Monthly Update – October 2021

Alliance of Engaged Universities and Colleges: As a member of the Alliance of Engaged Universities and Colleges, hosted by the International Association for Research on Service-Learning & Community Engagement (IARSLCE), USC faculty, staff, students and community partners may join IARSLCE and attend the 2021 Virtual Gathering (Nov. 15-17) at no cost.  To become a member of IARSLCE, click here; to register for the Virtual Gathering, click here.  Use the discount code ALLIANCE to waive registration and membership fees.

Mentoring and Training Workshops: Fall 2021 virtual CER workshops are open for registration. During November: QI/QA vs Research with Humans; Securing Corporate Funding for Your Research; Cinematography, Lighting and Filmmaking as Research; Ensuring the Integrity, Strength and Reputation of Your Research. 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!

For Spring 2022: The Center for Excellence in Research welcomes faculty and staff to lead a virtual research workshop on topics including research collaboration, funding, data management, promoting research, professional development, research resources/methods, grant writing, etc. Please submit a brief proposal by Wednesday, November 24, 2021.

FEDERAL LANDSCAPE UPDATES: Although the budget process for fiscal 2022 is not complete yet, the White House is already starting to think about fiscal 2023. The heads of OMB and OSTP wrote a memo to all heads of executive departments and agencies outlining the following priority areas: pandemic readiness and prevention; tackling climate change; emerging technologies; equity; national security; and economic resilience. HHS established the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE). This is the first office of its kind at the national level to address climate change and health equity. The Office’s mission is to protect vulnerable communities who disproportionately bear the brunt of pollution and climate-driven disasters, such as drought and wildfires, at the expense of public health.

USC STEVENS CENTER FOR INNOVATION: License Agreement Covered in Mainstream Media: The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (GDI) recently signed a non-exclusive license agreement for the use of Viterbi Professor Shrikanth “Shri” Narayanan’s software-based method to perform Diversity and Inclusion Analysis of Scripted Entertainment Media Content. The license covers the use of the method for the analysis of gender, race, sexual orientation, disabilities and other protected groups, as well as scripted entertainment content in movies, television programs, radio programs, books, advertisements, and gaming. GDI partnered with Shri’s lab to develop a digital tool called Spellcheck for Bias and formed a partnership with NBCUniversal to apply it to different underrepresented groups. The partnership was featured in an Oct. 7, 2021 article in The Hollywood Reporter.

OPRS/IRB:  We are in the final stages of hiring additional IRB analysts. Our goal is to have new staff in place by late November. Our expectation is that these new staff, once fully trained, will help us reduce the wait times for exempt and expedited submissions and amendments. Please note chances in our full board review process. We no longer have deadlines for submission. Instead, meeting dates for the three biomedical boards are posted on our website. Note that biomedical IRB 1 handles non-cancer focused studies and meets on the first and third Thursday of the month. Biomedical IRB 2 handles cancer specific studies and meets on the second and fourth Thursday of the month. Biomedical IRB 3 handles continuing reviews and reportable events and meets on the First and third Tuesday of month. The social behavioral IRB meets on the second Friday of each month and dates can be found on our website. Please consult our submission guidelines before submitting to reduce delays in the review process.