Stony Brook University Office of Research Services
Month: August, 2011

Secure Your Lab for Hurricane Irene

During a Hurricane Warning:

  • Shutdown experiments that could be affected by the loss of electricity, water, gas or other services.
  • Remove all chemicals and glassware from bench tops and store safely in cabinets.
  • Close the sash on all chemical fume hoods.
  • Remove all infectious materials from biosafety cabinets, and autoclave, disinfect, or safely store them as appropriate.
  • Ensure that all chemical, biological, radioactive materials and hazardous waste containers are properly covered, sealed and in secondary containment.
  • Ensure that all gas valves are closed. If available, shut off gas to area.
  • Turn off all appliances, computers, hot plates, ovens and other equipment. Unplug equipment if possible.
  • Consolidate storage of valuable perishable items within storage units that have backup systems.
  • Fill dewars and cryogen containers for sample storage and critical equipment.
  • Ensure that water reactive chemicals are in sealed containers and stored in areas that are unlikely to become wet.
  • Check that all gas cylinders are secured. Remove regulators and use caps.
  • Elevate equipment, materials and supplies, including electrical wires and chemicals, off of the floor.
  • Cover and secure or seal vulnerable equipment with plastic.
  • Make sure arrangements have been made for the care and feeding of laboratory animals.
  • Update emergency contact information for lab and give copy to department. Post emergency contact name and number on lab doors.
  • Secure lab notebooks by storing them in water tight containers. Backup critical data on computers and keep the backup copy at a different location.
  • Close and latch or secure with tape all cabinets.
  • Remove all visual obstructions (paper, etc) from the door windows.
  • Close all doors, including cabinets, storage areas, offices and utility chase-ways. Lock all exterior lab doors before leaving.

For more information on preparing go to > http://www.stonybrook.edu/ehs/lab/labemerg.shtml.

 


Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) – Core Programs – NSF 11-572

Directorate for Biological Sciences
Division of Integrative Organismal Systems

The Division of Integrative Organismal Systems is instituting an annual cycle of preliminary and full proposals. Preliminary proposals will be accepted in January and a binding decision will be made to invite/not invite full proposals for submission in August. Full proposals received that were not invited will be returned without review (except as noted under Additional Funding Opportunities). A limit on the number of submissions of preliminary proposals accepted from each proposer each cycle is also described in this solicitation. After July 13, 2011, the Division will no longer accept full proposals without invitation to its core programs, except in the case of [1] proposals submitted in response to the CAREER, Research Coordination Network, Plant Genome Research Program, Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development, or Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant solicitations; or [2] special proposals that are described in the Grant Proposal Guide, i.e. Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID), EArly Concept Grants for Exploratory research (EAGER), conference and workshop proposals, and requests for supplemental funding.

The Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) supports research aimed at understanding why organisms are structured the way they are and function as they do. Proposals should focus on organisms as a fundamental unit of biological organization. PIs are encouraged to apply systems approaches that will lead to conceptual and theoretical insights and predictions about emergent organismal properties. ;Areas of inquiry can include, but are not limited to, developmental biology and the evolution of developmental processes, nervous system development, structure, and function, physiological processes, functional morphology, symbioses, interactions of organisms with biotic and abiotic environments, and animal behavior.

In the context of greater accessibility to ever-expanding and increasingly detailed biological information, IOS supports research aimed at understanding the fundamental nature of life by studying the emergent properties of organisms. Some of these properties include, but are not restricted to: how interwoven organismal components or processes comprise more than a sum of their parts (complexity), the degree to which an organism resists perturbation or stressful influences and its ability to recover (robustness, resilience); the processes that enable individual components within a system to instruct one another (cell signaling and communication); how organisms alter one another’s behavior ;(organismal communication); organismal resilience (resistance to perturbation or stress), the capacity of organisms to change in response to perturbations (phenology) in ways that maintain overall organismal integrity (adaptability), and behaviors of cells or organisms that benefit more than the individual (cooperation). These emergent properties can be understood through investigations of the evolution, development, behavior, regulatory processes, and structural properties of all organisms. Therefore comparative studies and the use of a wide variety of organisms as models are encouraged.

Understanding these emergent systems properties of organisms requires integrative, interdisciplinary approaches. The Division encourages proposals that include analyses across multiple levels of biological organization, from molecular through ecological, and through theoretical as well as advanced computational approaches. Interdisciplinary collaborations involving scientists from all areas of biology, behavioral science, physical science, mathematics, engineering, and computer science and encouraged.

Areas of Interest

Proposals are welcomed in all areas of science supported by the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems. For an overview of scientific areas supported by IOS, see http://nsf.gov/bio/ios/about.jsp. Please consult the IOS web page (http://www.nsf.gov/div/index.jsp?div=IOS) for information about Program Directors associated with each programmatic area.

BEHAVIORAL SYSTEMS

DEVELOPMENTAL SYSTEMS

Plant, Fungal and Microbial Developmental Systems
Animal Developmental Systems
Evolution of Developmental Systems

NEURAL SYSTEMS

Organization
Activation
Modulation

PHYSIOLOGICAL AND STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS

Symbiosis, Defense and Self-recognition
Processes, Structures and Integrity
Organism-Environment Interactions

Additional Funding Opportunities

The core programs will accept Research in Undergraduate Institution (RUI) proposals. RUI submissions must include a preliminary proposal and be received by the deadlines listed in this IOS solicitation. Information on the scope of RUI projects and the format of these proposals can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5518&org=NSF.

The core programs will accept Research Coordination Network (RCN) Proposals. Such proposals should be submitted at the full proposal deadline. Information on the scope of RCN projects and the format of these proposals can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=11691&0rg=BIO&from=home.

The guidelines in this solicitation do not apply to proposals submitted through other solicitations, such as CAREER. Proposals requesting support for efforts to increase the participation of individuals from underrepresented groups may be submitted through GPG as full proposals at any time.

This solicitation does not apply to conference and workshop proposals, requests for supplemental funding, and RAPID or EAGER applications, all of which should be submitted, following the standard guidelines, by selecting “In response to GPG” on the proposal coversheet and then selecting the appropriate cluster.

Deadlines

Preliminary Proposal Due Dates (required) (due by 5 p.m. proposer’s local time):

January 12, 2012

January 12, Annually Thereafter

Full Proposal Deadlines (due by 5 p.m. proposer’s local time):

August 02, 2012

August 2, Annually Thereafter

By Invitation Only

Full proposals will be accepted only from PIs who have submitted preliminary proposals in the current review cycle and have been invited to submit a full proposal except as noted under Additional Funding Opportunities.

The full proposal should not deviate substantially from the preliminary proposal in the scope of the project or the list of personnel without prior written approval of the relevant Program Director.

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

Behavioral Systems Cluster, Program Directors, 685N,
telephone: (703) 292-8423, email: IOSBSC@nsf.gov

Developmental Systems Cluster, Program Directors, 685N,
telephone: (703) 292-8417, email: IOSDSC@nsf.gov

Neural Systems Cluster, Program Directors, 685N,
telephone: (703) 292-8421, email: IOSNSC@nsf.gov

Phys. & Struct. Systems ; Cluster, Program Directors, 685N,
telephone: (703) 292-8413, email: IOSPSS@nsf.gov

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

FastLane Help Desk, telephone: 1-800-673-6188; e-mail: fastlane@nsf.gov.
For questions relating to Grants.gov contact:

Grants.gov Contact Center: If the Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR) has not received a confirmation message from Grants.gov within 48 hours of submission of application, please contact via telephone: 1-800-518-4726; e-mail: support@grants.gov.

Professor Mauro Calcagno Awarded NEH Grant

Mauro Calcagno, an associate professor in musicology in Stony Brook’s Department of Music, has been awarded a three-year grant of $125,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as the Principal Investigator for the project “Online Edition of the Secular Music of Luca Marenzio” (see www.marenzio.org). The project is the only one awarded to a Stony Brook faculty member from a pool of 249 projects funded with $40 million announced on July 27, 2011, by the NEH.

The goal of the project, which Calcagno started in 2004, is to make available, for the first time, a complete critical edition of the secular music of composer Luca Marenzio (ca. 1553-1599).

Marenzio was a central figure of the late Renaissance whose output had a substantial impact on early modern European culture, especially in England. He was the first composer whose secular works were published in a set of Complete Works during his lifetime. By integrating musical philology with digital technology in unprecedented ways, the online edition funded by the NEH will introduce a new model for both producing and disseminating editions of music repertoires of the Western tradition through collaborative work.

A substantial contribution to the project has been provided, and will continue to be offered, by the Stony Brook Music Library, directed by Gisele Schierhorst. Funding has also been provided by the FAHSS initiative (Faculty in the Arts, Humanities and lettered Social Sciences). The project will be supported by the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and by the Office of the Provost. Columbia University will also make available numerous resources, for example its portal for Digital Collections.

Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) – Core Programs – NSF 11-573

Directorate for Biological Sciences
Division of Environmental Biology

The Division is instituting an annual cycle of preliminary and full proposals. Preliminary proposals will be accepted in January and a binding decision will be made to invite/not invite full proposals for submission in August. Full proposals received that were not invited will be returned without review. A limit on the number of submissions of preliminary proposals accepted from each proposer is also described in this solicitation. After July 13, 2011, the Division will no longer accept full proposals without invitation to its core programs except in the case of (1) proposals submitted in response to the CAREER, OPUS, RCN, PGRP or DDIG solicitations; or (2) special proposals that are described in the Grant Proposal Guide, i.e., RAPID, EAGER, workshops, and supplement requests. All other submissions to the DEB core programs must first be in the form of a preliminary proposal, with full proposals submitted only after invitation.

The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) supports fundamental research on populations, species, communities, and ecosystems. Scientific emphases range across many evolutionary and ecological patterns and processes at all spatial and temporal scales. Areas of research include biodiversity, phylogenetic systematics, molecular evolution, life history evolution, natural selection, ecology, biogeography, ecosystem structure, function and services, conservation biology, global change, and biogeochemical cycles. Research on organismal origins, functions, relationships, interactions, and evolutionary history may incorporate field, laboratory, or collection-based approaches; observational or manipulative experiments; synthesis activities; as well as theoretical approaches involving analytical, statistical, or computational modeling.

Areas of Interest

Proposals are welcome in all areas of science supported by the Ecosystem Science Cluster: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503663&org=DEB&from=home

Ecosystem Studies Program

Proposals are welcome in all areas of science supported by the Evolutionary Processes Cluster: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503664&org=DEB&from=home

Evolutionary Ecology Program
Evolutionary Genetics Program

Proposals are welcome in all areas of science supported by the Population and Community Ecology Cluster: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503665&org=DEB&from=home

Population and Community Ecology Program

Proposals are welcome in all areas of science supported by the Systematics and Biodiversity Science Cluster: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503666&org=DEB&from=home

Biodiversity: Discovery and Analysis
Phylogenetic Systematics

Additional Funding Opportunities

The guidelines in this solicitation do not apply to proposals submitted through other solicitations, such as CAREER or DDIG.

This solicitation does not apply to conference and workshop proposals, requests for supplemental funding, and RAPID or EAGER applications, all of which should be submitted, following the Special Guidelines (GPG, Chapter II.D), by selecting the GPG for the Program Announcement field on the proposal coversheet and then selecting the appropriate cluster.

The core programs will accept Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) proposals. Preliminary proposals for RUIs must be submitted to this DEB solicitation by the listed deadlines. Additional information on the scope of RUI projects and the format of those proposals can be found at (http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5518&org=NSF&sel_org=NSFW&from=fund).

The core programs will accept Research Coordination Network (RCN) proposals. Such proposals should be submitted for the August full proposal deadline. Information on the scope of RCN projects and the format of those proposals can be found at (http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=11691&org=BIO&from=home).

The core programs will accept Opportunity for Promoting Understanding through Synthesis (OPUS) proposals. Such proposals should be submitted for the August full proposal deadline. Information on the scope of OPUS projects and the format of those proposals can be found at (http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=13403&org=BIO&sel_org=BIO&from=fund).

Deadlines

Preliminary Proposal Due Dates (required) (due by 5 p.m. proposer’s local time):

January 09, 2012

January 9, Annually Thereafter

Preliminary proposals

Full Proposal Deadlines (due by 5 p.m. proposer’s local time):

August 02, 2012

August 2, Annually Thereafter

Award Details

Estimated Number of Awards: 200 each year pending on availability of funds.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $72,000,000 for new awards each year pending on availability of funds.

Applicant Type

In a given year, an individual may participate as a PI, co-PI, or lead senior investigator of a subaward on no more than two preliminary proposals submitted in response to this solicitation. Preliminary proposals in excess of the limit for any person may be returned without review in the reverse order received. “PI, co-PI, or lead senior investigator of a subaward” refer to the role an individual would play in a full proposal including all parts of a collaborative proposal. Participating in a proposal as other senior personnel does not count in this limit. It is the responsibility of the submitters to confirm that the entire team is within the eligibility guidelines. Changes to the team post-submission to meet the eligibility limits will not be allowed.

This limit does not include proposals to other solicitations [e.g., Research Coordination Networks (RCN), Opportunities for Promoting Understanding through Synthesis (OPUS), Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID), Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH), Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants (DDIG), Assembling the Tree of Life (AToL), Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER), Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER)] or to core programs in other BIO Divisions [Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB), Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) and Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI)]. However solicitations may have their own limit guidelines so be sure to review those carefully for details. Please consult the DEB website for answers to frequently asked questions.

Agency Contact

Please note that the program contact information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

Division of Environmental Biology, telephone: (703) 292-8480, email: debquestions@nsf.gov

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

FastLane Help Desk, telephone: 1-800-673-6188; e-mail: fastlane@nsf.gov.
For questions relating to Grants.gov contact:

Grants.gov Contact Center: If the Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR) has not received a confirmation message from Grants.gov within 48 hours of submission of application, please contact via telephone: 1-800-518-4726; e-mail: support@grants.gov.

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

Ecosystem Science Cluster, http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503663&org=DEB&from=home

Evolutionary Processes Cluster, http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503664&org=DEB&from=home

Population and Community Ecology Cluster, http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503665&org=DEB&from=home

Systematics and Biodiversity Science, http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503666&org=DEB&from=home

Announcement Web Location

http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11573/nsf11573.htm

NSF 11-078: Dear Colleague Letter: BIO Proposal Processing Changes

August 15, 2011

Dear Colleague:

As you are no doubt aware, the proposal workload across the Foundation has increased dramatically over the past decade. For example in IOS, the number of unsolicited proposals received into the core programs during this time period has increased 43% while the number of awards made has decreased by 11 percentage points, from 28% to 17%. Clearly, this is a burden on the Program Directors and administrative staff at NSF as well as on the community, who, in addition to submitting proposals are also called upon to serve as ad hoc and panel reviewers.

Effective immediately, the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) has initiated new procedures for the submission and review of regular research proposals to the core programs within the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB), Division of Environmental Biology (DEB), and Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS). One goal of these new procedures is to reduce the burdens on the PI and reviewer communities associated with intensifying competition for limited funds 1. A second is to better manage proposal processing in the face of growing proposal submission numbers while maintaining the high quality of the merit review process and resulting funding selections 1. In response to these challenges, three BIO Divisions are revising their procedures for submission and review of research proposals. The changes for MCB were previously announced in a new solicitation (NSF-11-545).

DEB and IOS will both implement an annual cycle of preliminary and full proposals beginning in January 2012.  Preliminary proposals will be accepted in January. Following review by a panel of outside experts, each applicant will be notified of a binding decision to Invite or Not Invite submission of a full proposal.   Please note that each investigator is limited to submitting two preliminary proposals a year to either Division, whether as a PI, co-PI or lead senior investigator of a subaward.

All proposals submitted to DEB or IOS in response to the core program solicitations, and to the Research at Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) and Long-term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB) solicitations, must pass the preliminary proposal stage. The only exceptions are LTREB Renewals.

RAPIDs, EAGERs, conferences/workshops and supplemental funding requests will continue to be accepted at any time by IOS and DEB programs. Proposals submitted in response to special solicitations (e.g. BREAD, CAREER, CNH, EEID) will remain unaffected by these new review procedures. However, OPUS and RCN proposals will only be accepted by the core programs in DEB and IOS once a year at the August deadline for full proposals.

Full details can be found in a new Program Solicitation that will be posted on each Division’s website (DEB) and (IOS) . A single set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about these changes also can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf11079 and linked from each Division website. In addition, both IOS and DEB will be hosting webinars to provide further information, please see the Division websites for details and contact information if you have questions or concerns.

Sincerely,
Dr. Joann Roskoski
Assistant Director (Acting)
Directorate for Biological Sciences

1 As noted in the 2007 IPAMM Report, both the number of proposals submitted to NSF per year and the number of research proposals submitted per PI to obtain an award have increased substantially. A significant number of NSF reviewers surveyed for the IPAMM Report indicated that overall reviewer workload had increased in the preceding three years. Impact of Proposal and Award Management Mechanisms (IPAMM) Final Report (August 1, 2007; http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2007/nsf0745/nsf0745.pdf); National Science Foundation

Stony Brook Researchers Report New Technique to Stimulate Heart Muscle By Light, May Lead to Light-Controlled Pacemakers

Stony Brook University Researchers Report Lowest Energy Light Used to Achieve Cell Activity

By employing optogenetics, a new field that uses genetically altered cells to respond to light, and a tandem unit cell (TCU) strategy, researchers at Stony Brook University have demonstrated a way to control cell excitation and contraction in cardiac muscle cells, the details of which are published in the early online edition of  Circulation: Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology: “Stimulating Cardiac Muscle by Light: Cardiac Optogenetics by Cell Delivery.” The team of scientists, led by Emilia Entcheva, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Physiology & Biophysics, and the Division of Cardiology in Medicine, Stony Brook University, includes members of the inter-departmental Institute of Molecular Cardiology at Stony Brook. The authors claim that their technique may help form the basis for a new generation of light-driven cardiac pace makers and other medical devices.

The Institute of Molecular Cardiology at Stony Brook facilitated the close collaboration of several laboratories to carry out the research. This included Dr. Entcheva’s laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and the laboratories of Peter Brink, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Physiology & Biophysics; and Ira Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., Leading Professor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics. Lead author of the study is Zhiheng Jia, a biomedical engineering Ph.D., student in Dr. Entcheva’s lab.

Dr. Entcheva and the research team are the first group of researchers to combine optogenetic stimulation with high-resolution, high-speed optical imaging of electrical activity in heart muscle cells. They are also the first research team to use a non-viral optogenetics approach that allows inscription of light sensitivity at the tissue level and results in the lowest light energy ever reported to control electrical activity in excitable tissue.

Summarizing the study results and implications, the team claims: “Our study highlights the utility of optogenetics for cardiac applications by using a strategy inspired by the specific properties of cardiac tissue, i.e., high cell-cell coupling. The optogenetic approach offers high spatiotemporal resolution for precise interrogation and control of excitation, seemingly without interfering with essential cardiac properties. Therefore, it presents a new versatile actuation tool in cardiac research for dissection of arrhythmias. Furthermore, cardiac optogenetics based on the TCU strategy may evolve in a more translational direction and lead to a new generation of optical pacemakers and potentially cardioverter/defibrillators.”

“This novel approach using light to activate specific cells within the heart provides a new tool to help our understanding of cardiac conduction pathways and excitation-contraction coupling, a hallmark of the heart as a regulated pump,” comments Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences, and Dean, School of Medicine, Stony Brook University. “The collaborative research by the Stony Brook team opens the door to specific patterns of stimulation or region-specific stimulation of heart contraction in a myriad of disorders of the heart.”

Dr. Entcheva points out that while electronic cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators are well established and successful technologies, they are not without problems, including the breakage of metal leads, limited battery life, and interference from strong magnetic fields. Optical stimulation, she says, may eventually offer a new way of controlling heart function.

Previous research has shown that brain cells could be stimulated using light if they were genetically altered to produce a light-sensitive protein called channelrhodopsin 2 (ChR2). In the Stony Brook study, the research team used the TCU approach, i.e., instead of directly modifying heart cells, the researchers used donor cells optimized for light responsiveness (via ChR2) and coupled them to heart cells, thus creating light-responsive heart tissue. They found that light-triggered heart muscle contractions were indistinguishable from electrically-triggered waves.

Importantly, the new technique uses much lower energy than in prior studies and doesn’t require the use of viruses or the introduction of genes from other organisms into heart cells. Therefore, the authors explained, cells from a person’s bone marrow or skin can be cultured and modified to respond to light, reducing the possibility that the immune system will reject the light-sensitive cells.

“Our method of non-viral cell delivery may overcome some hurdles towards potential clinical use by harvesting cells from the patient, making them light-responsive and using them as donor cells in the same patient,” added Dr. Entcheva.

Also, in preliminary calculations, the research team estimated that a light-based system might require lower energy for stimulation, which if extrapolated to pacemakers in the future, may potentially translate to life-long batteries.

Overall, Dr. Entcheva describes the immediate impact of the new low-energy light technique as a simple and elegant tool for advancing various aspects of cardiovascular disease research by achieving exquisite spatiotemporal control. She believes the approach may be useful in creating muscle actuators, testing new drugs for possible cardiac side effects, and potentially improving pacemakers and defibrillators.

Dr. Entcheva’s study co-authors include: Zhiheng Jia, M.S., and Harold Bien, M.D., Ph.D., of the Department of Biomedical Engineering; Virginijus Valiunas, Ph.D.; Zongju Lu, Ph.D.; Huilin Liu, M.S., and Hong-Zhang Wang, Ph.D., of the Department of Physiology & Biophysicis; and Barbara Rosati, Ph.D.; Peter R. Brink, Ph.D.; and Ira S. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., of the Department of Physiology & Biophysics and the Institute of Molecular Cardiology.

Study funding was provided in part by the Systems Biology Center in New York State, a National Institutes of Health-sponsored program, and by the inter-departmental Institute of Molecular Cardiology and Stony Brook University.

RFA-RM-11-005: 2012 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award Program (DP2)

Application Due Date: October 14, 2011, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

Purpose/Research Objectives:  The purpose of the New Innovator Award program is to support a small number of early stage investigators of exceptional creativity who propose bold and highly innovative research approaches that have the potential to produce a major impact on broad, important problems in biomedical or behavioral research.  The NIH Director’s New Innovator Award Program is a High-Risk Research initiative of the NIH Common Fund.

Specific Areas of Research Interest:  The research proposed for a New Innovator Award may be in any scientific area relevant to the mission of NIH (biological, behavioral, clinical, social, physical, chemical, computational, engineering, and mathematical sciences). The focus is on innovation and potential impact. Investigators who were not selected for an award in prior years may submit applications this year as long as they retain their ESI (early stage investigator) eligibility; however, all applications must be submitted as “new” applications regardless of any previous submission to the program.

Awards will be for up to $300,000 in direct costs each year for five years, plus applicable Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs to be determined at the time of award.

NIH intends to commit approximately $80 million for at least 33 awards in FY 2012. The maximum project period is 5 years.

Applicants must meet the definition of an Early Stage Investigator (ESI). An ESI is a new investigator (defined as a PD/PI who has not competed successfully for a significant NIH independent research award) who is within 10 years of completing his/her terminal research degree or is within 10 years of completing medical residency (or the equivalent). A complete list of NIH grants that do not disqualify a PD/PI as a new investigator can be found at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/new_investigators/. Frequently Asked Questions about the NIH Early Stage Investigator (ESI) Policy can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/new_investigators/

The complete announcement can be found at:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-11-005.html

RFA-RM-11-004: 2012 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award Program (DP1)

Pioneer Awards are designed to support individual scientists of exceptional creativity who propose pioneering – and possibly transforming – approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research. The term “pioneering” is used to describe highly innovative approaches that have the potential to produce an unusually high impact on a broad area of biomedical or behavioral research, and the term “award” is used to mean a grant for conducting research, rather than a reward for past achievements. Biomedical and behavioral research is defined broadly in this announcement as encompassing scientific investigations in the biological, behavioral, clinical, social, physical, chemical, computational, engineering, and mathematical sciences that have the potential to improve the public health.

To be considered pioneering, the proposed research must reflect ideas substantially different from those being pursued in the investigator’s laboratory or being pursued elsewhere.  The program is not intended to expand a laboratory’s funding in the area of the proposed project.  While the research direction may have as its foundation the applicant’s prior work and expertise, it cannot be an obvious extension or scale up of a current research enterprise which could be anticipated to be competitive as a new or competitive renewal R01 application.  Rather, the proposed project must reflect a fundamental new insight into the potential solution of a problem, which may derive from the development of exceptionally innovative approaches and/or from the posing of radically unconventional hypotheses. Applications for projects that are extensions of ongoing research should not be submitted.

Pioneer awardees are required to commit the major portion (at least 51%) of their research effort to activities supported by the Pioneer Award program.  Effort expended toward teaching, administrative, or clinical duties should not be included in this calculation. Applicants with current research commitments exceeding 49% must provide a detailed explanation describing how their effort on existing grants will be adjusted to permit them to devote the required minimum effort to the Pioneer Award project.  Applicants who will not be able to meet this requirement should not submit applications.

Link to Full Announcement

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-11-004.html

Closing Date for Applications: Oct 07, 2011   

Expected Number of Awards: 7

Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC) announces the Advanced Energy 2011 Conference in Buffalo on October 12& 13, 2011

October 12 & 13, 2011
Hyatt Regency, Buffalo, NY, USA

Advanced Energy 2011 will be held in the City of Buffalo, located in New York’s western region on October 12 & 13, 2011.   Because of the broad nature of the topics and issues covered, virtually anyone whose business, research or public policy interests involve energy will find it valuable to be at Advanced Energy 2011. This conference will bring together leading researchers, government officials and legislators, policy makers and environmentalists, along with leaders from the business, education and not-for-profit sectors. Programs will include:

  • Offshore Wind
  • Battery Storage and Energy
  • BioEnergy
  • Building/Energy Efficiencies
  • Commercial/Residential Solar
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Energy Policy
  • Geothermal
  • Natural Gas Supply and Demand

Please visit www.aertc.org/conference2011/ for more information.

http://www.aertc.org

FACT2 Innovation Grants

A Program of Financial Support for the Exploration of Innovations in Teaching and Technology

Submission deadline: September 15

Funded by SUNY FACT2

The SUNY Faculty Advisory Council on Teaching and Technology (FACT2) operating under the auspices of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, takes great pleasure in announcing its sponsorship of  Innovation Grants, formerly known as Conferences on Computing in the Disciplines (COCID).  

The FACT2 Council is currently accepting proposals for activities to take place in the Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 semesters.

The intent of these grants is to fund inter-campus activities and events that will result in opportunities for training and professional development of faculty and staff. The purpose is to encourage the gathering and exchange of ideas among SUNY personnel and visiting resource persons to examine new trends and developments in teaching and technology. Grant recipients, in addition to using funding to execute their proposal, are expected to attend the Conference on Instruction and Technology (CIT) and provide a poster, presentation or moderated discussion that will:

  1. Provide an overview of the topic presented.
  2. Enable conference participants to learn more about the funded activity.

The application should clearly indicate which of the following models is planned:

  1. Hosting a conference, workshop, symposium or forum for discussion on a new or emerging instructional technology issue
  2. Conducting research (survey, field study, etc.) to contribute new knowledge to the field of teaching and learning

A goal of the innovation grants is to encourage the SUNY community to address advisory priorities identified by the SUNY Provost. All proposals are welcome, but those proposals that demonstrate support of FACT2 Task Groups or other initiatives in support of the SUNY Strategic Plan will be given funding preference.

Current advisory initiatives and priorities include:

  • Emerging trends in digital publications (including e-readers and open learning)
  • Innovative learning environments (flexible space design in support of pedagogy)
  • Teaching & Learning emerging trends
  • Assessment
  • Intellectual Property
  • Digital Literacy
  • Emerging Technologies

Who can apply for Innovation Grant Funding?

Proposals are invited from individuals and departments from one or more of the 64 campuses in SUNY — community colleges, colleges of technology, specialized colleges, and university centers.

Where can I find out more information?

For detailed FACT2 Innovation Grant submission guidelines and for information on submitting proposals, please visit the FACT2 website at http://www.fact.suny.edu/cocids.html  

Submission Deadline

  • September 15, 2011

Lisa Miles Raposo

SUNY FACT2 Council
Innovation Grant  Coordinator
Assistant Director
SUNY Center for Professional Development
Phone: (315) 233-3052 ext.111

NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Opportunity for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites Focusing on STEM Education Research – NSF 11-076

August 4, 2011

This letter is to call your attention to an opportunity that is within the scope of the existing Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. The REU program is an NSF-wide program that includes the Directorate for Education and Human Resources. The rationale for the program, as expressed in the solicitation, is that “research experience is one of the most effective avenues for attracting talented undergraduates to, and retaining them in, careers in science and engineering, including careers in teaching and education research.” The focus of this REU Site opportunity is research in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) education.

Accordingly, the Directorate for Education and Human Resources is interested in encouraging the submission of proposals for new REU Sites that would engage undergraduate students in conducting STEM education research. Proposals are welcome from investigators at institutions of higher education in STEM disciplinary departments or schools/colleges of education, as well as from investigators in other organizations concerned with STEM education research, such as science centers and national facilities.

This is not a special competition or new program. Relevant proposals should be submitted to the existing REU program on its annual deadline according to the instructions found in the solicitation, which is accessible on the program’s Web page at http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5517. Investigators are welcome to contact an EHR REU program officer by e-mail at reu.ehr@nsf.gov or by phone at 703-292-7155 to discuss their idea for an REU Site focusing on STEM education research.

Sincerely,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy
Assistant Director for Education and Human Resources
National Science Foundation

Full Proposal Deadline:  August 24, 2011

Deadline for REU Site proposals except for those requiring access to Antarctica

Fourth Wednesday in August, Annually Thereafter

Full Proposal Deadline:  June 1, 2012

Deadline for REU Site proposals requiring access to Antarctica. All other REU Site proposals must be submitted to the August REU deadline.

First Friday in June, Annually Thereafter

Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) – ONR BAA 11-026

White Papers are due Thursday, 15 September 2011
Full Proposals will be due Thursday, 10 November 2011

The MURI program supports basic research in science and engineering at U.S. institutions of higher education (hereafter referred to as “universities”).

The FY 2012 MURI competition is for the topics listed below. Detailed descriptions of the topics can be found in Section VIII entitled, “Specific MURI Topics”, of this BAA. The detailed descriptions are intended to provide the proposer a frame of reference and are not meant to be restrictive to the possible approaches to achieving the goals of the topic and the program. Innovative ideas addressing these research topics are highly encouraged.

White papers and full proposals addressing the following topics (1) through (8) shouid be submitted to the Army Research Office (ARO):

(1) Quantized Chem’lcal Reactions of Ultracold Molecules
(2) 3D Topological Insulators with Interactions
(3) Translating Biochemical Pathways to Non-Cellular Environments
(4) Multivariate Heavy-Tailed Statistics: Foundations and Modeling
(5) Simultaneous MUlti-Synaptic Imaging of the Interneuron
(6) Revolutionizing High-Dimensional Microbial Data Integration
(7) Novel Nanostructures for the Controlled Propagation of Electromagnetic Energy
(8) Predictive Models of Cultural and Behavioral Effects on Societal Stability

While papers and Full proposals addressing the following topics (9) through (14) should be submitted to the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR):

(9) Directional Eutectic Structures: Self-Assembly for Metamaterials and Photonics
(10) Smart, Functional Nanoenergetics Design from the Atomistic/Molecular Scale through the Mesoscale
(11) Managing Informational Complexity in Predictive Materials Science
(12) Deep Atmospheric Optical Turbulence Physics and Predictive Modeling
(13) Quantum Metaphotonics/Metamaterials
(14) High Power, Low-Loss, Artificial Materials for Transformational Electromagnetics

White papers and fuU proposals addressing the following topics (15) through (21) shouid be submitted to the Office of Naval Research:

(15) Morphable Dynamic Information Processing
(16) ExtendedMRange Environmental Prediction Using Low-Dimensional Dynamic Modes
(17) A New Way to Dissipate Shock Wave Energy from Detonations
(18) Programming Biology to Attain Non-Natural Functions
(19) Predicting the Behavior of Complex, Non-Deterministic Autonomous Systems and Mixed Autonomous/Manned Teams under Realistic Assumptions
(20) Extreme Electron Concentration Materials and Devices
(21) Super-hydrophobic Sutiace for Skin Friction Drag Reduction in High Reynolds Number Turbulent Flow

Proposals from a team of university investigators are warranted when the necessary expertise in addressing the multiple facets of the topics may reside in different universities, or in different departments in the same university. By supporting multidisciplinary teams, the program is complementary to other DoD basic research programs that support university research through single-investigator awards. Proposals shall name one Principal Investigator (PI) as the responsible technical point of contact. Similarly, one institution shall be the primary awardee for the purpose of award execution. The PI shall come from the primary institution. The relationship among participating institutions and their respective roles, as well as the apportionment of funds including sub-awards, if any, shall be described in both the proposal text and the budget.

The full announcement can be found at:

http://www.onr.navy.mil/~/media/Files/Funding-Announcements/BAA/2011/11-026.ashx

URECA Researcher of the Month – Jerome Varriale

This month’s featured student is Jerome Varriale,  a Geology major who works under the mentorship of Prof. Timothy Glotch. For his first semester academic performance, Jerome was recognized at the Office of Commuter Student Service’s Annual 4.0 Academic Achievement Reception. In spring 2010, Jerome began research in the Vibrational Spectroscopy Laboratory of Prof. Glotch, and that same semester presented a poster, “Thermal emission spectroscopy of volcanic rocks from Mauna Iki, Hawaii” at the annual campus-wide URECA poster symposium (April 2011). Jerome’s research on infrared emissivity spectra of rock samples is currently being supported with a URECA summer research award. Prior to coming to Stony Brook and to completing an associate’s degree in Business Administration (May 2010) from Suffolk Community College, Jerome worked in hotel management and sales. He currently plans to pursue graduate studies in Geology/Earth Sciences, and is particularly interested in ground water hydrology, surficial processes and environmental geology. 

For the full interview/feature, please go to:

http://www.stonybrook.edu/ureca/researcher-month.shtml

NSF 11-560 – Innovation Corps Program (I-Corps)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) seeks to develop and nurture a national innovation ecosystem that builds upon fundamental research to guide the output of scientific discoveries closer to the development of technologies, products and processes that benefit society.

In order to jumpstart a national innovation ecosystem, NSF is establishing the NSF Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps). The NSF I-Corps’ purpose is to identify NSF-funded researchers who will receive additional support – in the form of mentoring and funding – to accelerate innovation that can attract subsequent third-party funding.

The purpose of the NSF I-Corps grant is to give the project team access to resources to help determine the readiness to transition technology developed by previously-funded or currently-funded NSF projects. The outcome of the I-Corps projects will be threefold: 1) a clear go/no go decision regarding viability of products and services, 2) should the decision be to move the effort forward, a transition plan to do so, and 3) a technology demonstration for potential partners.

WEBINAR: A webinar will be held on the first Tuesday of every month, beginning in August 2011 to answer questions about this program. Details will be posted on the I-Corps website as they become available.

Areas of Interest

The goals of this program are to spur translation of fundamental research, to encourage collaboration between academia and industry, and to train students to understand innovation and entrepreneurship. The go/no go decision of the proposed effort will be made by the I-Corps team (that includes the Principal Investigator, the Entrepreneurial Lead, and the I-Corps Mentor) in consultation with the I-Corps Cognizant Program Directors.

Deadlines:

August 17, 2011 – September 09, 2011

October 01, 2011 – December 15, 2011
October 1 – December 15, Annually Thereafter

January 01, 2012 – March 15, 2012
January 1 – March 15, Annually Thereafter

April 01, 2012 – June 15, 2012
April 1 – June 15, Annually Thereafter

July 01, 2012 – September 15, 2012
July 1 – September 15, Annually Thereafter

Estimated Number of Awards: 1 to 25 Up to 25 in FY 2011; duration of each award is 6 months. 100 in FY 2012; duration of each award is 6 months.

Funding for the Innovation-Corps Program is $50,000 per award. Recovery of indirect costs (F&A) shall be limited to $5,000. Proposers must have an active NSF award or one that has been active within the previous five years from the date of submission of the I-Corps proposal in a science or engineering field relevant to the proposed innovation.

Sponsor Announcement Location:

http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11560/nsf11560.htm?WT.mc_id=USNSF_25&WT.mc_ev=click

SB Department of Psychiatry Researchers Receive Grant to Investigate Long-Term Recovery from Mental Illness

Roman Kotov, PhD, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Stony Brook University, was awarded a three-year, two million dollar grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to conduct a twenty-year follow-up study of people who were first hospitalized with a severe mental illness in the early 1990s. Drs. Evelyn Bromet, Laura Fochtmann, Gabrielle Carlson, Mark Sedler and Greg Hajcak (from the Department of Psychology) are co-investigators. Drs. Marsha Tanenberg-Karant, Eduardo Constantino, and Joan Rubinstein will collaborate along with staff, graduate students and residents.

The study will answer important questions about how people with severe mental illness fare over time and what factors might affect their recovery. For more than twenty years, researchers in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science have been following the lives of participants in the Suffolk County Mental Health Project, who were recruited from all the psychiatric inpatient units in Suffolk County between 1989 and 1995. The project represents a partnership between the Department and facilities throughout the County, as well as a commitment on the part of participants and their families over two decades. The new grant will allow the project to expand its focus and continue beyond the twenty year mark. 

The Suffolk County Mental Health Project has always been unique in terms of its sample size, scope and rigor. Now it will become the first prospective epidemiological study in the United States to address questions about psychiatric recovery during the second decade of the illness.

In addition to reassessing the diagnoses and current status of 425 members of the original cohort, the researchers will conduct studies of genetic risk factors and neuropsychological functioning. They will compare their findings with a control group of demographically matched volunteers who will be recruited by the University’s Center for Survey Research.  

“The grant is good for our department and for the people of Suffolk County.” Dr. Kotov said. “Equally important, it is good for science. Because of the amazing work of so many people in our department and in the community we can now get an accurate picture of the challenges participants faced and how they managed. We will be able to answer questions about recovery from serious mental illness that are at the forefront of the mental health policy debate.”