Monthly Update – March 2021
This month’s updates from the Office of Research.
Monthly updates are archived here.
COVID-19 RESEARCH UPDATE:
Researchers should continue to work with their school-level COVID-19 research processes. We have entered Phase 3: research activity is ramped up from 50% to normal capacity, while continuing to adhere to physical distancing, PPE, and testing guidelines and vaccination recommendations. Major changes include:
- Allowing undergraduate researchers on campus, including summer programs for non-USC undergrads.
- Allowing booking summer research travel (trips to take place as of June 1st) with refundable tickets.
- Resuming field / community research, with school-level approval.
- Animal research no longer requires school-level approval.
For full updated details of USC research under COVID-19 conditions, please look here.
Office of Research Internal Grant Deadline: Collaboration Fund (April 5, 2011), supporting research collaborations among faculty and students working on interdisciplinary societally-relevant research topics.
Mentoring and Training Workshops: The Center of Excellence in Research is continuing its Zoom workshops. Coming in April: Securing Corporate Funding for Your Research, Writing Effective Specific Aims, Designing and Writing a Successful NSF Broader Impacts. Register here. We welcome faculty interested in leading a research workshop in the next academic year on relevant topics, including: research collaboration, funding, data management, promoting research, professional development, research resources/methods, grant writing, etc. Please submit a brief proposal by 5pm, Friday, July 16, 2021.
FEDERAL LANDSCAPE UPDATES: The US House of Representatives passed a $1.9 trillion pandemic response and recovery package on February 27th that includes support for Coronavirus-related R&D, but little funding to address disruptions to research. A letter to the President from academic and research advocacy organizations requests support for the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act, which would provide $25 billion for research recovery to restore research capacity to its pre-pandemic strength and further the goal of a diverse STEM workforce. House Science Committee leaders have introduced a reauthorization bill (NSF for the Future Act) to increase NSF funding for STEM research and education. It would also create a new Directorate for Science and Engineering Solutions to take big risks in accelerating translation of S&T into solutions to society’s major challenges.
USC STEVENS CENTER FOR INNOVATION: Since USC Stevens could not hold the annual Student Innovator Showcase in 2020-21 year, in order to offer support to USC student startups, on March 25 they hosted a pitch coaching event with a small group of USC student entrepreneurs. The event was led by Prof. Patrick Henry from the USC Marshall Greif Center and Presentation Specialist and Consultant Luke Brown and included a lecture on pitching best practices, followed by 1:1 breakout rooms with the students.
OPRS/IRB: On June 30, 2021, Dr. Michael Bowdish, Chair of the Biomedical IRBs (BIRB), will be stepping down. He has made an enormous contribution and will be missed. In addition to Mike’s departure, one of our two Vice Chairs, Dr. Deirdre Anglin, has just announced her retirement from USC. This will leave the BIRB with two critical vacancies. We are taking this as an opportunity to restructure the committees and are seeking nominations for faculty with expertise in biomedical research willing to serve as Chair of one of our three IRB Full Board Committees. Please send recommendations to OPRS Director Prof. Julie Slayton.
CONTRACTS & GRANTS: Over the next few weeks, DCG will be announcing opportunities (via the DCG Newsflash) or faculty and staff to learn about the implementation of the University’s new proposal routing and approval system, Cayuse SP, which is replacing KC as of July 1, 2021.