Mid-Year Research Update (Feb. 4, 2016)

Greetings! I hope this communication finds you enjoying the spring semester.

Research at MSU continues to move in an extremely positive direction and I would like to share a few highlights, with links to additional information for those interested:

Construction for FRIB is on track and in a few short years it will become the premier facility in the world for the study of rare isotopes. Estimates of the total investment in this project are roughly $1 billion dollars--a huge milestone for Michigan State University.

The Global Impact Initiative is moving forward to hire 100 faculty researchers over the next three years. These are new positions, and will strengthen MSU in a number of important and promising directions. Many of those positions are already posted. These researchers will bring additional expertise to our world-class faculty, and will pursue solutions to major challenges facing human civilization.

I’m pleased to report that MSU now ranks 6th in combined NSF and DOE funding. Centers of excellence receiving these funds include FRIBGLBRCBEACON and PRL. We have also received a number of Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) awards. I would like to thank all PIs for their continued hard work.

Congratulations to the latest faculty to be named MSU Foundation Professors, bringing the total to 17 from six colleges: Xiaobo Tan and James Klausner from the College of Engineering, and Marcos Dantus and Gregg Howe from the College of Natural Science. Provided through the generosity of the MSU Foundation, this title is awarded to outstanding current and new faculty who demonstrate excellence in research and teaching, while enhancing the stature of the institution for research and creative activity. I invite you to learn more about the process and view the full roster of current MSU Foundation Professors.

Lastly, congratulations to a number of our colleagues who have recently received prestigious external awards. There are many success stories in this regard, but these are a few key awards:

The following digest includes a number of announcements and deadlines important to researchers. Please review and take action as necessary. For any questions or assistance, please contact the staff in Research Facilitation & Dissemination at 432-4499.

Thank you.

Steve Hsu

NIH Application Guide Changes - Effective NOW

NIH has released an updated SF424 (R&R) Application Guide to be used for proposals with due dates on and between January 25, 2016 and May 24, 2016. The new guide includes significant changes on what is to be included in proposals with a specific emphasis to incorporate NIH’s initiative to enhance rigor and reproducibility in funded research. To implement this initiative, NIH has revised what is included in the Research Strategy Attachment and added a new attachment for Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources. Information explaining this change, as well as how to incorporate the changes into proposals, can be found at NIH’s FAQ page. The MSU Office of Sponsored Programs has a web page with a number of links to resources including training slides related to these changes. Please review the OSP NIH Sponsor page and if you have any questions related to the upcoming NIH changes, contact your OSP Proposal Team.

Attend a workshop on this topic (specific to use of animals in research).

Mandatory Drone Registration

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that effective December 21, 2015, anyone who owns a small unmanned aircraft weighing more than 250g (8.8 oz) must register with the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System registry before they fly. OVPRGS staff have reviewed this requirement with the Office of the General Counsel, and we now request that faculty who intend to fly a UAS for any MSU purpose provide information using this form (MSUnet ID required) so that MSU may submit a compliant and complete institutional response. Read this memo to learn more.

Conflict of Interest Due February 29

Please update and certify your mandatory Conflict of Interest Disclosure for the 2016 reporting cycle. MSU’s Faculty/Academic Staff Conflict of Interest Policy requires that all faculty and academic staff submit an annual disclosure of significant financial interests related to their MSU responsibilities. Please visit the COI website for more information and to complete the process. Disclosures must be completed by February 29, 2016. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact the Conflict of Interest Office by visiting their websiteemail or phone at (517) 884-7000.

Faculty Awards and Fellowships

National and international faculty awards are an important component of institutional reputation, and are counted as one of the four “phase I” AAU institutional indicators of excellence. We want to ensure that MSU faculty, and the university as a whole, receive appropriate recognition for achievements. Please review the information on the OVPRGS website and determine possible nominations you might make. Equally important, please consider whether you should be applying for a competitive fellowship on your own behalf. A few top examples include:

  • Fulbright Scholar Program – opens February 2016. Application information.
  • Sloan Foundation Research Fellowships – deadline September 2016. Application information.
  • Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships – not yet open, expected deadline September 2016. Application information.


Introduction to the MSU Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)

MSU-CTSI exists to support a broad group of MSU scholars toward the overarching goal of promoting improvements in human health and well-being. MSU-CTSI provides resources and expertise to support a variety of research efforts underway at MSU, in particular those involving human subjects research, spanning both the basic and social sciences. MSU-CTSI offers tools and career training opportunities and also provides pilot funding for promising translational research projects and direct support for new medical faculty hires interested in clinical research. Please visit the MSU-CTSI website for more information or simply complete the contact us form.

Workshops for Researchers

Please make a note and register for upcoming workshops including a faculty panel discussion on NIH/NSF Best Practices, as well as a number of compliance overviews. Visit the VPRGS training page and join our mailing listto receive communications on similar opportunities in the future.

Communicating Your Research

Leveraging the web through blogging or video is a cost effective method to provide public information and collaborate with other researchers. One simple way to begin publishing web content is to turn a research presentation (PowerPoint, Keynote, etc.) into a video and upload it to YouTube or another video hosting site. Consider recording video of your presentation or adding a voiceover to your slides. While there are a number of ways to accomplish this, please keep in mind that all web content should follow web accessibility guidelines. MSU IT Services has developed a preferred method and this video explains the ‘how-to-process’. Lastly, if you blog or are interested in blogging, please contact the MSU Libraries to join the Spartan Ideasnetwork.