Monthly Update – June 2023

Congratulations to our awardee! We are happy to announce Professor Peter Mancall was awarded the Office of Research and Innovation (OORI) Humanities & Humanistic Social Sciences (HHSS) Award for his proposal “Intensive seminar in grant writing in humanities and humanistic social sciences.”  

The upcoming proposal submission deadline for the OORI ARPA-H award is July 10. For information on ARPA-H and all OORI funding programs, click here.

Navigating Research and Scholarship at USC: Whether you’re new to USC or simply need a refresher, we would like to invite faculty, staff, postdocs, PhD students, and graduate students to this year’s event on Friday, August 18 from 9 AM PDT to 12 PM PDT via Zoom. We have prepared an exciting and informative program on the latest and greatest resources and support available at USC to help you conduct research and navigate scholarship. Learn more and register here.

Mentoring and Training Workshops: For Fall 2023 – The Center for Excellence in Research welcomes faculty and staff to lead a workshop via Zoom on research-related topics such as collaboration, funding, data management, self-promotion, professional development, resources/methods, grant writing, etc. Please submit a brief proposal by July 14, 2023.

FEDERAL LANDSCAPE UPDATES: The U.S. Department of Transportation has released a Request for Information (RFI) related to the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Infrastructure (ARPA-I). ARPA-I was established to fund external R&D programs that develop new technologies, systems, and capabilities to improve transportation infrastructure in the U.S. The purpose of the RFI is to obtain input on potential areas for future innovative advanced research and development programs to be funded and managed by ARPA-I. More details are available here.

STEVENS CENTER FOR INNOVATION: On June 23rd at the Stevens Center office, Interim Executive Director Steve Moldin and Senior Technology Licensing Manager Bonnie Phan Wolfe met with Keck School of Medicine’s Dr. Thomas C. Chen, the NeOnc Technologies leadership team, and Dr. Iyabo Tinubu-Karch of Sidra Medicine, to discuss future licensing and sublicensing opportunities from their portfolio of products. Covering 135 U.S. and international patents issued and applications pending, the exclusive licensing agreement between USC and NeOnc Technologies is considered the largest IP transfer of its kind for the development and commercialization of chemotherapies related to brain and central nervous system (CNS) diseases. The license covers agent composition and methods of use technology, including an enhanced method of delivering pharma-based therapeutics to the brain. With June being Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, there was a lot of excitement about this licensing agreement and beyond! 

As a follow up to the “Innovation in Higher Education and Industry” event hosted by the Office of Research and the Stevens Center last month, we published an article and shared key takeaways from this robust digital transformation discussion and its societal impact. The super-connector event with Techstars and the Alliance for SoCal Innovation was an opportunity to reiterate USC’s commitment to research and innovation, and its investment in the school’s entrepreneurial ecosystem internally and externally. Read more about the event in this article: “Engineering a Digital Transformation Journey between Higher Education and Industry.”

HRPP: The current wait time for assignment to an analyst, for exempt and expedited studies,  is 2 weeks! As always, you can find the most up to date estimate on the HRPP website under Current IRB Wait Time. In addition, new Informed Consent Form and Information Sheet templates have been posted on the website under Most Used Documents. Please use these templates in lieu of the outdated versions. We will also be making a new Social Behavioral Protocol template available in August. We have vetted this document with faculty and students, and we appreciate all the feedback everyone has provided. Keep your eyes open for additional changes to templates as well as updates to our website in the coming months.

CONTRACTS & GRANTS: The Department of Contracts and Grants (DCG) is celebrating its fourth month since the launch of Cayuse SP.  To date 964 proposals have been successfully routed through the system and 238 new awards have been established in the new system. We continue to provide support and training through our websitevarious courses in Trojan Learn, our online Slack ChannelCayuse Help, our weekly office hours, and individually, upon request, as our community adjusts to the new enhanced system.

In addition, over the last couple of months, DCG has collaborated with other central units to update and clarify the Responsible Units for Handling Different Types of Agreements Matrix. The update includes detailed descriptions and updated contact information for the most common types of agreements entered by the University, as well as the office(s) responsible for handling each type of agreement. The office responsible for handling each type of agreement will secure any needed reviews, approvals, and signatures.

DCG continues to offer our weekly office hours on Wednesdays 9:00 –10:00 am PDT to the entire campus via Zoom and invites anyone with questions regarding sponsored research to join and receive prompt assistance and guidance from our expert DCG officers. 

DEPARTMENT OF ANIMAL RESOURCES: DAR is happy to report that over 90% of our staff have taken training in Exceeding Customer’s Expectations and Customer Service: Serving Internal Customers. This will translate into an improved service for you and your staff in support of research. Please expect a Customer Satisfaction Survey in 3 months to assess the effectiveness of this training. 

DAR is working with Charles River to provide continuing education seminars: 

Virtual Seminar June 8 by Charles River entitled “Are you Biologics Free of Pathogen Contaminants?” Register using the QR code in the link above.

Lunch and Learn: July 18, in person event, on Animal Colony Maintenance and Embryology Support, RSVP details will be provided at and in flyers posted in the facilities. 

A reminder that per diem rates will be increasing 11.6% compared to last fiscal year. This will be effective after 7/1/23.  DAR will be working with a consulting group to develop a formal rate calculation to effectively identify and recover costs. We will focus on assessing our business operations and per diem rate development, specifically, so that future changes in rates will be properly socialized. 

Due to the closing of this fiscal year and the upcoming holiday, animal purchases will be delayed until after 6/28-7/12.  If making purchase requests during this time, anticipate delays for the arrival. Our staff will be making every effort to put in requests ahead of time as soon as they receive a request. 

To assure the quality of our services, DAR has also acquired new software that will internally allow us to monitor and track the cleaning and maintenance of animal rooms. No longer will paper forms be used to track the care services, but rather an electronic version will be used that can be accessed by research staff and supervisors of the facilities. Through the utilization of this software, you will be able to check on the care of your animals and receive communications, if desired, about their care and health. This is an amazing upgrade of our animal care program. 

For all other updates, please see


EH&S is pleased to announce the following important safety updates.

First, thank you for making our PPE distribution a seamless and successful effort. Over the last month, more than 1M nitrile gloves have been distributed to the USC research community. This equates to more than 12k individual boxes to nearly 200 PIs at USC. Even with these numbers, we still have more gloves to give away at no cost. Though there are no size small gloves left, we do have other size options still available. Please contact EHS at if you would like to receive any of these additional gloves.

Additionally, EH&S has streamlined the process for onboarding new PIs at USC. The newly updated Lab Startup webpage provides stepwise instructions for starting a new lab off on the right foot. It covers how to obtain safety training, setting up a chemical inventory, posting lab signage, and where to acquire essential lab equipment and PPE.

Finally, EH&S added two new guidance documents to our catalog. First, the Waste Hierarchy Guide Sheetcovers how to classify waste to ensure proper disposal of mixed waste into an appropriate waste stream. Second, the Guanidinium Thiocyanate Guide Sheet covers how to safely handle and dispose of the power chaotropic agent, guanidinium thiocyanate, commonly used in the extraction of DNA and RNA. 

Questions? Contact us at Thank you for your commitment to the health and safety of the USC community.