Monthly Update – April 2020

May USC Internal Grant Deadline: 5 pm, Monday, May 11, 2020 (for both programs)
Zumberge Special Solicitation Epidemic & Virus Related Research and Development Award
Provost New Strategic Directions for Research Award

For COVID-19 funding opportunities, click here. There are now over 70 COVID-19 related research projects at USC in all areas for research. Look here to find out more and to add your own work, interests, and expertise.

Join us on Slack: If you are looking for collaborators or want to share research ideas, we have created a Slack channel.

TRAINING WORKSHOPS & MENTORING: We broke our record, with over 60 people registered for last week’s Center of Excellence in Research workshop. Do you have an idea for a CER workshop? We’d love to hear from you!

FEDERAL FUNDING PATHWAYS: Latest funding opportunities related to COVID-19 are available here, including NIH opportunities released this month (here) as supplements to existing grants, competitive revisions, and/or modifications to future program announcements.  NIH also announced a public-private partnership between federal researchers and 16 pharmaceutical companies, aimed at coordinating and accelerating the development of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. NSF is inviting researchers to use the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism to submit proposals to conduct non-medical, non clinical-care COVID-19 research. For assistance, contact Steven Moldin.

USC STEVENS CENTER FOR INNOVATION:  The USC Stevens home page now links to our COVID-19 discoveries on Flintbox Covid-19.  We have signed AUTM’s COVID-19 licensing guidelines, developed a COVID-19 humanitarian license, and are expediting COVID-19 MTA/DTA agreements and discoveries.  The first step is a disclosure via Sophia, which is actively monitored for expediting; the info will be sent to an IP firm to quickly file a provisional patent application.  Once disclosed, USC software can be made available through an academic/non-profit use license; see the USC Software Guidance memo.  For other open source license options, please contact USC; alternatives are found in the USC Open Source memo.  All COVID-19 related software resources are listed on our available technologies list. Please reach us through our office numbers or emails for help with invention disclosures or any other assistance.

OPRS/IRB: OPRS and the USC Research and Innovation (R&I) and Scholarly Integrity will be offering weekly online office hours to assist investigators preparing protocols for first-time IRB review. Priority will go to protocols involving COVID-19 research. See the OPRS website for days and times or reach out to for more information.  COVID-19 specific protocols (new studies and amendments) are receiving IRB priority review; all other studies have slowed.  We are working to bring three new IRB analysts to speed up the process and appreciate your understanding.

RESEARCH INTEGRITY: The USC Research and Innovation (R&I) Integrity is partnering with OPRS to assist researchers in protocol development.  All protocols involving a novel bio or data repository need to be approved by the USC Research and Innovation (R&I).  If your protocol involves a new repository, please contact Kristen Grace for assistance.

CONTRACTS & GRANTS:  Effective June 1, 2020, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will require new formats for both the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support.  To assist in the transition, DCG developed a quick guide on how to log into SciENcv and create a BioSketch.  Over the next month, DCG will also distribute a series of NewsFlashes to highlight the new requirements and provide training materials.  More info is found on the NSF website.

UNIVERSITY RESEARCH COMMITTEE: The URC is preparing a series of recommendations for how the University can enhance its culture of faculty service and disclosure across all areas of research administration.