July 2015 CPI Newsletter

Included in this issue:   

  • Update from Dr. Mary Bryk, CPI Chair
  • Summary of CPI Executive Committee meetings
  • Texas A&M University Research Compliance Committee
  • Update from Sponsored Research Services (SRS)
  • Antimicrobial Resistance Working Group Open Forums
  • Sign up for notifications about Limited Submission Proposal (LSP) opportunities
  • 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 items to the attention of the administration, please send any broad research-related issues (and subsequent solutions) to my attention at cpi@tamu.edu or contact me directly at bryk@tamu.edu or 979.862.2294.

Recognition of outgoing and incoming CPI members

The Texas A&M research community’s efforts are greatly enhanced by the work and activities of the Council of Principal Investigators (CPI) and the almost 2200 principal investigators we’ve been elected to represent.

An elected CPI member must commit a significant amount of time to attend monthly meetings; stay abreast of issues affecting the research community and communicate regularly with the constituents they have been elected to represent throughout their college/unit about these issues; bring relevant research-related issues forward to the CPI leadership; advocate on behalf of their constituents by working with various administrative offices throughout Texas A&M to provide an effective and efficient research organization with the goal of being nationally recognized and competitive in research and teaching; and over the course of their terms, CPI members also volunteer to serve on numerous standing or ad hoc external committees that have broad impacts on both the Texas A&M academic and research enterprises.  

As the outgoing CPI Chair (effective August 31st) I would like to thank all of the following CPI members whose term(s) on the Council expire on August 31st (college/unit representing and term length):

  • Dr. Clint Allred (Agriculture and Life Sciences / 2009-2015)
  • Dr. Joe Arosh (Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences / 2012-2015)  
  • Dr. Joseph Awika (Agriculture and Life Sciences / 2012-2015)
  • Dr. Wolfgang Bangerth (Science / 2009-2015)
  • Dr. Roderick Dashwood (Institute of Biosciences & Technology / 2012-2015)   
  • Dr. Jaime Grunlan (Engineering / 2012-2015)   
  • Dr. Jean-Luc Guermond (Science / 2009-2015)    
  • Dr. Arun Sen (Mays Business School / 2012-15)
  • Dr. Niall Slowey (Geosciences / 2009-2015)    
  • Dr. Emil Straube (Science / 2009-2015)    
  • Dr. Susanne Talcott (Agriculture and Life Sciences / 2012-2015)    

For those elected to serve on the Executive Committee (EC) or as an Officer (Vice Chair, Chair, Past Chair), there is an even more substantial commitment of time to attend monthly EC coordination meetings; monthly meetings with the President and Provost; quarterly meetings with the Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System; occasional meetings with elected officials, as well as vital meetings with other faculty constituent groups across campus throughout the year.

As the outgoing Chair, I would like to express my appreciation to the following members of the 2014-2015 CPI Executive Committee, who agreed to serve a one year term (through August 31st) on the EC and were invaluable advisors during my term as Chair (see CPI Bylaws, Section 3. B. Executive Committee):

  • Dr. Helene Andrews-Polymenis (College of Medicine and 2014-15 Vice Chair)
  • Dr. Jorge Alvarado (College of Engineering)
  • Dr. Wolfgang Bangerth (College of Science)
  • Dr. James Batteas (College of Science)
  • Dr. Jim Grau (College of Liberal Arts)
  • Dr. Penny Riggs (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)
  • Dr. Niall Slowey (College of Geosciences and 2014-15 Past Chair)
  • Dr. Victor Ugaz (College of Engineering)
  • Dr. Teresa Wilcox (College of Liberal Arts)

July 8th CPI meeting with Dr. Glen A. Laine, Vice President for Research at Texas A&M University 

Dr. Glen A. Laine, Vice President for Research at Texas A&M University, is our featured guest for the July 8th CPI meeting.

The PI community was solicited for comments and questions to submit to Dr. Laine’s office prior to the July 8th CPI meeting. The questions received and forwarded to Dr. Laine’s office, were all relating to the potential establishment of a BL3 core facility on campus:

  • What would be the source of funds to establish a BL3 facility at Texas A&M?
  • What would the proposed initial budget be to establish a BL3 core facility at Texas A&M?
  • What would be the annual recurring budget to maintain a BL3 core facility and to meet compliance?
  • How many PIs are currently using a BL3 facility on the campus?
  • What would be the benefit of a BL3 facility to the larger community?
  • What would be the revenue (e.g., federal funding) generated out of this BL3 facility in the next 5-10 years?
  • Are there strategies in place to 1) hire PIs who use BL3 facilities, and 2) to hire compliance staff to maintain the facility?

Dr. Laine will also provide a full update on the Research Development Fund (see
http://rdf.tamu.edu/) and other VPR activities.

As noted in previous newsletters, suggestions are welcome for updates/reports that may be of interest to the broader PI community for future CPI meetings or newsletters, or if you have other research-related issues you would like to bring to the attention of the CPI, please send an email anytime to me (bryk@tamu.edu) or to Jason Whisenant (jwhisenant@tamu.edu).

PIs can also engage their elected CPI representative(s) to bring forward college/unit level research-related issues that might be addressed with the appropriate administrative office(s) in the college/unit (click here for the list of CPI members by college/unit).

Summary of CPI Executive Committee meetings
The CPI EC met for its monthly coordination meeting on July 1st with invited research administrators from the Texas A&M Health Science Center, Texas A&M University, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, TTI, and TEES.  

Dr. Penny Riggs, Chair of the Research Development Fund Advisory Committee (RDF-AC), provided a brief update on the committee’s progress in providing summary comments on every proposal to Dr. Laine’s office. Dr. Laine, on behalf of the Research Development Fund Management Committee (RDF-MC), will make announcements about the first round of RDF funds at the July 8th CPI meeting. CPI Chair, Dr. Mary Bryk noted some upcoming compliance issues for the PI community to be aware of and suggested Ms. Katherine Rojo del Busto be invited to the October CPI meeting to provide updates.

Dr. Andrews-Polymenis, Vice Chair, discussed suggested changes to the 2015 PI annual survey the CPI sends every August. The group discussed various improvements that can be made to the survey to better inform the CPI about target areas to address for 2015-16. The survey will be distributed to the PI community around July 31st and will stay open for approximately four weeks.  

The attendees reviewed the remaining CPI EC meeting schedule through August 31st and discussed agenda items for the August 3rd EC meeting with President Young and the August 24th meeting with Chancellor Sharp.

Texas A&M University Research Compliance Committee
The Division of Research will host the 2nd Spring Compliance Event in Spring 2016. Any PI who has a suggestion for a speaker or who might wish to serve on a planning committee should contact Ms. Tiffany Inbody at t-inbody@tamu.edu.

The Office of Research Compliance & Biosafety is also updating the IBC, IACUC and IRB applications. Any researcher who would like to see a draft of any of the updated applications and be involved in testing the application should contact Ms. Tiffany Inbody at t-inbody@tamu.edu.


Dr. Mary Bryk, bryk@tamu.edu

Update from Sponsored Research Services (SRS)
Customer Feedback Mini-Survey for SRS Business Support Services:

In order to continue to improve service levels, SRS is currently sending mini-surveys to system member research administration staff and departmental administrators evaluating their interactions with our Business Support Services group. Additional mini-surveys requesting feedback on SRS Contracts and Grants staff will be sent to these same customers later this summer. If you have any questions regarding these service improvement efforts, please contact Dr. Jim Joyce, SRS Customer Service Liaison.


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

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

Antimicrobial Resistance Working Group Open Forums
In May 2015, Dr. Helene Andrews-Polymenis, Associate Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology in the College of Medicine, conducted an informal census of faculty or affiliated staff throughout the Texas A&M research enterprise with research interests or expertise in the area of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).  This effort was to use the census list to form a working group to assess Texas A&M’s collective strengths in all aspects of AMR, identify experts within the working group on different funding agencies and priorities, and chart a path forward.

Two AMR Working Group Open Forums were planned for this summer. The first forum was held on June 30th at 2:30 p.m. in Rudder 601 and was attended by 46 individuals from 7 colleges/units. 27 researchers gave brief 2 minute presentations of their interest or expertise in AMR. The program of presenters, brief biographical information of those with a research interest in this area, and video from the June 30th forum are available at u.tamu.edu/AMR.

There is still time to register to observe, or present a 2 minute overview of your interest or expertise in AMR for the August 10th forum in the Memorial Student Center, room 2400 at 2:30 p.m., simply go to u.tamu.edu/AMRforum and register before August 7th.  For questions about registration or to add/edit content to the DRAFT working group directory, contact Jason Whisenant at jwhisenant@tamu.edu or 979-458-1861. Click here to subscribe to the Texas A&M AMR listserv


Dr. Helene Andrews-Polymenis – handrews@medicine@tamhsc.edu, 979-436-0340

Sign up for notifications about Limited Submission Proposal opportunities
The list of current Limited Submission Proposal (LSP) opportunities, maintained by the Division of Research, is available at https://u.tamu.edu/LSP.

To receive notifications about new LSP opportunities as soon as they are announced, email Ms. Shelly Martin at shelly.martin@tamu.edu  

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 new RDS calendar can be found at http://vpr.tamu.edu/researchdevelopment/calendars