Monthly Update – October 2022

Core Facility news – new equipment! A state-of-the-art  micro CT scanner is now available in Viterbi Structures and Materials Research Laboratory (SMRL)One of only two such machines on the West Coast, it is capable of both 2D X-ray imaging and 3D CT scanning. Equipped with three target heads, it can produce a primary X-ray beam of 225 kV with up to 450W maximum energy, with a maximum resolution of less than 3-micrometers and can be used for a wide range of samples including, but not limited to, soft-tissues, polymers, ceramics, electronics and sensors, composites, metals, and concrete, with a maximum weight of 50 kg and maximum size (in any dimension) of 500 mm. A powerful reconstruction PC is dedicated to quick post-processing of the CT scan data, and VGSTUDIO MAX is available for the voxel data analysis. Contact Dr. Botong Zheng at botongzh@usc.edu to schedule scans of your samples. For information on all core facility/shared resources, click here.

BIS Export Enforcement Academia Webinar: Identifying Red Flags and Mitigating Risk: Webinar (November 7th, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30 pm) to introduce you to the BIS Export Enforcement academic outreach team, including USC’s local Office of Export Enforcement partner agent. Click here to join the meeting. Meeting ID: 275 843 662 855. Passcode: dZPRfx

Your response is needed! Call to Action (CTA) is a university-wide security initiative aimed at implementing short-term risk reduction activities to better prepare for cyber-attacks. The CTA team has identified points of contact (POCs) for all research groups (list is on the CTA landing page) and are working with Research Deans to ensure these POCs complete a survey every Wednesday to report their progress on 21 CTA action items. If you are a POC, we encourage you to respond so that your progress can be accurately reported. More information on the 21 CTA action items and due dates can be found in the CTA Glossary of the SecureIT-USC SharePoint. For additional information or support, please attend Office Hours held every Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 12:00 – 1:00 pm via Zoom or email Secgovrn@usc.edu.

Research and Scholarship Training Workshops: Are you a faculty or staff who wants to help researchers learn skills that will help them improve their work? The Center for Excellence in Research is looking for volunteers to teach a one to two hour-long workshop via Zoom this spring on topics such as research resources/methods, professional development, grant writing, etc. Any ideas you think would be useful are welcome! Apply here by Friday, December 2. If you would like to be updated about new workshops, please join our mailing list.

CONTRACTS & GRANTS: The Department of Contracts and Grants is reminding research administrators that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced the issuance of a revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 23-1). The new PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted or due on or after January 30, 2023. In the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 22-1) will continue to apply.

DEPARTMENT OF ANIMAL RESOURCES: An Animal Purchase Coordinator has been hired at DAR specifically to facilitate your animal ordering needs. Theo Zuniga can be contacted at darbo@usc.edu and he will be following up on all vendor orders for you as well. Additionally, our new Animal Research Integrity Specialist, Marissa Eudaley (marissa.eudaley@med.usc.edu), is excited to offer training and assistance to all labs that need a little more attention to their animal care and use. Our new Associate Director, Dr. Gregory Simonek, has started this month to oversee the veterinary aspects of the department and assist the Director. 

The Department of Animal Resources (DAR) is collaborating with Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) to introduce the new Animal Research Safety Program and request feedback from our current users. Those users were contacted this week by EHS and are encouraged to RSVP.

We are continuing to listen to feedback about the Animal Operations System and how cage cards are activated vs deactivated. An internal look at new methods will be investigated to ensure accurate charging. More information will be provided via email, direct lab training, and other resources in the coming months. 

The Hydropac® Pouch system (Hydropac Individual Pouch Water System (avidityscience.com) will start in November for certain animal facilities on HSC that utilize water bottlesEmail communications have been sent to the stakeholders on Sept 19th. Please reach out to daradm@med.usc.edu or your animal facility supervisor if you have any questions. 

The DAR office will be closed for the University holidays in November and Winter Recess in December.

FEDERAL LANDSCAPE UPDATES: NSF has issued a revised version of their Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG). The new PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted or due on or after January 30th, 2023. A summary of changes can be found here. NSF will also present information about these changes at the upcoming NSF Grants Conference on November 17th. Additional details are available here.

OPRS/IRB: A new Informed Consent Form template has been posted on the OPRS website in Forms and Templates. This revised template contains important updates including research involving American Indian/Alaskan Native people and NIH data sharing requirements. Updates have also been made to the reliance (single IRB and ceded review) pages on our website. For more information, check out our October Newsletter.Finally, while the wait time for an IRB analyst to take ownership of new expedited and exempt studies is currently still 2 weeks, as the academic year is in full swing, we have experienced our third quarter increase the number of submissions we are receiving. In addition, holidays in November and December will likely increase the wait time. We do anticipate an increase in the length of time for an analyst to take ownership and begin their review. We appreciate your patience and understanding. 

OFFICE OF RESEARCH INTEGRITY: