Monthly Update – November 2023

Dear Colleagues, 

As we give thanks this season, I know we are all incredibly proud and grateful for the accomplishments of our research community. It is a high honor for me to be able to support your research and celebrate your discoveries and achievements. Your transformative efforts support President Folt’s ambitious moonshots and enhance the global influence of our university.  

You make us great. A world without research is a world without knowledge and hope for future generations. 

With my warmest wishes and regards, 

Ishwar K. Puri 

FACULTY ENGAGEMENT: Research & Innovation internal grant programs: We are very happy to announce that in 2023 (to date) we have awarded 43 grants totaling over $5.2M to USC faculty, with 11 Schools represented. 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. We are here to help. 

Research and Scholarship Training Workshops: Are you a faculty or staff member who wants to help researchers learn skills that will help them improve their work? The Center for Excellence in Research is looking for volunteers to teach a one to two hour-long workshop via Zoom this spring on topics such as research resources/methods, professional development, grant writing, etc. Any ideas you think would be useful are welcome! Apply here by Friday, January 12. If you would like to be updated about new workshops, please join our mailing list

FEDERAL LANDSCAPE UPDATES: Monica Bertagnolli, M.D., has been confirmed on a bipartisan basis by the U.S. Senate as the 17th Director of the National Institutes of Health. The first surgeon and second woman to hold the position, Dr. Bertagnolli transitioned from her role as the 16th director of the National Cancer Institute. Chief among her key priorities is ensuring clinical trials yield the best results by increasing the diversity of participants; embracing the rapid expansion of new learning-based analytical tools and ensuring their use improves care for all people; and restoring trust in science by making it accessible to all communities and inspiring the next generation of doctors and scientists. 

DEPARTMENT OF CONTRACTS & GRANTS: Updated Tools for Outbound and Incoming Principal Investigators -When a faculty member joins or leaves USC, the university may need to engage in a process by which a research award is transferred between institutions, following the stipulations of the sponsor. Prior to extending an offer to a new investigator and/or if an investigator leaves USC, the school should first assess any potential challenges of the transfer (inbound or outbound).  The Department of Contracts and Grants has updated our Outbound and Inbound Assessment Tool and Award Transfer Checklist to assist in this process.  

·         Inbound Assessment Tool and Award Transfer Checklist 

·         Outbound Assessment Tool and Award Transfer Checklist 

These tools capture important information and necessary approvals to ensure that everything is in place to allow the appropriate handling of the active research portfolio of outgoing or incoming faculty members. Please visit the How to Transfer Awards To and From USC webpage for more information. 

Updated Unobligated Balance Transfer Form – The Department of Contracts and Grants (DCG), in collaboration with Sponsored Projects Accounting (SPA), has updated the Unobligated Balance Transfer Form to collect information consistent with the new Cayuse and Workday systems.   

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 principals, 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, December 12th  

9:00 – 10:30 am PST 

Post-Award: Managing Common Post Award Issues and Questions

Thursday, December 14th 

9:00 – 10:30 am PST 

STEVENS CENTER FOR INNOVATION: Congratulations to Dr. Valter Longo, Director of the Longevity Institute at USC and his venture, L-Nutra Inc., a premier nutri-technology company leading longevity science nutrition programs, on the closure of a $47M Series D funding. The round was led by a personal investment from Stéphane Bancel, CEO at Moderna Inc., alongside Brentwood Associates, a Los Angeles based middle market investment firm. Founded in 2009 by Dr. Longo, L-Nutra was initially and exclusively licensed by the Stevens Center for Innovation in 2012. In partnership with 18 global university research centers, L-Nutra has developed the first Nutrition for Longevity pipeline, ProLon®, aimed at enhancing healthy aging via cellular rejuvenation and improving metabolic health; and Nutrition as Medicine pipeline called L-Nutra Health aimed at enhancing patients’ chances of remission from diabetes, cancer, autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases. Read more about their Series D funding and recent partnership with Lindora

HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION PROGRAM: As we head into the end of 2023, we have begun to see an uptick in the wait time for new expedited and exempt studies. We are now at a 2-week wait time for assignment to an analyst. We expect the combination of the Thanksgiving holiday break and the winter recess and an increase in the number of submissions to translate into an increased wait time of between 3-5 weeks. As we have in the past 2 years, we will prioritize student submissions in late December and early January so that they might have their approvals in place for the beginning of the Spring term. This will not change our approach to studies requiring urgent review or full-board study review. We are also moving our full-board committee meetings in November, December, and January to account for holidays and the recess. Please check our IRB Committee Meeting calendars on our website. In January 2024 we will be launching two new initiatives, the Progress Update and Post Approval Monitoring (PAM). See our website for more information regarding both new activities. We also continue to add resources to our YouTube channel and invite you to visit! 

DEPARTMENT OF ANIMAL RESOURCES: Our AAALAC International Site Visit was a success! USC received Continued Full Accreditation and had 10 commendations for the DAR, IACUC, and EHS teams. Thank you to all who participated and engaged with the Site Visitors.  

To prepare for the Holiday season and the University’s Winter Recess, below are some important dates and reminders regarding upcoming office closures.  

The last 2023 DAR training date for research staff will be at HSC on Tuesday, 12/19/23 and we will resume training again on Thursday, 1/4/24 (HSC training only that day). 

In observance of the University’s Winter Recess, Animal Resources will be running on a limited crew and some services will not be available for the Winter Recess beginning on Monday, December 18, 2023, and ending on Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Principal Investigators, Department Administrators, and Study Contacts should be mindful of this closure and limited services including: 

·         New animal orders and transfers will not be processed during this time (the exception being standing orders). 

·         Please place new orders to be delivered after the winter break on Tuesday, January 9, 2024

·         The business office will be closed, questions regarding charges and accounts will be answered after the recess. 

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

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. 

DAR has received many inquiries on how to make financial changes on financial transfers in AOPS. To assist labs, we created a step-by-step video addressing this question. This video has been shared with all managers in DAR to assist and can be accessed on the billing page of the DAR website or by clicking here.  

The final analysis of our Rate Setting and Time and Motion study will be presented via zoom to investigators on December 7th, at 11:00 AM PST. The Zoom link is here, Password: 405206. This presentation will be to explain the methodology for how the per diem rates and service fees are calculated for services provided by DAR.  

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! 

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

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH & SAFETY: EH&S and Student Health are working on a campaign with the LA County Department of Public Health called “Heart Heroes” which trains hands only CPR. To date, almost 2000 people have been trained at USC in a 1-month period! If you are interested in learning hands only CPR or becoming a trainer, please contact EH&S at or go here for more information: 

On another note, please be on the lookout for the winter recess safety memo you will be receiving from Dr. Puri and EH&S.  

Monthly updates are archived here