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

After Fukushima: Nuclear Power & Public Health

Panel Discussion

The School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, the Humanities Institute and the School of Journalism are pleased to present a panel discussion on the topic “After Fukushima: Nuclear Power & Public Health” on Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. in the Humanities Building, Room 1006.

The recent tsunami in Japan has sharpened awareness of the vulnerability of highly developed societies to natural and human catastrophes. In a world of increasing population, industrialization, and the burning of fossil fuels at unprecedented rates, a panel of experts will discuss issues related to the dangers of nuclear power and the need to find alternate sources of energy.

For more information on this panel discussion, please visit

Policy Updates from NSF

Revised Grant General Conditions (GC-1), effective February 1, 2012: 

New GC-1:

Summary of significant changes:

Significant Changes:

• Travel, Article 10, has been updated to incorporate revised circumstances under which use of a foreign-flag air carrier is permissible. The Article provides information on recent modifications to the “Open Skies” Agreement with the European Union, and includes a link to the General Services Administration website for additional information.

Clarifications and Other Changes to the NSF Grant General Conditions, dated 02/12:

Grantee Responsibilities and Federal Requirements, Article 1, has been supplemented with a weblink to a listing of the National Policy Requirements.

Expenditure Reports, Article 16, has been modified to reflect that all Federal Financial Reports must now be submitted through 

Patent Rights, Article 24, has a footnote added to it stating that, while the Article remains unchanged at this time, NSF is assessing how best to implement revisions given the Stanford vs. Roche Supreme Court decision. 

Revised Cooperative Agreement Financial & Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC), effective February 1, 2012:


Summary of significant changes:

Significant changes:

Travel, Article 10, has been updated to incorporate revised circumstances under which use of a foreign-flag air carrier is permissible. The Article provides information on recent modifications to the “Open Skies” Agreement with the European Union, and includes a link to the General Services Administration website for additional information.

Academic Technology Transfer and Commercialization of University Research, Article 22, is a new Article which requires higher education institutions that have NSF research support and at least $25,000,000 in total Federal research grants in the most recently completed Federal fiscal year to submit to NSF the URL that contains information on their transfer of technology and commercialization of research results efforts.

Significant Changes to Administration of NSF Conference or Group Travel Award Grant Conditions, February 1, 2012

Effective February 1, 2012, new NSF conference or group travel grants, and funding amendments to existing NSF conference or group travel grants, will begin referencing and are subject to the NSF Conference or Group Travel Grant Special Conditions (FL 26) dated 02/12.  The complete text of the FL 26 conditions (as well as relevant documents) is available electronically on the NSF website at:

Administration of NSF Conference or Group Travel Award Grant Conditions, February 1, 2012:

Cooperative Agreement Supplemental Financial/Administrative Terms and Conditions for Managers of Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), February 1, 2012

Significant Changes:

Cooperative Agreement Supplemental Financial/Administrative Terms and Conditions for Large Facilities (CAFATC), February 1, 2012:

Presentations from NSF Day at SUNY Albany

The link below will bring you to the SUNY Albany page where you can find
the slide presentations made at the NSF Day last Wednesday, October 19.

The PowerPoint presentations include:

  • Introduction and NSF Overview
  • Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE)
  • Crosscutting Programs
  • Engineering
  • Geosciences
  • Inspiring STEM Learning Through Discovery and Innovation
  • International Opportunities
  • Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • Molecular and Cellular Biosciences
  • Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences
  • Proposal Preparation NSF Merit Review Process and Research Proposal Preparation

Federal Agency Research Priorities & Budget Updates Webinar

The University of Missouri & the National Association of College and University Officers are sponsoring an extended webinar on federal updates (they’ve done this for the past few years).  Most federal agencies will be represented, and each representative will give a one hour update about their agency’s research priorities and budgets. 

The OVPR conference room has been reserved for all three days; anyone interested is welcome to come and view the webinar.

Please contact Jin Bentley at 2-8589 if you have any questions.

Monday, October 31, 2011

  • 11:00 a.m.     

Kei Koizumi, Assistant Director for Federal R&D, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, on the President’s priorities and budget requests for research

  • 12:30 p.m.      

Kam Ng, Deputy Director of Research, Office of Naval Research, on ONR’s budget priorities for research

  • 2:00 p.m.      

Elizabeth Albro, Associate Commissioner for Teaching and Learning, National Center for Education Research, Department of Education, on ED budget priorities for research

  • 3:30 p.m.      

Nadina Gardner, Director, Division of Preservation and Access, National Endowment for the Humanities on NEH budget priorities and updates to grants policies and procedures 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

  • 11:00 a.m.     

Elizabeth Albro, Associate Commissioner for Teaching and Learning, National Center for Education Research, Department of Education, on updates of ED grants policies and procedures

  • 12:30 p.m.        

Harriet Kung, Director of Basic Energy Sciences, Department of Energy Office of Science, on updates of DOE grants policies and procedures 

  • 2:00 p.m.      

Mark Poth, USDA, on NIFA budget priorities for research as well as updates on grants policies and procedures

  • 3:30 p.m.           

David Curren and Maria Koszalka, NIH, on NIH budget priorities for research as well as updates on grants policies and procedures

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

  • 11:00 a.m.         

Jeremy Leffler, Outreach Specialist in the Policy Office within the Office of Budget, Finance, and Award Management. NSF budget priorities for research as well as updates on grants policies and procedures

  • 12:30 p.m.        

Harriet Kung, Director of Basic Energy Sciences, Department of Energy Office of Science, on DOE budget priorities for research

  •  2:00 p.m.           


NIH Operates under a Continuing Resolution

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) including the NIH operates under a Continuing Resolution (CR) that was enacted on October 4, 2011.  The CR continues government operations through November 18, 2011 at the FY 2011 level minus 1.5 percent.

Until FY 2012 appropriations are enacted, NIH will issue non-competing research grant awards at a level below that indicated on the most recent Notice of Award (generally up to 90% of the previously committed level). This is consistent with our practice during the CRs of FY 2006 – 2011. Upward adjustments to awarded levels will be considered after our FY 2012 appropriations are enacted but NIH expects institutions to monitor their expenditures carefully during this period.

Questions regarding adjustments applied to individual grant awards may be directed to the Grants Management Specialist identified on the Notice of Award.

2011 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology

High School Students Worked with Stony Brook University Faculty Mentors

37 high school students who worked with Stony Brook University faculty mentors were recently announced as regional finalists (10) and/or semifinalists (27) in the 2011 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology—one of the top nationwide research competitions for high school researchers. Stony Brook annually ranks among the leaders in universities nationwide who mentor high school researchers.

Many of the competition winners participated in summer research programs offered at Stony Brook, including the Garcia Center for Polymers at Engineered Interfaces program which had twenty-four awardees (14 semifinalists and 10 regional finalists). Miriam Rafailovich, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, directs the Garcia program, and is one of the nation’s leading mentors of research competition talent.  Other faculty engaged in mentoring Siemens regional finalists and/or semifinalists include: Peter Brink of Physiology & Biophysics; Thomas Butcher of the CME Program and BNL; Benjamin Chu, of Chemistry;  Matthew Dawber of Physics & Astronomy; Yuefan Deng of Applied Mathematics & Statistics; Miguel Garcia-Diaz of Pharmacological Sciences; Nancy Hollingsworth of Biochemistry & Cell Biology; Benjamin Hsiao and Roy Lacey of Chemistry; Jonathan Liu of Biomedical Engineering; Yizhi Meng of Materials Science & Engineering; Harold Metcalf, John Noé and Martin Cohen of the Laser Teaching Center, Physics & Astronomy; Iwao Ojima of Chemistry;  Lorna Role of Neurobiology & Behavior; Marcia Simon  of the Dental School; and David Talmage of Pharmacological Sciences.

Of the 1542 projects submitted by 2,436 students in the 2011 competition, the Siemens Foundation announced a total of 300 semifinalists and 96 regional finalist awards. Regional finalists will be going on to compete in one of 6 regional competitions during November; and winners of the regional events will compete at the National Finals in Washington, DC, in early December for the top prize of $100,000.  In previous years, grand prize winners in both individual (2009) and team categories (2001, 2007) worked with SB faculty mentors including, Carlos Simmerling, Iwao Ojima, and Miriam Rafailovich.

press releases:

Siemens Foundation semifinalists:

Siemens Foundation regional finalists:

Provost Lecture Series: November 17 – Diane E. Meier

Palliative Care: Transforming the Care of Serious Illness

The Twelfth Annual George and Dorothy Goodman Memorial Symposium

Diane E. Meier is Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care, a national organization devoted to increasing the number and quality of palliative care programs in the United States. Under her leadership the number has more than doubled in the last 5 years. She is also Director of the Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute; Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine; and Catherine Gaisman Professor of Medical Ethics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Dr. Meier was named one of 20 People Who Make Healthcare Better in the U.S. by HealthLeaders Media 2010. She is currently Principal Investigator of an NCI-funded five-year multisite study on the outcomes of hospital palliative care services in cancer patients. Dr. Meier served as one of Columbia University’s Health and Aging Policy Fellows in Washington DC during the 2009-2010 academic year, working both on the Senate’s HELP Committee and the Department of Health and Human Services. She has published extensively in all major peer-reviewed medical journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. Her most recent book, Palliative Care: Transforming the Care of Serious Illness, was published by Jossey in 2010. Co-sponsored by the Goodman Memorial Fund and OLLI.

Abstract: Dr. Meier will present the data behind the rapid growth in hospital palliative care while describing the outcomes and future of palliative care.  

Thursday, November 17, 4:00 pm, Wang Center Theater

Stony Brook Professor Receives NIH Grant for Chronic Fatigue Management Program

Program Involves Stress Reduction Techniques, Social Support

Fred Friedberg, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor and Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, through the State University of New York Research Foundation, received a $600,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue testing a home-based self-management program for people with chronic fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

The NIH grant runs for two years, effective until the end of August 2013. In 2008, Dr. Friedberg, Principal Investigator, received an initial one-year $100,000 NIH grant to launch the home-based self-management program for chronic fatigue and CFS patients, with the expectation to learn how to help patients more effectively manage their conditions.

“There are no effective and established medical treatments for these illnesses, and the behavioral program is intended to help patients function and feel better,” says Dr. Friedberg, pointing out that the causes of chronic fatigue and CFS are still unknown.

The self-help program involves lifestyle change and stress reduction techniques, including graduated exercise, relaxation, pacing techniques, cognitive coping skills, low effort pleasant activities, and social support. All of the treatment components, individually and in combination, may help patients with CFS.

Read more at:

NSF Day at SUNY Albany

October 19, 2011 (7:30 AM – 4:30 PM)
Campus Center Ballroom

The National Science Foundation and the University at Albany (SUNY) will be holding a one-day workshop on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 in Albany, New York.  The workshop will provide an overview of the Foundation, its mission, priorities and budget. It will cover the NSF proposal and merit review process and NSF programs that cut across disciplines.

There is no registration fee for this workshop, but pre-registration is required by Wednesday, October 12, 2011. Registration is limited, so please register as soon as possible if you are interested. 

To register for this event:

For more information, including workshop agenda:

Request for Information – Building a 21st Century Bioeconomy

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy invites the submission of comments for a Request for Information (RFI): Building a 21st Century Bioeconomy that will harness biological research innovations to meet national challenges in health, food, energy and the environment while creating high-wage, high-skill jobs. Respondents may address one or more of the 17 topics listed in the announcement. No awards will be awarded under this RFI. Eligibility is unrestricted.

Comments are due Dec 6. More information is available at:

Webinar on Federal Research Priorities & Budgets for FY12

Monday, October 31 – Wednesday, November 2

The University of Missouri and the National Association of College and University Business Officers are sponsoring an extended webinar on FY12 research priorities and budgets, presented by personnel at the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Naval Research, Army Medical and Material Command, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Depts. of Agriculture, Education and Energy.

The webinar will consist of 11 presentations total, with each presentation lasting about an hour, followed by 30 minutes of questions & answers.

Registration for this webinar is $75 if paid by check, or $80 if paid by credit card.

For detailed information on agenda, speaker bios, registration & payment, and technical requirement, please see:

For those of you interested but who cannot participate, the OVPR will be viewing the webinar and will post shortly afterwards the presentations and information provided.

SB Faculty Member is Recipient of Award in First Round of NSF Innovation Corps Awards

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected 21 teams for the inaugural class of NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) awards.  Dr. Perena Gouma, Associate Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, was selected as one of the recipients of the $50,000 grants to begin assessing the commercial readiness of her NSF-sponsored technology concepts. Her project is entitled: I-Corps: Photocatalysts for Water Remediation.

The PWR team consists of three members: Dr. Gouma (principal investigator), Jusang Lee (entrepreneurial lead) and Dr. Clive Clayton, who will serve as the commercialization mentor and offer guidance in translating laboratory research into a successful business endeavor. Dr. Clayton is the Founder and Director of the Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR), a program that has developed more than 2,500 high-tech projects with more than 440 companies since 1994. He is also a Leading Professor in Materials Science and Engineering at Stony Brook.

Photocatalysts for Water Remediation is a unique nanocatalyst technology that utilizes solar energy to break down harmful pollutants such as hydrocarbons. PWR or nanogrids are miniaturized self-supported mats, similar to fishing nets, that float on water and rapidly decompose crude oil using solar irradiation from the full solar spectrum. The result is that pollutants are turned into water, carbon dioxide and other biodegradable organics for fast and efficient oil decomposition and environmental remediation. Current industrial photocatalysts respond to only a small percentage of the solar irradiation (ultraviolet light) and are unable to float.    

“There are numerous applications for our nanogrids in water remediation,” said Dr. Gouma. “They can clean oil spills effectively, whether near the shore or in the middle of the ocean, in a lake, river, a refinery or a water-cleaning facility.” Dr. Gouma added that if commercialization of this technology occurs, the impact can result in the creation of new jobs, nanotechnology training and manufacturing for real and versatile products and a cleaner environment. Patents on this new technology have been applied for and are currently pending.

The complete Press Release can be found at:


URECA Researcher of the Month – Neville Bethel

This month’s featured student is Neville Bethel, a double major in biomedical engineering and physics who will be presenting a poster at the Institute for Chemical Biology & Drug Discovery’s 5th annual symposium on Friday, October 14th: “The Development of an Advanced Rendering Program to Create Movies That Illustrate Macromolecular Dynamics and Interactions.”

Working with Prof. Carlos Simmerling of the Chemistry Department on simulations of biomolecular systems since Fall ’08, Neville has steadily built his skills in molecular animations and optimizing software — from creating TCL scripts, to making custom movies in Visual Molecular Dynamics that reveal the energy landscapes across a protein, to developing new algorithms for simulating RNA using AMBER. Neville’s work with Prof. Simmerling on VMD graphical use interface is currently being submitted to the VMD development team for inclusion in the next release. Recently, Neville was among the students selected to receive the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) fellowship which will support his research activities in the Simmerling group during the academic year and ease his financial burden (he has been working ~20 hours a week at a local Stony Brook restaurant, while pursuing full time studies).

Neville also enjoys working with fellow BME students on a senior design (group) project under the direction of Prof. Balaji Sitharaman of the Biomedical Engineering Department. Previously, Neville has presented at  URECA’s campus-wide poster symposium. In his spare time, Neville volunteers at Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown  where he helps care for various animals undergoing rehabilitation.

For the full interview/feature, please go to:

Decline and Recovery of Coral Reefs Linked to 700 Years of Human and Environmental Activity, Study Finds

Historical reconstruction reveals humans contributed to both degradation and recovery of coral reefs

Changing human activities coupled with a dynamic environment over the past few centuries have caused fluctuating periods of decline and recovery of corals reefs in the Hawaiian Islands, according to a study sponsored in part by the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University. Using the reefs and island societies as a model social-ecological system, a team of scientists reconstructed 700 years of human-environment interactions in two different regions of the Hawaiian archipelago to identify the key factors that contributed to degradation or recovery of coral reefs.

“Historical reconstruction reveals recovery in Hawaiian coral reefs,” published online on October 3 in the journal PLoS ONE, concludes that historical changes in human societies and their relationships with coral reef ecosystems can explain whether these ecosystems exhibit patterns of sustainability and resilience or decline and degradation. Dr. John N. Kittinger, lead author of the study, was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow in the Department of Geography at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa when the reconstruction was conducted. He is now an Early Career Social Science Fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions.

“This reconstruction shows that human-environment interactions need to be included when considering the factors that contribute to the degradation of an ecosystem,” said Dr. Ellen Pikitch, executive director of the Institute for Ocean Science and Professor at Stony Brook University. “Understanding past interactions can be crucial in determining best practices for present-day management of coral reef ecosystems.”

“The substantial resilience and adaptive capacity of coral reefs demonstrated in this study provide reason for hope and suggest that we should not dismiss the possibility of bringing even the most degraded reefs back to health,” said Dr. Pikitch.

This research was supported by the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science, the National Science Foundation, the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, and the Marine Conservation Biology Institute’s 2008 Mia J. Tegner Memorial Research Grant in Marine Environmental History and Historical Marine Ecology.

 “Historical reconstruction reveals recovery in Hawaiian coral reefs,” is available online at

Virtual Institutes to Support the Scientific Collaborations of the Future

U.S. and International Researchers Join NSF Director Subra Suresh to Announce SAVI, Science Across Virtual Institutes

The National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI), an effort to motivate collaboration among scientists and educators around the globe to spur scientific discovery. By connecting researchers with common interests and goals, SAVI can better leverage taxpayer resources while helping to address some of society’s most vexing problems.

Building on beneficial partnerships initiated by NSF-supported researchers, research institutes and universities, SAVI projects will address common challenges and serve as creative hubs for innovative research and education activities across borders.

SAVIs are built on relationships initiated by teams of NSF supported researchers, research institutes and universities. SAVI’s impact will be felt in:

•Creating virtual institutes through networking among NSF-funded, U.S. researchers and international collaborators that have complementary strengths and common interests; 

•Facilitating science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research and education partnerships among NSF-funded research centers/institutes–both virtual and real–and their international counterparts;

•Providing students, postdocs and junior faculty opportunities for research experiences abroad that lead to long-lasting international collaborations; and

•Strengthening connections between NSF and counterpart STEM research funding organizations around the globe by leveraging each other’s investments in fundamental research, research facilities, and human resource development.

In short, SAVI will advance a new, interactive paradigm for conducting research well into the future.

Virtual institutes in all fields of science and engineering, including biological, geological, social, behavioral, physical, statistical, mathematical, and computational sciences and STEM education, are currently under consideration. Expansion will require investments from partnering countries as well. Successes will be measured by the establishment of long-term professional relationships that will be sustained beyond the initial SAVI activities. 

To read the complete press release, go to: