Monthly Update – August 2021

As we make our full return to fall restart, EH&S has drafted some best practices to follow (ClassroomsFood & DrinkWorkplace). At this time masks are required indoors and strongly encouraged outdoors, especially in crowded areas. Additionally, distancing is encouraged whenever feasible. A layered approach to protection against COVID-19 is most effective as no single intervention is perfect at preventing its spread. Visit the EH&S COVID Resource Center for the most up-to-date information.


Dimensions Database: We are happy to report that USC faculty, staff, postdocs and students once again have access to Dimensions, a worldwide database of funded research. You can search across grants, publications, datasets, clinical trials, patents and policy simultaneously. Click here for basic information, here for the quick start guide and here for the product guide.

Internal Funding Deadline Reminders: Deans’ Matching Fund (LOI: Sept 7, 2021; Full proposal: Oct 18, 2021, by invitation); Core/Shared Instrumentation Fund (Sept 20, 2021); Strategic Directions in Research (Oct 4, 2021); USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarship (request for nominations, November 1, 2021); Ming Hsieh Institute for Engineering-Medicine (Jan 24, 2022).

Mentoring and Training Workshops: Fall 2021 virtual CER workshops have been posted. For September: Vulnerable Populations in Social Behavioral and Biomedical Research; Exploring Arts-Based Research; Introduction to Advanced Research Computing Resources and Services. Register here. If you’d like to be updated about upcoming workshops, join our mailing list.

FEDERAL LANDSCAPE UPDATES: U.S. House of Representatives are proposing funding levels that approach the large increases that President Joe Biden has requested next year for several federal research agencies. NIH and NSF would get hefty increases of 15% and 13%, respectively, in bills taken up by two House appropriations subcommittees, the first step in the process of setting annual funding levels. NASA science programs would rise by 10% to nearly $8 billion, and the DOE Office of Science would grow by 4% to $7.32 billion.

USC STEVENS CENTER FOR INNOVATION: We will continue our webinar series “From Discovery to Commercialization” during the 2021-22 academic year, kicking off on Sept. 15 with “Female Founders: Beyond the glass ceiling.” The webinar series will feature guest speakers from a variety of fields, including venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, startup founders, and more. Visit the events page on the Stevens Center website for information about upcoming webinars or go to the USC events calendar. We also share upcoming event information via email and on our social media channels.

OPRS/IRB: We are hiring! OPRS/IRB has posted six new positions. We are hiring IRB Analysts (entry level) and Senior IRB Analysts. Please feel free to disseminate this information widely. Our current wait time until an analyst is assigned to a new exempt or expedited study is 8 weeks. We apologize for this situation. There are a range of unrelated reasons for it. We hope to see the situation improve over the next few months as we bring on new staff. We will be offering a host of CER events over the next several months, focusing on everything from Quality Improvement/ Quality Assurance work to how to submit an IRB application (biomedical, social behavioral, all levels of review). Keep an eye out for the announcements.

CONTRACTS & GRANTS:  The Department of Contracts and Grants is committed to providing online training programs accessible to all faculty and staff working on campus or remotely.  All of DCG’s training programs are housed in Trojan Learn and are broken down into courses aimed at faculty (PIs/Co-PIs) and staff (Research Administrators and other support staff).  To date, over 2,500 faculty and staff have completed our training courses.  In addition, DCG offers a library of instructional videos and user guides that aid both faculty and staff in the development and routing of proposals in Kuali Coeus and Cayuse 424. These videos and guides are hosted directly on the DCG website and can be launched from a PC or mobile device.