November 2014 CPI News and Updates

Included in this issue:   

Update from Dr. Mary Bryk, CPI Chair

CPI EC meetings with administrators

Board of Regents reception  

Maestro Working Group  

Write Winning NIH Grant Proposals seminar – February 25, 2015

Article: AAU Board Statement Criticizes House Science Committee NSF Inquiry

 Pending reports from CPI members serving on external committees

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

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One of the best ways the CPI can help bring issues to the attention of the administration is when PIs are willing to inform the Council of broad issues affecting their ability to perform research. If you have any issues the Council should be aware of you can send an email any time to cpi@tamu.edu or call or email me at bryk@tamu.edu or 979.862-2294.

For the next two CPI meetings, the Council has scheduled presenters to come and provide updates on a number of high priority areas affecting a broad number of our constituents. At the November 12th CPI meeting, Mr. Billy Hamilton, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer of The Texas A&M University System, will provide an update on A&M System initiatives, including updates relating to SRS. Also scheduled to provide an update at the Nov. 12th meeting is Dr. Glen Laine, Vice President for Research at Texas A&M University, who will provide updates from the Division of Research, including an overview of research development services available to investigators through the Division.

At the December meeting, we have scheduled Dr. Karan Watson, Provost and Executive Vice President at Texas A&M University, to provide an update on strategic planning for the university and discuss details relating to faculty appointment conversion initiative. Ms. Katherine Rojo del Busto, Associate Vice President for Research and Research Compliance Officer in the Division of Research at Texas A&M, will provide updates on services through Research Compliance and Biosafety. If you have questions that you would like either presenter to address during the December meeting, please send questions/comments to cpi@tamu.edu by December 2nd.

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

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The CPI Executive Committee met for its monthly coordination meeting on November 5th with invited research administrators from Texas A&M, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, TTI, HSC and TEES. Additional guests included Mr. Michael O’Quinn, Vice President for Government Relations and Dr. Diane Hurtado, Associate Vice President for Federal Relations, who provided an update on the strategies and efforts of his office. Mr. O’Quinn is available to visit one on one with investigators who have inquiries about the efforts and strategies of his office relating to government and federal relations (email irishmike@tamu.edu).

The committee and invitees also discussed a Board of Regents reception the evening of Nov. 5th for the Executive Committees of the CPI, Distinguished Professors, Faculty Senate and the Texas A&M Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS). Additional details of the reception are included later in this newsletter.  The CPI EC identified agenda items to discuss at their December 2nd meeting with the Chancellor and will report back on the outcomes of that meeting in the December CPI newsletter

On November 10th, the CPI Executive Committee met with Dr. Karan Watson and asked for updates on the Faculty Appointment Conversion and the college proposals that have been submitted to date; updates from the Board of Regents November meeting; topics for the Provost’s discussion at the December 10th CPI meeting and the administration’s strategic planning efforts.

We have become aware that there is some variation in how faculty appointments and annual leave have been handled in different colleges.  The CPI Executive Committee encourages faculty to contact their Dean’s office with questions about appointment length, accrued vacation leave, and certifying that the appropriate documentation has been submitted when taking a buyout of annual leave.

 

Board of Regents reception

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The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents held a reception for the Executive Committees of the Council of Principal Investigators, Faculty Senate, Distinguished Professors, and the Texas A&M Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS) on the evening of November 5th at the Memorial Student Center.

Chairman of the Board Mr. Phil Adams, Chancellor John Sharp and President Mark Hussey provided remarks at the reception, each noting that faculty are essentially the cornerstone of the university, and the reception was held as a means of recognizing the efforts of the groups that represent faculty across the campus.

Representatives of each of the faculty groups invited to the reception provided brief remarks about the efforts and activities of each group. Dr. Helene Andrews-Polymenis, Vice Chair of the CPI, spoke on behalf of Dr. Mary Bryk, CPI Chair. Dr. Andrews-Polymenis discussed the role of the CPI in working with the administration, on behalf of the almost 2,200 investigators, to improve the research enterprise for students, staff and faculty. Dr. Andrews-Polymenis also noted the investigators that the CPI represents are responsible for bringing in over $800 million in research expenditures to campus. Other attendees included members of the Chancellor’s Executive Committee, the Texas A&M University President’s Executive Committee, a majority of the Board of Regents, and numerous Presidents from other Texas A&M University regional campuses. 

Maestro Working Group

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Recent updates to the Maestro proposal module of interest to PIs include:

  • ·      Work List has been re-designed to provide a more streamlined overview of work items (To-Do List) in three tabs: Current items, Completed items, and Notifications.
    • o    Current items: documents for approval, assigned tasks, required deliverables, and disclosures.
    • o    Completed items: all items and tasks approved by user last 6 months.
    • o    Notifications: log of all messages the Maestro system has generated for users within the last 6 months.
    • ·      It is emphasized that it is the PI’s responsibility to carefully review all the proposal materials before clicking the “Approve” button, regardless of how streamlined the interface becomes.
    • ·      Rejected proposals now show up on the Completed items tab.
    • ·      Proposal Reporting Code screen has been enhanced to add help bubbles (clicking on the question mark icon displays information about the field).
    • ·      Default display for Completed items is two weeks’ worth of history. It may be expanded to more or fewer weeks.
    • ·      Enhanced proposal search to include co-PIs in the search results by default.

Contact:

Dr. Victor Ugaz – ugaz@tamu.edu or 979.458.1002

Write Winning NIH Grant Proposals” seminar – February 25, 2015

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The Division of Research at Texas A&M University is sponsoring the “Write Winning NIH Grant Proposals” seminar on February 25, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Rudder Tower, 601. The seminar is opened to all Texas A&M investigators interested in submitting a research proposal to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Registration deadline is February 18, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. Additional details and registration information is available at https://vpr.tamu.edu/researchdevelopment/registrations/nih-grant-writing.

Article: AAU Board Statement Criticizes House Science Committee NSF Inquiry

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On November 10, 2014, the Association of American Universities (AAU) issued a statement criticizing the House Science Committee inquiry targeting specific NSF research grants. An accompanying AAU article, including a link to the AAU’s full statement, is available here.

The AAU’s statement concludes, “If the Committee wishes to override the merit review process or if it wants NSF to stop funding research related to certain issues, its members owe it to the American public to say clearly what they are doing: substituting their judgment for the expertise of scientists on the vital question of what research the United States should support. The long history of success at NSF in making U.S. science the best in the world would be undermined by such a change.”

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

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See the full list of CPI members serving on external committees and committee descriptions at goo.gl/rP41nF. Please note, pending reports may be due to committees not having met since the last newsletter update.

  • ·         Council for the Built Environment (Emil Straube, Penny Riggs)
  • ·         Intellectual Property Constituent Committee (Wolfgang Bangerth)
  • ·         Laboratory Safety Advisory Committee (Susanne Talcott)
  • ·         SRS PI/Faculty Advisory Committee (Niall Slowey)
  • ·         Texas A&M University Research Compliance Committee (Mary Bryk)
  • ·         Texas A&M University Multidisciplinary Accounting Committee (Steve DiMarco)

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

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The Division of Research at Texas A&M University is issuing a brief weekly bulletin for Principal Investigators that will highlight 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

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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 vpr.tamu.edu/researchdevelopment/PRDP/calendar.

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

SUBSCRIBE rds-info firstname lastname.

Contact:

Dr. Jorja Kimball – jkimball@tamu.edu, 979.458.5794