Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
University of Mississippi
Quotation Corner ~
New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.
FOCUS: Research Misconduct — A New Era in Penalties
Over the past several months, the news media saturated print and airwaves with stories of the elaborate and brazen fabrication and falsification of data on human embryo cloning by South Korean scientist, Dr. Woo Suk Hwang.
A less publicized recent event is closer to home. In an unprecedented penalty for research misconduct, former University of Vermont professor Eric Poehlman was sentenced to a year in federal prison for fabricating and falsifying research data.
What is Research Misconduct?
UM and the federal agencies define research misconduct as “fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or in reporting research results and other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research.” (The University of Mississippi Interim Policy for Responding to Allegations of Research Misconduct may be found here.)
The Slippery Slope that Landed a Professor in Prison
In a letter to the judge, Poehlman offered this revealing explanation: “I believed that because the research questions I had framed were legitimate and worthy of study, it was okay to misrepresent 'minor' pieces of data to increase the odds that the grant would be awarded.” Despite appeals for leniency from his colleagues to the judge touting his ability to contribute to science, Poehlman received the prison sentence along with a $180,000 fine.
The federal court judge based his sentence less on the $2.9M that Poehlman, an expert on obesity, metabolism, and menopause, received through tainted grants than on the impact his distorted published work had on other scientists who based their research on his findings.
What is the Impact of Research Misconduct?
Research misconduct has consequences for the individual, the institution, and the entire research enterprise. It can cost researchers, staff, and students their careers. It can do serious harm to the reputation of the University. Sustained public trust in the research enterprise requires confidence in the research record and in the processes involved in its ongoing development. Because it violates the public trust, and it is the public that ultimately funds the research enterprise, research misconduct can harm the institutions that fund and publish research.
Advances in and benefits from science, engineering, and all fields of research depend on the reliability of the research record. The entire scientific enterprise relies on the integrity of researchers in proposing research and collecting, analyzing, and reporting research data. Promoting the importance of research integrity to your peers and to your graduate and undergraduate students in your roles as mentor and instructor is the best way to prevent research misconduct.
How Common is Research Misconduct?
This is hard to gauge, but the Office of Research Integrity, the DHHS office that investigates misconduct in PHS-funded research, gets more cases every year. The rise in cases is partly due to increased awareness of research misconduct policies, which all universities that receive PHS funds must have.
One source of misconduct detection is journal editors. In his editorial “Stop misbehaving,” Ushma Neill, Executive Editor of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, warns authors that alterations in blots and other figures are detected by his production editors and referred to the authorities. [www.jci.org, July 2006, p. 1740-1.]
What if I Suspect Research Misconduct?
The current control for research misconduct is self-policing by research institutions. If this fails over time, legislation will mandate other controls that will add administrative burden to PIs and costs to universities. Our policy lists “Failure to report known or suspected acts of misconduct on the part of others, including the act of knowingly withholding or destroying evidence which would be crucial in an investigation of misconduct” as one research misconduct practice. Read our policy for details on getting advice in such cases and for whistleblower protections, or call Tom Lombardo, Director of Research Integrity and Compliance, for guidance (x5458).
Answering your questions
Each month we answer a question from the faculty. Please send your questions to email@example.com.
How do I know the correct rate to use in determining F&A on my proposal?
On the UM transmittal sheet, there are seven possible choices for Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs. First you must you decide what type of project you are proposing: research, instruction, or other sponsored activity. These are all classifications that are defined by the federal government.
- Instruction refers to teaching and training activities, except for research training.
- Research, or Organized Research means all research and development activities of an institution that are separately budgeted for, meaning it’s paid for by federal or non-federal contracts or grants.
- Other Sponsored Activity refers to programs which involve the performance of work other than instruction and organized research, such as health service projects, community service projects, or theatrical performances.
The next step is to determine whether you use the on-campus or off-campus rate. The difference between the two rates is based on the “Facilities” component of F&A.
- If 50% or more of the work you are doing is being conducted in UM-owned laboratories, classrooms, staff offices, or other space, then you use the on-campus rate.
- If your laboratory or office is physically located in space that is not owned and maintained by UM, you may use the off-campus rate. Usually the only time we use the off-campus rate is when a research unit leases space in a non-UM facility.
Sometimes an agency will tell us how much they will pay in F&A. In that case, we must abide by their rules. Therefore, you check the box that says “Other than negotiated rate” and enter the rate they allow. Note that in such cases an explanation is required, and a line is provided on the transmittal sheet for you to enter a few words explaining the non-standard F&A rate.
Speaking of COS
COS Funding Alert Enhancements
Recently COS implemented a suite of changes to COS Funding Opportunities and COS Funding Alert. These changes enhance and simplify functionality, making these services both easier and more intuitive to use. Included are:
Changes to COS Funding Opportunities:
• Save up to 20 searches and manage them on your COS Workbench
• Easily track up to 100 opportunities on your COS Workbench
Changes to COS Funding Alert:
• Save COS Funding Opportunity searches as alert searches
• Receive weekly email alerts for only the searches you specify
• More easily manage your Funding Alert preferences
Most significant to many users is the ability to save funding searches as alert searches, eliminating the need to build alert searches separately. Messages now appear on the COS Workbench, COS Funding Opportunities, and COS Funding Alert pages to inform users of these enhancements. Complete information is also provided on a separate webpage.
COS Wants to Hear from YOU
COS is asking users to help determine the focus for building the COS Funding Opportunities database. They have created a brief survey and say that user responses will be most helpful in shaping the content of the database going forward. Links to the survey are on your COS Workbench and in COS Funding Alert emails ~ you are encouraged to take the survey and provide your input to COS. Also, COS has implemented an anonymous Suggestion Box feature so that users can share constructive comments. Links to the Suggestion Box are included on the main search pages for COS Expertise and COS Funding Opportunities, and will also be available from the Help section of the COS Workbench.
Don't Know About COS?
Check out our COS page, the January 2005 newsletter article, and/or the COS home page. COS is for all UM faculty in all academic disciplines and research areas.
Some Upcoming Events
Getting ROI on R&D: University Start-Ups National Showcase and Conference ~ October 22-24, 2006
The conference offers a national venue for the major players involved in start-up creation and funding to meet, discuss and network on best practices for partnering with universities, creating university-affiliated companies, and improving the national innovation economy. Four hundred attendees are expected, of which half will be angel investors and venture capitalists from around the country with an express interest in working with the nation's universities to help commercialize their R&D (including providing the seed capital). For more information please go to www.ncet2.org/.
National Science Foundation Regional Grants Conference ~ October 23-24, 2006
The first National Science Foundation Regional Grants Conference of fiscal year 2007 will be hosted by the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland on October 23-24, 2006, with optional FastLane sessions on the 22nd. This two-day conference is for new faculty,
researchers and administrators who want to gain key insight into a wide
range of current issues at NSF including the state of current funding;
new and current policies and procedures; and pertinent administrative
issues. NSF program officers representing each NSF directorate will be
on hand to provide up-to-date information about specific funding
opportunities and answer your questions. www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/outreach.jsp
University of Virginia Symposium on Race and Society — In Katrina's Wake: Racial Implications of the New Orleans Disaster ~ November 2-4, 2006
The University of Virginia Symposium on Race and Society (SYMRS) is an annual conference engaging academic professionals on social, cultural, and political topics as they relate to the meeting's theme. The inaugural SYMRS will explore race in the context of Katrina and its intersections with eight academic disciplines – Business, Education, Law/Government/Politics, Health/Public Policy, Architecture/Urban Planning, Engineering, Media, and Arts and Sciences. Proposals are currently being accepted for presentations in these areas. For more information, see www.virginia.edu/symrs/.
Second International Joint Conferences on Computer, Information, and Systems Sciences, and Engineering (CISSE 2006) ~ December 4-14, 2006
CISSE 2006 provides a virtual forum for presentation and discussion of the state-of the-art research on computers, information and systems sciences and engineering. The CISSE 2006 virtual conference will be conducted through the Internet using web-conferencing tools, made available by the conference. This international conference will be held entirely on-line. The accepted and presented papers will be made available after the conference both on a CD and as a book publication. CISSE 2006 is composed of the following four conferences:
- International Conference on Industrial Electronics, Technology and Automation
- International Conference on Telecommunications and Networking
- International Conference on Systems, Computing Sciences and Software Engineering
- International Conference on Engineering Education, Instructional Technology, Assessment, and E-learning
Prospective authors are invited to submit full papers electronically in Microsoft Word format through the website of the conference at www.cisse2006online.org.
Applied Demography Conference ~ January 7-9, 2007
The first of the 21st century’s biennial Applied Demography conferences will be held in San Antonio, Texas, on January 7-9, 2007.
The conference is sponsored by the Department of Demography and Organization Studies and the Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
UM's David Swanson is serving as the program organizer for the conference. A call for papers will be issued soon, followed by the conference program, which will include a list of sessions and participants.
A Few Program Announcements and Deadlines
NOAA National Sea Grant College Program Funding Opportunities ~
Preliminary Proposals (required) Deadline August 17
Oyster Disease Research: The National Sea Grant College Program Oyster Disease Research Program seeks to fund innovative research that provides technology and management strategies to combat oyster disease and bring about the restoration of oysters and the oyster industry in U.S. coastal areas.
Aquatic Invasive Species Research: The National Sea Grant College Program Aquatic Invasive Species Research and Outreach Program's goal is to discover and develop information and tools that can lead to the prevention, detection, and control of aquatic invasive species threatening U.S. coastal, oceanic, and Great Lakes communities, resources, and ecosystems.
Gulf of Mexico Oyster Industry Program: The National Sea Grant College Program Gulf of Mexico Oyster Industry Program's goal is to encourage multidisciplinary research and extension projects that contribute directly to the efficiency and profitability of oyster-related businesses and to the safety of oyster products.
Complete information on all three opportunities is available from the ORSP (phone 7482 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) or at www.grants.gov.
National Fisheries Institute Fisheries Scholarship ~ Deadline August 18
The Fisheries Scholarship Fund supports a broad range of projects including seafood technology, food safety, fisheries, nutrition and health, and consumer information. This year mini-proposals are invited in six priority areas: • benefits/risks of seafood consumption; • international trade nutrition/health; • fishery economics/resource management; • aquaculture; • economic integrity; • food safety. Research projects in seafood technology will also be considered based on their merit relative to existing seafood industry needs and priorities. Further information (letter and proposal submission guide) is available from the ORSP (phone 7482 or email email@example.com).
NOAA Climate and Weather Impacts on Society and the Environment ~ Deadline August 28
NOAA invites applications to establish a four-year cooperative agreement with the agency under this program, the mission of which is to enhance the resiliency of natural, economic and social systems to weather and climate-related environmental stressors through interdisciplinary research and application development, information and services delivery, education and outreach. More information is at www.csc.noaa.gov/funding/.
Mississippi Humanities Council Mini-Grants ~ Deadline September 1
September 1, 2006 is the next Mississippi Humanities Council Mini-Grant application deadline for proposals up to $2,000. Application guidelines and forms are available at www.mshumanities.org.
NEH Interpreting America's Historic Places ~ Deadlines September 12, January 23
The National Endowment for the Humanities invites proposals for public programs that exploit the evocative power of historic places to address themes and issues central to American history. “Interpreting America ’s Historic Places” grants support public humanities programs that use one or more historic sites to interpret important topics in American history. Projects can interpret a single historic site, a series of sites, whole neighborhoods, communities or towns, or larger geographic regions. September 12, 2006, is the deadline for proposals for both Consultation Grants and Planning Grants; January 23, 2007, is the deadline for proposals for Implementation Grants. www.neh.gov/grants/guidelines/historicplaces.html.
ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowships ~ Deadline September 27
The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Digital Innovation Fellowships program supports digitally based scholarly research projects in all disciplines of the humanities and humanities-related social sciences. Projects may involve development of new digital tools that further humanistic research (such as digital research archives or innovative databases), research that depends on or is greatly enhanced by the use of such tools, the representation of research that depends on or is greatly enhanced by the use of such tools, or some combination of these features. www.acls.org/difguide.htm
Find MORE on the ORSP Funding Opportunities Recent Announcements page
SEARCH using COS Funding Opportunities
Bits & Pieces
Mississippi Humanities Council Announces New Grant Deadlines
The Mississippi Humanities Council has revised its deadlines for grant applications exceeding $2,000. Applications for Regular Grants will now be accepted September 15 and April 15 annually. Decisions will be announced November 15 and June 15. Visit www.mshumanities.org and click on “Downloads” to review and/or download grant guidelines and application forms. The deadlines for Mini-Grants, less than $2,000, remain unchanged.
Required Info for NIH Proposals
The National Institutes of Health is now requiring applicants to include information about their institution's Cognizant Federal Agency for Facilities and Administrative Costs. UM's Cognizant Federal Agency is the US Department of Health and Human Services; the Point of Contact (POC) is Jason Madigan; the POC's telephone number is 202-401-2808. This information has been added to the section on F&A Costs on the ORSP Institutional Information for Proposal Preparation page (accessed via the Researcher's Toolbox, Forms and Information).
New Brochure from OLAW
NIH’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) has created a brochure to brief investigators on their responsibilities under PHS Grants Policy and PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. What Investigators Need to Know About the Use of Animals lists the main expectations and requirements when using animals in research supported by the PHS. The brochure may be accessed at grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/InvestigatorsNeed2Know.pdf.
Division of Research
:: Searle Scholars Invitation ~ For the second time, UM has been invited to submit one nomination for the prestigious Searle Scholars Program. Research Division staffers are busy with the internal selection process, in which eligible researchers will be invited to submit a brief concept paper. A selection committee will review and select potential nominees, and the Chancellor will make final nomination decisions.
:: June Proposals ~ Proposal Development Specialists Lesha Agnew and Mickey McLaurin processed 49 external funding proposals during June 2006.
Division of Research Integrity and Compliance
:: 2006-2007 SOP Submission Schedule ~ The new IACUC SOP submission schedule is posted at www.research.olemiss.eduforms/IACUC/IACUC_SOP_Schedule.html. New SOPs must be submitted by the due date in order to be reviewed by the full IACUC committee at its next meeting.
:: 2006-2007 IACUC Meeting Schedule ~ The IACUC meeting schedule is posted at www.research.olemiss.educompliance/animal/animal_meetings.html.
:: Emergency Phone Contacts ~ This page has been updated to reflect recent changes: www.research.olemiss.educompliance/animal/animal_emerg_contacts.html.
Division of Sponsored Programs Administration
:: June Awards ~ SPA Division staff (Scottie Casey, Euphiazene Gray, Anita Randle, Linda Stone) processed 40 external funding awards during June 2006.
Division of Technology Management
The Division of Technology Management will be attending the 2006 Licensing
Executives Society (LES) Annual Meeting in September. This meeting is one of
our best opportunities to speak with industry executives about the technologies
we have available for licensing as well as the various research strengths of the
university. We will have a booth at the meeting and so we ask that you contact
Emily Ratliff (email Emily or phone 915-1604) if you have any brochures or
other materials that you would like for us to include. If you have any
questions about the meeting or would like to discuss an idea or technology, feel
free to contact our Director, Dr. Walter Chambliss,
Assistant Director, Allyson Best, or Project Manager,
For complete information about the ORSP —mission, structure, services, responsibilities, and more —visit the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs page
Congratulations from the VCRSP
The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs oversees funding for research, service,
education projects. These activities complement the fundamental aspects of The University of Mississippi’s mission and are among its most tangible contributions to the future. Funding for these activities is one of the best measures of a university’s success in engaging with national and international communities.
All of us who have sought funding to test our ideas know that it is difficult and that the communities to which we belong are highly competitive. That spirit of competition is critical and it contributes more than a little to the relief and excitement a researcher feels on receiving a funding award.
Listed below are our colleagues who have been notified of external funding awards in the last calendar month. Please join me in congratulating them. The news of their discoveries and the importance of their contributions are part of all of our futures and the future of Ole Miss.
Alice M. Clark, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs
||National Center for Physical Acoustics
||Office of the Dean of Education
||National Center for Natural Products Research
||Physics and Astronomy
||Geology and Geological Engineering
||Curriculum and Instruction
||Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management
||Sociology and Anthropology
||National Center for Physical Acoustics
||Office of Summer School
||Curriculum and Instruction
||Chemistry and Biochemistry
||National Center for Natural Products Research
||National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering
June Proposals Submitted: 49
June Awards Received: 40 totaling $2,812,064
FY06 Year-to-Date Number of Active Sponsored Projects: 518
FY06 Year-to-Date Number of Active Investigators: 235