NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Office of Research Update

General Reminders

Looking for new funding opportunities? The NSM Office of Research launched a new 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

Awarded Research Grants

Congratulations to the following faculty members for their recent awards:

Tasneem Bawa-Khalfe (Biology & Biochemistry, CNRCS) was awarded a $1,807,475 grant from NIH: “Targeting Constitutively Active Sumo Modified Androgen Receptors in Endocrine Therapy Resistant Breast Cancer.”

Mikyoung Jun (Mathematics) was awarded a $1,493,016 grant from NSF: “HDR DSC: Data Science for Energy Transition.”

Guoning Chen (Computer Science) was awarded a $527,899 grant from NSF: “CDS&E: Multi-Scale Coherent Structure Extraction and Tracking for Modern CFD Data Analysis.”

Shoujun Xu (Chemistry) was awarded a $519,045 grant from NSF: “Force-Modulated Fret for Resolving Biomolecular Motion and Bonding.”

Liming Li (Physics) was awarded a $385,114 grant from NASA: “Jupiter’s Global Atmospheric Dynamics Observed by Multiple Missions.”

Mariam Manuel (teachHOUSTON, Mathematics) was awarded a $299,960 grant from NSF: “STEM Inquiry Research Summer Enrichment Program.”

Thamar Solorio (Computer Science) was awarded a $299,716 grant from NSF: “IRES Track I: US-Mexico Collaboration on Multimodal Detection of Objectionable Content in Online Videos in Spanish and English.”

Tabitha Lee, a graduate student from Yuxuan Wang’s group (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences), was awarded a $112,500 NASA FINESST graduate fellowship: “Identifying Unexpected NO2 Hotspots from Satellite Data and Quantifying Their Effects.”

Annalisa Quaini (Mathematics) was awarded a $77,500 fellowship from Radcliffe: “Mathematics of Clouds and Climate Change.”

Jordan Johnson, a graduate student from Yuhong Wang’s group (Biology & Biochemistry), was awarded a $38,820 graduate fellowship from BCM through the Houston Area Molecular Biophysics Program Predoctoral Training Fellowship: “Force Generation and Mechanism Elucidation of EF-Tu.”

Liming Li (Physics) was awarded a $32,457 grant from NSF: “Collaborative Research: Visible Reflectivity of Jupiter and Saturn. Implications for Giant Planets Thermal Evolution.”

Demetrio Labate (Mathematics) received $13,038 from UTMB through a salary reimbursement agreement.

What’s New?

Research.gov or Fastlane?

Many applicants to NSF funding opportunities ask this question: “Should I submit my proposal through Research.gov or Fastlane?” Our answer to you is “it depends.”

Fastlane has been remarkably successful since its introduction in 1994 and is favored by investigators and administrators over countless similar systems. However, it is now aging and has become increasingly expensive to maintain and even harder to improve. Over the last few years, NSF has been developing Research.gov to eventually replace Fastlane. That is why both systems are concurrently available to applicants.

As the capabilities of Research.gov system grow, NSF is slowly turning off programs on Fastlane. While most funding opportunities are still available in Fastlane, you can find out the availability for any specific opportunity on each program announcement. When an opportunity is available on both systems, it is up to you to pick which way you want to go. The requirements are the same regardless of where or how you submit the proposal. Please note there are still some opportunities, though they are few, that are only available to be submitted through Fastlane. So, please carefully read the program announcement.

It is advantageous to familiarize yourself with Research.gov as early as possible. Research.gov does have more stringent validation algorithms checking your documents. Therefore, it is important to allow yourself time to understand these validations and their associated errors or warnings so that you have the appropriate time to address them.

NSF projects that Fastlane will be retired by the end of 2022. Do not let yourself be surprised by the end of Fastlane. Migrate to Research.gov when it is convenient for you.

New NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (NSF 22-1) Now in Effect

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1) has been issued and took effect on October 4, 2021.

Significant changes include:

  • A new section covering requests for reasonable and accessibility accommodations regarding the proposal process or requests for accessibility accommodations to access NSF’s electronic systems, websites, and other digital content.
  • A table entitled, NSF Pre-award and Post-award Disclosures Relating to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support. This table identifies where pre- and post-award current and pending support disclosure information must be provided. Proposers and awardees may begin using this table immediately.
  • Increasing the page limit for the biographical sketch from two to three pages. Guidelines and templates here: www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/biosketch.jsp
  • Updates to the current and pending support section of NSF proposals to require that information on objectives and overlap with other projects is provided to help NSF and reviewers assess overlap/duplication. Guidelines and templates here: www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/cps.jsp
  • Adding planning proposals and Career-Life Balance supplemental funding requests as new proposal types.
  • Updates to travel proposals will require that AORs certify that prior to the proposer’s participation in the meeting for which NSF travel support is being requested, the proposer will assure that the meeting organizer has a written policy or code-of-conduct addressing harassment.

You are encouraged to review the by-chapter summary of changes provided in the Introduction section of the PAPPG.

Updated NIH Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Pages Available Now and Required January 2022

As announced in March 2021 by NIH, updated biosketch and other support format pages and instructions are available for use in applications, Just-in-Time (JIT) Reports, and Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs). Use of the new format pages is preferred immediately and required for due dates and submissions on or after January 25, 2022 (NOT-OD-21-110).

This represents a change from the original May 25, 2021, requirement date for the updated formats and other support signatures. Applicants and recipients can use this time to align their systems and processes with the new formats and instructions. Failure to follow the appropriate formats on or after January 25, 2022, may cause NIH to withdraw applications from or delay consideration of funding.

Hanover Grants Calendar: Early Career Research

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 in Early Career Research, covering a range of federal and private funders. Short-term targets with set deadlines are included alongside longer-term opportunities projected to occur across the next year and beyond.

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.

Internal Awards

Many internal award programs have new deadlines coming up for the new fiscal year, including Equipment Grants and GEAR. More details can be found on the Division of Research Internal Awards page.