Research Matters

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Research Newsletter
January 20, 2015  

National Science Foundation (NSF) & American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS)

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) have launched the Beyond the Box National Digitization Innovation Competition. The initiative will award $1 million to the individual or team who develops a novel way to accurately and efficiently capture digital images of insect specimens and their associated data from a standard museum drawer of insects.

The Beyond the Box Digitization Challenge has been designed to stimulate individuals or teams to solve a problem that is hindering scientific research and innovation - the inability to quickly and accurately digitize specimens and associated data in a standard tray of insects in a natural history museum. Solving this problem will help advance research as well as contribute to improved public health, environmental management, and agriculture by providing scientists, farmers, health care providers, and citizen scientists with access to our nation's insect collections. Moreover, the solution to this problem will almost certainly find additional applications in scientific and commercial settings. The winning entry will receive up to $1 million for the development of a hardware and software system that automates digitization of pinned insect specimens, without damaging the specimens--one of the most challenging biocollections digitization tasks.

Visit the Beyond the Box website for more information on the challenge.

 
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced a new grant opportunity that encourages the publication of nonfiction books that apply serious humanities scholarship to subjects of general interest and appeal.

The new NEH Public Scholar awards support well-researched books in the humanities conceived and written to reach a broad readership. Books supported through this program might present a narrative history, tell the stories of important individuals, analyze significant texts, provide a synthesis of ideas, revive interest in a neglected subject, or examine the latest thinking on a topic. Most importantly, they should open up important and appealing subjects for wider audiences by presenting significant humanities topics in a way that is accessible to general readers.

The Public Scholar program is open to both independent scholars and individuals affiliated with scholarly institutions. It offers a stipend of $4,200 per month for a period of six to twelve months. The maximum stipend is $50,400 for a twelve-month period. Applicants must have previously published a book or monograph with a university or commercial press, or articles and essays that reach a wide readership.

Application Deadline for first cycle: March 3, 2015 For more information visit the NEH website.

 
New Outside Interests Disclosure Form

Case Western Reserve University is committed to ensuring its faculty an open and productive environment in which to conduct teaching and research. The institution's concern with conflict of interests reflects the ever-increasing complexity of our society, our various relations with each other and with outside institutions, along with the heightened national and governmental sensitivity to such matters.

University policy requires that all faculty and other researchers who contribute to scientific development disclose their outside interests at least annually. The 2014 Outside Interests disclosure process will begin the first week of February. The Office of Research Administration has transitioned to Click Sparta to administer the 2014 process. Sparta has had a positive impact on streamlining the pre-award system and by using specialized Sparta Conflict of Interests (COI) software we have created a much more user friendly COI system. Sparta COI will have the look and feel of Sparta which will ease transition to the new software.

Pertinent information that had been part of the Spiderweb disclosure process will not prepopulate the Sparta COI disclosure form, but any data disclosed in Sparta COI will remain to be updated or changed as the need arises.

A number of information sessions have been organized in February and March, and we hope you can join the Office of Research Administration COI staff for an opportunity to learn about the new Sparta COI software for the annual disclosure process. Attendees can stop in for a quick tutorial of the new system, or you can complete your disclosure during the session with assistance from the COI staff.

 
Research ShowCASE and Spring Intersections: Discovery, Collaboration & Community

Friday, April 17, 2015
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Veale Convocation Center
Case Western Reserve University


The CWRU Office of Research and Technology Management and SOURCE (Support of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors) are pleased to announce the opening of the Call for Presentations for Research ShowCASE 2015.

We invite you to participate with other CWRU faculty, staff and students by presenting your work at Research ShowCASE 2015. The event will provide an opportunity for you to display your research in a traditional scientific poster or other creative means. We encourage University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth Medical Center and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center researchers to participate.

In addition to the opportunity to display and share your work, undergraduate and graduate students, professional students and postdoctoral scholars are encouraged to participate in the research competition, which will include having your presentation evaluated and feedback provided. Prizes will be awarded to winning entries.

In order to display your work at Research ShowCASE, you will need to submit an online abstract describing your research. If you are a student or post-doc, your faculty advisor will need to approve your submission.

New this year:

  • You will need to provide a brief description of your research in non-scientific terms
  • You will be given the opportunity to provide a video abstract of your work in addition to the written abstract
  • If you provide a 140-character title or description of your entry, we will tweet about your work
Abstract Submission Deadline: February 15, 2015 (for graduate students, post-docs, professional students, faculty and staff)

Undergraduate submissions will be accepted between February 16, 2015 and March 20, 2015.

Find out more and submit your abstract at: showCASE.case.edu.

 
Shipping Abroad in Compliance with Export Regulations

The federal export control laws can apply when regulated items are being shipped abroad. Before shipping a device, materials, or other items abroad, CWRU personnel should contact either the Environmental Health and Safety Office or the Compliance Office so that an employee trained in export compliance can determine whether an export license is needed prior to making the shipment.

These are the steps that all CWRU researchers should follow when planning to make an outgoing international shipment of items or materials:

  1. The CWRU Principal Investigator works with the CWRU Technology Transfer Office (“TTO”) to determine whether a Material Transfer Agreement (“MTA”) is needed prior to the shipment. The CWRU PI initiates this by submitting a completed MTA Review Form found at https://research.case.edu/forms.cfm#tech_mgt.
  2. If the Technology Transfer Office determines that an MTA is needed between CWRU and the overseas organization to receive the items or materials, the Principal Investigator and TTO work together to put it in place. Once the MTA is completed and signed by CWRU and the recipient organization, the Technology Transfer Office will forward a copy of the final contract to the PI. The PI should keep a copy of the final MTA for easy reference. Note that MTAs not only help to ensure compliance with the federal export laws, but they also protect investigators’ intellectual property rights.
  3. Before making the shipment overseas, the PI should contact the CWRU Environmental Health and Safety Office. This step is necessary so that the Environmental Health and Safety Office can analyze the contents of the shipment in light of the export regulations and determine whether the shipment can proceed immediately, or whether federal pre-authorization is needed. If the Technology Transfer Office determined that an MTA was needed, then the PI should provide Environmental Health and Safety with a copy of the signed MTA so that it can match the requested shipment with the formal contract.
If you have questions on how the export regulations impact specific international shipments, contact the Compliance Office: Lisa Palazzo, Director of Export Control and Privacy Management, at 368-5791, or Boyd Kumher, University Chief Compliance, Export Control and Privacy Management Officer, at 368-0833; or email exportcontrol@case.edu.

For more information on the export control regulations, including the full text of CWRU’s Export Control Policy Statement, visit http:www.case.edu/compliance/exportcontrol/.

Questions regarding Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), should be addressed to Andrew Jarrell in the Technology Transfer Office, Andrew.jarrell@case.edu, 368-1401.

 

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