September 29, 2018
UCR Research and Economic Development Newsletter
Gillian Wilson
Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development
Grant Opportunity Search:
In this Newsletter
  • Takeaways from my DC Trip
  • Lewis-Burke Slides
  • R'Water Workshop
  • Faculty Networking Lunches
  • Gates Foundation Grant Opportunities
  • Limited: Bid Data Regional Hubs (BD HUBS)
  • Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) Update
  • Welcome to David Kisailus, Associate Vice Chancellor, Research Facilities
  • Seagull Nebula & VC Pazzani's Return from Research Sabbatical
Takeaways from my DC Trip
I spent a few days earlier this month in Washington at meetings between Directors of Federal Funding Agencies and UC Vice Chancellors of Research. I was accompanied by UCR’s Interim Director of Federal Relations, Jacquelyn Gonzalez. A common theme running through all the meetings was recent significant investment by China and other emerging countries in Research & Development (R&D) and how the US might respond to this e.g., via investment of federal funds into fields identified as high priority. Another closely related theme was how to balance national security concerns against the US, and especially the UC, culture of open collaboration.

Here’s a more detailed summary of some of those meetings and conversations:

National Science Board (NSB): John Veysey, Executive Director
The NSB 1) establishes the policies of NSF within the framework of applicable national policies set forth by the President and the Congress and 2) serves as an independent body of advisors to both the President and the Congress on policy matters related to science and engineering and education in science and engineering.

National Institutes of Health (NIH): Michael Lauer, Deputy Director for Health and Carrie Wolinetz, Associate Director for Science Policy

Department of Defence (DOD): Bindhu Nair, Acting Director, Basic Research Office
The BRO is responsible for promoting work that has plausible relevance to the DOD mission but that has no immediate application. Programs which will definitely continue to be funded are:

1) Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI)
2) Future Directions Workshops (where the next generation of questions are generated)
3) Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowships (highest monetary value single investigator awards - $3m over 5 years)
The link to these programs is here. BRO utilizes this pool of programs both for ideas to fund further and to identify faculty with a proven record of interesting ideas to further invest in.
The importance of telling the stories of international students was discussed. These students are a valuable source of new creative ideas flowing into US labs. The importance of engaging domestic students in STEM during the earliest K12 years was also discussed. It is difficult to attract smart young people into graduate school when they are being offered very high starting salaries in Silicon Valley. In 2018, DoD began I-Corps @ DoD, a pilot Innovation-Corps program modeled after the National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps. The philosophy is to give faculty a stake in protecting their own Intellectual Property (IP).
Dr. Nair’s advice to faculty who are interested in obtaining DoD funding is to talk directly to BRO program officers. Awareness of proposal dates is important as program officers can talk more openly before a call come out. Early-career faculty should also consider applying to Young Investigator Awards.
Department of Energy (DOE): Chris Fall, Acting Director, Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), nominee Director DOE Office of Science
  • 50% focus on DARPA-esq moonshots
  • 50% focus on re-inventing government (Executing IP domestically, American manufacturing, National Lab Stewardship)
Lewis-Burke Slides
UCR works with Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC, a DC-based firm which monitors and provides guidance on federal funding. Representatives were on campus in May conducting a series of presentations with faculty groups as well as several for the broader campus focused on large center grants and early career faculty opportunities. As we are welcoming many new faculty this fall, it occurred to me that it might be useful to include a reminder about the availability of these presentations.

All of the slides can be  viewed from the Resources tab of the RED Portal:

Included are slides from the following meetings

R'Water Workshop
42 faculty have now signed up for the R'Water workshop which will be held on Wednesday October 10th from 9am-1pm. The goal of the workshop is to foster multidisciplinary research in water resources management and engineering to address water security challenges across local, regional and global scales.

The workshop will begin with a series of lightning talks, followed by discussions about collaborative proposals as they relate to the following thrust areas: 

  • Water, Energy, and Society: Management of Coupled Human-Natural Systems 
  • Water for Food: Enhancing Food Security by Improving Agricultural Water Management
  • Water-Soil-Vegetation Dynamics: Nexuses and Equilibriums in Changing Climate
  • Water Quality and Treatment: From Scientific Innovations to Actions

Visit  to find out more, register for the event, sign up to give a talk and help us shape the future of water research at UCR.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Hope to see you there!

  • Hoori Ajami, Department of Environmental Sciences
  • David Biggs, Department of History
  • Amir Haghverdi, Department Environmental Sciences
  • Haizhou Liu, Chemical and Environmental Engineering
  • David Lo, School of Medicine
  • Kurt Schwabe, School of Public Policy
  • Gillian Wilson, Research and Economic Development

R'Water website:
Faculty Networking Lunches
Both the "Water" workshop advertised above, and a similar "Aging" workshop (date yet TBD but likely late November), grew out of faculty suggestions for RED's networking lunches. RED is currently soliciting suggestions for faculty networking lunches to be held in the fall quarter.

If you have ideas for research lunch topics particularly those that cross colleges, please send your suggestions, along with a brief explanation of the topic, to . The goal is to get faculty with common interests to meet each other in an informal setting and discuss possible collaborations.
Gates Foundation Grant Opportunities
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is inviting  Grand Challenges Grant Opportunities  proposals for the following six challenges (application deadline is Nov 14, 2018):

  • Increasing Demand for Vaccination Services
  • Innovation for WASH in Urban Settings
  • Innovations Driving Programmatic Performance in Immunization: Service Experience and Data Use + Measurement
  • New Approaches for Manufacturing Gut Microbial Biotherapeutics
  • New Approaches for Strategic Prioritization of Agricultural Development Policies
  • Tools and Technologies for Broad-Scale Pest and Disease Surveillance of Crop Plants in Low-Income Countries
Limited: NSF Big Data Hubs (BD HUBS)
Internal Deadline: 10/23/18
Agency Deadline: 12/18/2018
Number of Submissions Allowed: 1

NSF's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) initiated the National Network of Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs (BD Hubs) program in FY 2015 (NSF 15-562). Four Big Data Hubs (BD Hubs)—Midwest, Northeast, South, and West—were established, one in each of the four Census Regions of the United States. The BD Hubs provide the ability to engage local or regional stakeholders, e.g., city, county, and state governments, local industry and non-profits, and regional academic institutions, in big data research, and permit a focus on regional issues. These collaborative activities and partnerships play a critical role in building and sustaining a successful national big data innovation ecosystem.

This solicitation continues the operation of a national network of BD Hubs. It builds on demonstrated strengths of the program, which has grown to include a set of BD Spokes affiliated with the BD Hubs, and is responsive to the recent developments in data science. For instance, the recently released report on Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine exemplifies the urgency of multi-faceted education and training in data science. The BD Hubs will continue to nucleate regional collaborations and multi-sector projects, while fostering innovation in data science.

The NSF BD Hubs program is aligned with NSF’s Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) Big Idea, one of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas for Future Investment. HDR is a visionary, national-scale activity to enable new modes of data-driven discovery, allowing fundamentally new questions to be asked and answered in science and engineering frontiers, generating new knowledge and understanding, and accelerating discovery and innovation. The HDR vision is realized via a coordinated set of program solicitations resulting in an ecosystem of interrelated activities enabling (i) research in the foundations of data science; frameworks, algorithms, and systems for data science; and data-driven research in science and engineering; (ii) advanced cyberinfrastructure; and (iii) education and workforce development—all of which are designed to amplify the intrinsically multidisciplinary nature of the data science challenge. The HDR Big Idea will establish theoretical, technical, and ethical data science frameworks, and apply them to practical problems in science and engineering, and in society more generally.

Please note that this particular solicitation is not meant to be a source of funding for new research. Other funding opportunities relevant to the NSF HDR Big Idea include, but are not limited to, Critical Techniques, Technologies and Methodologies for Advancing Foundations and Applications of Big Data Sciences and Engineering (BIGDATA); Cyberinfrastructure for Sustained Scientific Innovation (CSSI) - Data and Software: Elements and Frameworks; Resource Implementations for Data Intensive Research in the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (RIDIR); and Partnerships between Science and Engineering Fields and the NSF TRIPODS Institutes (TRIPODS + X).

Award Information
Anticipated Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement
Estimated Number of Awards: 4
Up to four awards are anticipated.
Anticipated Funding Amount: $16,000,000
Up to four projects will be funded, each up to a maximum of $4,000,000 for up to 4 years, subject to the availability of funds and quality of proposals received.
Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) Update
RED’s  Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) supports and advises campus researchers and their staff with a variety of extramural endeavors and funding transactions. Dedicated staff in SPA serve as UCR's institutional officials responsible for the review and submission of proposals to extramural sponsors for research, training, instructional and other activities. SPA is also responsible for award negotiation and acceptance on behalf of The Regents of the University of California for projects funded by federal and state agencies, foundations, corporations, and other public and private sources. SPA issues and monitors outgoing subawards for collaborative research; coordinating pre-award and non-accounting post-award actions requiring either institutional or sponsor prior approval; monitoring institutional compliance with government regulations and award requirements; negotiating and executing various unfunded agreements (e.g., material transfer agreement, data use agreements, and confidential disclosure agreements). It is the philosophy of SPA that providing high quality customer service is essential to ensuring positive and long lasting work relationships, both on and off the UC Riverside campus.

UCR employees who receive any part of their salary through the University of California are required to submit all proposals requesting extramural support to SPA for institutional review and endorsement prior to the proposal being submitted to an extramural sponsor.  Standard proposals are due in SPA three (3) full business days prior to the Sponsor Due Date. Non-standard proposals are due in SPA seven (7) full business days prior to the Sponsor Due Date. Please visit the Proposal Review, Approval and Submission policy for additional information.  

Sponsored Programs Administration will be offering lunch-time seminars for new faculty in the Fall and Winter Quarters.  The seminar topics will include UCR research administration systems, federal contract and grants systems, funding search engines, and others. Information on time and location will be posted on the SPA website, sent out on the  Research List-serv and provided in future newsletters. 

For additional information on Sponsored Programs Administration, please feel free to contact the management team.

Charles E. Greer, Jr.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

Cynthia J. Wells
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Sponsored Programs

Caron Miller
Assistant Director for Sponsored Programs

Allison Ramos
Assistant Director for Clinical Research
Associate Vice Chancellor, Research Facilities
As announced in an earlier newsletter, David Kisailus has been appointed as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Facilities. He will begin his appointment in RED on Monday. Welcome to Dr. Kisailus!

Dr. Kisailus is the Winston Chung Endowed Chair of Energy Innovation and Professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering as well as Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California at Riverside. Dr. Kisailus, a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences and a UNESCO Chair in Materials and Technologies for Energy Conversion, Saving and Storage, received his Ph.D. in Materials from the University of California at Santa Barbara, 2002; M.S. in Materials Science (University of Florida) and B.S. in Chemical Engineering (Drexel University). Dr. Kisailus was a post-doctoral researcher in Molecular Biology at UCSB and a Research Scientist at HRL Laboratories working on synthesis of materials for fuel cells and batteries. 

Dr. Kisailus directs a $7.5M Multi-University Research Center focused on making impact and energy absorbing materials. He has over 20 years of experience investigating the synthesis and crystal growth mechanisms of nanomaterials and semiconductors and more than 15 years studying biological mineralizing organisms. He has published in journals such as Science, ACS Nano, Advanced Materials, PNAS and JACS. He has also been granted more than 10 patents (with more than 25 pending). His research is highlighted in high profile media including Nature, New York Times, National Geographic, Discovery Channel and BBC. 

As the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Facilities, Dr. Kisailus will work closely with the Vice Chancellor for RED supporting the growth of research through the management of RED research facilities. In addition, he will will have principal oversight and supervision for RED managed research facilities to support fostering multidisciplinary research, increases in industry partnerships, and ensuring overall strength in core research infrastructure.
Seagull Nebula
This stunning image shows the Seagull Nebula. Like other nebulae, the Seagull is a stellar nursery — an enormous cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases where stars are being born. The intense ultraviolet radiation from these new hot stars causes the surrounding gas to glow brightly.

UCR's Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, Michael Pazzani, will return from research sabbatical on Monday. Welcome back Mike!

Image Credit: Philip Perkins

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