NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Office of Research Update

Recent Awards

Congratulations to the following faculty members for their recent awards:

  • Eric Bittner (Physics) was awarded $542,867 from NSF: “Quantum Manybody Dynamical Effects in Non-Linear Optical Spectroscopy”
  • Greg Morrison (Physics) was awarded $97,131 from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: “Enhancing Biopreparedness Through a Model System to Understand the Molecular Mechanisms that Lead to Pathogenesis and Disease Transmission”
  • Demetrio Labate (Mathematics) was awarded $16,050 from University of Texas Health Science Center: “Salary Reimbursement Agreement: Analysis of Granularity in Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Data”
  • Yunsoo Choi (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences) was awarded $7,516 from the Gwangju Institute of Science & Technology: “Development of Convection and Advection Schemes and Deep-Learning Based Artificial Intelligence Technique for Accurate Forecasting of Fine Particulate Matter V (5th Project Period)”
  • Chengzhi Cai (Chemistry) was awarded $50,000 from UH Equipment: “Establishing a Biological Sample Processing Station for the Mass Spectrometry Laboratory”
  • Jeremy May (Chemistry) was awarded $45,424 from UH Equipment: “Single-Phase Microwave Reactor with Automated Reaction Changer”

* The awards listed above are extracted from the awards report generated through PeopleSoft Grants System. This report includes only the awards that are fully set up with cost centers available for expenditures. Any incoming awards pending in the system will not be reported until the set up is complete.

General Reminders

Looking for new funding opportunities? Check out the NSM Office of Research’s Funding Opportunities webpage. Here you will find a curated list of funding opportunities specific to the interests of NSM faculty. The list is updated twice a month, so check back often.

Don’t unnecessarily delay your award! The biggest roadblock to issuing a notice of award (NOA) is failing to submit just-in-time (JIT) information, such as revised budgets and current/pending support information. The biggest obstacle to award set up is congruency review—an internal review done by DOR that ensures all compliance approvals are complete (animal use, human subjects, biohazards, radiation safety). To minimize delays in getting your award, please let us know if you receive a favorable review. This typically comes in the form of a high impact score on a summary statement or a letter from the sponsor suggesting interest in the proposal. We will complete any pending JIT requests and ask DOR to begin the congruency review.

Preparing your next proposal? Please review our proposal submission timetable. We routinely have multiple grants due at or near the same time, so it is imperative that everything is in order well ahead of the deadline. This also gives us time to properly check for errors. Let us know when you have plan(s) for submission by filling out our Google Form online.

NSF now requires the use of SciENcv to generate Biosketches and Current and Pending Support documents. NSF stopped accepting the fillable pdf forms in October 2023. For all new NSF proposals, Biosketches and C&P Support documents for all key personnel must be generated with SciENcv. If you haven’t already done so, please create an account with SciENcv. There are YouTube videos on the SciENcv website that will explain how to use the service. See the section below titled The Time to Start Using SciENcv is NOW for more information.

Let us create your budgets! Many of you like to fill in the UH budget worksheet yourself, but we end up transferring that information to the most current version and looking up everyone’s salary and benefits information anyway. It is simpler to just send us an outline of what you would like in the budget, and let us create it for you. A great way to do this is to make a draft of your budget justification. We can use that to create the budget.

Please check out the NSM Office of Research website for useful links and information.

– The NSM Research Team

What’s New?

New NSF Grants.gov Application Guide

NSF has published a revised version of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide (NSF 24-006). Overall, the Guide has been updated to align with the revisions to NSF’s Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 24-1). A by-chapter summary of changes is provided at the beginning of the document.

The Guide will be effective for applications submitted (via Grants.gov) or due on or after May 20, 2024.

DOE Office Science Virtual Office Hour Sign Up

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science (SC) is the nation’s largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences, the steward of 10 national laboratories, and the lead federal agency supporting fundamental research for energy production and security.

These monthly virtual office hours are opportunities to share information and ask questions about their six research programs and two research and development and production offices. Researchers at all institutions are welcome to attend and learn more about their programs; no existing relationship with DOE or the DOE national laboratories is required to attend.

Office hours will take place on the schedule below for each program office. Topics will vary each month. The office hour will be in the form of a Zoom meeting, starting with a brief presentation on the monthly topic, followed by questions. Program managers will be available to answer questions from the community. Click on the topic below to register for one of the office hours.

Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR)

ASCR will hold virtual office hours on the second Tuesday of the month, 2–3 pm ET. Upcoming and recent topics include:

For more information on ASCR office hours, including registration, upcoming topics, slides, and recordings, please visit science.osti.gov/ascr/officehours.

Basic Energy Sciences (BES)

BES will hold virtual office hours on the third Thursday of the month, 2–3 pm ET. Upcoming topics include:

For more information on BES office hours, including registration, upcoming topics, slides, and recordings, please visit science.osti.gov/bes/officehours.

Biological and Environmental Research (BER)

BER will hold virtual office hours on the fourth Tuesday of the month, 2–3 pm ET. Upcoming topics include:

For more information on BER office hours, including registration, upcoming topics, slides, and recordings, please visit science.osti.gov/ber/officehours.

Fusion Energy Sciences (FES)

FES will hold virtual office hours on the first Wednesday of the month, 2–3 pm ET. Upcoming and recent topics include:

For more information on FES office hours, including registration, upcoming topics, slides, and recordings, please visit science.osti.gov/fes/officehours.

High Energy Physics (HEP)

HEP will hold virtual office hours on the third Tuesday of the month, 2–3 pm ET. Upcoming topics include:

For more information on HEP office hours, including registration, upcoming topics, slides, and recordings, please visit science.osti.gov/hep/officehours.

Nuclear Physics (NP)

NP will hold virtual office hours on the first Monday of the month, 3–4 pm ET. In cases where the first Monday falls on a federal holiday, the office hour will slide to the second Monday of the month. Upcoming and recent topics include:

For more information on NP office hours, including registration, upcoming topics, slides, and recordings, please visit science.osti.gov/np/officehours.

Accelerator R&D and Production (ARDAP)

ARDAP will hold virtual office hours on the second Wednesday of the month, 3–4 pm ET. Upcoming and recent topics include:

For more information on ARDAP office hours, including registration, upcoming topics, slides, and recordings, please visit science.osti.gov/ardap/officehours.

Isotope R&D and Production (DOE IP)

DOE IP will hold virtual office hours on the second Monday of the month, 2–3 pm ET. In cases where the second Monday falls on a federal holiday, the office hour will slide to the third Monday of the month. Upcoming and recent topics include:

For more information on DOE IP office hours, including registration, upcoming topics, slides, and recordings, please visit science.osti.gov/Isotope-Research-Development-and-Production/officehours.

Spring 2024 NSF Grants Conference

Registration for the National Science Foundation’s Spring 2024 NSF Grants Conference is open! NSF will host the hybrid conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 3-5, 2024. Register here.

The Grants Conference provides new faculty, researchers, and administrators valuable insights into various current issues at NSF. Program officers from each NSF Directorate will be present to offer the latest information on specific funding opportunities and address questions from attendees. View the draft agenda.

As NSF transitions from a virtual format to a hybrid conference, registration fees will be in place to cover the costs associated with the enhanced hybrid experience.

  • In-Person - The fee to attend the conference in person is $750. This fee includes breakfast, lunch, regular refreshments, and attendance at an evening reception.
  • Virtual - The virtual event registration fee is $50. Virtual attendees will have access to the event platform, where they can watch all sessions live, submit questions to presenters, and network with others.

Simplified Review Framework for NIH Research Project Grant Applications Webinar - April 17

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is simplifying the framework for the peer review of most Research Project Grant (RPG) applications, effective for due dates on or after January 25, 2025. These changes are designed to address the complexity of the peer review process and mitigate potential bias. Make plans to hear the latest updates, timelines, and how these changes will impact existing and new funding opportunities. A Q&A with NIH experts will follow the presentation to address additional questions.

Date/Time: Wed, April 17, Noon – 1 pm Central
Register the Webinar

Additional resources/information about the upcoming changes are listed below:

U.S. Army xTech Program Session - May 2

The U.S. Army xTech Program is excited to host an Ask Me Anything (AMA) Session focused on answering your burning questions and providing some key insights on the xTechScalable AI 2 Project Linchpin competition.

  • Gain insights into the xTech program and its mission to push the boundaries of technological advancement.
  • Dive into the details of the xTechScalable AI 2 Project Linchpin competition as you hear directly from the topic authors and understand how you might fit in.

The xTechScalable AI 2 Project Linchpin competition is focused on three key areas:

  • Topic 1: Scalable tools for automated AI risk management and algorithmic analysis.
  • Topic 2: Scalable techniques for robust testing and evaluation of AI operations pipelines.
  • Topic 3: Scalable techniques for center of mass and course of action analytics for intelligence preparation of the battlefield.

Date/Time: Thur, May 2, 1–2 pm Central

Reserve your Spot Today: xTechScalable AI 2 AMA Session
To find out more details on the competition, visit the xTech website.

NIH Salary Cap Updated

NIH issued guidance on salary limitations for grants and cooperative agreements for FY2024 on January 29, 2024, through NOT-OD-24-057. The salary cap is now $221,900 per year, which reflects the rate of Level II Executive Schedule issued by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

NIH Invites Researchers to Participate in Pilot of Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Plan Templates

NIH, in collaboration with the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP), is conducting a pilot test of DMS plan templates. They are also soliciting feedback which NIH will use to inform possible revisions to the current NIH DMS Plan format page. The goal is to encourage greater consistency in DMS Plan requirements across NIH Institutes and Centers and mitigate the administrative burden associated with DMS Plan development and implementation for researchers. NIH encourages researchers to use the two FDP templates when preparing DMS plans, and to submit the accompanying FDP survey. The goal is to gain an understanding of what works best for researchers and to streamline the user experience once the first phase of the pilot is complete.

The Time to Start Using SciENcv is NOW

SciENcv is short for Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae. It is an online utility system where researchers can go to generate Biosketches and Current & Pending Support (CPS) documents for grant applications.

The system provides a single place where all your professional history, credentials, products, and achievements can be stored and managed in an organized way. Once your profile is established, with a few clicks, it generates customized documents that meet the sponsor requirements in seconds.

SciENcv has actually been around for several years for researchers applying to NIH funding opportunities. However, NIH has yet to make it a policy to require applicants to submit documents generated by SciENcv. Therefore, most applicants still use the Word templates to prepare biosketches and CPS documents.

When NSF rolled out the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) for 2023 (NSF 23-1) in January 2023, it announced the transition to mandate the use of SciENcv generated biographical sketch and current and pending support documents starting October 23, 2023. (See Documents Required for Senior Personnel)

It does take a little time to setup your SciENcv profile. If you have been consistently maintaining your eRA Commons account or ORCiD account, setting up your SciENcv profile is quite easy as it will automatically import your information from your other existing accounts. With a little bit of effort every now and then, you will be able to keep your SciENcv profile up to date and generate documents for your proposals with just a few clicks.

The documents generated by SciENcv carry the same information we put on Word or PDF templates in the past. They are also completely customizable. The difference is that you do not have to worry about any formatting requirements. The system will take care of all of that and provide you with a finished and well-illustrated product. It is a huge time saver for you and your administrators.

The documents generated by SciENcv are also digitally tagged. Research.gov will check on them, and no alternatives will be accepted starting October 23, 2023. If you need to make changes after a document is generated, you have to go back to SciENcv, make the changes, and generate a new copy. You should not alter these documents in any way after they are generated. It will break this digital seal, and the documents will not be accepted by NSF.

Additionally, when you generate documents in SciENcv, you are certifying that the information provided in your biographical sketch and current and pending support documents is accurate, current, and complete. All these requirements are developed in compliance with the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 and National Security Presidential Memorandum 33 (NSPM-33) Implementation Guidance.

It is time to start using SciENcv and to take advantage of what this time-saving utility has to offer. Gear up your profile today and not the day before your next NSF proposal is due. When the next deadline approaches, you can spend more time polishing your project description instead of formatting your biosketch.

Information that Must be Disclosed in the NSF Current and Pending (Other) Support Document

In recent years, all federal agencies have increased their requirements for what must be disclosed when reporting current and pending support. Here is a list of items that must be included for NSF:

  1. All projects currently under consideration (including the current proposal) from whatever source, and all ongoing projects, irrespective of whether support is provided through the proposing organization, another organization, or directly to the individual, and regardless of whether or not they have monetary value (e.g., even if the support received are in-kind contributions such as office/laboratory space, equipment, supplies, or employees).
  2. In-kind contributions not intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed and have an associated time commitment.
  3. Current or pending participation in, or applications to, programs sponsored by foreign governments, instrumentalities, or entities, including foreign government-sponsored talent recruitment programs.
  4. Postdoctoral scholars, students, or visiting scholars who are supported by an external entity, whose research activities are not intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed and have an associated time commitment.
  5. Consulting that falls outside of an individual’s appointment/agreement.
  6. Travel supported/paid by an external entity to perform research activities with an associated time commitment.
  7. Startup company based on non-organization-licensed IP.
  8. Startup packages from other than the proposing organization.

For more information, NSF offers a disclosures table and FAQ on Current & Pending Support.

NIH: Updated Instructions on Data Management and Sharing Costs in the Application Process

NIH updated the instructions on Data Management and Sharing (DMS) costs in the application process on July 31, 2023, through the release of NOT-OD-23-161.

Effective for applications submitted for due dates on or after October 5, 2023, NIH will no longer require the use of the single DMS cost line item. NIH recognizes that DMS costs may be requested in many cost categories. Therefore, in line with NIH’s standard budget instructions, DMS costs must be requested in the appropriate cost category (e.g., personnel, equipment, supplies, and other expenses) following the instructions for the R&R Budget Form or PHS 398 Modular Budget Form, as applicable. While the single cost line item is no longer required, NIH will require applicants to specify estimated DMS cost details within the “Budget Justification” attachment of the R&R Budget Form or the “Additional Narrative Justification” attachment of the PHS 398 Modular Budget Form, pursuant to the instructions.

Policy information and additional resources about the Data Management and Sharing can be found on the NIH website: sharing.nih.gov/data-management-and-sharing-policy

Hanover Research

Hanover Grants Calendar: Early Career, STEM Research, and Minority-Serving Institutions

As part of efforts to monitor the funding landscape and facilitate strategic planning, Hanover produces bimonthly Grants Calendars centered on certain funding interests. These calendars review upcoming grant opportunities focused on Early Career Research, STEM Research and Minority-Serving Institutions, covering a range of grantmakers. Short-term targets with set deadlines are included alongside longer-term opportunities projected to occur across the next year and beyond.

University of Houston


Watch: Getting Started with ORCID

Andrea Malone of UH Libraries walks you through the process of setting up your ORCID iD and adding works to your profile. Watch on SharePoint.

UH Libraries Can Help You with Research Data Management

UH Libraries offers a range of support for Research Data Management, archiving, and sharing:

  1. Guidance on data management planning for grant proposals or any research project.
  2. Assistance for sustained compliance with funder and university policies.
  3. Workshops and consultations for graduate students on collaborative work practices and strategies for handling data throughout research.
  4. An institutional data repository for archiving and sharing data and related content at no cost for up to 10 GB per project.

For more information about data management see: UH Libraries Data Management Resources.

Gulf Coast Consortium News

GCC Job Board

Looking for a postdoc or research position at a GCC member institution? The GCC Job Board currently lists several positions. The Job Board is where graduating Ph.D. students and postdocs from GCC institutions can post their resumes and search for jobs at GCC institutions.

To place a resume on the Job Board, register as a Job Seeker and enter the requested information. To place a job opening, register as a GCC Recruiter and enter the requested information. Anyone not from a GCC institution can register through Public Access and view job openings and resumes but cannot place anything on the Job Board.

Highlighted Core of the Month: Center for Clinical & Translational Studies—Clinical Research Units

The Center for Clinical & Translational Studies – Clinical Research Units at the Univ. of Texas Health Science Center Houston are dedicated Clinical Research Units (CRUs) for conduct of clinical studies. The mission of the CCTS CRUs is to facilitate clinical research by providing investigators with specialized facilities, personnel, and advice. Investigators from CCTS institutions can use any of the CCTS CRUs, depending on the location of their patients and the availability of services at the CRUs.

Upcoming Events

5th Annual Gulf Coast Consortia Innovative Drug Discovery and Development Conference, May 7–8

Confirmed presenters: Suga Hiroaki, Univ. of Tokyo; Jason Bock, CTMC+; Kate Broderick, Maravai LifeSciences; Jimmy Gollihar, Houston Methodist Research Institute; Alexander Kabanov, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Charlene Liao, Immune-Onc Therapeutics; Michael Mitchell, Univ. of Pennsylvania; Cassian Yee, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; and Hong Zhao, FDA.

Date/Time: Tue, May 7, 8:30 am – Wed, May 8, 3 pm
Location: Bioscience Research Collaborative, 6500 Main Street, Auditorium, Houston
Register Here

Rigor and Reproducibility Workshop, May 14

The first-place winner of the Association of American Medical Colleges 2017 Innovations in Research and Research Education Award, this exciting workshop brings together highly acclaimed experts in rigor and reproducibility in research topics, including data analysis, experimental design, resource sharing, publication, and reporting. With speakers and facilitators from all GCC institutions, this interactive workshop has proven to be very effective as well as a lot of fun.

Date/Time: Tue, May 14, 9:15 am – 3 pm
Location: Bioscience Research Collaborative, 6500 Main Street, Room 1003, Houston
Register Here - in-person attendance only

Save the Date: Mentoring Up Workshop for Ph.D. Students, May 17

“Mentoring Up” is about helping mentees learn to proactively manage their mentoring relationship and accept responsibility for their own behaviors. The goal is for trainees to better understand the mentor-mentee relationship so both can contribute to and benefit from the relationship and move forward to an agreed-upon objective. This workshop is specifically geared for the challenges faced by Ph.D. students. Facilitated by: Robert Tillman, Director of Faculty Development and Mentoring and Professional Development, BCM; Vicki Alger, Training Administrator, GCC. More information coming soon. Registration will be required.

GCC Integrative Development, Regeneration, and Repair Conference, May 21

Confirmed presenters: Blair Benham-Pyle, BCM; Se Hoon Choi, Harvard Univ.; Constanza Cortes, Harvard Univ.; James Godwin, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory and The Jackson Laboratory; Jane Grande-Allen, Rice Univ.; Warren L. Grayson, Johns Hopkins; Abhishek Jain, Texas A&M Univ.; James F. Martin, BCM; Caralynn Nowinski Collens, Dimension Inx.; Amy Orsborn, University of Washington.

Date/Time: Tue, May 21, 8:50 am–5:15 pm
Location: Bioscience Research Collaborative, 6500 Main Street, Auditorium, Houston
Conference website
Register Here

Save the Date: 34th Keck Annual Research Conference and Poster Session, Machine Learning and Computational Biology in Structure, Oct 25

2024 Keck Conference co-chairs are Matthew Baker, Ph.D., UTHealth, and Monte Pettitt, Ph.D., UTMB. Poster Contest to open in June 2024. More information to come.

Looking for a Particular Piece of Equipment?

Did you know that the GCC has a Shared Equipment and Resource Committee composed of the Directors/Leaders in equipment inventory and acquisition from each of the GCC institutions? If you are looking for a particular piece of equipment, please email Suzanne Tomlinson (smtomlin@rice.edu), and the committee members will work together to try to locate it and introduce you to the PI who owns/administers it. View GCC Shared Core Facilities