July CPI News and Updates

Included in this issue: 

Updates from the CPI Chair

Updates from Sponsored Research Services (SRS)

2014-15 CPI Executive Committee ratified (effective September 1, 2014)

The First Step Is a Nomination” – Update from the Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study

Final Report and Recommendations of the Graduate Student Copyright/IP Task Force

Call for Nominations by September 1st: Trotter Prize

NIH Individual Development Plans (IDP) and changes to NIH Biosketches

2015 Schedule for Grant Writing Seminars and Workshops (GWSW)

Scott Honea named Interim Associate Vice President for IT and CIO

Pending reports from CPI members serving on external committees

Principal Investigators are encouraged to contact their elected college/unit representatives to bring forward any issues for the Council to address during the monthly meetings. PIs can also contact me directly at slowey@ocaean.tamu.edu or 845-8478.

Updates from the CPI Chair
August CPI meeting with Congressman Flores

The next regularly scheduled CPI meeting will be held on August 13, 2014 from 11:30-1:15 p.m. in Rudder 601 with special guest presenter, Congressman Bill Flores. Please submit any questions or concerns to cpi@tamu.edu by close of business, Friday, July 25th. For more information, please see the June CPI newsletter.

SRS and PwC updates

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is working with SRS to define roles and responsibilities of SRS, PIs, System members and the System administration with regard to research administration. More information will be forwarded as it becomes available.

A Leadership Steering Committee, charged by Dr. Hussey to thoroughly review the PwC report, has established a website (see http://lsc.tamu.edu/Home) that includes the PwC report, committee roster and a link to provide feedback for committee review.

Dr. Hussey has also formed an Advisory Committee, representing a broad campus constituency that will report to the Leadership Steering Committee. The CPI will have representation on the Advisory Committee.

Updates from Sponsored Research Services (SRS)

Sponsors are more aggressively enforcing deadlines for submitting all financial and non-financial documents. In order to ensure that SRS submits final financial reports to the sponsors in a timely manner, we have established a timeline for approving final project expenses.  Read more about closeout procedures for final bill to sponsor at https://srs.tamus.edu/updates/#closeout.

SRS has implemented new procedures for paying human subject and survey participants.  Read more about the procedures at https://srs.tamus.edu/updates/#payment.

Contract negotiation customer service mini-surveys have been implemented as part of our customer satisfaction feedback efforts. Read more about the new survey at https://srs.tamus.edu/updates/#cnsurvey.


Dr. Jim Joyce, Customer Service Liaison – jrjoyce@tamus.edu, 979-458-5852

Ms. Stacey Rugh, Communications Manager – srugh@tamus.edu, 979-458-8760

2014-15 CPI Executive Committee ratified (effective September 1st)
The CPI bylaws (see Section 3. Council Officers and Committees, B. Executive Committee) state that the Executive Committee (EC) will be selected by the standing Chair to advise on Council activities. The proposed incoming EC membership is submitted by the Chair to the full Council for ratification. An EC member’s term is the same length as the Chair that selected them for service, from September 1 through August 31 annually.

Effective September 1st, the 2014 EC will be comprised of the CPI Officers: Chair (Mary Bryk-COALS), Vice Chair (Helene Andrews-Polymenis-HSC), and Immediate Past Chair (Niall Slowey-Geosciences), and the following CPI members that have been selected and recommended by the Chair, and ratified by the full Council on July 9th:

The full roster is available at http://cpi.tamu.edu/membership/EC_14_15. The term for the 2014-15 EC members will be from September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2015.

Throughout the year, the CPI EC will meet regularly with the A&M System Board of Regents; Congressman Bill Flores and other elected officials (depending on availability); A&M System Chancellor and Vice Chancellors; the administrative and research leadership of Texas A&M University, Texas A&M Health Science Center, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, TEES and TTI; and various Texas A&M faculty constituents groups.

“The First Step Is a Nomination” – Update from the Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study
Have you ever dreamed of having months to work on research with a world-renowned expert in your field?  The Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS) is seeking nominations for its next class of Faculty Fellows.  Those approved for recruiting will be invited to College Station for up to twelve months specifically to concentrate on research and to collaborate and network with the A&M faculty and students working in related areas.  These outstanding visiting scholars do not teach formal classes to better concentrate on collaborations on frontier research. Faculty Fellows in the past have presented opportunities to A&M faculty and students to conduct joint research and co-author publications, and to co-author major funding proposals for joint research.

The first step in the process is a nomination.  CPI members know who the outstanding people are in their respective fields who are not already at Texas A&M.  The CPI group is unique in its potential benefit from the visiting Faculty Fellows, as research is their game, and they are darn good at it.

Nominations, Confidentiality, and the Selection Process

Not long after the fall semester begins, the Institute for Advanced Study will call for nominations for the fourth class of Faculty Fellows.

•   Anyone can nominate a person for consideration as a Faculty Fellow, but for the institute to receive that nomination officially the nomination must come from a University Distinguished Professor with approval by the Dean or it must come through the Dean. The Dean’s approval is important because the Dean must commit to supplying the promised monetary support and other provisions required of the college in the nomination process.  The Institute for Advanced Study pays 70% of the salary and provides at a minimum $30,000 for a graduate student fellowship.  The host college pays 30% of the salary, provides a housing allowance and maybe discretionary funds, as well as provides office space and equipment.

•   It is crucially important to remember that nominees are not to be told in any way that they are being nominated.  We do not want anyone to feel that Texas A&M has rejected them. All who have been nominated, including the ones who are not approved for recruiting, have been accomplished scholars and researchers.   The standards are very high to be invited to be one of the Institute’s Faculty Fellows.  Some very accomplished researchers are not yet of the stature to be approved.

•   Once a nominees’ work is studied by the Advisory Committee – which is comprised of nine elected University Distinguished Professors – then the Committee votes as to whether that nominee has met the institute’s high standards and, if so, where the person falls in the ranking.  The highest ranking people are the first recruited. If they accept, and if planned budgets are thereby exhausted on the very top ranked people, then other nominees approved for recruiting may “roll over” to next year for consideration for recruitment at that time.

•   History has shown that not all who are recruited find it convenient to accept the offer to come to Texas A&M.  The lack of money for the early classes has not been the institute’s problem thus far.  The numbers of stellar nominations during the first call have been good, but not sufficient.  During the 2013-2014 school year, the Institute for Advanced Study had to make three calls for nominations to obtain enough quality scholars to recruit.  Only two colleges, engineering and science, have consistently submitted a full slate of nominees.

When the call for nominations goes out in the fall, the CPI will be immediately alerted.   It is to your benefit and the benefit of this university for you to nominate the best person in your field. Think of national academy membership or convincing comparable stature as a minimum criterion for the nominee.  Focus on nominees who are great mentors and with whom collaboration would have the most positive impact for you and your students.  As I have indicated in prior articles, many TIAS Faculty Fellows are members of multiple national academies or hold outstanding awards of recognition, such as the Nobel Prize or the National Medal of Science.  We want you to help us by presenting us with world class nominees to bring to Texas A&M, with whom you can conduct research and establish a research relationship for long after they leave College Station.


Dr. John L. Junkins, Director, TIAS – junkins@tamu.edu, 979.845.3912
Dr. Clifford Fry, Associate Director, TIAS - cfry@tamu.edu or 979.458.5723

Final Report and Recommendations of the Graduate Student Copyright/IP Task Force
The Graduate Student Copyright/IP Task Force has completed its work. The charge of the task force was to examine inconsistencies in and identify issues with current graduate student intellectual (including copyrightable works) property rules and policies, recommend changes, and consider crafting scenarios that address who owns copyright in a variety of circumstances (e.g., independent research, funded research, as a result of/or in the course of on-campus employment, etc.).  Here are the final recommendations:

  1. A copyright notice should be placed on the thesis/dissertation/record of study.
  2. A Contributors and Funding Sources section should be included within the preliminary section of the thesis/dissertation/record of study.
  3. A new task force should be convened by the Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies to examine the use of faculty-student agreements that outline expectations for responsibilities and authorship for the thesis/dissertation/record of study and other scholarly works.

For more detail see the full Final Report and Recommendations of the Graduate Student Copyright/IP Task Force.

Call for Nominations by September 1st: Trotter Prize
The Trotter Prize & Endowed Lecture Series, presented by the College of Science in collaboration with The Dwight Look College of Engineering, seeks to illuminate connections between science and religion, often viewed in academia as non-overlapping if not rival world views.

Recipients of the Trotter Prize are invited to deliver a lecture at Texas A&M University under the Trotter Endowed Lecture Series and receive a cash award plus travel expenses.  It is intended that the Trotter lecturer should acquaint the audience with the essentials and intriguing complexities of their area of specialization and inferences drawn from them. At the same time they should address the task of building substantive connections on issues of broad and lasting significance between academic cultures.

For more information regarding the Trotter Prize & Endowed Lecture Series, including a list of previous recipients, go to www.science.tamu.edu/trotter/.

To nominate someone, please go to http://www.science.tamu.edu/trotter/nomination.php or you may print out a nomination form at www.science.tamu.edu/trotter/. When nominating, please feel free to either submit an individual or a pair of strong candidates (NOTE: you will need to fill out form for each nominee)

Deadline for nominations is September 1, 2014, 5:00 p.m. If you have any questions regarding the nomination process, please contact Jennifer Holle at 845-8817 or jholle@science.tamu.edu.

NIH Individual Development Plans (IDP) and changes to NIH biographical sketches
Individual Development Plans (IDP)

NIH now encourages institutions to assist graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to achieve their career goals within the biomedical research workforce through the use of Individual Development Plans (IDPs). NIH encourages institutions to develop policy regarding IDPs for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers supported by NIH awards by October 2014. NIH will encourage grantees to report the use of those IDPs on progress reports to NIH. This new policy was announced in Notice NOT-OD-13-093, NIH Encourages Institutions to Develop Individual Development Plans for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Researchers.

Links to resources on IDPs and mentoring can be found at: http://vpr.tamu.edu/researchdevelopment/proposal-development-resources/IDPs.

Biographical Sketches

NIH is testing a new Biographical Sketch format in select RFAs and anticipates implementing the new Biosketch in final form for proposals submitted early in 2015. Currently the pilot biosketch format has a new section for the individual’s Contributions to Science. In that section, one is asked to describe up to five of their most significant contributions to science, including

  • the historical background;
  • the central finding(s);
  • the influence of the finding(s) on the progress of science or the application of those finding(s) to health or technology; and
  • your specific role in the described work.

One may include up to four peer-reviewed publications that are relevant to each contribution. Finally, the new format requires a URL to a full list of one’s published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as PubMed or My Bibliography.  The new format Biosketch has a 5 page limit.

Sally Rockey (Deputy Director for Extramural Research, NIH) discusses the new biosketch format in her Rock Talk, Changes to the Biosketch, and the current status of the pilot testing and format is presented in NOT-OD-14-091, Piloting Modified NIH Biosketches. The Pilot Biographical Sketch Instructions and Sample (use only when specified in the FOA) can be downloaded from SF424 (R&R) Applications and Electronic Submission Page.

For more information or additional questions, contact Research Development Services in the Division of Research, Texas A&M University at 979-845-1811 or rds.dor@tamu.edu.

2015 Schedule for Grant Writing Seminars and Workshops (GWSW)
For a second year, the Division of Research at Texas A&M University will offer Write Winning NIH Grant Proposals, a two-phase professional research development opportunity for tenured and tenure-track faculty. Coordinated through the Division’s Research Development Services, this program features consultant John D. Robertson of Grant Writers’ Seminars and Workshops, LLC (GWSW), and was very well received by Texas A&M participants this past year. Faculty interested in writing or resubmitting proposals to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are invited to attend. Dates for program will be announced later this summer. For additional information, contact Dr. Jim Izat (jizat@tamu.edu) or Dr. John Ivy (johnivy@tamu.edu) in Research Development Services (RDS).

Scott Honea named Interim Associate Vice President for IT and CIO
Mr. Scott Honea, a Texas A&M Alum, was named the Interim Associate Vice President for IT and CIO on June 16th. According to the June 16th memorandum from Dr. Hussey, before his appointment Mr. Honea was the Assistant Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer of the Texas A&M Health Science Center. He worked in the private industry as well as within the Texas A&M University System and has been a part of the Health Science Center since 2005. See full announcement at http://it.tamu.edu/news/2014/06/Interim_CIO_named.php.

Pending reports from CPI representatives serving on external committees (CPI representative)
Please note, pending reports may be due to committees not having met since the last newsletter update.

  • Council for the Built Environment (Paul Hardin)
  • Email Selection Advisory Committee (Terry Thomas)
  • EPIK-Maestro Working Group (Beverly Kuhn, Terry Thomas, Victor Ugaz)
  • Intellectual Property Constituent Committee (Wolfgang Bangerth)
  • Laboratory Safety Advisory Committee (Susanne Talcott)
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers Administrative Review Advisory Committee (Lawrence Rauchwerger, Eva Shipp, Heather Wilkinson)
  • SRS PI/Faculty Advisory Committee (Terry Thomas, Niall Slowey)
  • Texas A&M University Research Administration Committee (Terry Thomas)
  • Texas A&M University Multidisciplinary Accounting Committee (Steve DiMarco)
  • University Research Council (Clint Allred)

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