ORSP website delivers RSS feeds for added convenience

by Errol Sayre, ORSP Web Applications Developer

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) has recently added a new feature to its website to aid in dissemination of information to the university community. The website now features three RSS “feeds” tailored for specific tasks (more on RSS later). The primary feed collects all the latest news and announcements posted to the website, including funding opportunities, form and procedure changes, and event announcements. A second feed is dedicated to funding opportunities — use it for immediate notification of funding opportunities posted to the ORSP site. Finally, a feed of the monthly proposal and award activity reports is provided. Please see the ORSP website Welcome page for links for your favorite RSS reader.

RSS = “Really Simple Syndication” — Really

In simplest terms, RSS provides a single place to find all the changes to a website. Websites publish “RSS feeds” and individual users “subscribe” to feeds using a “feed reader” (or RSS aggregator, as they are formally known). Generally the published feed contains a listing of the recent changes to disparate parts of the website. For instance, blogs will usually publish a feed of the 10 most recent posts. The subscriber can use this one point of access (the URL of the feed) as a bulletin board of all the changes to that site (a really useful tool for large and complex sites). The RSS feed itself isn't particularly useful to the individual user, however, until it is harnessed by the feed reader. A feed reader gives you a single application which can automatically check all of your “subscriptions” (feeds from all the websites you find interesting). For instance, I set my feed reader to check all my feeds every 20 minutes. I have groups that contain feeds for various tech news, web news, the ORSP website (so I can keep tabs on what the users see), and other sites that help me keep abreast of the developments in my field. Below is an example of a typical feed reader in action.

Newsfire RSS displaying the ORSP News feed

The beauty of this program is in its simplicity. As I read each new item, I simply hit the space bar to move down a page to the next item. Rather than opening a web browser and going to each site and scrolling around through the pages to see what’s new, I simply hit the space bar a few dozen times as I read only new items.

Websites typically post “teasers” in their RSS feeds, and in this case when I find an article I‘m truly interested in, I hit the enter key and the window opens in my browser behind the reader, so I can continue processing the new items and read the full article later. For sites that post the full article in the feed, I can view the article in my reader or in my browser. All this adds up to a very efficient way for me to get the news.

How does this benefit you?

In a nutshell, the ORSP feeds are provided in the hope that some of you will find them useful. If you’re a researcher, then you may get the most value out of the funding opportunities feed. Or perhaps you would like to be notified when a new form or ResearchHighlights is posted and so would benefit more from the news feed which also includes funding announcements. Perhaps you’re an administrator and would like to keep up with the monthly proposal and award activity reports. We‘ll be adding more feeds in the future, and you are welcome to suggest a feed that would benefit you even more.

Getting started with RSS

For Macs, there are plenty of choices when it comes to RSS aggregator programs; ditto for Windows programs (here are some relevant Google results). In addition to stand-alone readers, Apple Mail and Outlook offer built-in support for RSS feeds. Likewise the latest versions of the major browsers all have support for RSS feeds built in, and you can even use web-based RSS readers like Google Reader. However, in my opinion a dedicated reader provides a more useful experience from RSS. Give our ORSP RSS feeds a try, let us know how you like them, and suggest others we might add.

Additional resources

UM Research Funding News

Proposal and Award Activity

UM faculty and staff submitted 29 external funding proposals and received 21 external funding awards during January 2009. For a complete listing, see the Monthly Report.

Faculty Travel Support

The ORSP's Faculty Travel Support program provides funds for UM faculty members to take part in development activities that will lead to new or extended research, scholarly or creative work. The program typically does not support travel to a conference for presentation of completed work unless the request includes specific development activities beyond the conference itself. Examples of research purposes for which faculty have recently received support include:

  • Conduct research with overseas collaborators during sabbatical leave
  • Discuss new research projects with collaborators while at conference
  • Help create new research group while at conference
  • Conduct in-person interviews for ongoing research project while at conference
  • Travel to sabbatical research location for project on development of international research center

Faculty Travel Support guidelines, application, and FAQ are available from the ORSP Internal Support page.

Additional Information

Speaking of COS

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs subscribes to COS Expertise and Funding Opportunities so that, whether your work is in the sciences or the arts, COS funding and expertise services can help support and advance your research. This month and next, we'll publish the Top Ten lists of Dos and Don'ts for using the COS Funding Opportunities search function. Take a look now at the top ten Dos:

  1. Do log into your COS Workbench at the beginning of each COS session, so that you can use the personalized features.
  2. Do track records that are of interest to you, and use tags to organize your tracked records.
  3. Do use search techniques such as phrase searching, truncated searching, and proximity searching.
  4. Do use the Search Wizard if you’d like some guidance in setting up a complex search.
  5. Do use Citation Manager to view multiple records at the same time.
  6. Do sort your search results in the matter that best suits your needs—by relevance, sponsor, deadline, or amount.
  7. Do use faceted searching to refine your search results with a single click.
  8. Do move your mouse over your search results to get more info about each record without having to click into each record.
  9. Do share Tracked Records or Saved Searches with current or potential collaborators.
  10. Do ask questions and report errors or problems to the COS Liaison.

Here's a great PowerPoint tutorial from COS that covers the pointers above and lots more. Check it out and make sure to read Speaking of COS next month for the Top Ten Don'ts for Funding Opportunities searching.

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

Lunch Lecture Series on Entrepreneurship and Start-Up Formation

January-March, FedEx Institute of Technology at University of Memphis

This lecture series, offered by the FedEx Institute of Technology Office of Technology Transfer, began on January 20 and runs through March 26. All lectures will be at the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis. Lunch is at 11:30 and the lectures begin at 12 noon. Lunch is available only to those who RSVP one week before each lecture. Parking is available at the parking garage across the street from the Institute. The remaining lectures are as follows:

  • Money: Finding It, Managing It; How Much and When? ~ Thursday, February 19
    Mike Sherman, Partner, MB Venture Partners, a Memphis venture capital firm that provides equity capital and strategic direction to life sciences companies. www.mbventures.com
  • Sources of Strategic Advantage ~ Thursday, February 26
    Kevin Boggs, University of Memphis; Richard Magid, University of Tennessee Health Science Center; and Bill Parks, Partner, Wyatt Tarrant and Combs
    The University of Memphis is a learner-centered metropolitan research university providing high quality educational experiences while pursuing new knowledge through research, artistic expression, and interdisciplinary and engaged scholarship. www.memphis.edu
    The UT Health Science Center aims to improve human health through education, research, clinical care and public service. www.utmem.edu
    William S. Parks is a member of the Wyatt's Intellectual Property Protection and Litigation Service Team, concentrating in the areas of patents,
    trademarks, copyright and related matters. www.wyattfirm.com

  • Management Roles and Responsibilities ~ Thursday, March 5
    Bryan Eagle, Owner/Founder, Memphis Ventures, involved in marketing, strategic planning and business development for telecommunications and new media companies for over 20 years. www.memven.com
  • Strategy as a Guiding Light and Benchmark, Rather Than a Stone Path ~ Thursday, March 19
    Brad Silver has had exceptional success in the leadership of growing business organizations. He has the ability to visualize the long-term, navigate complex business environments and articulate the tactics needed to achieve goals.
  • Developing an Impactful Elevator Pitch ~ Thursday, March 26
    Gwin Scott, President, EmergeMemphis, whose mission is to enhance the viability of high growth entrepreneurship by providing infrastructure, services, and relationships to both create wealth and expand the mid-south economy. www.emergememphis.org

A full schedule of dates, topics, and presenters, as well as RSVP instructions, is at http://www.memphis.edu/fedex/pdfs/Entrepreneurship_lecture_series.pdf.

American Society for Engineering Education Northeast Conference

April 3-4 in Bridgeport CT

In the coming years, our world will continue to face economical, environmental and energy related problems. How is Engineering and Engineering Technology Education responding to the needs of our society and the world? This will be the theme for an exhilarating and thought provoking weekend of professional workshops, presentations, and discussions at the University of Bridgeport. The ASEE Northeast Section is soliciting faculty papers, student papers and student posters which address the various challenges and paradigms in this technological world through research and instructional programs in Engineering and Engineering Technology Education. The deadline for abstract submission is February 27th, 2009. Prospective authors are invited to submit their abstracts online in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format through the conference website at http://www.asee2009online.org .

Bits & Pieces

New Director Selected for Physical Acoustics Center

Dr. Jack Seiner has accepted an offer to serve as Director of the National Center for Physical Acoustics (NCPA) on the UM campus. Pending approval by the IHL Board of Trustees, Dr. Seiner will begin as Director of NCPA on March 1, 2009. Dr. Seiner has served as NCPA's Associate Director for Applied Research since 1998, and also holds a joint appointment as Research Professor in the UM School of Engineering, where he spearheaded the development of the Graduate Program in Aeroacoustics. Prior to joining NCPA, Dr. Seiner was Leader of the Jet Noise Team of the Aeroacoustics Branch at NASA Langley.

A Few Program Announcements and Deadlines

NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

Deadline April 8

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) invites proposals for the planning or initial stages of digital initiatives in all areas of the humanities. Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants may involve

  • research that brings new digital approaches to the study of the humanities or that examines the implications of the use of emerging technologies for humanities scholarship;
  • new digital modes of publication facilitating the dissemination of humanities scholarship in advanced academic as well as informal or formal educational settings at all academic levels;
  • exploration of digital methods or approaches to preserve, archive, and make accessible traditional (i.e., analogue) and "new media" resources in the humanities;
  • planning new digital tools for preserving, analyzing, and making accessible humanities data; and
  • programs addressing the innovative use of emerging digital technologies in formal and informal educational settings, including public forums such as museums, libraries, historic sites, and broadcast media, and K-12 schools and postsecondary institutions.

NCCAM Dietary Supplement Research Centers: Botanicals

Deadline April 30 (preproposals)

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the National Cancer Institute, and the Office of Dietary Supplements invite new and renewable P50 proposals and X02 pre-proposals to support research centers examining the study of botanicals, particularly those found as ingredients in dietary supplements. Only domestic investigators who submit an X02 pre-application (due April 30) and are notified of eligibility may submit full P50 applications by December 3, 2009. Additional information regarding RFA-OD-09-002 (X02 pre-proposals) is available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-OD-09-002.html. More information regarding RFA-OD-09-001 (P50 proposals) is available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-OD-09-001.html.

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships

Deadline May 1

Fellowships support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to scholars and general audiences in the humanities. Recipients usually produce articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, and other scholarly tools.

NSF Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement

Deadline May 21

The CCLI program seeks to improve the quality of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education for all undergraduate students. It especially welcomes proposals that have the potential to transform undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for all students. The program supports efforts to create, adapt, and disseminate new learning materials and teaching strategies to reflect advances both in STEM disciplines and in what is known about teaching and learning. It funds projects that develop faculty expertise, implement educational innovations, assess learning and evaluate innovations, prepare K-12 teachers, or conduct research on STEM teaching and learning. It also supports projects that further the work of the program itself, for example, synthesis and dissemination of findings across the program. The program supports projects representing different stages of development, ranging from small, exploratory investigations to large, comprehensive projects.

NSF Chemistry Research Instrumentation and Facilities: Departmental Multi-User Instrumentation

Deadline June 22

Internal Coordination Required: Only two proposals are permitted per institution. If two are submitted, at least one must involve cyberinfrastructure. Those planning to apply should notify Linda Sperath in the UM ORSP (7482 or lsperath@olemiss.edu) no later than April 22, 2009.

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. The Departmental Multi-User Instrumentation component of CRIF (CRIF:MU) provides funds to universities, colleges, and consortia thereof for the purchase of multi-user instruments.
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.

Additional Resources

Congratulations from the VCRSP

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs oversees funding for research, service, and 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

Summary of Awards Received in January 2009

PI Name PI Department/Unit Co-PI Name/s
Abadie, AnnCenter for the Study of Southern Culture
Altinakar, MustafaNational Center for Computational Hydroscience and EngineeringRhodes, Philip
Angle, T.Division of Outreach and Continuing EducationRimoldi, John M
Starling, Brian
Burnham, ThomasOffice of the Dean of EducationRutherford, Angela
Cantu, Joe TurnerTheatre ArtsAngle, Timothy
Cole, D.Graduate School
Easson, Gregory LUniversity of Mississippi Geoinformatics Center
Eftink, MauriceGraduate School
Gurley, W.Small Business Development CenterForster, Robert
Haley, BryanSociology and AnthropologyJohnson, Jay K
Mantena, Prabhakar RMechanical Engineering Al-Ostaz, Ahmed H-K
Cheng, Alexander H D
Rajendran, A.M.
Mizenko, Jennifer MTheatre Arts
Ownby, Ted MCenter for the Study of Southern Culture
O’Haver, JohnChemical EngineeringEftink, Maurice
Seiner, J. (2 awards) Jamie Whitten National Center for Physical Acoustics
Van Boening, Mark VEconomicsEasson, Gregory L
Forgette, Richard
Waxler, R.Jamie Whitten National Center for Physical Acoustics
Weber, EricPublic Policy LeadershipO'Quin, Jo Ann
Wu, WeimingNational Center for Computational Hydroscience and EngineeringHolland, Marjorie M
Wu, WeimingNational Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering
  • January 2009 Report: A list of awards received and proposals submitted by The University of Mississippi in the previous month.
  • January Proposals Submitted: 29 from 25 Principal Investigators
  • January Awards Received: 21 totaling $8,441,287
  • FY09 Year-to-Date Number of Active Sponsored Projects: 454
  • FY09 Year-to-Date Number of Active Investigators: 222