seasonal image ResearchHighlights Newsletter

March 2008

Welcome to ResearchHighlights, the online newsletter of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at The University of Mississippi. Archives of past issues are available here. For more information, or to submit news items or story ideas, please email the editor.

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
University of Mississippi
662.915.7482 voice
662.915.7577 fax
Quotation Corner ~
We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.
FOCUS: Research Collaboration as “The Wave of the Future”

“Collaborative research” is an increasingly popular phrase about which there is still some debate. Strictly speaking, collaborative research is cooperation between institutions on a scientific endeavor, but those institutions might be departments within a university, a university and a government agency, a researcher and a private company, or other productive arrangements. Until recently, it has typically meant a group of scientists or institutions working together, sometimes representing diverse disciplines -- such as an oceanographer, a chemist and a marine geologist undertaking a project. But collaborative research can refer to researchers working together on any one of several levels, ranging from limited participation in a currently operating project to designing and developing an entire research project together. Collaborative research may require higher levels of funding than usual, because by definition it requires additional staff and resources beyond a single-PI project.

Whereas collaborative research was once the exception to the rule, the trend has been increasing in recent years to the point where many agencies are now offering incentives for cooperative research, including a number of funding opportunities that are geared specifically for collaborative projects.

In the past, some agencies did not accept proposals for multiple-PI projects. John Marburger, Director of the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy, noted in a memorandum to all federal research agency heads that, “many scientific projects now involve more than a single contributing scientist and some have a compelling need for more than one principal investigator (PI) to manage the effort. Moreover, the collaborators are often from different institutions. Careers of these investigators are driven by credit for the work performed, and we should strive to recognize contributors across disciplines and institutions. Current policy at some agencies, however, prohibits multiple PIs, and therefore credit for work is not accurately reflected or assigned.”

In 2005 the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a policy that federal agencies must recognize multiple PIs. This is good news for researchers with opportunities for collaboration who previously haven’t been able to find an agency home. But this is NOT simply an opportunity for multiple researchers to slap their names on a project in the hopes of getting credit as PI. Agencies are on the lookout for evidence that collaborations are “real” and legitimately require multiple PIs. It is already common to hear about projects turned down because the collaborators in the proposal had never worked together, published jointly, or otherwise cooperated in research. A good idea and an impressive team may not be enough. Agencies are also looking for a proven track record, and any indication that the collaboration is one of convenience rather than need is sure to raise red flags. To this end, it’s a good idea to be thinking about possible collaborations and identifying interested colleagues BEFORE the arrival of an RFP. In other words, have a team ready and then find the opportunity, don’t find the team after the opportunity surfaces.

The Research Business Models (RBM) Subcommittee of the Committee on Science, a chartered committee of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), is tasked with advising and assisting the Committee on Science and the NSTC on policies, procedures, and plans relating to business models to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of the federal research and development enterprise in a manner cognizant of currently available resources. RBM realizes that much has changed about the practice of scientific research over the last several years and has stated that “Scientist to scientist linkages across organizational boundaries enhance the potential for creative and innovative progress in science. One type of linkage is shared resources and infrastructure. Scientists at universities and federal laboratories are willing and interested in such linkages but there are burdensome administrative policies and procedures that inhibit collaboration.”

The trend toward research collaboration opens the door for a number of new opportunities, but like any opportunity, it must be approached properly and executed according to the same high standards a researcher would demand if his or her name were the only one atop the proposal.

Speaking of COS

New COS Funding Opportunities Search Interface
The COS folks have rolled out a new user interface for COS Funding Opportunities. The new interface takes advantage of the latest technologies to make navigating the screens very intuitive, thus making your search process faster and easier.

New Advanced Search features

  • Compact form with the most important and popular fields at the top
  • Additional fields that users can choose with just a click
  • Search Exclusion field
  • Overall cleaner look making it easier to see more information at a glance

New Search Results features

  • Compact view to scan results quickly
  • Mouse-over pop-ups to show key record information without clicking in to the full record
  • Faceted searching to help analyze results and refine your search with a quick click
  • Search can be saved to the COS Workbench easily, without leaving the Results page

New Record View features

  • Compact view to allow you to easily scan more information up front
  • Key information highlighted
  • Record can be tracked/tagged on the Workbench easily, without leaving the record page
  • Overall cleaner look making records easier to review

Plus, there’s now a new link on the default Simple Search page to find Funding Opportunities with Deadlines in the Next 6 Weeks.

Only the search, results and record interfaces have changed. All user settings, saved searches and tracked records remain unaffected. If you find that you prefer the previous interface, you can easily switch to the Classic View with the link at the upper left of the new search page.

Don't Know About COS?
Check out our COS page, the January 2005, September 2006, and March 2007 newsletter articles, and/or the COS home page. COS is for all UM faculty in all academic disciplines and research areas.

Some Upcoming Events

National Institutes of Health Regional Seminar in Chicago June 18-20
June 18: eRA Commons Workshop, University of Illinois at Chicago
June 19–20: Program Funding and Grants Administration Seminar, Hyatt Regency Chicago
The regional seminar is intended to help demystify the application and review process, clarify federal regulations and policies, and highlight current areas of special interest or concern. The seminar serves the NIH mission of providing education and training for the next generation of biomedical and behavioral scientists. NIH policy officials, grants management and program staff, as well as representatives from the Office for Human Research Protections and the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, will interact with seminar participants and provide a broad array of expertise. The sessions are appropriate for grants administrators, new and experienced researchers, and graduate students. For more information and registration please visit the seminar website: Please note, the discount for early registration ends March 31, 2008.

A Few Program Announcements and Deadlines

Mississippi Functional Genomics Network ~ Deadline March 31
The Mississippi Functional Genomics Network (MFGN) is funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Research Resources and has the mission to enhance biomedical-related research and training in the state of Mississippi. The MFGN currently funds the research of numerous faculty and students, supports several core facilities and operates an intensive 12-week summer research program for undergraduate students.
Applications are invited from investigators in Mississippi seeking support for basic and/or translational biomedical-related research. Research areas supported include, but are not limited to, bioinformatics/genomics, translational research, behavioral sciences and addiction, molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, health-disparities populations and model systems yielding knowledge about fundamental biological processes. The MFGN is especially interested in interdisciplinary teams consisting of faculty at one of the research-intensive universities working with faculty at a four-year college or university. Details on eligibility, funding available, and how to apply are at

NSF Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education ~ Deadline May 14
Notice to ORSP by March 28: Because submissions are limited, internal coordination by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) is required. Those planning to apply should notify Linda Sperath in the ORSP (7482 or no later than March 28, 2008.
This solicitation aims at introducing nanoscale science, engineering, and technology through a variety of interdisciplinary approaches into undergraduate engineering education. The focus of this year's competition is on nanoscale engineering education with relevance to devices and systems or on the societal, ethical, economic, or environmental issues relevant to nanotechnology.
Sponsor Website:
COS Record:

NSF Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) ~
Deadlines May 20, January 12

This program seeks to improve the quality of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education for all undergraduate students. The program supports efforts to create, adapt, and disseminate new learning materials and teaching strategies, develop faculty expertise, implement educational innovations, assess learning and evaluate innovations, and conduct research on STEM teaching and learning. The program supports three types of projects representing three different phases of development, ranging from small, exploratory investigations to large, comprehensive projects. The phases reflect the maturity of the proposed educational innovation and the number of academic institutions, students, and faculty involved in the project. All proposals should include an explicit and thorough discussion of prior work showing how the proposed project is informed by and builds upon that work. They also should include an evaluation plan appropriate to the size and scope of the project.
Sponsor Website:
COS Record:

NSF Communicating Hurricane Information ~ Deadline June 3
Jointly announced by NOAA and NSF, this solicitation aims to advance basic research in the social, behavioral and economic sciences related to the communication of hurricane outlooks, forecasts, watches, and warnings both to decision makers (i.e., emergency managers, elected officials) and to the general public. Eligible research proposals must have at least one investigator from the social, behavioral, or economic sciences, and at least one from the physical sciences or engineering. The role of the physical scientist or engineer on each project is to provide expertise about the state of hurricane forecast technologies and what is likely to be available in the near future, as well as about possible consequences (e.g., likely damage to built infrastructure, natural environment, loss of life) of  forecasted level of hurricane.
Sponsor Website:

NSF Chemistry Research Instrumentation and Facilities: Departmental Multi-User Instrumentation ~ Deadline June 23
Notice to ORSP by April 23
: Because submissions are limited, internal coordination by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) is required. Those planning to apply should notify Linda Sperath in the ORSP (7482 or no later than April 23, 2008.
The Chemistry Research Instrumentation and Facilities Program (CRIF) is structured to enable the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Division of Chemistry (CHE) to respond to a variety of needs for infrastructure that promotes research and education in areas traditionally supported by the division.
CHE is committed to increasing access to sophisticated instrumentation. The CRIF:MU program strongly encourages principal investigators to exploit cyberinfrastructure to facilitate broadened access to instrumentation and the data it provides. In making awards, preference will be given to proposals that are cyber-enabled.
In addition, CHE is committed to broadening participation of underrepresented groups within the chemical sciences. The CRIF:MU program requires a departmental plan for broadening participation as part of a program-specific review criterion.
Sponsor Website:
COS Record:

NSF Social Psychology Program ~ Deadline July 15
The Social Psychology Program at the National Science Foundation (NSF) supports basic research on human social behavior, including cultural differences and development over the life span. Among the many research topics supported are attitude formation and change, social cognition, personality processes, interpersonal relations and group processes, the self, emotion, social comparison and social influence, and the psychophysiological and neurophysiological bases of social behavior.
Sponsor Website:
COS Record:

American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grants ~ Deadlines October 1, December 1 (anticipated)
The American Philosophical Society's (APS') Franklin Research Grants Program awards small grants to scholars in order to support the cost of noncommercial research leading to publication in all areas of knowledge. The grants are intended to help meet the costs of travel to libraries and archives for research purposes; the purchase of microfilm, photocopies, or equivalent research materials; the costs associated with fieldwork; or laboratory research expenses.
Sponsor Website:
COS Record:

Find MORE on the ORSP Funding Opportunities Recent Announcements page

SEARCH using COS Funding Opportunities


New ORSP Staff Member ~ We're glad to have Maureen Kent in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs as our new Sponsored Programs Accountant/University Federal Property Administrator. Welcome, Maureen!

Proposal Activity ~ UM faculty and staff submitted 33 external funding proposals during February 2008. For a complete listing, see the February 2008 Report page.

Award Activity ~ UM faculty and staff received 8 external funding awards during February 2008. For a complete listing, see the February 2008 Report page.

Faculty Travel Support
In February a total of $5,140 was awarded among eight applicants to help support their research-related travel. Examples of research purposes for which faculty were awarded support include:

  • Attend federal funding agency's regional grants workshop
  • Visit two federal funding agencies to meet program managers, discuss research priorities and development of new projects
  • Meet with collaborator to discuss research activities and plan additional projects
  • Meet with collaborator to discuss grant proposal in development
  • Accept invitation to attend, present, and discuss research at distinguished academic symposium
The Faculty Travel Support guidelines, application, and FAQ are found on the ORSP Internal Support page: www.research.olemiss.edufunding/orsp_internal.html .

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 Signature

Alice M. Clark, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs

PI Name
PI Department/Unit
Co-PI Name/s
Angle, T. Division of Outreach and Continuing Education
Avery, B. Pharmaceutics
Bass, H. (2 awards) National Center for Physical Acoustics
Parker, J. Office of the Dean of Education
Pasco, D. National Center for Natural Products Research
Speth, R. Pharmacology
Uddin, W. Civil Engineering

February 2008 Report: A list of awards received and proposals submitted by The University of Mississippi in the previous month.

February Proposals Submitted: 33 from 30 Principal Investigators

February Awards Received: 8 totaling $1,039,235

FY08 Year-to-Date Number of Active Sponsored Projects: 217

FY08 Year-to-Date Number of Active Investigators: 491

Copyright ©2008 The University of Mississippi. All rights reserved.
Please send comments and suggestions to ORSP web page manager.
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