December 2014 CPI News and Updates

  • Update from Dr. Mary Bryk, CPI Chair
  • CPI EC meetings with administrators
  • Texas A&M Government Relations update
  • Transportation Services Advisory Committee
  • Update from System Sponsored Research Services
  • Survey – Awareness of Open Access Publishing
  • TIAS Eminent Scholar Lecture
  • Bulletin for Principal Investigators – Issued weekly by the Division of Research, Texas A&M University
  • Upcoming Seminars and Workshops for Texas A&M Researchers


Update from Dr. Mary Bryk, CPI Chair
To aid the CPI in bringing issues to the attention of the administration, please let us know of broad issues affecting your ability to perform research. If you have an issue the Council should be aware of, please inform us by sending an email to or contacting me at or 979.862.2294.


The SRS Roles and Responsibility Committee met for the first time on Tuesday, November 25, 2014.  The purpose of the committee is to work through issues and improve processes related to research administration at Texas A&M University. CPI members (including the CPI Chair and Vice Chair) and other faculty members are serving on the SRS Roles and Responsibilities Committee with administrators from TEES, HSC, AgriLife Research, Texas A&M and SRS. The committee expects to meet twice monthly through March 2015.  Updates on this committee’s activities will be provided in future newsletters. The CPI Executive Committee will continue to discuss the need for improved pre- and post-award services for principal investigators at our meeting with the Chancellor on December 16th.

Upcoming CPI meetings

One of the goals of the CPI is to support beneficial communication between PIs and university administrators. In the past, the CPI has invited research leaders at Texas A&M University to provide updates on research activities and new initiatives. Recently, I extended invitations to research leaders at AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M Health Science Center, and TEES asking each of them to discuss their unit’s research strategic plans, activities and new initiatives at an upcoming CPI meeting. We will announce the dates of these presentations once they are scheduled. It is my expectation that the Council will continue to extend regular invitations to research leaders at the university, as the Council’s membership and constituency includes a significant number from each of these System members.

As a reminder, meetings are webcast live at on Channel 20, and videos are stored on the “Archives” section of the CPI website

CPI EC meetings with administrators
The CPI Executive Committee met for its monthly coordination meeting on December 3rd with invited research administrators from Texas A&M, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, TTI, HSC and TEES.

The committee and invitees discussed progress of the SRS Roles and Responsibilities Committee; implementation of the new OMB Uniform Guidance (see here); the Research Development Fund (RDF) Implementation Policies; and agenda items for the Executive Committee meeting with the President and Provost on December 10th and the Executive Committee meeting with the Chancellor on December 16th.

The Vice President for Research, Dr. Glen Laine, provided a near final draft of a document describing the “RDF Implementation Principles”. The document outlined the broad goals of the RDF and the structure of committees that will be involved in making decisions on how the fund will be invested. The RDF Advisory Committee (RDF-AC) “will receive proposals and ideas for funding and give their assessments to the RDF Management Committee. The RDF-AC should broadly represent many units on campus and will be appointed by the Council of Principal Investigators; will elect its own chair and each member will serve a two-year term.” The RDF-AC will also help draft Guidelines for the funding mechanism, including deadlines, application process, recommendations for matching and/or cost sharing, and proposal routing through departments and colleges.

As soon as the RDF Implementation Principles document is publicized, the CPI will communicate our plans for formation of the RDF-AC to the PI community. Once in place, the RDF-AC Chair will provide regular updates to the CPI Chair and updates for the CPI newsletter when appropriate.

The CPI will meet with the Texas A&M University Interim President and Provost on December 10th and with the Chancellor on December 16th. The EC will provide updates on these meetings in the January 2015 newsletter.

Texas A&M Government Relations Update
The Texas A&M University Office of Government Relations sent out a “Texas A&M Government Relations Update” on November 26, 2014 (see online at


Mr. Mike O’Quinn –, 979.847.2217

Dr. Diane Hurtado –, 979.847.2217

Transportation Services Advisory Committee
The Transportation Services Advisory Committee discussed the parking strategic financial plan.  Five new parking garages are planned over the next 15 years.  The first is the Cain Hall garage in partnership with the proposed P3 hotel, with 1,400 spaces to be completed in FY 2017.  The second is planned for Lot 50 (Engineering A) with an expected 1,300 spaces to be completed in FY 2018. Concern was expressed that construction would begin on the Engineering garage just as parking demand in that area increased due to the completion of the Engineering Education/Zachry complex. Long-range plans include two more garages in the Engineering quadrant and one for the Northside dorms. Since only phase one and two of the White Creek dorms are planned, surface lots will be adequate, so no garages are planned for west campus.  Additionally, Transportation Services has been asked to take over on-campus street and sidewalk maintenance.  This is expected to require $1M in FY 2016 and increase by 3% per year.  To pay for the garages and the street/sidewalk maintenance, parking fees will increase 3% per year each year for the next five years with standard surface lot fees going from $275/year in 2015 to $325/year in 2020 and reserved numbered garage spaces from $607 in 2015 to $704 by 2020.  This generated the most discussion since members of TSAC were concerned that permit holders were bearing the cost of streets and sidewalks used by the entire university community.  Also discussed were the potential for upgrading the parking at Hensel Park, closure of the drive and parking between the Langford Architecture Buildings, and improving parking signage.


Dr. Margaret Hobson –, 979.458.9285

Updates from System Sponsored Research Services (SRS)
TAMUS OMB Uniform Guidance Tools Now Available:

The Texas A&M University System OMB Uniform Guidance Committee has posted two new reference tools on the SRS website for PIs:

TAMUS Uniform Guidance PI Quick Guide

TAMUS Uniform Guidance PI FAQ’s

SRS will continue to post updates and implementation plans regarding the OMB Uniform Guidance as they become available.

Customer Service Liaison: Dr. Jim Joyce is available to attend your departmental or staff meetings to address customer service questions or concerns regarding SRS.  Please contact him or Stacey Rugh to schedule.

Dr. Jim Joyce, Customer Service Liaison –, 979.458.5852

Ms. Stacey Rugh, Communications Manager –, 979.458.8760

Survey – Awareness of Open Access Publishing
"Open access (OA)” and "Institutional repositories (IR)” have served as buzz words in the world of scholarly communication. Several university libraries have conducted surveys assessing their users’ awareness, adoption, and usage behaviors regarding open access and institutional repositories.


Texas A&M University Libraries established its institutional repository in 2004. In the fall of 2013, TAMU Libraries and TAMU Office of the Vice President for Research committed $100,000 for two years to fund a faculty pilot project meant to underwrite open access publication charges or fees for peer-reviewed articles, book chapters or scholarly monographs. TAMU Libraries branded the fund as the OAK Fund. OAK stands for Open Access to Knowledge. We also rebranded our digital repository as the OAKTrust.

We would like to invite our TAMU faculty to participate in the survey entitled: “Texas A&M University Faculty’s Awareness and Attitudes towards Open Access Publishing and Institutional Repositories.”

This study aims to discover the awareness level of TAMU faculty in the topics of open access publishing, and faculty’s willingness to contribute their work to the TAMU OAKTrust repository. The survey will ask our faculty if they are familiar with OA journals in their field and if they have ever published in an OA Journal. The survey will also seek the reasons why faculty might have reservations contributing their work to the TAMU OAK Trust. The survey will reveal if faculty agree with the stated benefits that open access publishing can bring to the scholarly communication, such as their work being more highly cited, read by more people, and having a greater impact.

In addition, the survey will serve the purpose of informing TAMU faculty of the resources and services available to them, such as the OAK Fund, Data management plan tool (DMPTool), the Get it for me service, and other useful information.

At the end of the survey, we ask faculty to let us know what help and service you think you need the most from the TAMU Libraries to support your teaching and research needs. From the answers to the survey, we can better understand our faculty’s needs in meeting the open access mandates set out by the federal government and funding agency,  as well as the effective use of the OAKTrust repository. 

The survey will take no more than 15 minutes to complete and can be accessed at: survey will close December 15, 2014.

Any questions concerning the survey can be directed to Zheng Ye (Lan) Yang at (979.862.1904). This survey instrument has been reviewed and approved by the Human Subjects Protection Program, Institutional Review Board at Texas A&M University, study number (IRB2014-0635).

TIAS Eminent Scholar Lecture on Friday, December 12th
TIAS Eminent Scholar Lecture Series: How do we build an economy powered by the sun?

A nationally acclaimed researcher in solar energy, Distinguished Professor Rakesh Agrawal of Purdue University, will describe the technological challenges for creating a sustainable solar-powered economy during his Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS) Eminent Scholars Lecture on Friday, Dec. 12.

The Institute presents one Eminent Scholar lecture each semester.

Agrawal's lecture begins at 7 p.m. in Rudder Tower, Room 301, on Texas A&M University's main campus in College Station. Admission is free and open to the public, and parking is available in the University Center Garage. A reception will follow in the J. Wayne Stark Gallery in the Memorial Student Center.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M. As a TIAS Faculty Fellow for 2014-15, Agrawal will collaborate with faculty-researchers in the Look College's Department of Chemical Engineering.

The challenge for transitioning from a fossil-fuel economy to a solar economy, Agrawal says, is learning to harness, transform and store solar energy in ways that meet the needs of consumers. In a presentation titled "Toward a Solar Economy," Agrawal will explore these challenges as well as an interdisciplinary approach for finding potential solutions. These include sustainable options for transportation, the production of fuels and chemicals, large-scale storage of solar energy and around-the-clock power generation.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Agrawal is the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor in Purdue's School of Chemical Engineering. He has received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, which is the highest honor for technological achievement bestowed by the president of the United States.

Agrawal conducts research in energy-related areas that involve the conversion of biomass to liquid fuels, processes related to low-cost solar cells, energy systems analysis and high-efficiency separations processes needed for industry and research.


Ms. Lisa Jordan –, 979.458.7988

Bulletin for Principal Investigators – Issued weekly by the Division of Research, Texas A&M University

The Division of Research at Texas A&M University issues a brief weekly bulletin for Principal Investigators that highlights research accomplishments and projects, funding opportunities, honors and promotions, workshops, and other items that may be of interest to the PI community.

Click here to subscribe or unsubscribe to the bulletin. Click here to submit items for consideration for an upcoming bulletin.


Upcoming Seminars and Workshops for Texas A&M Researchers
The Division of Research (DOR) offers seminars and workshops throughout the year relating to professional development in research proposal planning and writing. All of these events are coordinated by Research Development Services (RDS), a DOR unit providing a wide range of support to Texas A&M researchers. The RDS calendar can be found at

If you would like to receive announcements and up-to-date information about new workshops and services through RDS, send an email to and in the BODY put:

SUBSCRIBE rds-info firstname lastname.


Dr. Jorja Kimball –, 979.458.5794