Monthly Update – November 2020

Funding Opportunities: We are happy to announce four new Requests for Proposals: 1) the Ming Hsieh Institute Award (due Jan 25, 2021), 2) the Zumberge Individual (due Feb 1, 2021), 3) Zumberge Interdisciplinary Large (due Feb 16, 2021), and 4) Zumberge Diversity & Inclusion (due Feb 22, 2021).

Tech Transfer Working Group Report (TTWG): TTWG was constituted in Jan 2020 to provide faculty input on USC’s tech transfer practices and policies and consider the broader innovation environment at USC. The group has developed thoughtful recommendations, found here. A larger and more inclusive group, the Innovation Council with representatives across USC was established in Sep 2020, has taken the TTWG recommendations, and is continuing work on the many aspects of USC innovation; please feel free to reach out to the Council members to share ideas, issues, and suggestions.

USC Research and Innovation (R&I) Structure: We have clarified the R&I structure:  R&I consists of nine organizations: DAR, DCG, ICT, OPRS, ORI, RTS, Stevens, DC, and ORIF.  Please visit the page above for details about the services each provides.  ORIF, the Research Initiatives and Infrastructure (RII), is newly named and consolidated over the services you are already familiar with; it is led by Dr. Silvia da Costa and is responsible for supporting faculty research by overseeing internal granting programs, core facilities/shared resources, and faculty development & training (via the Center for Excellence in Research). RII is also announcing the release of a new Feedback Form that welcomes anonymous feedback regarding the quality of user interactions with RII.

Mentoring and training workshops: The USC Research and Innovation (R&I) invites proposals for virtual faculty-led mentoring workshops in the Center for Excellence in Research for Spring 2021. Faculty interested in leading a research workshop on collaboration, funding, data management, promoting their research, professional development, research resources/methods, grant writing, etc. can submit a proposal by 5pm, Friday, Dec 4, 2020.

Access to Creative Talent: USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies created “ICTP” (ICT Productions, Inc.) to coordinate favorable custom agreements with the Writers Guild (WGA), Directors Guild (DGA), and Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Contact Cheryl Birch ( to find out how your USC department can leverage these agreements to engage professional talent for your USC projects.

FEDERAL FUNDING PATHWAYS: The US Senate Appropriations Committee released all 12 of its bills on 11/10. Congress must enact another spending measure before the continuing resolution (CR) expires on 12/11, either through an omnibus or another CR. The status of individual appropriations bills is found here. It is unlikely that appropriations will be finalized before the inauguration in January; funding agencies will run under CRs through the spring.

DEPARTMENT OF ANIMAL RESOURCES: The USC animal care and use program was reviewed by AAALAC, an international peer review accreditation program, in late October.  The site visitors issued nine commendations and a full re-accreditation for our program, which has been continuously accredited since 1966.

USC STEVENS CENTER FOR INNOVATION: The Stevens Center has partnered with JLABS @ San Diego in a 12/2 webinar “Building a Biotech: How to Turn Your Science Into a Startup.” The 90-minute webinar will include a discussion with the lead and two life science incubator residents who will share their journeys from academia to business. Learn more and register at the JLABS website.

OPRS/IRB: OPRS/IRB has launched a new Workspace in Slack and a set of channels to make it easier to access up-to-date information regarding USC Human Subjects Research. The Workspace is found here: The channels are: 1) dei-in-hsr: focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in human subjects research; 2) education-and-training: recent and upcoming education and training opportunities; 3) irb-announcements: recent changes or important announcements regarding IRB & iStar; 4) updated-policies-and-procedures: changes to USC Human Subjects Research policies and procedures. Please join us in our Workspace or on Twitter and check out our website to stay updated.

CONTRACTS & GRANTS: For more information about the IMAGINE project, e.g., the implementation of the new Sponsored Projects pre-award and post-award (non-financial and financial) systems?  Please join the quarterly Research Administrator Update Session on Friday, 12/11/20, 1–2:30pm, which will include a demo of the Grants module in Workday Finance and an open panel discussion to answer your questions.