September 2015 CPI Newsletter

Included in this issue:   

  • Update from Dr. Helene Andrews-Polymenis, CPI Chair
  • Update from Dr. Glen A. Laine, Vice President for Research, Texas A&M University
  • 2015-16 CPI Executive Committee
  • Summary of CPI Executive Committee meetings
  • Update from Sponsored Research Services (SRS)
  • IMAC: Integrated Metabolomic Analysis Core Facility
  • Imaging Listserv
  • 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. Helene Andrews-Polymenis, CPI Chair


To aid the CPI in bringing items to the attention of the administration, I encourage you to send any broad research-related issues (and subsequent solutions) to my attention at or 979.436.0340.

2015 CPI Survey Response & Planning

On behalf of the Council of Principal Investigators, and as the incoming CPI Chair, a giant thank you to everyone throughout the Texas A&M research community who took the 2015 CPI survey! We know that it took time away from your teaching and research, but a strong response to the survey is the only way for the CPI to gather a representative view of the research climate here. We had a record number of respondents to the survey, 843 individuals took either all or most of the survey, nearly TWICE the previous highest total of CPI survey respondents.

The CPI Executive Committee has already reviewed the raw data and comments and the full CPI will meet in closed session on September 9th to review the results and identify the major issues identified in the survey. Once the Council has had the opportunity to review and discuss the results and a path forward, we will share a summary to the research community and administration accordingly.

The results of these surveys help us to identify common issues affecting researchers and to provide the data to support our advocacy on these issues during meetings with the administration and others across campus. You made many useful suggestions in the survey comments that we will incorporate into the ideas and solutions we put forward in the coming weeks and months. We will continue to refer back to the input received in the survey as the year progresses. We also hope to build upon your participation in the survey, to encourage your participation in CPI general meetings and make these meetings as informative and interactive as possible, toward our shared goal of improving the environment for research. CPI general meetings are webcast and recorded, so you can view them from virtually anywhere on your own time table.  

2015-16 CPI Membership

We encourage you to get to know your elected CPI representative(s), and engage them 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).

Update from Dr. Glen A. Laine, Vice President for Research, Texas A&M University


Effective September 1, 2015, the administrative responsibility for the Office of System Sponsored Research Services (SRS) was transferred from the System to the Office of the Vice President for Research at Texas A&M University (TAMU).  This transition will involve a good deal of administrative paperwork and transactions which may include transferring accounting, space, information technology support, payroll and human resources.

In the midst of these changes and transition, I want to make certain that the SRS services to principal investigators are not interrupted and are in no way affected.  Additionally, I want to make sure that the governance of SRS has full participation from the researchers and stakeholders at the System Members so that we can move quickly to identify issues and optimize services and support to the research community. 

In order to ensure a smooth transition and to ensure the quality of service operations, I will be establishing the SRS Transition and Services Operations Committee (TSOC).  The TSOC will replace the SRS Continuous Research Operations Improvement Committee (CROI), the SRS Roles and Responsibilities Committee and the SRS Research Administration Roles and Responsibilities (RARRC) and will include faculty representation, System Member research administration and SRS administration.  

 TSOC will address

1)     Transition of the services to principal investigators during the move from the System to TAMU,

2)     Finalization of the draft Roles and Responsibilities Plan produced by the SRS Roles and Responsibilities Committee,

3)     Implementation of the Roles and Responsibilities Plan as approved by the Vice President for Research,

4)     Continued improvements of SRS operations and services that will ultimately assist in the increased effectiveness of the core functions to principal investigators and the increased efficiency of operations,

5)     Evaluation of performance measures and assessment of the effectiveness of the new plan and its implementation and improvements of services and

6)     Other changes in procedures and policy that need to be updated to ensure clear guidance to the research community.

We plan to move expeditiously on the transition and the implementation of changes to avoid any inconveniences to our research community and to continue to increase the quality of services.  I also plan to update the CPI with a SRS/MAESTRO update at regular intervals if the CPI so desires. I will look to the CPI for input and guidance as we work to provide the principal investigators the support they need in grants administration.

2015-16 CPI Executive Committee (term from September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2016)


The CPI bylaws (see Section 3. Council Officers and Committees, B. Executive Committee) state the Executive Committee is selected by the incoming Chair, ratified by the full Council, and will advise the Chair on Council activities. Executive Committee members serve a one year term to correspond with the term of the Chair that selected them.

Standing members of the executive committee are the CPI Officers (Chair, Vice Chair and Immediate Past Chair). The 2015-16 CPI Executive Committee, proposed by CPI Chair Dr. Helene Andrews-Polymenis, was ratified by the full Council and the members are:

  • ·         Vytas Bankaitis, Professor of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, College of Medicine
  • ·         Darren DePoy, Professor of Physics, College of Science
  • ·         Steve DiMarco, Professor of Oceanography, College of Geosciences
  • ·         Arum Han, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dwight Look College of Engineering
  • ·         Penny Riggs, Associate Professor of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • ·         Loren Skow, Professor of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • ·         Victor Ugaz, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Dwight Look College of Engineering
  • ·         Teresa Wilcox, Professor of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts

CPI Executive Committee Meeting Summaries


The CPI EC met for its monthly coordination meeting on September 2nd with invited research administrators from the Texas A&M Health Science Center, Texas A&M University, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, TTI, and TEES.  

The group discussed the history of the CPI; transitions in administrative coordination of CPI activities/support; structure of general meetings; choosing a set of priorities for the coming year; pursing the 2015-16 priorities; and suggesting topics for the October, November and December meetings.

The EC met with President Young on August 3rd and discussed SRS; EHS and UES monthly emergency power testing; updates on Texas A&M strategic plans; ARC Foundation application for regional chapter at Texas A&M. The EC also met with Chancellor Sharp on August 24th.

Update from Sponsored Research Services (SRS)


Fall 2015 Upcoming Agency Deadlines:

In preparation for a busy Fall, SRS would like to update you on upcoming agency deadlines:


  • October 5 – New R01 Submissions
  • October 16 – New R21/R03 Submissions
  • November 5 – Renewal and Revised R01 Submissions
  • November 16 – Renewal and Revised R21/R03 Submissions


  • Engineering programs – Beginning September 15
  • Chemistry Programs – Beginning September 30
  • Physics Programs  – Beginning October 28
  • Mathematics  – November 1-15


  • October 13


NIH Online Portal for Proposal Submissions:

NIH is moving towards an online portal for proposal submissions. The Application Submission System and Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) portal has been used for the submission of NIH Center Grants since 2013.  NIH opened the portal to all R01, R21 and R03 grants in May and Training and Career Grants in July.  The benefits of using the ASSIST portal include:

  • §  Secure web-based data entry
  • §  Collaboration of multiple users
  • §  Pre-submission validation of many NIH and business rules
  • §  Pre-population of data from eRA Commons profiles
  • §  Pre-submission print/preview of application in NIH format
  • §  Submission status tracking for both and eRA Commons within a single system
  • §  Ability to import subaward budget data from external sources
  • §  Ability to copy application data (excluding attachments) from a previously prepared application

NIH Notice regarding ASSIST


NIH Announces New Policies Regarding 1) Inclusion of Sex as a Biological Variable and 2) Improvement of Reproducibility in applications and progress reports:

Beginning with applications due January 25, 2016, PIs will have to demonstrate strong scientific premise, rigorous experimental design, and consideration of sex and other biological variables in the Research Strategy section of their applications. Reviewers will factor this information into their overall impact scores. Click here for more information.


Dr. Jim Joyce, Executive Associate Director –, 979-458-5852

IMAC: Integrated Metabolomic Analysis Core Facility


The IMAC facility (funded by the TAMU Research Development Fund) is organizing a meeting of potential metabolomics users and technical representatives from Thermo Scientific. Thermo representatives would like to get an idea of the types of samples and analyses that users are interested in so that we can equip the facility accordingly. In addition, the Thermo representatives will also give brief presentations on capabilities for LC-MS (untargeted and targeted analysis), GC-MS (targeted analysis), and bioinformatics for compound identification and quantitation.

If you work in small molecule characterization and analysis and are a potential user of the IMAC facility, please attend this meeting and provide us a brief overview of your applications and sample types. The meeting is on September 17, 2015 in room 403 in Bio/Bio from 9 – 11:30 a.m.


Dr. Arul Jayaraman –

Dr. Larry Dangott –

Imaging Listserv


Click here to subscribe and post to the Texas A&M Imaging listserv. Any subscriber can post to the listserv by emailing The listserv is distributed once a day in a single email digest with all of the submitted posts from the previous 24 hours.   


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

To receive notifications about new LSP opportunities as soon as they are announced, email Ms. Shelly Martin at    

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