About the Newsletter
The Office of Research quarterly newsletter is designed to create a communication channel for news and useful information to support the research, scholarship and creative activities that our faculty members, students and staff are engaged in. This includes basic, applied research, scholarship, service projects, community engagement and creative expressions. It is intended to promote, support and recognize your efforts and keep it brief to accommodate your busy schedules. We encourage you to contact us with any feedback, suggestions so that we may serve you better and help you to be successful.
NEW IRB REMINDERS FOR PROTOCOLS APPROVED ON OR AFTER JANUARY 5, 2015
New protocols approved on or after January 5, 2015 will receive (3) reminders via Outlook in regard to the upcoming approval expiration and/or status report due date. The IRB will send an invite through Outlook with a 90, 60, and 30 day reminder. In order to receive these reminders, researchers must accept the request through Outlook so that it can be added to their calendars. The invite will provide instructions on submitting the continuing review request or status report, and will also provide the IRB number, title of the study, and due date.
UPDATED OUTSIDE AFFILIATION DISCLOSURE FORM FOR STUDENTS AND PART TIME RESEARCHERS
The Outside Affiliation Disclosure Certification Form for students and part time researchers has been simplified to request less signatures when the researchers have no outside affiliations. The form can be routed directly with the research protocol. Please visit our website www.utpa.edu/irb to download the latest version of the form.
IRB CLASS PRESENTATIONS
The IRB is available to provide short presentations during classes in courses that require human subject research. Please contact in advance us to schedule a presentation.
If you want to learn more about this process or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the IRB at firstname.lastname@example.org or 956-665-2889.
NSF Day Video
The NSF day work held during the fall semester was videotaped and the videos are now posted on the Office of Research website. A fair number if faculty members attended the half-day session, but if you missed it, you may view these videos at your leisure. Click here.
NSF Proposal Templates
To facilitate the NSF proposal preparation process and also make your proposals competitive, the OSP has developed templates for the various sections of the NSF proposals and these can be down loaded from the Office of Research Website. Click here. You can access these by using your user name and UTPA password. Some of these templates will also apply to other agencies as well.
Note that there is also a list of instruments available at both UTPA and UTB under NSF templates that can be downloaded. For facilities documents for the NSF proposals, you may select appropriate instruments relevant for your proposal from this list, to show the institutional capabilities for research.
New Limited Submission Procedure
One of the many mandates driving the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) is to constantly improve the quality of the grant proposals submitted to the funding agencies. Therefore, we at OSP have adapted a new limited submission process. In the pre-proposal process we are trying to replicate, as best as possible, the actual peer review process. We now provide a brief limited submission form, budget justification, and a budget form that is developed specifically from the selection criteria of the Request For Proposals (RFP). A peer review team is selected from the faculty in which eliminating conflict of interest is the highest priority. Then a confidential peer review is completed using a scoring rubric developed from the selection criteria provided in the RFP. Once a proposal are selected to be fully developed as an institutional proposal the PI’s is notified of the status. In addition, all the scores/feedback/comments by the peer reviewers are provided to the PIs selected to develop the full proposal. Feedback is also provided to those not selected for submission, to facilitate the improvement of their future proposals.
Revised Office of Management and Budget Circular
As of December 26, 2014, new OMB requirements came into effect with proposed changes. Proposed changes include but are not limited to indirect costs, cost share, procurement, internal controls, among several other. The proposal and award processes will be slightly affected with the changes. Therefore, it is important you contact the Office of Sponsored Project when preparing new proposals. The new OMB circular can be found here.
Here are some key changes to keep in mind.
1. All agencies are supposed to honor full Indirect Costs rate unless Congress mandates a reduced IDC rate for specific programs.
2. Any voluntary cost share cannot be used by the agencies as part of the decision criteria for the award decision. Voluntary release time, cash match etc. will constitute cost share.
3. NSF will reject proposals if there is voluntary cost share.
NSF will consider any voluntary in-kind in the budget or in the budget justification as cost share.
For additional questions or clarification feel free to contact the Office of Sponsored Projects.
The Office of Sponsored Projects is preparing new webinars for both UTPA and UTB campuses. The webinars will include updates to the new limited submission process, an overview of the new OMB Uniform Guidance, Pivot and Grant Budgeting 101. These webinars are intended to help our faculty and staff search for funding opportunities and become more knowledgeable in successfully submitting proposals. The Office of Research will be sending out e-mails prior to the webinars to inform you of the time and date the webinars will take place.
The Office of Sponsored Projects is now broadcasting news and updates on the campus-wide Bronc TV. This includes upcoming funding opportunities, the research PI of the month and it mentions other awards that were granted recently to other faculty/staff. The research PI of the month is recognized as the individual who has received the largest amount of funding for the previous month. The slides are updated on a monthly basis so please take some time to look out for them and if you have any questions or comments, please contact the Office of Sponsored Projects.
White House Announces Over $240 Million in New STEM Initiatives
President Obama announced over $240 million in new STEM initiatives to help inspire and prepare students – especially those from underrepresented groups – to excel in STEM fields. The announcement coincided with last week’s White House Science Fair and includes the following initiatives:
* $150 million for a philanthropic effort to empower a diverse cadre of promising early-career scientists to become scientific leaders of tomorrow;
* $90 million for the “Let Everyone Dream” campaign to expand STEM opportunities to under-represented youth;
* $25 million for a Department of Education competition to create science and literacy themed media that inspires students to explore STEM;
* 120 universities and colleges committing to train 20,000 engineers to tackle the “Grand Challenges” of 21st century; and
* A commitment from CEO coalition Change the Equation to expand effective STEM programs to an additional 1.5 million students this year.
To learn more about these initiatives and read the full announcement click here.