February 2014 Newsletter

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CPI Newsletter February 2014

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Included in this issue: 

Summary of CPI EC meetings with administration
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The CPI Executive Committee (EC) met with the Interim Texas A&M President and Provost on January 31st. Items discussed included the following: Update regarding Vision 2020; Status of increasing the federally negotiated (F&A) indirect cost rate; and the Vice President for Research position.

On February 5th, the CPI EC held its monthly coordination meeting with invited research administration representatives from AgriLife, HSC, Texas A&M, TEES and TTI (see agenda at goo.gl/SJxw9x).

Attendees discussed the current status of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) administrative audit and SRS services with Mr. Billy Hamilton, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer of The Texas A&M University System. Mr. Hamilton accepted an invitation to provide an update and overview of the PwC administrative overview at the February 12th CPI meeting.  As detailed in the next section of this newsletter, Dr. Laine brought forward a draft proposal for “Research Development Funds” and will also provide an overview and update on the draft proposal at the February 12th CPI meeting.

Lastly, Dr. Becky Carr and Dr. Henrik Schmiediche provided an overview of the IT Advisory Committee (ITAC) and the presentation they will also provide at the full CPI meeting on February 12th. It was also noted that the next full CPI meeting was moved to the first Wednesday of the month (March 5th) since the 2nd Wednesday of March will fall during spring break.

On February 7th, the CPI EC met with Chancellor Sharp, Mr. Billy Hamilton, and Dr. Jon Mogford, Vice Chancellor for Research and discussed services through SRS and the progress of new hires; the current PwC administrative audit; update on the President search; and the upcoming budget review by the Board of Regents.

Draft Research Development Funds (RDF) Proposal
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A draft proposal (available here) entitled “Research Development Funds: A New Model for the Use of Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Earnings for Texas A&M” was brought to the attention of the CPI Executive Committee (EC) at our February 5th meeting, by Dr. Glen A. Laine, Interim Vice President for Research.

The EC had previously been asked for feedback about potential changes to the fraction of IDC that is returned to PIs. The CPI EC repeatedly insisted that the current portion being returned to PIs is effectively used to meet important research needs and therefore should remain unchanged. In addition, the CPI EC has continued to insist that any pool of funds created using IDC funds from investigators should have significant PI representation on any committee charged with the oversight and approval of the distribution of the funds.

Please note in the draft proposal, the percentage of IDC being returned to PIs is 10%. It is our understanding that initial drafts had a much lower percentage being returned to PIs. This current draft proposal is being distributed to the CPI and other faculty groups for comment and feedback.

Dr. Laine is scheduled to come and discuss this draft proposal at the February 12th CPI meeting. If you have comments we can provide to Dr. Laine in advance of Wednesday’s meeting, please send those to CPI@tamu.edu before 4 p.m. on Tuesday, February 11th.

Contact:
Dr. Niall Slowey – cpi@tamu.edu

Revised/New Policies 15-01, 15-04, 16-01 for distribution
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New System Policy 15.04, Sponsored Research Services, and revisions to System Policies 15.01, Research Agreements (available online here), and 16.01, System Ethics and Compliance Program (available online here), were approved by the Board of Regents at its meeting on January 30, 2014. Below is a summary of the revisions, as well as a content summary of the new policy.

15.01, Research Agreements

Section 1:   The role of the Vice Chancellor for Research is included in the approval and reporting of research processes and activities.

Former Section 5:   This section which discussed the use of the Texas A&M Research Foundation is deleted because of the implementation of shared services for research administration.

15.04, Sponsored Research Services

This new policy describes the organizational responsibilities and authority of Texas A&M System Sponsored Research Services (SRS).  It delineates the responsibilities of SRS and the system members under a shared service environment for research administration.

The three advisory groups that provide input into the operations of SRS are formally recognized:

SRS CEO Advisory Board

SRS Continuous Research Operations Improvement Committee (CROI)

Principle Investigator/Faculty Advisory Committee (PIFAC)

16.01, System Ethics and Compliance Program

Section 1(i):  The designation of Empowered Official for system export control matters is transferred from the System Ethics and Compliance Officer to the Vice Chancellor for Research.

Other changes made throughout the two revised policies include sentence restructuring to conform to system style guidelines, updating references and links, and adding the new Member Rule Requirements section.

Sponsored Research Services (SRS) Customer Service Liaison
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Sponsored Research Services (SRS) has established a Customer Service Liaison (see full announcement here). SRS Associate Executive Director, Dr. Jim Joyce, will fill this new role and will be responsible for meeting and communicating with faculty researchers, departmental administrators, and The Texas A&M University System member leadership on a regular basis. SRS Communications Manager Stacey Rugh will report to the new Customer Service Liaison.

If you have any feedback regarding how SRS can provide improved service, you may contact Jim at jrjoyce@tamus.edu or Stacey at srugh@tamus.edu. Also feel free to invite Jim and Stacey to attend departmental faculty or administrative meetings.

Update from the Texas A&M Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS)
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On Friday, February 7, the Texas A&M Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS) officially inducted its second class of Faculty Fellows, who are visiting at A&M for up to twelve months to collaborate on research with A&M faculty and students.  Representing disciplines across the university’s colleges and schools, the 2013-14 TIAS Faculty Fellows are:

•   Leif Andersson, Professor of Functional Genomics, Uppsala University, Wolf Prize, National Academy of Sciences; Royal Swedish Academy of Science

•   Satya N. Atluri, Distinguished Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, The University of California-Irvine, National Academy of Engineering

•   Claude A. Bouchard, Professor of Genetics and Nutrition, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Albert Creff Prize, French National Academy of Engineering; Belgium Royal Academy of Medicine

•   Christodoulos A. Floudas, Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Princeton University, National Academy of Engineering

•   Roy G. Glauber, Professor of Physics, Harvard University, Nobel Prize in Physics; National Academy of Sciences

•   Roger E. Howe, Professor of Mathematics, Yale University, National Academy of Science; American Academy of Arts and Sciences

•   Robert S. Levine, Professor of English and Distinguished Scholar, University of Maryland, Hubbell Medal, National Endowment for the Humanities; Outstanding Book Award (Choice Magazine)

•   Wolfgang Schleich, Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Ulm, Academia Europaea; Austrian Academy of Sciences; Danish Royal Academy

•   Peter J. Stang, Professor of Chemistry, University of Utah, National Academy of Sciences; American Academy of Arts & Sciences; National Medal of Science.

The new inductees will join with the six members of the 2012-13 class:

•   Jay Dunlap, Nathan Smith Professor and Chair of the Department of Genetics at Dartmouth Medical School, National Academy of Science

•   Peter Liss, Professorial Fellow in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, The Royal Society

•   Alan Needleman, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering, University of North Texas; National Academy of Engineering

•   Aleda Roth, Burlington Industries Distinguished Professor in Supply Chain Management, College of Business and Behavioral Science, Clemson University

  • K.R. Sreenivasan, University Professor, Department of Physics and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, National Academy of Science, National Academy of Engineering
  • Vernon Smith, Professor of Economics and Law, George L. Argyros Endowed Chair in Finance and Economics, Economic Science Institute, Chapman University, Nobel Prize in Economics, National Academy of Science.

Faculty Fellows are annually selected through a process led by an electorate of acclaimed current faculty at Texas A&M, consisting of Nobel Laureates, Wolf Prize recipients, National Academies members and distinguished professors, among others.  TIAS was established with the help of Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, who made possible a $5 million endowment for TIAS through The Texas A&M University System’s Academic Enhancement Program.

Contact:

Dr. Clifford Fry - cfry@tamu.edu or 979-458-5723

SAVE THE DATE – 2014 Undergraduate Research Mini-Symposium
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Interested in increasing your research and scholarly activity? Thinking of moving in a new direction or adding a new dimension to your projects?

On Wednesday, March 19, 2014 (2 – 4 p.m.) in the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building Auditorium, come hear eminent faculty in Humanities, Social Science, Engineering and Science discuss their strategies and priorities for integrating undergraduates into their scholarship team. Discover how experienced undergraduate scholars view their experiences. Please register for this free event at ers.tamu.edu.

For questions, contact Ms. Sandra Chavarria – schavarria@tamu.edu

Council for Strategic Budgeting
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The Council for Strategic Budgeting met on Friday January 17, 2014.  The council membership discussed scenarios related to consolidation of student fees and budgeting options regarding the Flat Rate Tuition Proposal.  The Council voted to recommend the consolidation of student fees and the Flat Rate Tuition Proposal to the Interim President, Dr. Mark Hussey.  The Flat Rate Tuition and fee consolidation proposals were presented to and approved by the Board of Regents in their January meeting at TAMU Galveston.

Contact:
Dr. Mary Bryk – bryk@tamu.edu

SAVE THE DATE for an NSF CAREER meeting – February 26th
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The morning of January 24th an NSF CAREER workshop was held that was sponsored by TEES and the College of Engineering.

However, the weather and shut-down of the Texas A&M campus that a.m. impacted full attendance. If you were unable to attend the January 24 meeting, the Division of Research is offering a session on Wednesday, February 26 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. in Room 110 of the Donald Houston Building in Research Park (west campus at the corner of University and Discovery Drive).  Parking is free.

The tentative agenda includes an initial overview of the NSF CAREER RFP process and proposal tips, follow by breakouts by discipline clusters.  In addition to new materials, full handouts from January 24th meeting will be provided thanks to Dr. Laurie Garton of TEES and the College of Engineering.  Breakout sessions will be led by Dr. John Ivy and Dr. Jim Izat of Research Development Services.  They will be the contacts and provide follow up service to you during the development of your NSF CAREER proposal that is due in mid-July 2014.

Contacts:
Dr. John Ivy – johnivy@tamu.edu
Dr. James Izat – jizat@tamu.edu

Climate Science Workshop
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Social science research has shown that the public as a whole still perceives that there is little scientific consensus on human-caused global warming. The origins of this misperception probably lie in both (i) concerted media campaigns by US contrarian voices that began in the early 1990s, and which have led to widespread misinformation (“information deficit model”), fabrication of “doubt”, and associated discreditation of climate science and scientists, and (ii) the general public’s filtering of climate science information through cultural, faith-based, and political opinion lenses (“cultural cognition model”), leading to rejection of credible information for unrelated reasons.

What we are faced with is a situation in which more than 97% of climate scientists agree that Global Warming is happening, man-made, and potentially dangerous, but a society in which barely half the population is aware of that consensus.

The department of Atmospheric Sciences at A&M is the home of several climate science researchers and we are teaching the science is various classes. In order to enable others on campus to learn about the consensus, or even to incorporate climate science or climate change consequences into their own teaching, we would like to invite you to a workshop on campus around the time of the 2014 spring semester break.

Before fixing a date and time, we would like to get feedback from interested faculty, PIs, researchers, etc. on which date would be most convenient. I created a doodle poll you can access here (http://www.doodle.com/3rgdyggc9h3367g5) to choose convenient dates, if any.

Assuming we find a large enough crowd, details will be disseminated through various listservs. Feel free to forward this message to potentially interested colleagues. For any questions, contact Gunnar Schade at gws@geos.tamu.edu.

Feel free to forward this message to potentially interested colleagues. For any questions, contact Gunnar Schade at gws@geos.tamu.edu.

Open Researcher and Contributor IDs (ORCIDs)
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You may have heard through your professional association or publisher of ORCIDs (pronounced orchids), Open Researcher and Contributor IDs. ORCIDs are persistent digital identifiers that distinguish a researcher from every other researcher with the same or a similar name. Additionally, ORCIDs support automated linkages between an author and her/his research outputs and professional activities through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission.

Texas A&M scholars will soon receive ORCIDs, thanks to an Adoption and Integration grant awarded to the University Libraries by ORCID and funded by the Sloan Foundation, one of 9 grants awarded nationally. Texas A&M’s program involves assigning ORCIDs first to new scholars, that is, current graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, allowing them to create a scholarly identity at the beginning of their careers. Libraries programmers will add a field for ORCIDs to the Vireo ETD submission and management system to link ORCIDs with theses and dissertations. They will also integrate a field for ORCIDs into the OAK Trust, the digital repository for campus scholarship.

After the first effort of assigning ORCIDs to graduate students, the Libraries will mint ORCIDs for faculty members and other researchers – sometime in the spring. If you would like to register for an ORCID sooner, visit the page Register for an ORCID iD. For more information see the Libraries’ guide, Researcher Identifiers.

Contact:
Ms. Sandy Tucker – s-tucker@tamu.edu or 862-1043

Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for graduate students
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The Graduate Student Council is currently crafting a Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for graduate students in the same manner as several of our Vision 2020 peers. After meetings with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, the Provost, Director of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, the President of GSC, Brittany Bounds, is taking the Bill in a more supported direction by relying on existing policies and procedures that involve graduate students. An extensive Task Force is currently investigating these policies in the HR manuals, Graduate Catalog, Faculty policies, and system policies. It will serve essentially as a handbook for graduate students, providing easy access to policies on which they can reference and rely on in times of need. An important section of the Bill will require, in accordance with OGAPS, a document of understanding drafted by the graduate student and his or her advisor to clarify the expectations of both parties, which will result in a better culture of communication at Texas A&M. A working draft of the Bill will be presented to the CPI Executive Committee at an upcoming meeting."

Contact:
Ms. Brittany Bounds – GSCPresident@tamu.edu, (office) 979-862-1974

Pending reports from CPI representatives serving on external committees (CPI representative)

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  • Council for the Built Environment (Paul Hardin)
  • Council for the Strategic Budgeting and Strategic Reallocation Sub-Council (Mary Bryk)
  • Email Selection Advisory Committee (Terry Thomas)
  • EPIK-Maestro Working Group (Beverly Kuhn, Terry Thomas, Victor Ugaz)
  • Federal Demonstration Partnership (Wolfgang Bangerth)
  • Graduate Student Copyright/IP Policies Review Task Force (Jean Luc-Guermond, Sandy Tucker)
  • Intellectual Property Constituent Committee (Wolfgang Bangerth)
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Advisory Committee (Lawrence Rauchwerger, Eva Shipp, Heather Wilkinson)
  • SRS PI/Faculty Advisory Committee (Terry Thomas, Lawrence Rauchwerger, Niall Slowey)
  • Texas A&M University Research Administration Committee (Terry Thomas)
  • Texas A&M University Multidisciplinary Accounting Committee (Steve DiMarco)
  • Transportation Services Advisory Committee (Sandy Tucker)
  • University Research Council (Clint Allred)

See the full list of CPI members serving on external committees and committee descriptions at goo.gl/rP41nF.

Limited Submission Proposal Opportunities
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Up-to-date limited submission proposal opportunities, including deadlines for required letters of intent, are available on the website of the Division of Research at vpr.tamu.edu/researchdevelopment/funding/lsp/lsp/#limited-submission-proposal-opportunities.