Kevin C. Cooke, Ph.D.

Director, Research Policy

Ny’lyjah Cain
Senior Associate, STEM Education & Research Policy

CoR News (September 22, 2017)


CoR NEWSSeptember 22, 2017

To: APLU Council on ResearchFrom: APLU CoR Staff

  • Register for the 2017 APLU Annual Meeting – Price Increase after September 30

The age of disruption has arrived with breathtaking speed. Public universities find themselves navigating a rapidly changing landscape that demands innovative and creative approaches to excel.

The teaching, discovery, and engagement mission of public research universities is timeless, but that hardly makes their work immune from the forces disruption. Reduced public funding and shifting political dynamics, new technology, an increasingly diverse student body, and constantly evolving needs from those who employ our graduates are just some of the challenges institutions face. Our world is changing rapidly and so must our institutions.

Join us November 12 – 14, 2017 in Washington, D.C. for the 2017 APLU Annual Meeting to tackle these and other challenges public research universities are facing as they work to adapt to age of extraordinary change. The meeting will also feature plenty of time to network with fellow public research university leaders. The meeting’s theme – The Age of Disruption: Navigating, Innovating, and Excelling – will examine how public research universities must reform to thrive in the 21st Century and in so doing help our communities thrive too.

The APLU Annual Meeting has become the premier event for public university leaders to meet and exchange ideas with colleagues from across the country and all of North America, learn about the latest challenges and opportunities facing public universities, and develop new ideas and initiatives to further strengthen our work. The APLU Annual Meeting provides great opportunities to strengthen your institution along with ample networking opportunities—learn about best practices and share your institution’s story. Register today in advance of the price increase after September 30!

  • Call for Applications for Inaugural University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase – Deadline Extended

APLU and the American Association of Universities (AAU) will host the inaugural “University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase,” highlighting APLU and AAU university-affiliated startup businesses during the APLU Annual Meeting on November 13 and 14 in Washington, D.C. The showcase will promote the importance of federally-funded university research and demonstrate how university-led entrepreneurial engagement contributes to the innovation economy. In addition to exhibiting at the APLU Annual Meeting, showcase participants will head to Capitol Hill to display their innovation/entrepreneurship work and speak with Members of Congress and Congressional staff. Applications are due by September 22, 2017 and must be submitted via this form. Universities may nominate multiple startups, and additional information about the showcase can be found in the official flyer and also the supplemental FAQ document. Please contact Carina Márquez at cmarquez@aplu.org with questions.

  • Pursue APLU’s Innovation and Economic Prosperity University Designation

APLU is currently accepting applications from member institutions interested in pursuing the Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Universities Designation and Awards program, which recognizes universities who are leaders in spurring and promoting regional economic development. Participating institutions complete a rigorous self-study of their economic engagement enterprise and earn APLU’s IEP university designation if enough benchmarks are met. More than 50 universities have received the designation to date. Those who earn the designation are then eligible to apply for APLU’s IEP University Awards, which are given in the categories of Talent, Innovation, Place, and Connections. Throughout the process, designated campuses as well as institutions seeking the designation are given access to the Learning Exchange, a platform for learning, sharing and engaging with peers in university economic engagement.

In order to formally begin the process of seeking the IEP university designation, an institution’s president/chancellor must send a formal letter of intent to APLU President Peter McPherson utilizing the following template by September 29, 2017. Once received, the institution becomes a part of the IEP startup cohort – institutions that are actively seeking the IEP designation. An institution has 3 years from the point of entering the startup cohort to apply for the IEP designation. Full details regarding the designation process, timeline, and guidelines as well as a recording of an informational webinar can be found on the APLU website. Further questions regarding the IEP universities program should be directed to Shalin Jyotishi at sjyotishi@aplu.org.

  • Continuing Resolution and Debt Ceiling Update

On Friday, September 8, President Trump signed H.R. 601, the “Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017,” into law. This bill funds the federal government via a short-term continuing resolution (CR) through December 8, 2017. The legislative package increases the debt ceiling until that same date and additionally includes $15.25 billion in emergency spending to address some of the damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

  • Senate Appropriations Committee Approves LHHS-ED Appropriations Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee recently approved its FY2018 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS-ED) appropriations bill. The bill would fund the NIH at $36.084 billion, an overall $2 billion increase from FY2017 levels. The House LHHS-ED bill would provide a total of $35.184 billion for NIH; the president’s FY 2018 budget request (PBR) would fund the agency at $26.92 billion. The Senate bill’s NIH number includes $1.856 billion in new appropriations and $496 million from the 21st Century Cures Innovation Fund (Cures funding is not a part of NIH’s base budget – it is one-year funding for each year it is provided). The Senate bill specifically instructs NIH to follow current guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on facilities and administrative (F&A) payments and prohibits the Department of Health and Human Services from developing or implementing changes to these rates. In addition, the bill report includes language stating “F&A costs are not optional; they are a fundamental part of doing research.” As a reminder, the House LHHS-ED bill contains similar language on F&A costs.

The Senate bill includes language directing NIH to assess the “adequacy of a fetal tissue donor network for supporting all related clinical research from human fetal tissue donated solely from stillbirths and spontaneous abortion” and provides $25 million for this pilot. Additionally, the bill would fund the NIH Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) program at $344.3 million, an increase of $11 million from FY2017. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) would be level-funded at $324 million, $24 million more than the House bill. The PBR proposes to consolidate AHRQ into the National Institutes of Health; both the House and Senate bills keep the agencies separate. The bill also provides a total of $816 million, a $665 million increase since fiscal year 2016, for programs to combat opioid abuse at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) Definition of a Clinical Trial Update

Yesterday, APLU joined AAU, COGR, and AAMC in a comment letter to Dr. Michael Lauer, Deputy Director for Extramural Research at NIH, regarding the agency’s recent guidance on what constitutes a “clinical trial.” Some basic science research now falls into the category of ‘clinical trial’ and thus is subject to all of the application, training, registration, and reporting requirements for clinical trials. The NIH defines a clinical trial as “a research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes.”

  • September Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) Webinar

GUIRR will host a webinar on September 28, 2017 from 1 – 2pm ET with Martin Duenas, Director of the Health Research Management Practice (HRMP) at Leidos to discuss OnPAR: A New Funding Paradigm. OnPAR is an initiative from Leidos Life Sciences in partnership with the NIH to provide investigators a funding opportunity for their highly scored, unfunded applications. The primary goal of OnPAR is to connect funders with unfunded research applications. OnPAR matches these applications with non-government organizations (NGOs). OnPAR members (NGOs) are private foundations, pharmaceuticals, and private funds that will be looking at submitted public abstracts. This service is free for all investigators worldwide, and investigators do not have to re-write the unfunded application. There is no cost to participate in this webinar, but registration is required. A confirmation email will be issued prior to the event containing the webinar URL.

  • New NIH “Under the Poliscope” Blog About National Biosafety Month

For the fourth consecutive year, the NIH Office of Science Policy (OSP) has designated October as National Biosafety Month. The purpose of National Biosafety Month is to encourage institutions to refocus efforts related to biosafety and to undertake activities aimed at strengthening biosafety programs. To learn more about National Biosafety Month and the activities that OSP has planned, please view the latest “Under the Poliscope” blog “National Biosafety Month: The New Fall Classic.” OSP also will be sending out biosafety-themed tweets on Twitter using #NBM2017.

  • USPTO 2017 PatentsView Workshop on Engaging User Communities

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Chief Economist invites you to the 2017 PatentsView Workshop on Engaging User Communities. The workshop is open to the public and will be held on Friday, October 6, 2017 from 8:30am – 12:30pm ET on the USPTO campus in Alexandria, VA. Please RSVP to the event here. The full day’s activities will also be webcast live, and questions will be accepted from the remote audience.

USPTO will officially launch at the workshop the PatentsView Community Site, updated data visualization with export functionality, and new data fields that can be accessed across PatentsView tools. This year’s updates are based on feedback gathered by the user community at the 2016 PatentsView workshop. The new Community Site includes a moderated forum for user inquiries and a Data in Action page for sharing analyses, visualizations, and publications.

The goals of the workshop are: (1) to launch the new Community Site and Data Visualization features; (2) to present newly parsed and available patent data fields; and (3) to gather feedback from patent data and analytics user communities in order to set priorities for future PatentsView open data products.

  • October Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) Meeting

The October GUIRR Meeting, “The Role of State Governments in Economic Development and R&D Competitiveness,” will take place on October 17 – 18, 2017 at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C. As individual states increasingly delve into policies that directly influence R&D, this meeting will examine questions such as “what role should each state ideally have in influencing the R&D agenda and competitiveness?” and “how can regional cluster development drive innovation and economic growth?” Registration for the meeting is available here.

  • Institute for Research on Innovation & Science (IRIS) Call for Proposals

The Institute for Research on Innovation and Science (IRIS) seeks to fund researchers who will use the IRIS data to address questions about the social and economic returns to investments in research. Up to $15,000 for dissertation awards and up to $30,000 for early career and established researcher awards are available. Applicants do not need to be affiliated with a current IRIS member institution. However, applicants must be currently affiliated with an academic or research institution in the United States.

A complete application must be submitted to IRIS by November 1, 2017. Read more about the awards and find the application materials here. A flyer for distribution is available here.

  • AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute Fellowship Call for Applications

The AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute is an initiative of the AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology, started in 2015 in honor of CEO Emeritus Alan I. Leshner, who founded the Center. Each year, a cohort of 15 AAAS Leshner Fellows from an area of research at the nexus of science and society will convene for a week of intensive public engagement and science communication training and public engagement plan development. AAAS Leshner Fellows will return to their institutions with a renewed commitment to develop and implement public engagement activities, train and mentor other scientists in their communities, and promote public engagement within their institutions.

Food and Water Security is the topic for the 2018-2019 cohort of AAAS Leshner Fellows. AAAS will equip an interdisciplinary cohort of food and water security researchers to be leaders in high-impact public engagement. Applicants may be scientists or engineers in academia, government, non-governmental organizations or industry. They must be active researchers working on aspects of food or water security in disciplines such as economics, nutritional science, agricultural science, hydrology, geography, demography, ecology, biology or biotechnology. To check eligibility, click here; for a list of required materials, click here. A complete application must be submitted to AAAS by November 1, 2017. Please send any questions via email.

  • Sackler Colloquium on The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity

The Sackler Colloquium on Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity will be held on November 16 – 17, 2017 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia on the “Science of Science Communication” began in 2012 with an effort to survey the state of the art of empirical social science research in science communication and focused on the communication dynamics surrounding issues in science, engineering, and medicine. second colloquium highlighted the particular challenges with communicating about science that involves controversy, and was an important impetus for the consensus study report “Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda.” Evolving from past colloquia, this third colloquium will focus on the consensus study as a framework for advancing both research and practice in science communication. It will explore ways to build capacity for and foster the use of evidence-based strategies for engaging the public with science and ensuring its appropriate use.

  • Sackler Colloquium on Modeling and Visualizing Science and Technology Developments

The Sackler Colloquium on Modeling and Visualizing Science and Technology Developments will be held on December 4 – 5, 2017 at the National Academy of Sciences Beckman Center in Irvine, CA. This colloquium brings together researchers and practitioners from multiple disciplines to present, discuss, and advance computational models and visualizations of science and technology (S&T). Existing computational models are being applied by academia, government, and industry to explore questions such as: What jobs will exist in ten years and what career paths lead to success? Which types of institutions will likely be most innovative in the future? How will the higher education cost bubble burst affect these institutions? What funding strategies have the highest return on investment? How will changing demographics, alternative economic growth trajectories, and relationships among nations impact answers to these and other questions? Large‐scale datasets (e.g., publications, patents, funding, clinical trials, stock market, social media data) can now be utilized to simulate the structure and evolution of S&T. Advances in computational power have created the possibility of implementing scalable, empirically validated computational models. However, because the databases are massive and multidimensional, both the data and the models tend to exceed human comprehension. How can advances in data visualizations be effectively employed to communicate the data, the models, and the model results to diverse stakeholder groups? Who will be the users of next generation models and visualizations and what decisions will they be addressing.