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:

  • Emily Beverly (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences) was awarded $796,024 from NSF: “CAREER: Quantifying Climate Induced Landscape Evolution during Early Eocene Hyperthermals.”
  • Mehmet Sen (Biology & Biochemistry) was awarded $663,359 from NSF: “CAREER: The Molecular Interplay between Integrin Adhesion, Allostery and Shape-Shifting.”
  • Yu Liu (Biology & Biochemistry) was awarded $155,000 from U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition: “Targeting Non-Coding RNAs in Advanced Uveal Melanoma.”
  • Will Sager (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences) was awarded $17,999 from Columbia University and IODP Expedition/NSF: “U.S. Science Support Program Office Associated with the International Ocean Discovery Program.”

Hanover Webinar for NSM Faculty

The webinar recording and presentation slides from the Hanover Webinar for NSM faculty hosted on Wednesday, July 27, entitled “Success in Interdisciplinary Grant Seeking,” are now available. Please contact nsm_research@uh.edu if you are interested in obtaining a copy.

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.

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.

Upcoming NSF submissions? For those of you who submit or plan to submit proposals to NSF, please create an account with SciENcv. You will use SciENcv to create your biosketch and current and pending support documents. There are links to YouTube videos on the SciENcv website that will 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

What’s New?

NSF Issues Updates to Proposal & Award Guide

An important update from the National Science Foundation issued on October 26 outlines several significant changes to the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide. The new guide is revised to replace FastLane with Research.gov as the platform for proposal submissions. It also provides new stipulations for proposers around Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research training and the certification of Safe and Inclusive Working Environments for Off-Campus and Off-Site Research, as well updates to the formatting for Biographical Sketches and Current and Pending Support. Read the full “Dear Colleague” letter.

The new PAPPG (NSF 23-1), effective for proposals submitted or due on or after January 30, 2023, is available online now.

Implementation Updates for the New NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy

The new NIH Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Policy (see implementation updates) will go into effect on January 25, 2023. Until then, the NIH continues to develop resources and implementation information to help the community prepare. The central tenets of the DMS Policy are: 1) that investigators and institutions prospectively plan for how they will manage and appropriately share data by developing a Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMS Plan), and 2) that they follow through with this DMS Plan. To aid researchers in establishing robust DMS Plans, NIH released an optional DMS Plan format page that walks investigators through the Elements of a DMS Plan. A preview version of this format page is available now as a reference. A final, fillable version of this format page, along with detailed instructions for preparing DMS Plans, will be incorporated into the FORMS-H NIH Application Instructions, available in the fall.

Keeping up with “Other Support” and “Current & Pending Support”

Information on an investigators’ other active and pending support is usually required as part of the application for research funding “to ensure no scientific, budgetary, or commitment overlap.” Due to the wide variety of sources that are available for investigators to fund their research, completing this document and maintaining an up-to-date record have become a complicated task that requires a lot more attention than before.

The key to doing this right is to make it a habit to update your own records. Every time a proposal is submitted or any financial or in-kind support is received, update your record when it is fresh on your mind. Unfortunately, we do not have a perfect system to provide a holistic view with only a few mouse clicks. Realistically, no one knows the funding and resources available to you better than you. That makes you the best person to keep track of them.

There are also plenty of resources available to you when you need help tracking them. Your Department Business Office can provide a report of your current accounts. NSM Office of Research can provide a list of proposals in which you are the Principal Investigator. More importantly, we are available to discuss and help you sort out any unconventional resources you may have for your research.

Both NIH and NSF have recently made changes to enhance their requirements on this document (see links below). All the additional information they now require indicates their seriousness to make this process right. And, nothing says more about NIH’s intention than the requirement of the investigator’s signature on the “Other Support” form to ensure its completeness and truthfulness.

Other Support Helpful Links

Time to Start Using SciENcv

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. Recently, NSF started requiring its applicants to use SciENcv-generated biosketches and CPS documents.

With NSF leading the way, it is to be expected that other federal agencies will follow soon. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy has already adopted NSF standards on biosketches and CPS in their FY 2022 Continuation of Solicitation for the Office of Science Financial Assistance Program (DE-FOA-0002562, science.osti.gov/grants/FOAs/Open). Moreover, the recent NSF CPS requirement changes made this document almost identical to the NIH Other Support document, which is another significant indicator that NSF and NIH are working together to make SciENcv the standard of the future.

It does take a little time to set up 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 will carry the same information you can put on Word templates. They are 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 timesaver for you and your administrators. Not to mention, the alternative is to fill out PDF templates from NSF which are unattractive and clunky to use.

It is time to take advantage of what SciENcv has to offer and be an early adopter of this timesaving utility. Gear up your profile when it is convenient for you. Then, when you are preparing your next submission, you can spend more time polishing your project description instead of formatting your biosketch.

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 a bimonthly Grants Calendar centered on certain funding interests. This calendar reviews 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

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.

Upcoming Meetings, Workshops and Webinar Series

Write Winning Grant Proposals Workshop, Feb. 27-28 (mornings only)

The UH Division of Research is bringing back to the widely acclaimed “Write Winning Grant Proposals” seminar, presented by John D. Robertson, Ph.D., of Grant Writers’ Seminars and Workshops. The seminar addresses both practical and conceptual aspects that are critical to writing competitive grant proposals.

This live, virtual presentation will be held over the course of two days, in the morning only. The event will not be recorded.

The seminar will cover:

  1. Critical steps for organizing and planning your proposal (all of the things you need to do before you start writing a full proposal in order to have a competitive edge)
  2. Understanding the role (and mindset) of your reviewers
  3. A 4-paragraph rhetorical strategy for writing a compelling Specific Aims or Overview & Objectives page
  4. Specific strategies and tips for each major section of a grant proposal

Date: Mon, February 27–Tue, February 28
Time: 8:30 a.m.–Noon

More Information and Registration

Gulf Coast Consortium News

UH is a member of the Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC), one of the largest inter-institutional cooperatives in the world.

UT Health 3D Printing Core

The Nano 3D Printing Service Center provides state-of-the-art 3D printing services with fast turnaround times. They provide 3D-printed models of human and laboratory animal organs, novel surgical tools, and custom-made laboratory supplies, in prototype or final production models. They have both traditional FDM (Fortus 450mc) thermoplastic as well as multi-color, resin-based, high-resolution Stratasys J750 (14 micron) 3D printers with large print beds. A wide range of materials with varying mechanical properties is available. STL files, SolidWorks, or medical imaging files can be used to produce the 3D models. For more information, visit the UT Health 3D Printing Core website or contact Aleksey Domozhirov, Aleksey.Y.Domozhirov@uth.tmc.edu.

Looking for a Particular Piece of Equipment?

Did you know that the GCC has a Shared Equipment and Resource Committee (SERC) 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. Click to view GCC Shared Core Facilities

6th Annual Texas Medical Center Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship Conference, Jan. 18-20

Date: Wed, January 18–Fri, January 20
Time: 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Location: Bioscience Research Collaborative, Auditorium, 6500 Main Street, Houston

Conference Website and Registration

NeuroNex Workshop, Feb. 9

This workshop will include presentations from Luca Mazzucato, Univ. of Oregon; Tatiana Engel, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories; Ida Mommenejad, Microsoft Research; and Stefano Fusi, Columbia Univ.

Date: Thu, February 9
Time: 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. (in person only)
Location: Bioscience Research Collaborative, Room 1003, 6500 Main Street, Houston

Conference Website and Registration

20th Annual GCC Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience Conference, Feb. 10

Confirmed presenters include: Tatiana Engel, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories; Stefano Fusi, Columbia Univ.; Luca Mazzucato, Univ. of Oregon; Ida Mommenejad, Microsoft Research.

Date: Fri, February 10
Time: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Location: Bioscience Research Collaborative, Auditorium, 6500 Main Street, Houston.

Conference Website and Registration