Monthly Update – September 2021

Cases around campus continue to decrease. Thanks to all who continue to follow not coming to campus if you are ill; using Trojan Check; and wearing your masks. Updated guidance on events and travel will be forthcoming. Please send any questions you have to


Internal Funding Deadline Reminders: Strategic Directions for Research Award (Monday, October 4th, 2021); Associates Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarship (November 1st, 2021); Ming Hsieh Institute for Research in Engineering Medicine (Monday, January 24th, 2022); Zumberge Individual Research Award (Monday, March 7th, 2022) Zumberge Diversity and Inclusion Research Award (Monday, March 14th, 2022); Zumberge Interdisciplinary Research Award (Monday, March 21st, 2022)

Mentoring and Training Workshops: Fall 2021 virtual CER workshops have been posted. For October: Obtaining Funding from Foundations; Understanding the Differences Between Exempt, Expedited, and Full Board; Utilizing Quantitative and Qualitative Datasets for Research, Learning and Teaching; Developing and Submitting a Successful Mission Agency Grant; How to Obtain NIH Funding; Writing Compelling NSF Proposals. Register here. If you’d like to be updated about upcoming workshops, join our mailing list. Do you have an idea for a CER workshop? We’d love to hear from you!

FEDERAL LANDSCAPE UPDATES: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and NSF are seeking input to shape the work of the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) Task Force. This Task Force is building an implementation plan for a national infrastructure that would democratize access to artificial intelligence (AI) research and development (R&D). Response to a Request for Information may be submitted here prior to October 1. NSF’s new Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide will be effective for proposals submitted or due on or after October 4th. Significant changes are summarized here.

USC STEVENS CENTER FOR INNOVATION:  In early September the Stevens Center launched the call for applications for its annual Student Innovator Showcase. The event provides an opportunity for USC students to present their inventions, startups and prototypes (in all disciplines) to faculty and leaders from the local venture, entrepreneur, and business community. The innovations may be anything with the potential for impact, from clean energy generation to a medical device to a technological solution for a social problem. At the last Showcase in 2019, USC student entrepreneurs were awarded $27,500 in cash prizes and $30,000 in in-kind awards to further their business ideas. Due to the pandemic, this year’s Showcase will be a virtual event on November 17, 2021. Student applications are due October 1.

OPRS/IRB: We are proud to announce the creation of a set of basic submission guidelines to facilitate protocol submissions. The guidelines address new studies, amendments, continuing reviews, ceded reviews, and reportable events. These guidelines will go into effect on Monday, October 4, 2021. As of that date, protocols that do not adhere to these basic guidelines will be returned without review. We expect these guidelines to improve the quality of submissions as well as our ability to complete our reviews more effectively and efficiently. We are also in the process of hiring six new IRB analysts who we expect to start in October of this year. We anticipate the addition of these team members will reduce wait times across all categories of review. We also held our first Human Protection Council meeting on September 22, 2021.

CONTRACTS & GRANTS: The Department of Contracts and Grants staff continues to be available to the research community via zoom, telephone, and email.  Most DCG staff have transitioned to a hybrid work schedule and are available to meet in person by appointment.  While we presume that most meetings will continue via zoom, if you would prefer to meet in-person, please let your Contracts and Grants Officer or other DCG team member know when you are scheduling the appointment. Not sure who to contact? As a reminder, DCG staff assignments may be found at:  DCG Contacts by Department.