro-criticisms of recent research. Their project, they say, will lead to a broad-scale advancement in the field by resolving all of those little bits.

Their proposal might be structured around a statement like, "There are five principal holes in research on X." As a result, the proposal reads as a patchwork of significance and innovation as the researchers attempt to identify the contributions of each small step forward.

Solution: Our advice on these proposals is twofold: First, we ask the researchers to identify a unifying theme for the micro-criticisms. Second, we encourage investigators to use positive language in their proposal. So rather than write, "X field has ignored Y variable," use, "great strides have been made in X field, but up until now we have lacked data to analyze the contribution of Y variable."

No. 8: Methods madness. A good proposal not only lists and defines the selected research methods, but also justifies those choices and states how they are ideally suited for responding to the research question under study. By definition, a methods section is going to be highly detailed.

But there is a point at which too much technical detail can waylay other important information — like why the project is important, who stands to benefit, and how the various elements will come together to achieve the stated objectives. Some investigators lean too much on technical detail in their proposals, and fail to establish the human impact.

Solution: To fix that, we have asked investigators to reverse-outline their project. Then we go over the outline together to see if they overemphasized elements of the methods in the proposal, and underemphasized the project’s potential innovations or impacts.

No 9: So what? Humdrum responses from a funding agency can often be linked to low scores on the project’s significance and innovation ratings, coupled with minor methodological and theoretical quibbles. The more specific criticisms on methods and theory can send researchers scrambling to revise specific elements of the proposal. In actuality, the reviewers are asking, "So what?" and "Who cares?"
In short, the investigators have failed to create a proposal that is compelling to a broad audience. Rather than resolving the minor quibbles, it may be time to review the significance, the innovation, and the human impact of the research.

Solution: Seeking advice on the proposal from an out-of-field reviewer — like a research-development expert — is one way to figure out how to better communicate the project’s broad appeal. However, investigators may also benefit from reading about their own research topic in more popular periodicals — Time, Newsweek, The New York Times — to get a sense of what an educated nonexpert may know about the topic.

No 10: Feedback fatigue. Often investigators will submit a proposal for feedback to multiple experts or well-funded researchers in their field. Rather than providing novel insights into the proposal, the feedback starts to become overwhelming — pulling the research in too many directions, or too far from the investigators’ true area of interest.

In our consulting experience, scientists suffering from feedback fatigue respond to our recommendations emphatically in one of two ways: Yes, they are ready to change everything, or, No, they refuse to change anything. There is no in between.

Solution: Usually feedback fatigue is identified not by the researchers themselves but by their mentors or by research-development staff. Once diagnosed, scientists can forward all the substantive feedback to the research-development office. We then review it, and help the investigators look for common themes in the recommendations, and create a plan for revisions.

Research development is not meant to serve as a stand-in for scholarly review. The latter ensures that the project’s science is unimpeachable. However, with review panels becoming more diverse, and transdisciplinary research becoming the norm, it is important that investigators write with a diverse review panel in mind.

Burdened reviewers are reading more proposals, farther afield of their areas of expertise. As a result, it is no longer sufficient to write a proposal aimed only at the experts in the field. Investigators need to outline their research, its contribution, and its impact to a diverse audience. And they need to do that free of jargon, so that ideas are not doused, but continue to burn bright and light the way for new directions in research.

Jude P. Mikal is a research scientist and research-development consultant at the University of Minnesota’s Minnesota Population Center. He works with faculty members on their external grant proposals. Gina Rumore is a program development coordinator at the center.
Dear Colleague Letter: Rules of Life (RoL): Forecasting and Emergence in Living Systems (FELS)
NSF seeks to highlight the importance of research that forecasts the direction and dynamics of change in living systems. The robustness and reproducibility of processes associated with the emergence of complex properties in biological systems suggests the existence of underlying general principles ("rules") across the spectrum of biological phenomena. Identification and application of these fundamental rules would be of high value to both the scientific community and the Nation. This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) describes an initial opportunity to identify areas where such rules may exist, to catalyze approaches toward their discovery, and to focus efforts on using these rules for prediction and design of useful biological systems. Activities supported via this DCL include Conferences, EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGERs), and Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE) grants to create opportunities for enabling predictive capability

Proposals funded via this DCL will help refine emerging research areas under the Rules of Life, one of the NSF's ten Big Ideas. In Rules of Life, "rules" are the general principles or theoretical constructs that explain and predict the characteristics of living systems. NSF seeks to identify rules for phenomena that cross spatial or organizational levels (from the molecular and sub-cellular to organisms, populations, communities, clades, and biomes) and/or temporal scales (e.g., from macromolecular folding to development to evolutionary processes across all of life).

Research activities under Rules of Life should lead to new and predictive understanding of how higher-order structures and functions result from the interactions of heterogeneous biological components with the environments in which they are found, and the associated evolutionary changes. These activities should bring together diverse teams of scientists to create novel framings and solutions for research problems. Currently, we are unable to predict the outcomes of many biological processes in spite of the fact that organisms occupy only a small portion of the potential phenotypic landscape. Although we have accumulated massive amounts of genomic and environmental data, we cannot synthesize a cell from its fundamental building blocks. Similarly, we do not understand the basic rules that underlie the emergence of multicellular structures, the regulation of circadian and seasonal rhythms, or how to re-engineer sustainable and resilient biological systems at any scale. Further, there are open scientific questions about the role of social interactions and experiences in reshaping the genome through genetic and epigenetic changes. One long-term outcome of the Rules of Life effort will be a set of comprehensive genome/environment-to-phenome theories with predictive capability. These theories could, for example, enable us to design phenotypes to respond to environmental challenges or lead to new technologies and industries.

We seek to define the key challenges and research imperatives to understand the organizational principles and rules of living systems, encouraging projects that include diverse disciplinary perspectives in addition to the biological sciences, including but not limited to those from: computer and information sciences, engineering, geosciences, mathematical and physical sciences, and social and behavioral sciences. Projects may address linkages between genomic and phenotypic diversity to encompass biological and environmental processes spanning the genome to ecosystem across multiple scales of space and time.

NSF is seeking catalytic activities, such as:
  • Conferences that engage the research and research infrastructure communities in identifying and developing potential new areas of research and technology development. This could include tools for manipulation of biological systems, communities or ecosystems; research and infrastructure for collection, management, and analysis of heterogeneous, noisy data; and engagement of methods of machine learning and artificial intelligence as they pertain to biological systems
  • EAGER projects to develop and test new concepts as per above.
  • RAISE projects that engage multidisciplinary teams in innovative approaches to examine rules of life as per above.

Opportunities for participation by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in conference, EAGER and RAISE proposals are encouraged. Additionally, proposals that include efforts to broaden participation and, as appropriate, education and outreach, regarding Rules of Life.

To be considered, each conference or EAGER proposal must explicitly address all four points below:
  1. Propose strategies to discover, elucidate, or apply a fundamental rule that, when more fully understood, could be used to predict a specific complex aspect of biological systems;
  2. Target a specific emergent property, which by definition spans biological scales (spatial and/or temporal scales; levels of biological organization);
  3. Generate tools or theory and results that will be broadly generalizable beyond the system under investigation; and
  4. Be a project that crosses Divisional boundaries in the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO), i.e., a project that requires review by two or more of the four Divisions in BIO (Biological Infrastructure, Environmental Biology, Integrative Organismal Systems, Molecular and Cellular Biosciences). A project may involve other Directorates (e.g., GEO, CISE, MPS, etc.) but for consideration as a conference (workshop) or EAGER, it must still involve two or more Divisions in BIO. These proposals will be reviewed by Divisional and Directorate Program Directors as appropriate to the intellectual foci of the proposal.

To be considered for a RAISE award, projects must address the first three criteria listed above for EAGER and Conference requests, but they are required to include only one BIO Division (although they may include more). In addition, RAISE proposals must address the fifth point below:
  1. Would not normally be funded by only the BIO Directorate; proposed research must also cross the disciplinary boundary represented by at least one of these directorates: Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE); Education and Human Resources (EHR); Engineering (ENG); Geosciences (GEO); Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS); and Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE).

Each proposal submitted in response to this DCL should be grounded in a compelling research challenge. The proposal should address the current state of the research challenge and describe an integrated strategy for addressing the challenge.

RoL: FELS EAGERs: For a project to be considered for EAGER funding through this opportunity, a 2-page prospectus of the proposed research must be submitted to the RoL: FELS mailbox ( by February 20, 2018. The 2-page summary must be a PDF file that clearly lays out the idea of the EAGER and illustrates how the project would address the 4 eligibility criteria. Based on those summaries, EAGER proposals will be invited; full proposals must be received by May 15, 2018. EAGER proposals submitted in response to this DCL must be submitted to the most relevant program within the BIO Directorate and include the prefix 'RoL: FELS' in front of the title. RoL: FELS EAGER proposals should follow normal PAPPG guidance.
Any RoL: FELS EAGER received without discussion with, and subsequently followed by an written invitation from a Program Director, will be returned without review.

RoL: FELS conference: These awards will provide up to one year of support for projects that do not exceed $100,000. PIs are encouraged to contact any relevant Program Director in a participating Directorate about suitability of the proposed conference prior to submission. RoL: FELS conference proposals may be submitted to any relevant program in a participating Directorate, but must include the prefix 'RoL:FELS' in front of the title. The deadline for submission of these proposals is June 1, 2018. received. RoL:FELS conference proposals should follow normal PAPPG guidance.

RoL:FELS RAISE: For a project to be considered for RAISE funding through this opportunity, a 2-page prospectus of the proposed research must be submitted to the RoL: FELS mailbox ( ) by February 20, 2018. The 2-page summary must be a PAPPG-compliant PDF file and clearly lay out the idea of the RAISE and illustrate how the project would address the 4 criteria noted above. In addition, RAISE submissions must clearly explain the interdisciplinary nature of the project and indicate the relevant NSF directorate(s) in addition to BIO that would need to be involved in considering the merits of the project. Invited RAISE proposals must follow the guidelines contained in the PAPPG. Directorates participating with BIO include CISE, EHR, ENG, GEO, MPS, and SBE.

Internal Deadline: February 6, 2018
Agency Deadline: April 4, 2018

NOTE: Internal applications should identify which of the 27 previous INCLUDES awardees has been secured as the required partner institution.  The following site lists the 27 previously funded INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilots, funded through two-year, $300,000 grants and mandatory partners for the new Limited INCLUDES call: .

NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) is a comprehensive national initiative designed to enhance U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) discoveries and innovations by focusing on broadening participation in these fields at scale. The vision of NSF INCLUDES is to catalyze the STEM enterprise to collaboratively work for inclusive change, which will result in a STEM workforce that reflects the population of the Nation. The initiative is developing a National Network composed of NSF INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilots, NSF INCLUDES Alliances, an NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub, NSF-funded broadening participation projects, other relevant NSF-funded projects, scholars engaged in broadening participation research, and other organizations that support the development of talent from all sectors of society to build an inclusive STEM workforce. The successful implementation of NSF INCLUDES will result in substantial advances toward a diverse, innovative, and well-prepared STEM workforce to support our Nation’s economy and continued U.S. leadership in the global STEM enterprise. 

This solicitation offers opportunities for NSF INCLUDES Alliances. The critical functions of each NSF INCLUDES Alliance are to:
  • Develop a vision and strategy (e.g., problem statement and theory of change) for broadening participation in STEM along with relevant metrics of success and key milestones/goals to be achieved during the project’s lifecycle;
  • Contribute to the knowledge base on broadening participation in STEM through broadening participation and implementation research, sharing project evaluations, data, new scientific findings/discoveries, and promising practices;
  • Develop multi-stakeholder partnerships and build infrastructure among them to decrease social distance and achieve progress on common goals targeted by the Alliance;
  • Establish a "backbone" or support organization that provides a framework for communication and networking, network assistance and reinforcement, visibility and expansion of the Alliance and its partners, that will collaborate with the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub;
  • Advance a logic model or other heuristic that identifies Alliance outcomes that reflect implementation of change at scale and progress toward developing an inclusive STEM enterprise.

Collectively, the set of NSF INCLUDES Alliances are to:
  • Participate in a network of peer alliances to achieve long-term goals of the NSF INCLUDES program;
  • Collaborate with the NSF INCLUDES Coordination Hub to build critical knowledge that shows measurable progress toward long-term goals; and
  • Work to build on-ramps for other organizations and broadening participation stakeholders to join in and expand the NSF National Network.
  • All NSF INCLUDES Alliance proposals should describe the results they expect to achieve in broadening participation in STEM. Each proposal must explain how they will build the infrastructure to foster collaboration and achieve impact by emphasizing the following five characteristics of the NSF INCLUDES Program: a) Vision, b) Partnerships, c) Goals and Metrics, d) Leadership and Communication, and e) the Potential for Expansion, Sustainability and Scale.

Goals and Metrics: Alliance proposals should delineate how the partnerships and networks will develop and be driven by shared goals, available evidence from research that forms the basis for the plans, and the metrics and milestones that define the pathway to achieving the vision. Robust data collection plans and implementation research will need to be included, to facilitate evidence-based decision making and adjustments as the Alliance matures.

Leadership and Communication: Alliance proposals should provide details for how the Alliance will build and strengthen capacity for leadership and communication among collaborating organizations and individuals to create opportunities and enact inclusion in STEM.

Expansion, Sustainability and Scale: Finally, Alliance proposals should discuss how the collaborative infrastructure building process will ultimately lead to: expansion (more partners joining the movement), sustainability (more long-term connections being made), and implementation of change at scale (a likelihood for collaborative change to lead to change on a broad scale).

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 1
*Organizations that serve as the lead institution on an Alliance proposal may still participate in other Alliance proposals as a collaborating institution.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 2

HLB BSL-3 Applications
Due to the generosity of the California citrus industry and the newly formed California Citrus Research Foundation, UCR is pleased to announcement the imminent opening of it's first high containment facility for plant research. The facility is exclusively for research on HLB . As the BSL-3 facility nears completion, HLB applications will be accepted until February 21, 2018 at 5:00 PM

If there are any questions throughout the process, please contact Le'Kneitah Smith at 951-312-6905.

HLB applications will be reviewed on a first come, first serve basis on future dates
April 21, 2018
June 21, 2018
August 21, 2018
October 21, 2018
December 21,2018 

Applications can be found here: HLB BSL-3 Applications

Completed applications should be sent to .

The facility is available to all academic and industrial users who can contribute to addressing the HLB program.
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