January 2015 CPI News and Updates

Included in this issue:   


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 cpi@tamu.edu or contacting me at bryk@tamu.edu or 979.862.2294.

RDF Advisory Committee

In a December 8, 2014 memorandum (see here) to all faculty, administrators and principal investigators, it described the Implementation Principles (see p. 2 of memo) for the Research Development Fund (RDF) and the establishment of the RDF Advisory Committee (RDF-AC).

The RDF-AC will help draft the guidelines for the funding mechanisms including deadlines, process and procedures. These guidelines will be distributed as they become developed and approved. There will also be a website launched to the RDF as a resource for the community.

The 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 CPI. The RDF-AC will elect its own chair and each member will serve a two year term.

The CPI Executive Committee has solicited the full Council for names of individuals to consider for appointment to the RDF-AC. Once members of the RDF-AC have confirmed their willingness to serve, the full roster will be publicized to the PI community accordingly.

Strategic Planning Open Forums

In the fall, the CPI Executive Committee met several times with members of the Texas A&M University administration and recommended a transparent and open process to discuss and solicit input from the PI community with regards to the strategic plans for the university.

As a result of those discussions, a series of open forums will be held this spring, co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Faculty Senate and the CPI. More information can be found at http://provost.tamu.edu/initiatives/strategic-planning-2015-2020.  The first open forum will be held on February 10, from 12-1:30 p.m. in Rudder Tower, room 601.

Upcoming CPI meetings

The next CPI meeting on February 11th will include an update from Dr. Mark Hussey, Interim President of Texas A&M University and an update on research compliance from Ms. Katherine Rojo del Busto, Associate Vice President for Research and Research Compliance Officer at Texas A&M University.

We are also working to schedule updates at future CPI meetings from the research administrators at TEES, HSC and AgriLife Research and will report back to the PI community as these individuals are confirmed to present.

As a reminder, meetings are webcast live at ttvn.tamu.edu/webcasts 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 January 7th with invited research administrators from Texas A&M, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, TTI, HSC and TEES.

The committee and invitees discussed the RDF Implementation Principles and proposed activities of the RDF Advisory Committee (RDF-AC). The EC membership met in executive session at the end of the meeting to discuss individuals to consider for membership on the RDF-AC.  

The EC met with Dr. Hussey and Dr. Watson on December 10th and discussed updates on strategic plans; implementation of performance metrics by colleges and departments; and the status of faculty appointment conversion across campus. EC also met with Chancellor Sharp on December 16th and discussed the Texas A&M University Research Development Fund; updates on the Texas A&M President search; updates on Sponsored Research Services; the status of Area 41; and updates from the November Board of Regents meeting.

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 December 18, 2014 (see online at u.tamu.edu/GR_12_2014)  


Mr. Mike O’Quinn – irishmike@tamu.edu, 979.847.2217

Dr. Diane Hurtado – d-hurtado@tamu.edu, 979.847.2217

Updates from System Sponsored Research Services (SRS)
Research Administration Roles and Responsibilities Committee: 

The Research Administration Roles and Responsibilities Committee has been developed to review research administration processes and then design, construct and implement a revised shared service model that, in priority order, meets the needs of principal investigators, research administrators and Sponsored Research Services (SRS). Read more about the committee and the work they are doing at https://srs.tamus.edu/updates/#matrix


Dr. Jim Joyce, Customer Service Liaison – jrjoyce@tamus.edu, 979.458.5852

Ms. Stacey Rugh, Communications Manager – srugh@tamus.edu, 979.458.8760

VPR Fellows Announcement
The Texas A&M University Vice President for Research is searching for up to 4 tenured faculty members to serve administrative appointments as Research Fellows. The appointments are expected to represent 25-35% FTE for one to two years. The Fellow will have specific duties that might include, but are not limited to, the development of new research capabilities, the development of programs and tools for enhancing the competitiveness of faculty for securing external funding, the enhancement of research infrastructure resources, and/or the cultivation of interdisciplinary activities along with other needs within the division.

More information can be found at http://cpi.tamu.edu/resources/vpr_fellows/. Interested parties should send a CV and a single-page cover letter outlining their particular interests in the positions directly to VPR Glen A. Laine at vpr@tamu.edu by February 1, 2015. It is anticipated that the Research Fellows will be selected and announced shortly thereafter. 

Sigma Xi issues call for nominations

The Texas A&M University Chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, has issued a call for nominations for the 2015 Outstanding Distinguished Scientist and the 2015 Outstanding Science Communicator Awards. Nominations are due Feb. 13, 2015. Nominations should include a nomination letter, curriculum vitae, and letters of support.

Recipients will receive a plaque and a $750 cash prize at the Sigma Xi Induction and Awards Banquet in April 2015. The recipient of the Outstanding Distinguished Scientist Award will present the 2015 Distinguished Scientist Lecture, hosted by Sigma Xi.

For a nominee to be competitive, they should have credentials equivalent to those of previous recipients.  See sigmaxi.tamu.edu/awards for information on the awards and previous winners. Nominations may be submitted via email, campus mail, or U.S. mail to:

Sigma Xi Coordinator

Division of Research

1260 TAMU

College Station, TX 77843-1260

Email: sigmaxi@tamu.edu

Please note that membership in Sigma Xi is not required for nominators or nominees.

Sigma Xi is an international, chapter-based organization dedicated to nurturing the research enterprise in all fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. For more information about Sigma Xi, visit sigmaxi.tamu.edu/.

Additional opportunity for Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS) nominations

The Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS) recently called for supplemental nominations of TIAS Faculty Fellows for the 2015-2016 academic year, due February 13, 2015.  In its first call TIAS received eight nominations.   Four additional nominations are carryovers from last year.  TIAS expects to be able to afford approximately ten Faculty Fellows for the upcoming year.  With a recruiting success of around 50% and with 12 nominees thus far, TIAS issued a supplemental call.

TIAS recently obtained approval for three programs to be allowed to nominate one TIAS Faculty Fellow each year. The three programs are The Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture, The Institute for Neuroscience, and the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering.  The financial advantage for these programs is that TIAS will pay 70% of the salary of the visiting scholar and will provide $30,000 annual graduate fellowships for at least one student to be assigned to the host faculty member for the visiting scholar.  Another advantage is that the one nomination will not count as part of a college’s quota for nominations, but is a totally separate opportunity. 

 All nominations that come to TIAS must have a Dean’s approval. The nominating Institute or a College would have to pay for housing expenses and any discretionary funds they may want to offer.   On the nomination form it will be important to state whether that nominating institute or if the Dean of a college promises to pay all expenses other than the TIAS 70% salary support of the Faculty Fellow.  The latter is not out of the question in that the College will benefit from the graduate fellowship support and other enhancements that result from an approved and successfully recruited TIAS Faculty Fellow.

Recall that the TIAS Faculty Fellows will typically be in residence from three months to one year. They will usually be provided offices and access to any needed research facilities by the nominating Institute or College(s).  The two page nomination form that can be downloaded from http://tias.tamu.edu/facultyfellows/tias-nomination-form and the nominating guidelines initially provided for this year are available at http://tias.tamu.edu/facultyfellows/2015-2016-call-for-nominations.  

This supplemental round of nominations should be returned to TIAS on or before February 13, 2015. Contact:

Ms. Lisa Jordan – l-jordan@tamu.edu, 979.458.7988

Changes for NIH grant applications
Biographical Sketch format change update 

NIH and AHRQ encourages applicants to use the new Biosketch format for applications submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2015 and will require use of the new format for applications submitted on or after May 25, 2015. (This represents a delay in implementation.)

  • ·         The new biosketch format can be obtained on the SF 424 Forms and Applications page
  • ·         The new biosketch format replaces the list of 15 relevant publications with a description of up to five of the researcher’s most significant contributions to science,
  • ·         Allows inclusion of a link to a full list of the researcher’s published work in a publicly available digital database, and
  • ·         Increases the page limit from 4 to 5 pages.
  • ·         See NOT-OD-15-032 Update: New Biographical Sketch Format Required... for full details.

Change to marking of revised text in resubmission applications

  • ·         NIH has removed the requirement to identify “substantial scientific changes” in the text of a Resubmission application by “bracketing, indenting, or change of typography”.
  • ·         It is now sufficient to outline the substantial additions, deletions, and changes in the Introduction section (still limited to 1 page).
  • ·         See NOT-OD-15-030 NIH Modification to Guidance on Marking Changes in Resubmission Applications for full details.

Limited Submission Funding Opportunity for Texas A&M Faculty and PIs

The following Limited Submission Proposal (LSP) opportunities were recently distributed by the Texas A&M University Division of Research (internal email of intent due date):

  • ·         NIH National Human Genome Research Institute Centers for Common Disease Genomics (UM1) – Additional information can be found here (1/28/2015).
  • ·         NIH National Human Genome Research Institute Centers for Mendelian Genomics (UM1) – Additional information can be found here (1/28/2015)
  • ·         NSF Management of UNOLS Marine Technician Pool - Additional information can be found here (2/4/2015)
  • ·         NIH Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers (EHS CC) (P30) – Additional information can be found here (2/11/2015)


Ms. Shelly Martin – shelly.martin@tamu.edu, 979.862.2233

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. The next edition will be sent on January 19, 2015.

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