Monthly Update – December 2023

Dear Colleagues,

As the year ends, please know that I am deeply grateful for your commitment to excellence, transformative research and accomplishments. The Office of Research and Innovation team looks forward to supporting your impactful work again in 2024. Through your scholarship and creativity, our institution belongs to a distinguished group of 13 private universities whose research expenditures top $1 billion annually.

May this festive season be filled with joy because of your remarkable efforts to advance research and benefit society. We wish you an abundance of happiness, peace and prosperity for all the good you do for the world. 

Happy holidays!

Ishwar K. Puri

FACULTY ENGAGEMENT: Happy Holidays! We are very thankful for the many excellent proposals received this past year and for having had the opportunity to serve the USC research community. As the new award cycle begins, we look forward to continuing to support your innovative research. The spring award cycle begins in January, with deadlines: January 8th (SBIR/STTR), January 15th (GenAI) and January 29th (Ming Hsieh). Don’t miss out! All award information can be found here. Please contact if you have any questions. It is our wish that in 2024, your deadlines be met, your data correct, your funding be the best and, of course…much health and happiness!

FEDERAL LANDSCAPE UPDATES: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy will be holding a briefing on December 14th to provide an overview of the Biden administration’s newly release executive order (EO) on AI and its potential to support and accelerate AI research. In addition to a short summary of the EO’s actions, time will be set aside for an interactive Q&A session with the research community. Registration details are available here and the session will be recorded.

DEPARTMENT OF CONTRACTS & GRANTS: A reminder that the following forms and checklists have been updated and are available on the Department of Contracts and Grants (DCG) website:

Unobligated Balance Transfer Form – DCG in collaboration with Sponsored Projects Accounting (SPA), has updated the form to collect information consistent with the new Cayuse and Workday systems. The form can be found on the Getting Started page of the DCG website.

Tools for Outbound and Incoming Principal Investigators – The Department of Contracts and Grants has updated our Outbound and Inbound Assessment Tool and Award Transfer Checklist to assist with ensuring a smooth process for PI’s coming to and leaving the University.

Monthly Training Dates for December – The Department of Contracts and Grants offers, on a monthly basis and upon request, a pre-award and post-award training. The pre-award training walks administrators through the proposal process here at USC covering; roles and responsibilities, how to route proposals through the Cayuse system, and USC processes and policies to be aware of. The post-award training provides an overview of roles and responsibilities, cost principles, common post award issues and how/when to seek sponsor prior approval. Below are the dates and times the trainings will be available in December:

Pre-Award Training: A walk through Cayuse SP and the Proposal Process

Tuesday, January 23rd 9:00am – 10:30 am

Post-Award: Managing Common Post Award Issues and Questions

Thursday, January 25th 9:00am – 10:30am

HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION PROGRAM: As we head into the Winter Recess, we have a 2-week wait time for exempt and expedited studies to be assigned to an analyst. We will be prioritizing student studies between now and the add/drop date for Spring semester 2024. Please note we have also changed the full board meeting dates for the biomedical board to account for the Winter Recess.

We are incredibly excited to launch our Post Approval Monitoring process and Progress Update on Friday, January 5, 2024. The Post Approval Monitoring process is for self-assessment, for-cause, and not-for-cause audits. Please check it out. You might find it provides you with the self-assessment support you need. We may contact you for not-for-cause or for-cause audits in 2024. If you have an exempt or expedited study that does not require continuing review, you will receive a Progress Update request every 2 years. If your study has been underway for at least 2 years, you will receive one in early 2024. You will be expected to respond to the Progress Update, or your study will be closed. For more information, please review our website.

Please check out our YouTube page for the latest videos! And check out the banner at the bottom of our website. There are quick links to many of the resources you are likely to need regularly. As always, if you have questions, reach out to

DEPARTMENT OF ANIMAL RESOURCES: Happy Holidays! We would like to partner with you in preparing you for this season and Winter Recess with the following reminders:

Limited services only will be available for the Winter Recess beginning on Monday, December 18, 2023, and ending on Tuesday, January 2, 2024.

New animal orders and transfers will be processed before or after this time, (standing orders will continue without interruption).

Please place new orders to be delivered after the winter break on Tuesday, January 92024.

Veterinary staff will be available for treating old and new cases in a limited capacity.

Starting projects with the animals during this time is not advised.

The admin office will be open before and after this time, questions regarding charges and accounts will be answered after the Recess.

The last 2023 DAR training date for research staff will be at HSC on Tuesday, December 19th and we will resume training again on Thursday, January 24th (HSC training only that day).

Please get in touch with us at if no one in the lab is available to answer questions regarding sick animals to make pre-arrangements. All other questions, please contact the admin office at Thank you.

Do you make financial changes in AOPs but are stuck? To assist labs on this process, we created a step-by-step video addressing this question. This video has been shared with all managers in DAR to assist you and you can be access it on the billing page of the DAR website or by clicking here.

The results for the Customer Service and Focus Survey have been compiled and will be shared at the Research Council Meeting in December. Thank you to all who participated as we had over 60 responses!

Next year we look forward to showcasing our improvements to better serve you and the animals under our care through training, communication modalities, Lunch & Learns, and more. 

For all other updates including polies, procedures, and resources, please visit:

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH & SAFETY: As we reflect on a year of groundbreaking discoveries, EH&S would like to extend warm wishes to each member of the vibrant USC research community for a joyful holiday season and a prosperous New Year. May this time bring you well-deserved rest and inspiration for the challenges and triumphs that lie ahead.

In the spirit of a renewed commitment to safety, EH&S will send out the Annual Lab Safety Refresher Memo promptly upon return from winter break. The Memo and safety checklist offers guidance to ensure that everyone is accountable for safety in your labs.

EH&S appreciates your cooperation, and we look forward to sharing additional programs designed to assist your lab’s success and safety. Here’s to a season of joy, reflection, and anticipation for the exciting journeys that await us in the new year!

Monthly updates are archived here