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Subject:                                     [Researchnews] Research and Economic Development Newsletter -    October 14, 2019

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Research and Economic Development Newsletter



October 14, 2019

RED Updates

·     A Message from the Vice Chancellor

·     Office of Technology Partnerships Update

Upcoming Events

·     MRB Wet Lab Incubator Opening Ceremony and Tour

·     ORI Seminar Series

Funding Opportunities

·     Limited Submissions with Upcoming Deadlines

·     Specialized Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research - 10/22/19

·     Critical Zone Collaborative Network - 11/4/19

·     Mid-Scale Innovations Program in Astronomical Sciences (MSIP) - 11/7/19

·     NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) - 11/21/19

·     Other Opportunities

·     Moore Inventor Fellows

·     University of California-Hispanic Serving Institutions Doctoral Diversity Initiative


RED Updates


A Message from the Vice Chancellor


Dear UCR Community,


I am extremely honored and happy to be your new Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development. I am very impressed by what UC Riverside has accomplished so far in terms of student success, research, and outreach, and am fully committed to join you in your efforts to continue to grow the accomplishments of this fantastic campus and the wonderful people who learn and work here.


After 23 years at my previous institution, it was a big personal and professional decision to move, but your achievements and the opportunities we face at UCR and the region convince me that I did the right thing. I will miss friends and colleagues at the University of Kansas and the City of Lawrence community, but I know I will make many new ones here and I am looking forward to that. I have already met many of you and, in the next few months, I will continue meeting as many people as possible to get a full sense from all stakeholders about your interactions with and views of the Office of Research and Economic Development (RED). Thanks to all with whom I have already met for your welcoming attitude, expressions of support, and desire to increase your interactions with RED.


After a little more than a month in Riverside, things have never been so hectic but at the same time extremely exciting. As I settle in my new job, I have the complications of adapting from the Midwest to California. My wife and I have bought a house and our family just moved in, so we can start to enjoy the community, the food, the weather, and the beautiful surroundings that Riverside has to offer too.


In my short time here, I have already witnessed some great steps in building the research infrastructure for the generation and translation of knowledge. A couple of examples are the continuing relocation of faculty to the state-of-the-art Multidisciplinary Research Building (MRB) and the upcoming opening of its incubator facility. I attended the inauguration of the $8M Biosafety Level-3 (BSL3) facility built by the California Citrus Industry and at which UCR researchers will fight the Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening decease, which has had a devastating financial impact on the Florida Citrus Industry. The BSL3 serves as an example of UCR’s commitment to work together with industries and the broader community in the region. Another such example is securing the relocation of the more than $400M California Air Resources Board facility near campus.  My kudos and admiration go to my predecessors, all of you in RED and across campus, the UCR leadership, elected officials, the City, the County and the Riverside Chamber of Commerce who have made such accomplishments possible. I hope to follow in those steps and help achieve the next big developments.


I see my role in the “R” part of RED as a facilitator and supporter of all forms of research, scholarly work, and creative activities, whether they are externally funded or not, and one of my main duties is to advocate for those activities and try to secure the appropriate resources to conduct them despite difficult budgetary times. We are currently revising our RED budget to look for efficiencies and/or reallocation of resources as needed. Some changes in infrastructure will likely start to take place in the coming months. In particular, I am involved in conversations with deans, centers directors, faculty and staff about how research centers and core lab facilities should be best administrated to serve campus more broadly and generate further synergy across units.


I see my role in the “ED” part of RED as equally important and have already been interacting with the Chamber, the City, the County, and State authorities to leverage the existing connections with industry and entrepreneurs in Riverside to move them to the next level. UCR should continue to play an important role in the economic development of the region, the commercialization of our technologies, and the creation of high-paying jobs for the incredibly diverse, inclusive, and skillful workforce we graduate from our classrooms. I had a chance to give a few remarks this past Thursday at the Chamber’s Good Morning Riverside event and was overwhelmed by the welcoming spirit of those in attendance. This is a very exciting town!


Undoubtedly, promoting research and creative activities and the translation of the knowledge we generate to benefit society is a big team effort and I am looking forward to learning from all of you while contributing my own experiences. I am an active researcher myself and that experience has guided in part my research administration jobs. My participation at my past institution in shared governance, of which I am a strong supporter, guide my actions too. I value the role shared governance plays at UCR and I plan to frequently interact with its leaders and the senate committees related to RED activities.


Please feel free to contact me with comments and suggestions or to schedule an appointment (if I have not done so already). 


Keep up the great work you all do and thank you again for welcoming me into the Highlander family,





Rodolfo H. Torres

Vice Chancellor

Research and Economic Development

University of California – Riverside





Office of Technology Partnerships Update

Our office of Technology Partnerships continues building the infrastructure to provide entrepreneurial training to our faculty and students. Recently, led by OTP, UCR was awarded a grant of $550k by the Blackstone Foundation for the university to join the LaunchPad Powered by Techstars network. This program aims at helping students succeed in entrepreneurship and in their careers. Rosibel Ochoa, Associate Vice Chancellor for Technology Partnerships, and Gillian Wilson, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, are co-Principal Investigators on the grant, continuing a successful partnership which previously brought National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps Site status and a $500k award to provide in-house commercialization training to UCR faculty, students and staff. In the last three years, OTP has secured $17.2 Million from a combination of state, federal and private sources to create a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at UCR and in the Inland Empire.


The Blackstone LaunchPad is primarily focused on engaging undergraduate students. Starting this fall, a series of undergraduate-focused campus programs will be offered including workshops and networking events, and one-on-one mentoring. Blackstone Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Mai Temraz, has been hired at UCR to lead the programs. UCR undergraduates or graduate students who have a business idea in mind, or who just want to learn more about the broad range of entrepreneurial events available on campus are invited to email her directly ( or visit the Creat’R Lab in the Orbach library.


Upcoming Events


MRB Wet Lab Incubator Opening Ceremony and Tour





ORI Seminar Series - Three Identical Strangers

UCR’s Office of Research Integrity (ORI) is proud to be partnering with the Department of Psychology to present the first seminar in the 2019-2020 ORI Seminar Series. ORI seminars focus on ethical dilemmas and hot topics in compliance and research with human participants. The next event will be a screening of the award-winning documentary “Three Identical Strangers,” followed by a discussion which will led by UCR Psychology Professors Drs. Chandra Reynolds and Lawrence Rosenblum. There will be time for an audience Q&A, as well. The screening will take place on Thursday, Oct 17 at 6:00 PM in Winston Chung Hall 205/206.


Post-film discussion participants:

Dr. Reynolds researches the interrelationships between health and cognition across development. Her research also considers the genetic and environmental factors associated with aging and she has done extensive research with twins.


Dr. Rosenblum has received multiple awards for his research on sensory perception and the integration of multimodal sensory inputs.


This event is organized jointly by the ORI & Department of Psychology. The event is free and open to the public. No registration is required but seating is limited.


Funding Opportunities


Limited Submissions with Upcoming Deadlines


For more information about current and past limited submission competitions, as well as details on how to apply, please visit our website at


Specialized Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research

Internal Deadline: 10/22/2019

Agency Deadline: 11/22/2019

Number of Submissions Allowed: 1


This initiative will support multidisciplinary research to generate innovative approaches to mitigate environmental health disparities and improve access to healthy and sustainable environments for health disparity populations and vulnerable communities. Each center is expected to foster interdisciplinary

collaboration, synergistic research projects (see descriptions of required components below for examples of synergy), and core support that enhances the ability to achieve goals and objectives in the following broad areas:


·     Research

·     Research Capacity and Training

·     Communication and Translation


Critical Zone Collaborative Network

Internal Deadline: 11/04/2019

Agency Deadline: 12/02/2019

Number of Submissions Allowed: 4

·     Thematic Clusters: 3 proposals per organization

·     Coordinating Hub: 1 proposal per organization

Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 4

·     Thematic Clusters: An individual may serve as PI or co-PI on as many as 3 proposals.

·     Coordinating Hub: An individual may serve as PI or co-PI on only 1 proposal.


NSF seeks proposals to establish an adaptive and responsive research network that supports investigations of the Earth’s Critical Zone. This network will consist of two components that will work together to advance knowledge, education, and outreach in this convergent science: 1) Thematic Clusters of fixed or temporary locations will conduct basic research on significant, overarching scientific questions concerning the structure, function, and processes of the Critical Zone. These U.S.-based Clusters could include existing observatories engaged in collecting environmental data, other monitoring locations that have been in operation for extended periods of time, and new sites that will support the scientific goals of the Cluster; 2) A Coordinating Hub that will oversee the compatibility and archiving of the data resulting from the Thematic Clusters, coordinate outreach and community-building activities, support the use of network facilities by outside researchers, and plan for infrastructure needs of the network.


This solicitation invites proposals for either of the two components: 1) Thematic Cluster or 2) Coordinating Hub. The Thematic Clusters will carry out interdisciplinary research on scientific questions and manage part of the network infrastructure; the Coordinating Hub will serve as the national center for the network. The infrastructure of the network will be accessible to other research teams pursuing research in the Critical Zone.


Mid-Scale Innovations Program in Astronomical Sciences (MSIP)

Internal Deadline: 11/07/2019

Agency Deadline: 12/19/2019

Number of Submissions Allowed: 3

Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 1


A vigorous Mid-Scale Innovations Program (MSIP) was recommended by the 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey, citing "many highly promising projects for achieving diverse and timely science." As described in this solicitation, the Division of Astronomical Sciences conducts a mid-scale program to support a variety of astronomical activities within a cost range up to $30M. This program is formally divided into four subcategories: 1) limited term, self-contained science projects; 2) longer term mid-scale facilities; 3) development investments for future mid-scale and large-scale projects; and 4) community open access capabilities. MSIP will emphasize both strong scientific merit and a well-developed plan for student training and involvement of a diverse workforce in instrumentation, facility development, or data management.


NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI)

Internal Deadline: 11/21/2019

Agency Deadline: 1/1/2020 - 1/19/2020

Number of Submissions Allowed: 2 submissions for track 1, and 1 submission for track 2


The Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program serves to increase access to multi-user scientific and engineering instrumentation for research and research training in our Nation's institutions of higher education and not-for-profit scientific/engineering research organizations. An MRI award supports the acquisition or development of a multi-user research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs.


MRI provides support to acquire critical research instrumentation without which advances in fundamental science and engineering research may not otherwise occur. MRI also provides support to develop next-generation research instruments that open new opportunities to advance the frontiers in science and engineering research. Additionally, an MRI award is expected to enhance research training of students who will become the next generation of instrument users, designers and builders.


An MRI proposal may request up to $4 million for either acquisition or development of a research instrument. Beginning with the FY 2018 competition, each performing organization may submit in revised “Tracks” as defined below, with no more than two submissions in Track 1 and no more than one submission in Track 2.


·     Track 1: Track 1 MRI proposals are those that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $100,0001 and less than $1,000,000.

·     Track 2: Track 2 MRI proposals are those that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $1,000,000 up to and including $4,000,000.

Consistent with the America COMPETES Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-69), cost sharing of precisely 30% of the total project cost is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education and for non-degree-granting organizations. Non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education are exempt from the cost-sharing requirement and cannot include it. National Science Board policy prohibits voluntary committed cost sharing.


Other Opportunities


Moore Inventor Fellows

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has announced the 2020 competition for Moore Inventor Fellows. Their 2020 selection process seeks to identify outstanding early-stage inventors who harness science and technology solutions to enhance scientific research, strengthen environmental conservation, or improve the experience and outcomes of patient care. Moore seeks creative individuals from programs that include, but are not limited to, environmental science and conversation, oceanography, biology, engineering, physics, chemistry, materials science, neuroscience, public health, and gerontology. Candidates must be no more than 10 years past receiving the terminal advanced degree in their field.  


Fellows will receive funding for three years at a level of $200,000 per year from the Moore Foundation. In addition to funds for the fellow, the foundation will provide $25,000 each year to the institution to cover costs associated with administering the grant award, resulting in a total three-year award of $675,000. Host institutions will be required to make a contribution of $50,000 in annual support of the inventor’s work in support of course release, core facility usage fees, etc. To review a list of funded projects, Moore’s list of 2018 Fellows may be found here.     


Interested faculty should complete an internal pre-application through UCR’s Limited Submission process by Friday, October 18th (note that the 2020 timeline is three months earlier than in previous years). UCR may submit two nominations for this award by November 15th, with nominees to complete their full applications by December 13th, 2019. Questions can be addressed to Bryan Carlson, Executive Director of Foundation Development, at or 827-4592. 



University of California-Hispanic Serving Institutions Doctoral Diversity Initiative

This systemwide effort is designed to support faculty diversity by enhancing pathways to the professoriate for underrepresented students from California Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). The UC-HSI DDI program includes two components—


·     Competitive grant awards to UC faculty/faculty administrators that will support short-term and long-term programs/projects to enhance and expand pathways to the professoriate for underrepresented minorities, with a goal to increase faculty diversity and inclusion at UC. Please see the Request for Proposals for detailed application information.

·     Funding to support graduate student preparation for the professoriate. Specifically, there are resources to help support a limited number of PhD students, who are California HSI alumni and have advanced to candidacy at UC, to foster their interest and preparation for the professoriate, and additional professional development outreach and support for underrepresented PhD students with a goal to encourage and help equip them to consider careers in the professoriate. UCOP will coordinate directly with campus graduate divisions for this component of the Initiative.


As part of UC’s system-wide effort to enhance faculty diversity, new annual funding was allocated to support efforts that will expand pathways to faculty diversity. This commitment enables the University to launch the new system-wide UC HSI program and support the following goals:


1.  Increase the pathways to UC PhD completion for underrepresented students from California HSIs.

2.  Expose, encourage and help prepare students for the professoriate. 

3.  Encourage research and enrichment collaborations between UC faculty and faculty at partner California HSIs—supporting partnerships that will foster long-term engagement opportunities among faculty, students, programs, departments and campuses.

4.  Enhance the climate of academic programs through interventions, incentives and efforts that foster an academic culture of inclusion and equity—especially for faculty and students from underrepresented communities.


This grants program offers two funding mechanisms (small awards up to $50K and large awards up to $350K) that will address the four program goals listed above.


Please review the RFP for specific program guidelines. Click here for Application Instructions & Forms.


For more information, please visit the UC-HSI DDI webpage: or contact Graduate Studies at




Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development |