NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Office of Research Update

If you haven’t already done so, please review our 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.

For those of you who submit or plan to submit proposals to NSF, please create an account with SciENcv. As of October 5, 2020, you need to use SciENcv to create your biosketch and current and pending support documents. There are YouTube videos on the SciENcv homepage that explain how to use the service.

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

Awarded Research Grants

Congratulations to the following faculty members for their recent awards:


Carlos Ordonez (Physics) was awarded a $300,000 grant from U.S. AFOSR: “Quantum Scaling Anomalies and Conformal Quantum Mechanics Aspects in Lower-Dimensional Ultracold Gases, Unruh and Hawking Radiation, and Holography.”

James Flynn (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences) was awarded a $266,917 grant from Baylor University & DOE: “TRACER-MAP: Mapping Aerosol Processes Across Houston During Convective Cell Events.”

Shaun Zhang (Biology & Biochemistry, CNRCS) was awarded a $100,000 grant from the William and Ella Owens Foundation: “Knock-Out of Nuclear hnRNPA2B1 with CRISPR-Cas9 to Enhance the Production of Oncolytic HSV in Vitro and to Improve the Virotherapy in Vivo.”

Chin Yo-Lin (Biology & Biochemistry, CNRCS) was awarded a $100,000 grant from the William and Ella Owens Foundation: “Small Molecule Liver X Receptor Modulators: A New Way to Kill Pancreatic Cancer Cells.”

Yu Liu (Biology & Biochemistry) was awarded a $100,000 grant from the William and Ella Owens Foundation: “Developing A New Approach in Treating Aggressive Melanoma by Attenuating miR-424/-503.”

Steven Pennings (Biology & Biochemistry) was awarded a $50,056 grant from UCLA: “Automatic Generation of Multi-Layered, Data-Rich 3D Maps of Ecosystems from Images.”


James Flynn (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences) was awarded a $1,849,891 grant from Los Alamos National Laboratory/DOE: “The ARM Mobile Facility One (AMF1) / Tracer Campaign.”

Stuart Dryer (Biology & Biochemistry) was awarded a $1,364,000 grant from NIH: “Pathophysiology of FSGS.”

Yunsoo Choi (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences) was awarded a $386,976 grant from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology: “Development of Convection and Advection Schemes and Deep-Learning Based Artificial Intelligence Technique for Accurate Forecasting of Fine Particulate Matter.”

Mikyoung Jun (Mathematics) was awarded a $255,850 grant from NSF: “ATD: Global Terrorism Threat Detection by Nonstationary, Spatio-Temporal Hawkes Process Models.”

Aron Laszka (Computer Science) was awarded a $299,964 grant from Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation: “AI-Engine for Optimizing Integrated Service in Mixed Fleet Transit Operations.”

Yunsoo Choi (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences) was awarded a $43,989 grant from Sejong University Industry Academy: “The AI Deep Learning Air Pollution Forecasting System for All the Grids of the Numerical Model.”

Shiv Halasyamani (Chemistry) was awarded a $40,000 grant from Azimuth Corporation: “Inorganic Photorefractive and Optical Ferroelectric Materials.”

Wenjiang Fu (Mathematics) was awarded a $15,528 grant from Bizcom Electronics, Inc.: “Salary Reimbursement for W. Fu and Y. Hao - Research Agreement.”


UH Research Data Management Librarian

Did you know that UH has a Research Data Management Librarian? UH Libraries offers a range of support for research data management, archiving, and sharing. Contact the Research Data Management Librarian, Reid Boehm, for questions about the following:

  1. Guidance on data management planning for grant proposals or any research project. Let her help you to prepare the Data Management Plan for your next proposal!
  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 Research Data Resources or reach out to Reid at riboehm@uh.edu.

Petroleum Research Fund Changes

2021 is bringing changes to the Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) proposal submission process. In December, PRF moved to a new grants database. The new system is web based and will allow applicants and/or grants officers to enter the proposal information previously included in the downloaded forms directly through an online portal. Only the process is changing; the information required is exactly the same as the previous forms.

Proposals will be accepted via the new portal from noon, February 15, 2021, to 5 pm EST March 12, 2021. Once the submission window is open, principal investigators can add information and save as they work through the application process. They do not have to prepare an entire submission package before engaging the system. An American Chemical Society (ACS) Network User ID which may be obtained free of charge is required to access the system: sso.acs.org/idp/service/default_login.jsp?pageURL=https://prfgrant.acs.org/login&loginStyle=normal.

Webinar on New Application Process 1 pm EST, January 21
PRF will host a live Zoom webinar on the new application process at 1 pm EST on Thursday, January 21. To attend the webinar, please register at: prftest.wufoo.com/forms/petroleum-research-fund-webinar-registration/. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the PRF website. Additional information is available on the PRF website www.acsprf.org or by contacting PRF info prfinfo@acs.org.

NIH New COVID-19 Website

The new NIH COVID-19 website launched earlier this week. The site provides a central location for trusted, up-to-date, accurate information about NIH research and the NIH’s strategic role in COVID-19 research. The site complements information made available on the COVID-19: Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients of NIH Funding webpage.

The new site includes information about key programs such as the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines public-private partnership and the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics initiative to develop state-of-the-science diagnostic tests for COVID-19. Users are also able to search information on funded research by state, institution, Congressional district, and more.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
New Vertebrate Animals Section Training Module

Calling all applicants proposing research with vertebrate animals – check out the latest online learning module on the Vertebrate Animals Section in grant applications. This interactive module will assist applicants in preparing this section of the application and will serve as a valuable resource for reviewers in evaluating the Vertebrate Animal Section of applications and proposals.

This engaging module takes 30 minutes or less to complete and includes:

  • An overview of the requirements,
  • A checklist for applicants and reviewers,
  • Detailed instructions, and
  • Responsibilities of applicants, reviewers, and NIH staff.

See additional resources on the humane care and use of animals in PHS-supported research on NIH’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) website.

Internal Awards

Update: Limited Submissions

The Limited Submissions page has been updated to clarify the documents that are required for an internal limited submission application. Specifically, the requirements include a two-page limit for the abstract.

Click on the “Apply for Limited Submissions” button on the right-hand side of the page to find a list of open, internal limited submission opportunities and/or to apply for an internal limited submission opportunity.