September 15, 2018
UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter
Gillian Wilson
Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development
Grant Opportunity Search:
In this Newsletter
  • New Faculty Orientation
  • ARPA-E Announcements
  • Limited: NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program
  • NSF BIO Solicitation for Research Infrastructure Innovation Program
  • Office of Research Integrity Update
  • TESS finds 50 candidate exoplanets in only six weeks
New Faculty Orientation
The New Faculty Orientation will take place in the afternoon of Friday September 28th at the Alumni & Visitors Center. AVC Charles Greer and I will making a presentation on behalf of the Office of Research and Economic Development (RED). We look forward to meeting new faculty and talking to them about their research!

Since this is a time of year when many new faculty are joining, the next few newsletters will contain updates on the services offered by RED. This issue focuses on the Office of Research Integrity (ORI).
ARPA-E Announcements
The next ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit will be July 8-10, 2019, in Denver. 

In July 2019, the 10th ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit will head west, for the first time ever, to Denver, Colorado. Register now to join the nation’s top energy innovators, investors, and entrepreneurs for three days of technology demonstrations, discussions of the most important energy challenges facing America, and one-of-a-kind networking opportunities. The 2019 Summit marks 10 years of ARPA-E making ideas into reality and sets the stage for its next decade of innovation.
The 2019 Summit will take place July 8-10 at the brand new Gaylord Rockies Convention Center, located outside of Denver. Attendees will have access to the Technology Showcase, and its nearly 300 exhibitors displaying the nation’s most cutting-edge energy technologies, as well as Fast Pitches from ARPA-E Program Directors and Fellows, networking events, and dynamic speakers. Register now.
ARPA-E chose to move the Summit in 2019 to take advantage of all the energy work happening in western states. Denver is an energy innovation nexus in the West, and home to a thriving and collaborative community of technology investors and entrepreneurs. 
For more information, please visit the 2019 ARPA-E Summit website.

ARPA-E is co-sponsoring the iMatSci Innovation Showcase, to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of the 2018 Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting. 
The iMatSci Innovation Showcase provides a platform to introduce early-stage, materials-related technologies to a broad cross-section of industry partners, R&D leaders, and investors. The event showcases technologies that have not yet been fully developed into products but demonstrate a working prototype or evidence of a repeatable process.
More information on the iMatSci Innovation Showcase and how to apply can be found here . Applications are due Monday, September 17.

Limited: NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program
Internal Deadline: 10/09/18
LOI Deadline: 11/26/2018
Final Deadline: 2/06/2019
Number of Submissions Allowed: 2
Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 1

The NRT Program is dedicated to supporting highly effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary research areas through the use of comprehensive traineeship models that are innovative, evidence-based, and aligned with changing workforce and research needs.

Goals of the program are to:

  • Catalyze and advance cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in high priority areas,
  • Increase the capacity of U.S. graduate programs to produce diverse cohorts of interdisciplinary STEM professionals with technical and transferable professional skills for a range of research and research-related careers within and outside academia, and
  • Develop innovative approaches and knowledge that will promote transformative improvements in graduate education.
  • Creation of sustainable programmatic capacity at institutions is an expected outcome. Proposals should describe mechanisms to institutionalize effective training elements after award closure.

Key Features of NRT Projects
NRT projects utilize comprehensive approaches to graduate training and are expected to address several key features central to the NRT Program.

  • Development of innovative and potentially transformative approaches to STEM graduate education, informed by evidence.
  • Extension of NRT program elements to non-NRT-funded trainees and to non-trainees to benefit a larger population of STEM graduate students across an institution.
  • Dissemination of outcomes and gained insights from NRT training approaches.
  • Facilitation and advancement of novel, potentially transformative interdisciplinary research in areas of high priority to the nation.
  • Comprehensive training of STEM graduate students, including the development of technical and professional skills for both research and research-related careers within and outside academia.
  • Incorporation of evidence-based strategies to broaden participation of students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Implementation of robust formative assessment that is central to the traineeship and routinely informs and improves practice.

Priority Research Areas
The NRT Program requests proposals in any interdisciplinary research theme of national priority, while highlighting specific interdisciplinary priority research areas that change periodically. For FY2018, the two high priority research areas are: (1) Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) and (2) Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS). HDR is expected to continue as a priority research area for the FY2019 and FY2020 competitions, along with a new priority area to be announced in 2018.

An interdisciplinary research theme in an area other than HDR or INFEWS should align with NSF or other national STEM research priority areas and have high potential for development of novel, innovative practices in graduate education. Proposers should describe the importance of the NRT project’s thematic focus to the nation and the particular need to train students for a variety of careers in that thematic area, whether within or outside academia.

Regardless of the research area, proposals must clearly describe an overarching interdisciplinary research focus and outline how the research theme will foster high-return, interdisciplinary synergies. Proposals should also describe how the training and research elements will be integrated and justify the need for bold and innovative approaches to train graduate students in the thematic area. In keeping with the broader goals of the NRT program, proposals should demonstrate significant impact on the design and testing of new curricula and career-focused training approaches specific to the priority research area. Proposals should also discuss the project's potential to have impact beyond the institution, including the possible broad adoption of approaches, curricula, and instructional material within the relevant disciplines.

Harnessing the Data Revolution for 21st Century Science and Engineering (HDR)
  • Harnessing the Data Revolution at the National Science Foundation (NSF) is one of 10 Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments (
  • The increasing volume, variety, and velocity of data are giving rise to a profound transformation of research in all fields of science and engineering. New types of questions are being asked, and new challenges addressed; indeed, the very nature of scientific inquiry is changing. These changes will require the development of a 21st-century data-capable workforce. There is a need for education and training opportunities to create teams of data scientists and disciplinary researchers that can not only work together, but also think together. Next-generation data scientists must work in partnerships with scientists in other areas and be equipped with a language and framework that makes these partnerships fruitful. A properly educated/trained data scientist must be aware of the general as well as the specific nature of issues in data analysis and also be attentive to the socio-technical concerns that may arise.

Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS)
  • Humanity is reliant upon the physical resources and natural systems of the Earth for the provision of food, energy, and water. It is becoming imperative that we determine how society can best integrate across the natural and built environments to provide for a growing demand for food, water, and energy while maintaining appropriate ecosystem services. Factors contributing to stresses in the food, energy, and water systems include increasing regional, social, and political pressures as a result of land-use change, climate variability, and heterogeneous resource distribution. These interconnections and interdependencies associated with the food, energy and water (FEW) nexus create research grand challenges in understanding how the complex, coupled processes of society and the environment function now, and in the future. There is a critical need for research that enables new means of adapting to future challenges. The FEW systems must be defined broadly, incorporating physical processes, natural processes, biological processes, social/behavioral processes, and cyber elements. Investigations of these complex systems may produce discoveries that cannot emerge from research on food or energy or water systems alone. It is the synergy among these components, in the context of sustainability, that will open innovative science and engineering pathways to produce new knowledge and novel technologies to solve the challenges of scarcity and variability.
NSF BIO Solicitation for Research Infrastructure Innovation Program
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) has released a new solicitation for Infrastructure Innovation for Biological Research (IIBR). This program is intended to support developments that pioneer new infrastructure, redesign existing infrastructure, or apply existing infrastructure in novel ways to advance or transform basic biological research. Proposals will be accepted across three specific themes:
·         innovation in biological informatics,
·         innovation in instrumentation, and
·         multidisciplinary innovation. 
Notably, the solicitation comes just after BIO released a new solicitation for its Infrastructure Capacity for Biology (ICB) program which invests in expanding the access to and capacity of current research infrastructure. 
Acknowledging that innovation is a multi-phase process, including exploratory research, development, and long-term maintenance, the innovation in biological informatics theme is intended to fund the first stage or exploratory research aspect of innovation. Specifically, the theme seeks innovative informatics with high potential impact around the following areas of interest:
·         “Algorithms, software or ontologies aimed at integration, retrieval and mining heterogeneous data sets
·         Methods and tools for designing and implementing biological databases, including new architectures and infrastructures, new data types, standards and structures
·         Tools that create scientific workflows, for any stage from data collection to modeling
·         Tools that facilitate data acquisition, sharing and visualization
·         Algorithms and methods for analyzing biocomplexity, in spatial or temporal dimensions
·         Informatics tools that bridge conceptual differences that inhibit information sharing between biology and other sciences.”
The innovation instrumentation theme seeks to fund research that creates novel instrumentation or methodologies that create new research capabilities or build upon present capabilities. Areas of interest include:
·         “New and innovative approach not currently available,
·         Accuracy of measurement,
·         Resolution of data points,
·         Throughput and speed of data capture,
·         Development of methodologies coupled to the use or validation of the instrument,
·         Breadth of application,
·         Reduction in cost of construction or operation, or
·         Ease of use.”
The Multidisciplinary theme seeks proposals that draw on expertise of the other thematic areas.
Eligibility: While there is no limit to institutional applications, PI’s can participate on no more than two proposals. 
Due Date: There is no deadline, as per BIO policy.
Total Funding and Award Size:  NSF anticipates approximately $10 million in available funding for new awards in fiscal year (FY) 2019 and intends to fund between 20 and 40 awards of approximately $300,000 to $800,000 over three years. 
Additionally, just as it did with the updated core program solicitations, NSF has also included a Rules of Life (RoL) track in the IIBR. PIs will be limited to one proposal a year for this track Directorate wide. RoL proposed activities include:
  • “Engage or enable innovative approaches to fundamental questions in biology. 
  • Promise results or approaches that are generalizable beyond particular study systems. 
  • Seek to discover, enable, and/or test foundational principles (rules, theory) that explain or predict the emergence of complex phenomena in biology. 
  • Apply integrative approaches that span levels of biological organization beyond the funding programs within a single BIO division.”
Sources and additional information:
Office of Research Integrity Update
RED's Office of Research Integrity  (ORI) is headed by Assistant Vice Chancellor Dario Kuzmanovic and
strives to promote excellence in research while ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations. The ORI has oversight and responsibility over the various research integrity and compliance committees on campus.
The Committees / Boards:
·         Two Institutional Review Boards (IRBs): one for  Socio-Behavioral  research, one for  Clinical-biomedical  research. These 2 boards are responsible for the review of all human subjects research conducted on behalf of the institution.
·         An  Institutional Biosafety Committee  (IBC) responsible for the oversight of research activities, including teaching laboratories, involving the use, storage and handling of biohazardous materials. This includes activities involving recombinant/synthetic nucleic acids and any human derived materials such as human cell lines
·         An  Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee  (IACUC) which has authority over all activities involving vertebrates and the ordering of custom antibodies
·         A  Promoting Research Objectivity  (PRO) Committee (formerly the Conflict of Interest Committee) which is charged with reviewing investigator statements of financial interest related to their sponsored research activities to determine if any conflict of interest issues impact the objectivity of the research
·         A  Stem Cell Research Oversight  (SCRO) Committee responsible for the review of all activities involving human pluripotent and neural stem cells
Please note: You may not begin your research nor get access to your funds until all the relevant approvals from the ORI are in place.  

Information and Resources:
In order to provide important information and resources to researchers, the ORI has revised its website. Some of the key relevant webpages include:
·          Forms  page contains links to access application forms for all the committees/boards
·          Resources  page contains links to information that may be useful to researchers and committee members
·          Frequently Asked Questions  page contains answers to many of ORI's most frequently asked questions
·          Staff Contacts  page lists contact information for each committee/board
·         For those conducting human subjects research requiring IRB review, please see:
·           How to IRB’  tutorial  - This simple, 30-minute, interactive tutorial was created to help new researchers navigate the IRB process including how to submit an IRB application, what forms are required, and what resources are available. 
·          IRB training requirements - At UCR,  Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program  is used to satisfy training requirements for both Human Subjects Research and  Responsible Conduct of Research
Please take a moment to view the  Office of Research Integrity home page  to see what other services we offer that will assist you with your research needs.  
All revised webpages have an anonymous feedback section, and faculty are encourage to provide comments. 
Questions? Contact Us:
ORI’s doors are always open for research questions and consultations. They are also available to come speak to your class about research integrity and compliance. Appointments and general inquires can be made at 951-827-4802 or by sending an email request to
IBC and PRO Chair announcements:
RED’s  Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)  is pleased to announce that that  Dr. Peter Atkinson  (Entomology) has agreed to serve as the new IBC chair. Dr. Atkinson served as the Life Sciences Division Dean in CNAS for the past five years and has taken this new role for a three-year term. He is well known on campus and is an expert on containment of gene drive experiments. Under Dr. Atkinson’s leadership, IBC will be taking an even more prominent role in biosafety given that UCR's two BSL3 facilities will be opening in the next few months,
RED wishes to thank Dr. Djurdjica Coss for her leadership on the IBC for the past 2 years and for making changes that improved safety and decreased noncompliance on campus.

RED’s  Promoting Research Objectivity Committee (PRO)  is pleased to announce that  Dr. Byron Ford  (Biomedical Sciences) has agreed to serve as the chair of this committee. Dr. Ford has been a member of PRO since 2016 and will be taking over from the inaugural chair of PRO, Dr. Walid Najjar, who is stepping down to serve as departmental chair of Computer Science and Engineering. PRO is responsible for managing, reducing or eliminating research-related conflict of interests and ensuring research is free from financial bias.
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Atkinson and Dr. Ford to these important roles at UCR. 
TESS finds 50 candidate exoplanets in only six weeks
In just six weeks of science observations, NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has already found 50 possible new extrasolar planets (exoplanets). TESS finds planets by watching the dip in light as a planet passes in front of its parent star. While about 80% of these candidate exoplanets are expected to be discarded upon more careful analysis, this is a great start to the TESS mission.

Even more excitingly, TESS is the first space telescope capable of identifying not only large and gaseous planets like Jupiter but also small and rocky planets like Earth. Hopes are high that TESS will produce a well-vetted sample of exoplanets for follow up with NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), currently set to launch in 2021. These exoplanets, if they possess Earth-like life, are predicted to have chemical signatures in their atmosphere which are visible in the infrared — exactly the wavelength regime in which JWST will operate.
Image Credit: NASA

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