University of Southern California

Research

Monthly Update – June 2021

This month’s updates from the Office of Research.

COVID-19 RESEARCH UPDATE:  USC is currently in Phase IV and anticipates transitioning to Phase V soon. Clarifying guidance announcements will follow, including about research; up-to-date guidance about research is always found at research.usc.edu/coronavirus

FACULTY ENGAGEMENT:

Congratulations to our awardees! Please visit our website for all USC funding opportunities.

Collaboration Fund: 15 proposals and reports were received, 11 were awarded, of which 3 new groups were established: Victoria Campbell-Arvai (Dornsife); Zoe Corwin (Rossier); Kathy Smith (Cinematic Arts) and 8 groups renewed: (Wandi Bruine de Bruin (Price); Baruch Cahn (Keck); Sofia Gruskin (Keck); Adam Leventhal (Keck); Sook-Lei Liew (Ostrow); Giselle Petzinger (Keck); Donna Spruijt-Metz (Dornsife); John Wilson (Dornsife).

Ming Hsieh Institute for Research of Engineering-Medicine for Cancer: 12 proposals were received, 7 were awarded so far to multi-school teams led by: Eun Ji Chung (Viterbi); Zhaoyang Fan (Keck); Justin Haldar (Viterbi); Jianming Xie (Pharmacy); Min Yu (Keck); Cristina Zavaleta (Viterbi); Yong Zhang (Pharmacy); additional awards are under consideration.

Citavi – new software: USC faculty, postdocs, and students now have access to web and desktop editions of Citavi reference management and note-taking software. Click here to create your account and here for additional information and support.

Save the date: This year’s Navigating the University forum for all researchers interested in learning about USC research resources and services will be held via Zoom, on Friday, August 27th.  Invitations will follow by email and in next month’s update.

New Website: The Office of Research Initiatives and Facilities (ORIF) has a new website, with improved search functionality of ORIF services and internal award programs, limited submissions, shared resources/facilities and research workshops. Come visit us!

Center for Excellence in Research: To suit you best, please let us know your preferences for best days/times of the week (quick survey).  If you have an idea for a Fall 2021 CER workshop, we’d love to hear from you.

Basics of Bayh-Dole: Per the USC Research Council recommendation, faculty are required to take a newly developed invention disclosure training course (The Basics of Bayh-Dole) found at http://trojanlearn.csod.com/. The course takes 12 minutes to complete and informs USC researchers on how and why to disclose inventions. This course is required of all federally-sponsored USC researchers as of Sep 1, 2021, so you will be satisfying that upcoming requirement. Please contact Donaldson Santos or Ruben Flores-Saaib with any questions.

FEDERAL LANDSCAPE UPDATES: The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology approved the bipartisan NSF for the Future Act on 6/15. The legislation is an alternative proposal to the Endless Frontier Act, passed by the Senate as part of the US Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 on June 8. The House bill would create a new technology directorate within NSF to enhance translational research, through a $13.2B investment over 5 years, compared to the Senate-passed proposal of $29B. The committee-approved bill includes measures to address research security within the NSF grantee community. A timeline has not been set for consideration by the full House of Representatives. A  bipartisan infrastructure agreement was announced by President Biden on 6/24. The package focuses on traditional infrastructure items like roads, bridges, and rail, as well as broadband internet and water systems. The cost is $1.2T over 8 years, $600B in new spending.

USC STEVENS CENTER FOR INNOVATION:

Four USC-Affiliated Startups at First Look SoCal Innovation Showcase on June 16-17: The Showcase is an annual event that celebrates best early-stage teams commercializing tech and life science breakthroughs from top research institutions in Southern California. Startups selected to present connect with top-tier investors and successful serial entrepreneurs. This year four USC-affiliated startups presented: APSY, SmartSpace AI, Catapower, and Mi Terro.

Stevens Center Webinar Series Kicks Off in September: We will resume our webinar series for USC entrepreneurs and innovators in September. Upcoming topics and speakers will be emailed in August, or visit the events calendar on the Stevens Center website.

OPRS/IRB: Submissions to the IRB increased in June. We are working to fill 1 analyst position and backfill 4 positions as quickly as possible.  Additionally, the Chair of the Social Behavioral IRB, Dr. Jeremy Goldbach, is stepping down at the end of August; he has been an incredible asset to OPRS/IRB and we are sad to see him go. We still do not have a Chair for the Biomedical IRB 3 full board, likely causing a slowdown in July review times for biomedical research. Investigators participating in multi-center industry-sponsored trials are encouraged to use the central IRB of record (Single IRB) and submit a ceded review application to the USC IRB.

CONTRACTS & GRANTS:  As of July 6, 2021, the IMAGINE Program will transition from the Kuali Financial System (KFS) to Workday Financials to establish a single USC system for all finance, human resources, and payroll. All FY 2021 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) financial activity will be closed out in KFS and all FY 2022 (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022) activity will be in Workday financials. Here is some key transition information:

The Cayuse implementation is postponed until after the above transition; the Cayuse functional and technical teams are finalizing an updated implementation schedule.  Kuali Coeus (KC) will remain operational for proposal routing and approvals, and award establishment.  The IMAGINE team is focused on ensuring KC and Workday Financials work together seamlessly.