National Science Foundation Day
This fall, the Office of Research in collaboration with the Office of Faculty Affairs organized an NSF day workshop. The topics covered included the:1. NSF division structure.2. Understanding how to navigate the NSF website to identify funding programs.3. The NSF review process.4. What to focus on in developing a competitive proposal.
5. A successful PIs experience in developing strategies to secure funding from NSF.
6. Insights into the NSF panel review dynamics.
A fair number of faculty members attended the session; however, the session was recorded and it will be posted on the Office of Research website to make the session accessible to all faculty on campus to benefit from this workshop. Look for the link on the Office of Research website in the near future.
Office of Sponsored Projects
Developing Competitive Proposals
Identifying Funding OpportunitiesThere are several ways to identify funding opportunities. To facilitate this process you may setup an account in PIVOT software that will identify funding opportunities and bring them to your attention via e-mail. However, it is based on how well you set your research interest profile in PIVOT. Note, this software is also capable to connect colleagues with similar research interests for collaboration when a request for proposal is released. To support faculty efforts, the Office of Sponsored Projects has set monthly “Open Office Hours.” Each third Thursday of the month, from 2:00pm to 4pm, Ms. Roxanna Garcia has open office hours, no appointment is needed. Simply stop by and Ms. Garcia will assist you in setting up your account and also help you conduct some searches to identify funding opportunities for you. Please take advantage of this service. Contact her at 5008 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Financial Conflict of Interest in Research
Federal Regulations promote and require objectivity in research by establishing standards that provide a reasonable expectation that the design, conduct, and reporting of research will be free from bias resulting from investigators financial conflicts of interest. Every year, researchers are required to acknowledge the policy in HOP 4.1.3 and to make relevant disclosures of outside activity/affiliations according to the policy. This requirement applies to any employee, student, and collaborator conducting research at UTPA. The certification must be done before the research starts and annually thereafter by March 1st (if there is no change in affiliations). Researchers must also notify any changes in their certifications/disclosures within 30 days from the date of such change.
** Full-time regular employees conducting research (faculty and staff) must complete their certifications and disclosures using the UT System Portal: http://outsideactivity.utsystem.edu.
** Part-time employees, students, and collaborators must complete their certification and disclosures using the Outside Affiliations Disclosure Certification Form that can be found at utpa.edu/irb under IRB Application Requirements.
Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)
Please continue to forward the “Training and Duration of Instruction” forms for any training that your employees have completed on Responsible Conduct of Research since your last submission. Remember that NSF, NIH, and USDA require at least eight contact hours every four years for RCR training. This training requirement must be a combination of RCR CITI online, face-to-face, safe laboratory practices, and it may include small-group discussions through a university ethics course. This requirement applies to Undergraduate and Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Fellows, Faculty, and Staff on NIH, NSF, and USDA grants.
The Office of Research Compliance (ORC) is collecting this information throughout the year. In case you have a group of 5 or more employees on your grant, you may request an RCR Training by the Research Compliance Specialist at any time.
If you have any questions regarding Responsible Conduct of Research or training schedule, please send an email to email@example.com or feel free to contact the Research Compliance Specialist at 956-665-8991.
Time and Effort Reporting
The Time and Effort Certification reports for the FY14, second 6-month cycle are now available for review and certification in the new version of the Effort Certification and Reporting Technology (ECRT) system at https://utss-ecrt.utsystem.edu/ecrt/. Primary individuals have 30 days to certify their effort and the effort of the supporting individuals working on their grants. If you have questions on how to certify effort on the upgraded version, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 956-665-8991.
Institutional Review Board – IRB Applications
The IRB review process and time depends upon how complete the application is at the time of the submission. A properly completed application eliminates the extra time required by the PIs to address the contingencies identified by the IRB review process, and the application can be reviewed and approved quickly. To accomplish this goal and to support faculty scholarly and research activities and to ensure that PIs questions are answered, the IRB Chair and staff has set monthly open office hours to answer questions and guide applicants in preparing completed applications. The office hours are 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. second Monday every month. PIs are encouraged to take advantage of this service to facilitate their research efforts; no appointments are needed.
Approvals for Continuation of Research
Note that all expedited and full reviews IRB protocols are approved for one year. Thus if you plan to continue the research beyond the approved period, you do not need to submit a new full application. Instead the most efficient process is to complete a two page “Research Continuation Form.” The IRB will review this abridged version of the application to determine if there are significant or substantive changes in the original research protocol and/or the personnel. In the absence of changes in the original approved research protocol, non-occurrence of any adverse events and no changes in the personnel the approval process is now expedited. You can continue to proceed with your research upon receiving the approval notification in response to the Research Continuation Form.
Also, note that although exempt IRB protocols do not expire, the IRB requires a yearly status report until the study is complete.
You may checkout the new IRB website at http://www.utpa.edu/irb/ for additional information. Your students may review the section on Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about the application and the review processes that have been streamlined to make the process efficient.
CITI Program Website
Please note that effective March 2015, CITI Program’s website will block use of Internet Explorer version 7, which is now more than 8 years old, as it does earlier versions of Internet Explorer. Site users will need to have Internet Explorer version 8 or later, or use a current version of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.
We welcome your comments and suggestions. Send them to email@example.com or you may call 965-665-2889.