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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.

 
eRA Information: Ext-UAT and Commons Demo Will be Unavailable Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The External User Acceptance Test (Ext-UAT) and the Commons Demo environments are scheduled to be offline Wednesday, January 21, 2015 from 9 am to 5 pm in preparation for the winter system-wide software release. As part of their standard practice before each quarterly software release, eRA Commons updates the Ext-UAT and Commons Demo environments with the changes that will take place in production the following week.

Please note that this process will not affect the production environment.

 
Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN)

The Bladder Cancer Advocacy is now accepting applications for the 2015 Young Investigator Awards. The $100,000 grants will cover costs associated with a two-year bladder cancer-specific research proposal. The purpose of this grant is to support the development of outstanding research scientists and clinical cancer research investigators who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the understanding and treatment of bladder cancer. Investigators may be working in basic, translational, clinical, epidemiologic, bioengineering or any other field, but must be working in a research environment capable of supporting transformational bladder cancer research.

Application Deadline: March 4, 2015

For more information visit the BCAN website.

 

Foundation Fighting Blindness and Harrington Discovery Institute

Foundation Fighting Blindness and Harrington Discovery Institute have partnered to form, the The National Center for Excellence in Fighting Blindness, a Gund-Harrington initiative. This initiative is focused on accelerating the translation of research findings in inherited retinal degenerative diseases (IRD) with the ultimate goal of developing new therapies to improve and/or restore vision.

• This Initiative seeks to award Gund-Harrington Scholar Awards that recognize innovators throughout the USA whose research has the potential to advance standards of care.
• There will be an average of three awards per year, which will be restricted to researchers working at institutions within the USA. Applications from outside the USA are not accepted.
• The Gund-Harrington Scholar Award provides funding for translational drug development and cell therapy along with non-financial project support to help bridge the gap between laboratory-based research and the clinic.
• Funding up to a total of $900,000 over three years and non-financial support will be provided by the The National Center for Excellence in Fighting Blindness. The non-financial support, provided by a team of pharmaceutical experts, will include project management and experienced industry advice in all aspects of drug development, encompassing chemistry, formulation, toxicology, regulatory, intellectual property and business development.
• Awards will be made to physician-scientists, or scientists with a research team that includes significant involvement of a physician with clinical expertise in the IRD.
• Selected projects must demonstrate a reasonable expectation that they can develop a lead product with strong potential for clinical and commercial application by the end of the three year funding period.
Multi-disciplinary investigators outside the field of retinal disease are particularly encouraged to apply.

Applicants interested in the Gund-Harrington Scholar Awards must apply through Foundation Fighting Blindness.

For more information about Foundation Fighting Blindness visit the Fighting Blindness 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.

 

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