Monthly Update – April 2024

Dear Colleagues,

Please accept my gratitude for your steadfast commitment to educating future generations and advancing meaningful research. Recently, my team collaborated with colleagues from the School of Cinematic Arts to create a research video series that highlights some of your important work and its impact. More such videos will follow. 

Congratulations to Jeri Muniz, who has been appointed Associate Vice President of Research Administration and Steve Moldin, who has been appointed Associate Vice President of Research Strategy and Innovation.  

The Office of Research and Innovation is your partner on your journeys of discovery, translation, and commercialization. Thank you for your contributions and for reading this month’s update to learn about programs that can support your research endeavors. 

With deep appreciation,

FACULTY ENGAGEMENT: Call for nominations – We are seeking nominations for the Associates Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarship. The USC Associates Award is the highest honor the university can bestow on its faculty members for their distinguished achievements. Creativity in research may stem from a single brilliant idea or from a significant body of work that forms a coherent whole and may have significant impact on a field of scholarship, at the interface of disciplines, or create viable new areas of scholarly activity. A list of previous awardees and the call for nomination to the Associates Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarship can be found here.  To submit a nomination, click here.   

Upcoming proposal submission deadlines for OORI award programs include: Collaborative Research Planning Award (CRPA, May 15, 2024) and the USC & Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Collaborative Network Award (May 20, 2024). Note: The CRPA has been updated to allow for subcontracts as an eligible expense. 

Navigating Research and Scholarship at USC: Whether you are new or need a refresher, we would like to invite you to attend this year’s research and scholarship orientation for faculty, staff, postdocs, PhD students, and graduate students on Friday, August 23, from 9AM to 12PM PT 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

Research Security and Regulatory Compliance: The RSRC team has hosted information sessions about Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) recently and we are now providing a link to a recorded session. If your current or future Department of Defense-sponsored research deals with Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and Federal Contract Information (FCI), you should watch this recording. Note that you are required to log into Zoom to view the recording. Additionally, you can review CMMC material at the Research Security and Regulatory Compliance (RSRC) page. For any questions or comments please contact RSRC at

FEDERAL LANDSCAPE UPDATES: NIH has announced multiple upcoming changes that will impact the preparation and peer review of most applications submitted to NIH for due dates on or after January 25th, 2025. Changes include: (1) simplified review criteria for most research project grants; (2) revisions to the fellowship application and review process; (3) updates to reference letter guidance; (4) updates to NRSA training grant applications; (5) updated application forms; and (5) common forms for biographical sketch and current and pending (other) support. Additional details are available here including registration information for an upcoming relevant webinar. 


Monthly Training Dates for May 

The Department of Contracts and Grants offers, on a monthly basis, and upon request, pre-award and post-award trainings. The pre-award training walks administrators through the proposal process 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 May:    

Training on Updates to 2CFR200  

More than a decade has passed since the OMB issued the Uniform Guidance, a set of rules for managing federal grants, 2CFR200. Now, after ten years, the OMB has made updates that will go into effect in October of 2024. Released on April 4, 2024, the updated guidance aims to ease the workload for both agencies and recipients, making processes clearer, and enhancing oversight of federal financial aid. The changes include simplifying procedures, clarifying policies and making the language easier to understand. 

Specifically, the revisions aim to: 

  • Reduce Burden: Simplifying processes to make compliance easier for everyone involved. 
  • Policy Adjustments: Updating policies to align with current practices and priorities. 
  • Clearer Language: Making instructions easier to understand through plain language revisions. 
  • Stay Current: Ensuring alignment with recent OMB priorities regarding federal financial aid. 
  • Enhance Accessibility: Making the guidance more transparent and easier to navigate for both recipients and agencies. 

DCG will be offering training to the campus on these upcoming changes and their anticipated impact in June of this year. We will release the training dates shortly and hope you will be able to attend.  

Updates to the NSF PAPPG 

DCG will be offering a training session on the changes to the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 24-1) on Friday, May 10th from 3:00pm – 4:00pm PST at .  We hope you can join us. 

HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION PROGRAM: In April, the HRPP held the first convening of representatives from across the university to discuss our individual and collective department/office//school responsibilities with respect to protecting people we engage in biomedical and social behavioral research activities. The meeting led to important insights into the way we operate and provided us with a great baseline for future efforts to collaborate and ensure that we are centering participants in our research efforts. In other news, please check out our Performance and Metrics webpage. It will be updated on May 1st. We are excited to share that CTSI is introducing a new version of REDCap, called KECKCap. KECKCap is 21 CFR Part 11 Compliant and therefore can support collecting and storing data for FDA studies. And finally, remember to follow our Slack #education-and-training channel. There you will find education and training opportunities from CTSI, OHRP, and other local and national organizations. 

STEVENS CENTER FOR INNOVATION: The Stevens Center was the host site for USC Startup Weekend and welcomed 100+ students and alumni attending the 54-hour event, culminating in 10 ventures pitching on the final day. The judges were impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit of the teams and selected a top team for the USC and Techstars Catalyst, a 10-week pre-accelerator, pre-funding program for innovators interested in the next level of entrepreneurship. Learn more and apply for the USC Techstars Digital Economy Catalyst by July 10th

Executive Director, Dr. Erin Overstreet, will be presenting on May 2 at Keck School of Medicine and sharing her vision for the new Stevens Center. On May 3, Dr. Overstreet will also be presenting at a workshop for regenerative medicine faculty at the Southern California Clinical and Translational Institute and focusing on IP and licensing.  

On May 24, we will be attending LABEST, the premier showcase for bioscience innovation with more than 1,000 participants across the Los Angeles area, including UCLA, Caltech, Cal State LA, City of Hope, USC, and Cedars-Sinai. We will be collaborating with the MESH Strategic Partnership team and co-hosting an exhibit table to highlight USC’s innovative technologies. 

DEPARTMENT OF ANIMAL RESOURCES: A new DAR-Quick Guide on Overcrowded Cages is now available on the DAR website and will be visible in all animal facilities. This helpful guide was created by our Animal Research Integrity Specialist and Animal Tech Trainer as educational material for the researcher to productively manage their breeding colonies while minimizing animal waste. PIs can encourage their staff to utilize this valuable resource to avoid overcrowded cage notices and preventable separation fees.  

A major DAR process improvement has been underway for researchers by showing accurate and real time census counts in AOPs. Before 2022, census counts were always delayed by a month due to manual per diem counting methods leading to surprises in overage numbers and last-minute scrambling to amend IACUC protocols to stay in compliance. Now Animal Care Supervisors input animal counts daily, including pups born into research, to ensure researchers know exactly how many animals are housed in the facility at a time and so they do not go over their approved animal numbers. We have even improved our methods for census taking and provided training videos on how to check these numbers over the last 4 months so that you no longer must guess how many animals are housed in the facility at a time nor rely on calling the DAR office to check. With your access to, you can always know what your census is.  

 In one of the many ways DAR is continuing to provide our service commitment to the research community, we have engineered the following solutions to ensure the continuity of research during the upcoming HMR freight elevator modernization project (4/22/24-8/5/24): Coordination with vendors, controlling safe passage of animal models on study, cage wash alternative with sanitation monitoring, stakeholder communication, and health and safety of DAR staff. We are optimistic that the elevator modernization will lead to smoother movement of research projects and DAR operations in the future.  

For resources, contact information, training videos, and answers to FAQs, please visit

OFFICE OF COMPLIANCE: The Office of Culture, Ethics and Compliance is excited to announce the publication of its Research Lifecycle Compliance Guidance one-sheet library. Each one-sheet provides an overview of the most important compliance requirements to keep in mind by topic, links to relevant university resources where additional information can be found, and key contacts to reach out to in the event you have further questions. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to OCEC at, and if you have suggestions for additional one-sheet topics, we encourage you to submit your idea via the Research Compliance Suggestion Box:


Environmental Health & Safety is pleased to announce the addition of five new Pathogen Safety Data Sheets (PSDS’), including RSV, HIV, Mpox, and more. View the new PSDS’ and information about other hazardous pathogens on EH&S’ Pathogen Safety Data Sheet webpage. Additionally, USC’s Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) has been updated to reflect the latest safety information and protocols at USC. A detailed changelog is provided at the beginning of the document to ensure your lab is up to date on the latest in chemical safety at USC. Also, EH&S recently published a comprehensive Guide Sheet for Waste Anesthesia Gas Canisters detailing usage, storage, and disposal. In addition, EH&S has recently broadened the Universal Waste (Fact Sheet) category to capture Paints/Art Supplies and Photographic Negatives and will be hosting USC e-waste days in the coming months (details on the USC Calendar website). Researchers who have begun utilizing the Risk and Safety Solutions (RSS) system for chemical inventory should also use it to request hazardous waste pickups, including Universal, chemical, and biohazardous waste. Stay tuned for more developments as we continue to prioritize safety across all facets of our operations. Thank you for your commitment to the health and safety of the USC community! 

Monthly updates are archived here.