University of Southern California


Training & CER Workshops

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 Research Training Finder
 Navigating the University
Fall 2019 CER Schedule
CER Workshop Descriptions


Research Training Finder

All investigators funded by an externally sponsored project must complete grants management training (as explained here). A search tool has been developed for USC faculty, PIs, postdocs, students, research staff and lab technicians: This Research Training Finder tool is a comprehensive matrix for training courses that are required and suggested for University research compliance.

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Navigating the University

USC’s annual Navigating the University event offers new faculty from all disciplines, appointment types and levels the opportunity to learn about campus-wide resources available at USC. The event is also a great way to meet fellow faculty from across the university.

The two-day retreat has three parts:

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Fall 2019 CER Schedule

Each semester, the Center for Excellence in Research organizes a series of workshops for USC researchers. These courses are designed to provide researchers across all fields of study with specialized skills and knowledge in seeking funding from government, foundation, and corporate organizations as well as a variety of other topics. To receive updates about our workshops, please register for our mailing list.

An assistive listening device is available for all our CER workshops upon request.

Our Fall 2019 CER schedule is coming soon! In the meantime, please see a list of our previously offered workshops below. For more information, contact us at or 213-740-6709.

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CER Workshop Descriptions

Funding and Grant Writing

Creating a Successful NSF Broader Impacts Section — PPT 2/2019
If you’ve applied for NSF funding, then you’re familiar with the Broader Impacts section. A great Broader Impacts statement won’t strengthen a proposal with poor science, but a poor one can help sink a proposal with good science. Learn how to develop and showcase your NSF Broader Impacts. This workshop will include examples of creative Broader Impacts strategies and a brainstorming session to help you develop your ideas, as well as an in-depth overview of resources at USC.

Developing and Submitting a Successful Mission Agency Grant — COMING FALL 2019!
Objectives are to educate investigators on identifying appropriate agencies, getting to know the program officers, developing the proposal and application structure, submitting for review, and working with agency officials to get the proposal funded.

Developing Funded Research Programs
Learn the proposal process, including identifying funding resources, building relationships with funding agencies and targeting research capabilities.

How to Obtain NIH Funding — COMING FALL 2019!
The NIH invests nearly $37.3 billion a year to medical research, and more than 80% of that is awarded through almost 50,000 competitive grants. This workshop will educate investigators in the complete process of conceptualizing an NIH grant proposal, structuring the application, submitting it for peer review, and working with Institute staff to get the application funded. This includes identifying which NIH Institute to target, the NIH’s funding priorities, how to prepare for the review process, and building relationships with funding agencies.

Navigating the Grant Proposal Landscape for Junior Faculty — COMING FALL 2019!
This workshop offers advice to junior faculty members on crafting applications, creating a grant application 5-year plan, and balancing time between getting projects off the ground as a principal investigator and finding funding to support those projects. Participants will leave with a roadmap of future grant applications and an understanding of the basics of proposal writing.

Obtaining Funding from Foundations and the USC Process — COMING FALL 2019!
There are thousands of charitable foundations with millions of dollars to give in the United States. The challenge, however, is finding the right one for you. This workshop focuses on the steps you need to develop a relationship with a foundation to fund your proposal. We’ll also discuss the USC process and resources available to help you pursue proposals with appropriate foundations.

Preparing and Submitting NSF CAREER Award Proposals
The Faculty Early Career Development Program (otherwise known as the NSF CAREER Award) is one of NSF’s most prestigious awards. It supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. This workshop will provide you insight into the requirements as well as proposal process for this award.

Reproducible Research, Open Science & Digital Scholarship
Discuss modern ways to practice open and reproducible science, get credit for research products, increase paper citations, augment vitae with data and software, write compelling Data Management Plans for proposals and comply with new funder and journal requirements.

Securing Corporate Funding for Your Research — COMING FALL 2019!
Learn how to engage with industry and obtain funding. We’ll discuss the commercialization process and how the USC Stevens Center can help you find a partner, negotiate a license and develop and market your product.

Successful Strategies for a Mission Agency Young Investigator/Early Career Award
Mission agencies are federal agencies that support research as a means of furthering the agencies’ goals such as securing national defense, addressing national energy challenges, etc. This workshop is designed for those who plan to apply for a Young Investigator/Early Career Award from a mission agency and will provide tips on how to structure a successful proposal, the amount of funding available, guidance toward topic selection, and due dates.

USC Awards to Fund Your Research — COMING FALL 2019!
Workshop about the internal funding opportunities available to USC researchers. Awards for faculty range from $10-300K and support research, technology development and equipment purchases. Guidelines and tips on how to be successful will be discussed.

Writing Compelling NSF Proposals — COMING FALL 2019!
Learn about the proposal writing and reviewing processes, emphasizing techniques for writing compelling proposals to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other science-oriented funding agencies. There will also be discussion of the social dynamics of the panel review process and how to position your proposals to maximize their chances of being funded.

Writing Winning Proposals
This workshop focuses on a step-by-step process for developing proposals: analyzing the announcement, planning the conceptual framework, drafting and organizing content for persuasive appeal. You’ll develop a proposal draft and participate in peer reviews to refine the draft for submission.

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Conducting Community-Based Participatory Research — PPT 1/2019
Understanding how to conduct culturally competent research is only the beginning, as researchers and communities must also learn to work together as a team. We’ll show you how to partner with communities to develop, conduct, and evaluate community-based participatory research by sharing how we’ve harnessed the strengths of the Filipino community to prevent adolescent mental health disparities. This workshop will include a panel discussion with our multidisciplinary team that’s funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar Program.

Conducting Culturally Competent Research with Diverse Populations
The demographics of the United States are rapidly changing, and researchers are increasingly being required to understand cultural differences, how they impact research, and how to engage diverse populations. This workshop will describe the benefits and challenges of conducting community-based tobacco research in five diverse populations: American Indian, Hispanic, African American, Korean and Non-Hispanic White. We’ll also describe the potential for engagement in community-based research through the Community Scholars Collaborative on Health Equity (CHES).

Connections – USC & Community – Research & Service
Discuss partnerships in research/service that are reciprocal, respectful and mutually beneficial. Connect and learn about active projects and opportunities for engagement in local communities.

Diversity in Human Subjects Research
Learn how to recruit diverse research populations and the importance of racial/ethnic diversity in clinical/biomedical and social-behavioral advances.

Engaging Communities in Participatory Research to Eliminate Health Disparities
Session will provide a model and guiding principles for the development, implementation and evaluation of community-based participatory research focusing on eliminating health disparities.

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Professional Development

Building Undergraduate Research Labs in the Social Sciences
Half-day workshop for social sciences faculty on how to leverage a laboratory structure to enhance research portfolios and stretch scarce research funds, as well as best practices from other institutions.

Creating an Effective Oral Executive Summary — HO 2/2019 & PPT 2/2019
You are your own best advocate, especially when it comes to your career. Come find out how best to communicate your goals and research vision. You’ll learn how to come up with a plan, organize activities to support it, and draft/practice your 30-second and two-minute ‘elevator speech.’ By the end, you’ll have two executive summaries to communicate your career and research goals for a variety of audiences, including department chairs, funders, etc.

Effective Strategies to Disseminate Your Research
Learn to prepare for effective dissemination of research results to end-users, generate ideas for a dissemination plan and identify challenges for getting study results to end-users.

Engaging in Effective Dialogue on Power and Oppression
Learn basic strategies and activities to improve your skills for engaging in conversations about power and oppression in the workplace while ensuring safety.

How to be a Successful Mentee and Mentor — PPT 9/2018, HO2, HO3, HO4, HO5
Learn how to maximize mentor-mentee relationships through a personal assessment of your current and anticipated future mentorship needs, a panel discussion from successful mentor-mentee pairings about best practices, and a talk about challenging mentoring case scenarios.

Increase Your Research Impact: Publishing Your Work via Open Access — PPT 3/2019
A publishing can increase the exposure and impact of your research by making your articles and findings more accessible to a wider audience. This workshop will cover the basics of OA, the different models used by publishers, strategies for locating appropriate OA journals in various subject areas, possible OA mandates from funders, and guidance in evaluating publishers and journals.

Keeping Them Awake and Interested: Elements of Engaging Research
When asked, many people say public speaking is one of their biggest fears. Yet standing in front of a group isn’t the only obstacle, you also need to know just what to say. Mark Frey and Senta Georgia will describe and demonstrate approaches used by effective speakers, followed by small group peer critiques so that you can get feedback on quick-shot talks. By the end, you’ll have learned new ways to engage an audience, how to define and communicate the central topic of a talk, and acquire new tools for editing a presentation for clarity and impact.

Negotiation 101
Learn when one should negotiate, what is negotiable, how to prepare for negotiation, how to approach the negotiation process and common obstacles to negotiation.

The State of Women in Academic Medicine — PPT 1/2019
Amparo Villablanca will showcase accomplishments of women in medicine and highlight national data of women entering academic medicine in leadership roles, including history, national data and tools to help open the door of communication on this topic. Participants will have a better understanding of the national representation of women in academic medicine, mentorship, sponsorship and support for advancement of someone who has untapped leadership potential.

Women in Academic Leadership
A panel of current and former women chairs at HSC will talk about their roles, preparation and paths toward academic leadership in the health sciences for women faculty.

Women in Science and Health: Speed Dating Mentoring Event
In a “speed dating” style format, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the challenges and rewards facing women scientists at all career levels. In addition, attendees will share their ongoing research efforts to identify synergy and potential collaborations. The goal of this event is to offer an informal setting for women faculty at HSC to identify career mentors.

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Research Resources and Methods

Bias, Fairness and Justice: Are Algorithms the Solution or the Problem
Discuss how algorithms hold the potential to promote fairness and social justice but too often serve to institution human biases and stereotypes.

Designing Clinical Mixed Methods Research
Mixed methods research offers investigators the opportunity to answer clinical questions with a broader perspective by using a quantitative and qualitative approach. However, because this discipline is evolving quickly, few tools exist for guiding and assessing this type of inquiry. This workshop will discuss mixed methods designs, allow you to develop study plans to answer research questions, present data collection techniques and discuss strategies for reporting of data mixing.

Essential Components of a Data Management Plan and USC Resources to Store Your Data
Does your DMP include all essential components? How do you address intellectual property rights? What free resources are available at USC? Come hear from experts about Federal Agency requirements on Data Management. They’ll also offer tips and guidance on how to prepare proposals to meet funder requirements and promote research transparency. Panelists will provide information on data services and storage resources available through USC Libraries and IT Services.

From Bench to Clinical Applications — PPT 11/2018
The entire licensing process will be presented by a representative from USC Stevens. Faculty who have translated a discovery to the clinic will share the lessons they learned during this process. In the second workshop, we’ll introduce the NIH grant mechanisms that provide non-dilutive funding to startup companies and the funding available at USC that supports invention and therapeutic innovation research. And in the last workshop, an experienced serial entrepreneur in the biotech space will discuss examples of successes and failures, as well as the biggest challenges facing academic researchers interested in translation. Format will be an intimate “fireside chat” with USC faculty and postdocs.

How to Conduct Qualitative Research Studies Using the Grounded Theory Method
Seminar on how to formulate a research question, including steps in data collection and analysis. Some NVivo and Atlas.ti training and relationship to grounded theory method.

Moving Medical Products from Discovery Through Development
Examine how drugs and devices are developed for eventual market access, what stages various regulatory requirements kick in and where academic researchers most commonly find challenges.

Photo Research Management using Tropy
This workshop introduces researchers to Tropy, a free open-source desktop tool funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Tropy allows researchers to add metadata, annotate, tag, search, and export photos taken for research projects. Tropy gives researchers an opportunity to organize materials retrieved from archival/field research and effectively use them in their research.

Research Strategies and Tools for Using Twitter Data and Other Social Media
Social media has increasingly become part of the research process for a wide variety of academic disciplines. This workshop introduces researchers to the Andrew W. Mellon funded DocNow project to better understand how social media data, especially on Twitter, can be used for research.

Rigor, Transparency and Reproducibility in the Conduct of Research
This workshop will review the most recent policies from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the National Institutes of Health on reproducibility and their implications for faculty and trainees involved in basic, translational and clinical research. The importance of research integrity as a value in our academic world will also be discussed by a panel.

Using AI for Social Good: Key Research Challenges, Applications, and Results
Discuss the goals of CAIS (USC Center for AI in Society) and three areas of ongoing work: AI for assisting low-resource communities, AI for public safety and security, and AI for conservation.

Using Dimensions to Fully Understand Your Research Landscape — PPT 4/2019
The Dimensions Platform is free to USC faculty, students and staff and provides detailed information on worldwide funded grants, publications, citations, clinical trials, patents and policy documents. A panel of faculty and staff will guide you through simple steps on using the database and provide specific examples on how it has benefited their work.

Utilizing Quantitative and Qualitative Datasets for Research, Learning and Teaching
Learn about the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), USC’s leading resource of quantitative and qualitative datasets. This workshop will provide training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for the USC social science research community.

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