Author: Jessica McBride

Important Information from the NIH and NSF

Dear Investigator,

On July 10th, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published a reminder on NIH Policies on Other Support and on Policies related to Financial Conflicts of Interest and Foreign Components.  This was followed on July 11th by a Dear Colleague Letter on protecting research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) from NSF Director, Dr. France Córdova. These notices relate to the ongoing concerns regarding foreign influence in federally funded research.

In response to these publications, the OVPR recommends that any collaborations with foreign entities or individuals, or appointments with foreign entities (including foreign talent or similar programs) be disclosed to the NIH or NSF program officer, your Dean, and the OVPR (contacts and additional information listed below).

The OVPR has posted additional guidance on our site regarding Active and Pending Support and Foreign Collaborations. For any questions or for guidance on this and other related matters, please contact:

Thank you for your cooperation,

Radenka Maric, PhD
Vice President for Research
UConn/UConn Health

 

 

Important Information from the NIH and NSF for UConn/UConn Health Investigators

The NSF Letter references the draft NSF Proposal and Award Policies & Procedures Guide published in May 2019.  Clarifications in the draft Guide related to current and pending support and biographical sketches include:

  • Providing information for all current and pending support irrespective of whether such support is provided through the proposing organization or directly to the individual.
  • Expanding examples of current and pending support to include non-profit organizations and consulting agreements.
  • Reporting all projects and activities requiring a time commitment (no minimum has been established), even if the support received is only in-kind.
  • Appointments should include any titled academic, professional, or institutional position whether or not remuneration is received.

The Dear Colleague Letter also states the NSF will be issuing a policy that NSF personnel and Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assigned personnel cannot participate in foreign government talent-recruitment programs.

The NIH Notice reminds applicants that in regards to Other Support, they must:

  • List all positions and scientific appointments, both domestic and foreign, held by senior/key personnel which are relevant to an application including affiliations with foreign entities or governments such as titled academic, professional, or institutional appointments whether or not remuneration is received, and whether full-time, part-time, or voluntary (including adjunct, visiting, or honorary).
  • Report all resources and other support for all individuals designated in an application as senior/key personnel – including the program director/principal investigator and other individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not they request salaries or compensation. All current support for ongoing projects must be included, irrespective of whether such support is provided through the applicant organization, through another domestic or foreign organization, or is provided directly to an individual who supports the senior/key personnel’s research efforts.
  • Report all current projects and activities involving senior/key personnel, even if the support received is only in-kind (e.g. office/laboratory space, equipment, supplies, employees), including, but not limited to, foreign financial support, research or laboratory personnel, lab space, scientific materials, selection to a foreign “talents” or similar-type program, or other foreign or domestic support.
  • Provide the total award amount for the entire award period covered (including facilities and administrative costs), as well as the number of person-months (or partial person-months) per year to be devoted to the project by the senior/key personnel.

 

The Notice also reminds applicants of the need to determine whether projects include a foreign component, defined as the existence of any “significant scientific element or segment of a project” outside of the United States including:

  • Performance of work by a researcher or recipient in a foreign location, whether or not NIH grant funds are expended and/or
  • Performance of work by a researcher in a foreign location employed or paid for by a foreign organization, whether or not NIH grant funds are expended.

 

If a significant portion of a project will be conducted outside the United States, then there is a foreign component and NIH prior approval is required.  If all project activity is conducted within the United States, but there is a non-U.S. resource supporting the project, it must be reported as other support.

Program in Accelerated Therapeutics for Healthcare (PATH) Awards

Dear Colleagues,

I’m very pleased to announce that the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) has recently finalized award decisions for the inaugural cycle of the Program in Accelerated Therapeutics for Healthcare (PATH).  PATH is a partnership that includes the OVPR, the School of Pharmacy, and the School of Medicine to accelerate the translational pathway for researchers to convert their discoveries to new medical therapeutics. Under PATH, funding is provided to academic research programs designed to quickly develop novel therapeutic approaches focusing on well validated molecular targets for a specific disease area with an unmet treatment need in the current commercial marketplace. Projects focusing on a wide range of therapeutic interventions (small molecule, biologic, antibody, peptide, gene therapy) are eligible for consideration.

Given your leadership role in the University, I want you to be among the first to hear the results of this competition so you can join me in congratulating the awardees.  Seven PATH grants were awarded in two categories after a highly selective competition:

 

PATH Trailblazer Grants – $75,000

Xiuling Lu, Pharmaceutical Science
Cutting Cancer at Its Root: Inhibition of Acute Leukemic Stem Cells Using Doxorubicin-Loaded Nanoparticles

Jessica Rouge, Chemistry
Determining the Pharmacology of a Novel DNAzyme-therapeutic Formulation for the Treatment of Allergic Airway Disease

 

PATH Ascent Grants – $10,000

Brian Aneskievich, Pharmaceutical Science
Establishing Protein Conformational Flexibility to Enhance Next-Step Drug-Screen Targeting

Nicholas Leadbeater, Chemistry
Towards Development of Novel Therapeutics for Treatment of Toxoplasmosis

Rajkumar Verma, Neuroscience, UConn Health
Discovery of Novel Purinergic P2X4 Receptor Antagonist for the Treatment of Ischemic Stroke

Simon White, Molecular and Cell Biology
Screening for Small Molecule Inhibitors against Enterovirus D68 2C Helicase

Ming Xu, Genetics and Genome Sciences, UConn Health
Discover Drugs Targeting Cellular Senescence to Improve Healthspan and Lifespan

For more information about PATH, visit the program website.

Thank you for helping to foster the culture of excellence in your schools/colleges, departments, and centers, that allows UConn faculty to engage in research, scholarship, and creative activities at the highest levels.

Cheers,

Radenka

OVPR Quarterly Reports – FY19Q2

Dear Colleagues,

Now that data have been finalized, I would like to provide you with several reports relating to sponsored program activity—both research and education/service—managed by Sponsored Program Services within the Office of the Vice President for Research at UConn and UConn Health. Please visit the OVPR website to view the following reports: https://ovpr.uconn.edu/news/quarterly-reports/

  • List of Proposals Submitted: FY19 2nd Quarter
  • List of Awards Received: FY19 2nd Quarter
  • Proposals, Awards, Expenditures: FY14-FY19Q2

In the reports, data are presented in two ways: by the PI’s Academic Home Department and by the Managing Department or Center/Institute. Please refer to the first pages of the reports for definitions and information regarding the data. Should you have any questions regarding these quarterly reports, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please note that we have included an additional Summary of Sponsored Program Activity, which includes the Effective F&A rate on awards. This information provides a snapshot of our activity as compared to the same period last year.

The OVPR continues to seek creative solutions that allow UConn and UConn Health to grow our research enterprise through federal funding, industry partnerships, and collaboration with foundations. I am confident we can continue upward trends by continuing to work together, aggressively applying for extramural funding, and pursuing new channels of support for the tremendous research, scholarship, and creative activities taking place every day at UConn and UConn Health.

Thank you for your continued commitment and contribution to our students, to your research and scholarship, and to UConn/UConn Health.

Sincerely,
Radenka

 

Dr. Radenka Maric
Vice President for Research
UConn/UCH

2019 CARIC Award Recipients Announced

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that two teams have been selected for funding in the inaugural cycle of CARIC (Convergence Awards for Research in Interdisciplinary Centers).

CARIC supports the development of collaborative, interdisciplinary teams bidding for major federally funded research initiatives. These initiatives can include large, multi-million-dollar research grants or even entire research centers.

2019 CARIC Awards:

  • David Rowe, Director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Skeletal Development
    Bed to Bench (BTB) Collaboration for Skeletal Research
  • Yu Lei, Castleman Distinguished Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    Exposure, Health Effects, Sensing and Remediation of Emerging Contaminants Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center

The CARIC program will provide these projects with funding of up to $150,000 to support planning, outreach to strategic partners and proof-of-concept research for a year, with the possibility for renewal. This initial funding allows researchers to develop more competitive bids for prestigious national awards.

To learn more about CARIC, visit the website of the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Sincerely,

Dr. Radenka Maric
Vice President for Research
UConn/UConn Health

OVPR Quarterly Reports – FY19Q1

Dear Colleagues,

Now that data have been finalized, I would like to provide you with several reports relating to sponsored program activity—both research and education/service—managed by Sponsored Program Services within the Office of the Vice President for Research at UConn and UConn Health. Please visit the OVPR website to view the following reports:

  • List of Proposals Submitted: FY19 1st Quarter
  • List of Awards Received: FY19 1st Quarter
  • Proposals, Awards, Expenditures: FY14-FY19Q1

In the reports, data are presented in two ways: by the PI’s Academic Home Department and by the Managing Department or Center/Institute. Please refer to the first pages of the reports for definitions and information regarding the data. Should you have any questions regarding these quarterly reports, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please note that we have included an additional Summary of Sponsored Program Activity, which includes the Effective F&A rate on awards. This information provides a snapshot of our activity as compared to the same period last year.

The OVPR continues to seek creative solutions that allow UConn and UConn Health to grow our research enterprise through federal funding, industry partnerships, and collaboration with foundations. I am confident we can continue upward trends by continuing to work together, aggressively applying for extramural funding, and pursuing new channels of support for the tremendous research, scholarship, and creative activities taking place every day at UConn and UConn Health.

Thank you for your continued commitment and contribution to our students, to your research and scholarship, and to UConn/UConn Health.

Sincerely,
Radenka

Interim Director of Research Compliance Services

Dear Colleagues,

Ms. Karen Moré, who currently serves as the Executive Program Director in support of the IACUC in the Office of the Vice President for Research for UConn’s Storrs and Regional Campuses, has agreed to serve as the Interim Director of Research Compliance Services (RCS).

As Interim Director, Karen will direct the day-to-day operations of RCS and provide leadership on University-wide programs and services for the research and teaching community. She will serve as a liaison to faculty, staff, students, and University leadership regarding matters related to research compliance issues.

For the past 8 years, Karen has managed the IACUC at UConn and has been an invaluable resource for faculty, students, and staff. Since joining the University in 1999, Karen has been an integral part of UConn’s program for the humane care and use of animals in research and teaching, and has been crucial to the University’s efforts to achieve and maintain AAALAC accreditation.

Karen brings extensive experience, expertise, and a history of collaboration and engagement with colleagues to this appointment. Please join me in thanking her for her continued service to UConn’s research community, and in congratulating her on this new position.
Regards,

Wesley G. Byerly, Pharm.D.
Associate Vice President

Office of the Vice President for Research
Research Integrity and Regulatory Affairs
University of Connecticut and UConn Health
263 FARMINGTON AVENUE, MC 1524
FARMINGTON, CT 06030
860.679.2230 Administrative Assistant
860.422.3978 Mobile Phone

OVPR Quarterly Reports

Dear Colleagues,

Now that data have been finalized, I would like to provide you with several reports relating to sponsored program activity—both research and education/service—managed by Sponsored Program Services within the Office of the Vice President for Research at UConn and UConn Health. Please visit the OVPR website to view the following reports:

  • List of Proposals Submitted: FY18 4th Quarter
  • List of Awards Received: FY18 4th Quarter
  • Proposals, Awards, Expenditures: FY14-FY18Q4

In the reports, data are presented in two ways: by the PI’s Academic Home Department and by the Managing Department or Center/Institute. Please refer to the first pages of the reports for definitions and information regarding the data. Should you have any questions regarding these quarterly reports, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please note that we have included an additional Summary of Sponsored Program Activity, which includes the Effective F&A rate on awards. This information provides a snapshot of our activity as compared to the same period last year.

The OVPR continues to seek creative solutions that allow UConn and UConn Health to grow our research enterprise through federal funding, industry partnerships, and collaboration with foundations. I am confident we can continue upward trends by continuing to work together, aggressively applying for extramural funding, and pursuing new channels of support for the tremendous research, scholarship, and creative activities taking place every day at UConn and UConn Health.

Thank you for your continued commitment and contribution to our students, to your research and scholarship, and to UConn/UConn Health.

Sincerely,
Radenka

 

Innovation Partnership Building Officially Open

A view of the Innovation Partnership Building onAug. 6, 2018. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

UConn is home to some of the most active and innovative researchers in the world. Across all of the University’s campuses, scholars, artists, and scientists are working on projects that will help our state, society, economy, and the world.

That global commitment was demonstrated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for UConn’s Innovation Partnership Building (IPB) on Discovery Drive in Storrs September 20, 2018.

UConn President Susan Herbst, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, various state legislators, and faculty, staff, and students took part in the morning event.

To read more and see photos from the event, visit UConn Today.

New OVPR Website

The Office of the Vice President for Research is pleased to present a new and improved website. The new site is still home to all of the important information you need to take care of the day-to-day of your research projects, just in a prettier package. There is some new information as well, including:

  • Cross Campus Collaboration resource page
  • Training page related to all types of research-related trainings

Please note that the OVPR’s new sites for information pertaining to Storrs, the regional campuses, and UConn Health have new URLs. If you have bookmarked pages, you will need to update to the new URLs.

If you are having trouble locating something you need, please don’t hesitate to contact the relevant service unit. Visit the OVPR Contacts page to find the office or OVPR team you need.

Exec. Director, Innovation, External Engagement & Industry Relations

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Aindow will serve as Executive Director for Innovation, External Engagement, and Industry Relations beginning this coming fall. In addition to introducing Dr. Aindow, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the search committee and the other members of the university community who assisted during the search process.

In this role, Dr. Aindow will serve as a catalyst for new interactions between faculty, potential commercial partners, and other research organizations to support and articulate UConn’s technology innovation and research capacity. He is tasked with identifying and promoting initiatives that provide growth opportunities for applied research through technology transfer and industry partnerships. We will also look to Dr. Aindow to develop large-scale interdisciplinary, center-level initiatives, and proposals involving multiple researchers, and to coordinate with the OVPR and Government Relations to keep state agencies and congressional offices informed as appropriate, as we seek to gain support for new federal initiatives that align with UConn’s strategic priorities.

Dr. Aindow brings with him 27 years of experience in collaborative, interdisciplinary research with industry, academic, and other partners. He understands that in order for UConn to expand our research funding portfolio, it is essential that we look beyond the boundaries of traditional opportunities and that we increase outreach in emerging areas of strength for the University.

Dr. Aindow’s research, which is often interdisciplinary and invariably includes an industrial partner or sponsor, involves the study of microstructural development in engineering materials using, primarily, electron microscopy techniques. These projects include work with companies like GE Energy, Thermo Fisher Scientific (formerly FEI), and UTC Aerospace Systems, and all are associated with broader industry partnerships with UConn including: the GE/UConn partnership, the UConn/FEI Center for Advanced Microscopy and Materials Analysis (CAMMA), and the UConn/UTAS Center for Advanced Materials.

Dr. Aindow received a BEng in Metallurgy and Materials Science in 1985 and a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering in 1988 from the University of Liverpool. He joined the faculty at the University of Connecticut in 1999 and is currently a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). While at UConn, Dr. Aindow served as Director of the MSE Program from 2006-2009 and as Associate Director for the Institute of Materials Science from 2013-2017. He has published over 350 peer-reviewed papers in journals and conference proceedings, and has graduated 29 PhDs.

We are thrilled to have someone with Dr. Aindow’s extensive experience as both an internationally recognized scientist and collaborator to lead these efforts. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Aindow on his new role!

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Radenka Maric
Vice President for Research
UConn/UConn Health