September 6, 2016

Applications sought for cross-college research grant program

A new semester is underway at Mississippi State, and like you, we are anticipating a busy fall in the Office of Research and Economic Development. Please let me take a few minutes of your time for a quick update.

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David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

Cross-college research grant program returns
ORED and the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine are again soliciting proposals from Mississippi State faculty who desire to create interdisciplinary, cross-college research groups on campus. The objective of this program is to improve research competitiveness by fostering interdisciplinary collaboration that is focused on a common research theme and leads directly to the submission of a competitive proposal to an external funding agency. The proposal must have signature of approval from the Associate Dean for Research for each participating college. To apply, faculty should submit an application to the Associate Dean for Research for the college of the principal investigator no later than Sept. 26. Additional information is available at http://www.research.msstate.edu/funds

Faculty proposals sought for ORED undergrad research program
In addition to the cross-college grant program, we are soliciting proposals from faculty to create innovative, faculty-directed research opportunities for talented undergraduate students. A wide range of projects will be considered as long as the budget explicitly supports undergraduate research. The ideal project will produce results that can be incorporated into a publication or serve as preliminary results for a proposal submission. To apply, faculty should submit an application with an attached description of the proposed research not to exceed two pages in length, including the budget, to the appropriate Associate Dean for Research no later than Sept. 26. Learn more about this opportunity at http://www.research.msstate.edu/funds

IRB, IACUC protocol submission system now online
We are pleased to report that the online submission system for Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB) and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocols to the Office of Research Compliance is now fully operational. All faculty, staff, and active students should have access to the system using a netID and password by clicking on the myProtocol link at http://www.orc.msstate.edu and MSU affiliates with a netID can be given access upon request. Since we have so many students serving as PIs on IRB protocols, there are two upcoming training sessions about how to complete and submit an application. The first takes place on Sept. 7 from 2-3:30 p.m., and the second one is set for Sept. 14 from 10-11:30 a.m. Each one will be held in 205 Bost. Seating is limited to 20 per class, and if interested, please register at http://www.orc.msstate.edu/training or email irb@research.msstate.edu or call 662-325-3294 to request one-on-one training or web-based training.

Sept. 15 deadline for NSF EPSCoR Track II seed grants
Mississippi State researchers are invited to submit a proposal for seed grants for "Feeding and Powering the World: Solar Water Splitting/Catalysis for Solar Fuels and Fertilizers." These grants will be awarded under the 2015-2019 collaborative Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama EPSCoR Track II award (OIA-1539035) from the National Science Foundation. There are three research focus areas: development of efficient solar cells for fuel production, including dye synthesis and combined photo-catalytic systems for efficient light energy harvesting and conversion; development of catalysts for efficient light energy chemical transformation and storage, such as water reduction/oxidation, CO2 reduction, and N2 reduction; and, computational approaches to development of chromophores and catalysts for solar fuels. Proposals should be contained in a single PDF file and sent as an email attachment to nhammer@olemiss.edu with a copy to me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu and Teresa Gammill at tgammill@research.msstate.edu. Proposals are due by midnight on Sept. 15. For additional information about the program, please see www.feeding-and-powering-the-world.org

Kudos and congratulations
I always look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you, and here are a few that have crossed my desk recently:

* Kudos to John Marszalek, Giles Distinguished Professor of history emeritus and executive director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association and Library, whose recently published work, "The Best Writings of Ulysses S. Grant," is among six books recognized by the Army Historical Foundation for excellence in writing on U.S. Army history. Read more at http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2016/08/msu%e2%80%99s-marszalek-recognized-collection-grant%e2%80%99s-writings

* Congratulations to Keith Coble, who has been named head of the Department of Agricultural Economics. Read more at http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2016/08/risk-management-expert-named-head-msu-agricultural-economics

* Kudos to Mimmo Parisi, executive director of the National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center and professor in the Department of Sociology, who has been appointed to the Southern Regional Education Board. Dr. Parisi was also honored recently with the Rural Sociological Society's 2016 Excellence in Research Award. Read more at http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2016/08/msu%e2%80%99s-parisi-serve-southern-regional-education-board and http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2016/08/society-honors-msu%e2%80%99s-parisi-research-excellence-award

Final words
On a personal note, I'd like to thank everyone for your thoughts and prayers after the loss of my father last month. My family and I appreciate your kind words and support.

August 8, 2016

Mississippi State playing vital role in research, economic development

It's hard to believe that a new academic year will be starting in a few days. This past month, I've had a number of opportunities to see first-hand the vital role that your university is playing at the local, state, national, and international levels in economic development and research. I continue to be extraordinarily proud of the reputation that Mississippi State has and continues to build. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our faculty, staff, and students, we are achieving unprecedented levels of success, and I am very proud to be a part of it. We have had a busy and productive summer in the Office of Research and Economic Development, and I'd like to take a few minutes to give you a brief update.

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David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

New policies address research scientists, research engineers
After a thorough development and review process, Mississippi State has implemented a new policy establishing a consistent set of titles for full-time research personnel engaged in research scientist activities and the promotion criteria and approval process for these positions. This policy complements the policy for research engineers approved by the Executive Council last fall. We believe these changes will help to promote research on campus and further enhance the university's position as one of the nation's leading research institutions. I appreciate the input we received during this process, as well as the widespread support for the new policies.

Mid-August deadline for SEC Visiting Faculty Travel Grants
Please remember that applications for the Southeastern Conference Visiting Faculty Travel Grant Program are now being accepted, and the deadline to apply is Aug. 19. Mississippi State can select a maximum of eight faculty members to receive 2016-2017 travel grants of $1,250 each. The program was created to enhance faculty collaboration that stimulates scholarly initiatives between SEC universities. Additional information is available at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3493.

Education Policy Fellowship Program seeks applicants
The Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) is a programmatic partnership between the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) in Washington, D.C., the John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development, and the Office of Research and Economic Development at Mississippi State. The MSU cohort will be working towards building the capacity of the institution to engage in research and outreach around rural education, and if you are interested in applying to the program, please visit http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3592 for additional information.

Laser registration process underway
The Environmental Health and Safety Office has developed a new laser safety program to assist departments and units with general laser safety. MSU Radiation Safety Officer Donna Rogers will serve as our laser safety officer, and she is currently compiling an inventory of all laser devices on campus. Please note that this does not include laser pointers or laser printers. Please begin the registration process by contacting Donna by Aug. 15 at 662-325-4594 or drogers@ehs.msstate.edu.

Kudos and congratulations
I always look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you, and here are a few that have crossed my desk recently:

* Kudos to the Northern Gulf Institute team. In July, NOAA reaffirmed NGI as its cooperative institute for the Gulf of Mexico region. The NOAA award comes with a commitment of $7 million for the first year of a five-year award that can be renewed for another five years based on successful performance. Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3563.

* Congratulations to Jennifer Easley, the director of the Office of Sponsored Projects, who has been named president-elect of the Alabama/Mississippi Chapter of the Society of Research Administrators International. Mississippi State will host the chapter's annual meeting in 2017, and we are looking forward to having our colleagues from around Mississippi and Alabama on campus for a great educational and networking event.

* Kudos to Donna Reese, department head and professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, who has been selected as a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education. She becomes the first honoree to represent CSE and the sixth Bagley College of Engineering faculty member to be named to ASEE's Academy of Fellows. Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3538.

* Congratulations to Lauren Wright, who has been named director of the MSU International Institute's International Services Office, which advises students, research scholars, visiting professors, and MSU faculty and administrators about rules and regulations regarding immigration and the maintenance of a person's non-immigrant status. Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3590.

* Kudos to Adam Skarke, assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences, who has been selected to participate in a University National Oceanographic Laboratory System Chief Scientist Training Cruise Program. Over the course of the cruise, Skarke and his 23 fellow early career scientists will be using manned and robotic submarines to study seafloor methane seeps that he helped discover in 2013. Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3584.

Final words
The Office of Research and Economic Development works closely with the MSU Foundation on a number of important initiatives, and I was pleased to see last month that the university had another outstanding year of fundraising -- raising $103.2 million in FY2016. It marked the third highest fundraising year in school history, as well as three years running in which institutional fundraising surpassed $100 million. Read more at www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2016/07/msu-again-tops-100-million-private-support-consecutive-year.

Please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu if you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns about any of our research and economic development activities.

July 14, 2016

Research, economic development stakeholder events a success

Like many of you, we have had a full schedule in the Office of Research and Economic Development this summer, including two important events for ORED stakeholders. In June, we hosted our Research and Technology Advisory Council for a two-day summit, and the feedback from this group of professionals in economic development, business and industry, and state and federal government was exceptional. They let us know what we are doing well, where we can do better, and identified several new opportunities to further diversify Mississippi State's research enterprise that we plan to explore.

We also held a one-day retreat for all of the administrative and support personnel within our division last month. The sessions were very productive, and I think everyone who participated has a greater understanding of our focus on customer service that is designed to streamline the administration process and let researchers focus on their research. Special thanks to Jennifer Easley and Kacey Strickland for leading this effort.

Please let me give you a brief update about a few of our other activities.

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David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

Rollout continues for new protocol submission software
As I mentioned last month, the Office of Research Compliance recently launched new software to accept Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB) and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocols online. Kacey Strickland and the Research Compliance team are offering a variety of training opportunities with the new system, including demonstrations to your department and personal online sessions. The IRB module went live in late May, and the IACUC modules will be up this month. Please contact ORC at 662-325-3294 with any questions or visit http://www.orc.msstate.edu.

Mid-August deadline for SEC visiting faculty travel grants
Please remember that applications for the Southeastern Conference Visiting Faculty Travel Grant Program are now being accepted, and the deadline to apply is Aug. 19. Mississippi State can select a maximum of eight faculty members to receive 2016-2017 travel grants of $1,250 each. The program was created to enhance faculty collaboration that stimulates scholarly initiatives between SEC universities. Additional information is available at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3493.

Sponsored Projects concludes DAWG program's fourth year
Congratulations to the 11 MSU staff members who graduated recently from the Office of Sponsored Projects' professional development program: Holly Coker, Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory; Jeremiah Elliott, School of Human Sciences; Andrew Fox, Institute for Clean Energy Technology; Ellen Harpole, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Casey Moss, Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station; Judy Norwood, Delta Research and Extension Center; Janet Petty, Center for Environmental Health Sciences; Madison Poole, International Institute; Carl Smith, High Performance Computing Collaboratory; Natalie Smith, Bagley College of Engineering; and Mary Thomas, Institute for Systems Engineering Research. The fourth edition of the Departmental Administrator Working Group -- D.A.W.G., for short -- provided participants a nine-month curriculum designed to develop sponsored-project administration skills and foster networking opportunities with their campus peers. Applications for the next class will be made available later this summer.

Kudos and congratulations
I always look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you, and here are a few that have crossed my desk in the past few weeks:

* Kudos to Nancy Reichert, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, who is the 2016-2017 president-elect for the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. She will serve as the 45th president of the national organization. CAST, which was established in 1972, consists of committed scientists whose goal is to "bring science-based information to policymaking and the public." Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3526.

* Congratulations to Donna Reese, head and professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, who has been selected as a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education. She becomes the first honoree to represent the Computer Science and Engineering department and the sixth Bagley College faculty member to be named to ASEE's Academy of Fellows. Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3538.

* Kudos to the Department of Geosciences' Brenda Kirkland, who was honored in June by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists with the Grover E. Murray Memorial Distinguished Educator Award. The award, bestowed on a professional who has significantly contributed to geological education, emphasizes the recipient's success in teaching, guiding student research, and other university and professional research and involvement. Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3528.

* Congratulations to Stephen Grado, who holds the George L. Switzer Professorship in Forestry in the College of Forest Resources, for being among this year's Phi Kappa Phi's Love of Learning award recipients. In addition to his honor, MSU's PKP organization was designated yet again as a chapter of excellence. Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3515.

Final words
During its annual awards luncheon in Jackson last month, the Mississippi Main Street Association honored Mark Castleberry with the Outstanding Economic Impact Project award for The Mill at MSU. And last week, the Mississippi Municipal League honored Starkville with its overall Municipal Excellence Award because of the public-private partnership that worked together to take The Mill from possibility to reality. I can't tell you how pleased I am about this recognition for The Mill. It honors the outstanding teamwork of so many folks on our campus, in the local community, and the developer, architect, engineering and construction team, and lenders.

Please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu if you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns about any of our research and economic development activities.

June 9, 2016

Summer off to great start for research, economic development

I hope that your summer is off to a great start. We have been busy in the Office of Research and Economic Development, and I'd like to take a few minutes to give you an update.

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David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

Partnership School moving forward
As many of you know, Mississippi State has been working with the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District, state and local elected officials, and other stakeholders to create a new Partnership School to serve all sixth- and seventh-grade students in the district. Thanks to a tremendous team effort, this project is moving forward quickly. Most recently, district funding was secured with no opposition, and we are taking steps toward construction. In late May, school district and university representatives met with architects to discuss design ideas, and we had a very productive discussion. If you have any questions about the Partnership School, please contact Devon Brenner, who recently joined ORED as assistant to the vice president for education initiatives, at devon@research.msstate.edu.

New name, additional services for sponsored projects office
In May, we were pleased to announce a new name and additional services for Mississippi State's sponsored projects office after a thorough review and planning process. Known previously as Sponsored Programs Administration, the new Office of Sponsored Projects has a renewed focus on streamlining the research administration process and helping researchers write successful funding proposals in addition to its other sponsored-project administration responsibilities.

Later this summer, Sponsored Projects will be opening a one-stop shop for faculty and staff in need of assistance with writing a competitive funding proposal. The new proposal development office on Morgan Ave. will provide resources, staff expertise, space to work, and other amenities. I appreciate Jennifer Easley and her team for undertaking these challenges to help our researchers achieve their goals. Read more about this initiative at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3471.

Research Compliance launches new protocol submission software
The Office of Research Compliance recently launched new software to accept Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB) and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocols online. The system is part of our division-wide effort to enhance customer service and automate, streamline, and accelerate the research administration process. Kacey Strickland and the Research Compliance team are happy to help you get started with the new software. They are offering a variety of training opportunities with the new system, including demonstrations to your department and personal online sessions. The IRB module went live in late May, and the IACUC modules will follow in mid-July. Please contact ORC at 662-325-3294 with any questions or visit http://www.orc.msstate.edu.

Updated policy for unmanned aircraft systems on campus
The university's Executive Council has approved a new unmanned aircraft policy, and I encourage anyone with an interest in operating unmanned aircraft on campus to review this policy carefully. The policy is based on best practices and current law, and I am confident that it addresses many of the questions and concerns people have about unmanned aircraft. Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3487.

Institutional Repository now online, accepting submissions
As many of you know, MSU Libraries has been investing in a Scholarly Communication Initiative, and a new component of that program is now online and accepting submissions. The new MSU Institutional Repository -- available at http://ir.library.msstate.edu -- is a central digital archive for collecting, organizing, preserving, and sharing Mississippi State's history, intellectual and scholarly creations, and research data. For additional information or if you have questions, please contact Julie Shedd at iradmin@library.msstate.edu.

Applications sought for SEC Visiting Faculty Travel Grants
Applications for the Southeastern Conference Visiting Faculty Travel Grant Program are now being accepted. The program was created to enhance faculty collaboration that stimulates scholarly initiatives between SEC universities. Mississippi State can select a maximum of eight faculty members to receive 2016-2017 travel grants of $1,250 each, and the deadline to apply is Aug. 19. Additional information is available at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3493.

Kudos and congratulations
I always look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you, and here are a few that have crossed my desk in the past few weeks:

* Kudos to Veera Gnanewswar Gude, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who was awarded the Outstanding New Faculty Researcher Award by the American Society for Engineering Education's Southeastern Section. Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3410.

* Congratulations to Giselle Thibaudeau, who has been named associate dean for research in the College of Arts and Sciences after a very successful stint as interim. Read more at http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2016/05/thibaudeau-begins-associate-dean-research-role-msu.

* Kudos to Tim Schauwecker, an associate professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture, who was named 2016 Outstanding Educator of the Year by the National Association of Landscape Professionals Academic Excellence Foundation. Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3460.

* Congratulations to Zach Rowland, who has been named interim director of the Institute for Imaging and Analytical Technologies. Read more at http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2016/05/rowland-named-interim-director-mississippi-state%E2%80%99s-i2at.

* Kudos to the Northern Gulf Institute team that was recently honored with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2016 Sam D. Hamilton Award for Transformational Conservational Science. Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3464.

* Congratulations to Larry Strout, an associate professor in the Department of Communication, who is one of six recipients of a prestigious Scripps Howard Foundation Visiting Professor in Social Media Program grant. Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3486.

Final words
As chair of the search committee for Mississippi State's new provost and executive vice president, I would like to again thank the committee members and the larger university community for their many contributions to this process. It was a truly constructive and collaborative effort, and I am looking forward to working with Judy Bonner when she joins us later this summer.

And please join me in welcoming Rick Nader to campus as our new associate vice president for international programs and executive director of the International Institute at MSU. As the university's focus on international initiatives grows, I am confident that he will build on the successful foundation we have in place and lead us to greater achievements and impact.

Please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu if you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns about any of our research and economic development activities.

May 9, 2016

Working with UMMC? Please let us know

One of the highlights of the year for me is the Annual Research Awards Banquet, which the Office of Research and Economic Development co-hosts with the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine every April.

This year, we honored Wes Burger -- associate director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, associate director of the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, Dale Arner Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology, and Grisham Master Teacher in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture -- with the Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award for his many contributions to Mississippi State's research enterprise.

We were pleased that President Mark Keenum, members of the Powe family, and more than 200 guests -- one of our largest crowds ever -- could join us to celebrate the university's research success stories and their significant impact on our state. Thanks very much to Carmen Kelly, Jessica Northcutt and Lynn Taylor for putting together an outstanding event. Read more about Dr. Burger and all of our award winners at http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2016/04/mississippi-state-celebrates-research-success-annual-banquet or view our banquet book designed by the Office of Public Affairs' Heather Rowe at http://www.research.msstate.edu/rresources/pdf/2016ResearchAwardsProgram.pdf.

As I write this month's letter, we are wrapping up interviews of the candidates for provost and executive vice president. I have been reminded yet again how great this institution is, as seen through the eyes of the candidates and those who have participated in the interviews. If you have not done so, please view the videos of the candidates open sessions at http://www.provostsearch.msstate.edu.

And of course, please provide your feedback of each candidate's strengths, weaknesses, and overall fit for MSU by May 9.

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David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

Working with UMMC? Please let us know
Many of you were able to join us last month when we officially launched a new initiative between Mississippi State, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities. We discussed several existing projects underway between our institutions during the celebration, but we would like to gather additional information about other collaborations. If you have ever worked with UMMC, are currently working with UMMC, or have plans to work with UMMC on joint research or outreach in the future, please take a few minutes before May 14 to complete our brief survey at https://msudafvm.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3P2tAPjQd14muKF.

Insitu opens office in Research Park
Please join me in welcoming Insitu to the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park this month. A subsidiary of Boeing, Insitu develops unmanned systems and software technology. MSU Associate Vice President for Corporate Engagement and Economic Development Kathy Gelston joined the Mississippi Development Authority and company officials for the announcement during the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International's XPONENTIAL 2016 industry show in New Orleans this week. We are looking forward to working with a new corporate partner in the park. Read more at http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/insitu-to-open-new-facility-at-mississippi-state-university-in-support-of-commercial-uas-industry-300262619.html.

Site visit for HRPP accreditation this month
The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) site visit for re-accreditation takes place May 16-17, and administrators, researchers, staff, and key personnel from around campus have been asked to meet with the AAHRPP site visit team to answer questions about MSU's HRPP. If you have any questions about the site visit, please feel free to contact the HRPP team at irb@research.msstate.edu.

Kudos and congratulations
I always look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you, and here are a few that have crossed my desk in the past few weeks:

* Kudos to Trey Breckenridge, the director of high performance computing at the High Performance Computing Collaboratory, for his appointment as Honorary Commander of the 14th Communications Squadron at Columbus Air Force Base.

* Congratulations to Adam Skarke, assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences and research fellow with the Geosystems Research Institute, who has been selected as an Early-Career Research Fellow with the Gulf Research Program.

* Kudos to Alicia Musselwhite, the university's fire and life safety officer, who has earned the Certified Fire Protection Specialist designation. The CFPS credential is offered jointly by the CFPS Board and the National Fire Protection Association. She is one of only 11 in the state to achieve this distinction.

* Congratulations to Bettina Beech, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion and executive director of the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities, who has been named an American Council on Education Fellow.

Final words
As many of you know, our office works closely with the MSU Foundation on a number of projects, and I was very pleased to see that the university's Infinite Impact capital campaign has surpassed its initial goal of $600 million ahead of schedule and has been reset at $1 billion -- a historic fundraising amount and a first for any institution in the state. Read more about the campaign's new target at http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2016/04/support-%E2%80%98infinite-impact%E2%80%99-soars-mississippi-state-extends-fundraising.

Please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu if you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns about any of our research and economic development activities.

April 8, 2016

Research tab goes live in MyState for PIs, co-PIs

During the past month, we had a great conversation with several deans, as well as the directors of the university's centers and institutes and the associate deans for research, about the recent Carnegie Classification changes. Thanks to some top-notch analysis by Don Zant, Tim Chamblee, and their teams, we now have a better understanding of the algorithm used to set the new classifications. Moving forward, there are several short- and long-term changes that we can implement as a university to enhance where we are in the Carnegie metric, but we are in agreement that we will only make changes that make us a stronger institution.

As I stated earlier this spring, Mississippi State's research enterprise is robust and growing. In the most recent National Science Foundation survey, Mississippi State research expenditures totaled $210 million in FY 2014, accounting for more than half of the total $410 million in research and development expenditures reported by all Mississippi institutions. Our discussion last month was only the beginning of what I expect to be a productive process, and we will share more information about it in the coming months.

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David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

Research tab goes live in MyState
After a lot of hard work by Sponsored Programs Administration and Information Technology Services, principal investigators and co-PIs with active projects or pending proposals now have access to a new Research tab in Banner via the MyState portal. We believe this additional resource will help our researchers manage their sponsored projects, and plan on enhancing its content as we receive feedback from users. If you have any questions, please contact SPA Director Jennifer Easley at jeasley@spa.msstate.edu or 662-325-3751.

You're invited: Partnership celebration April 18
On April 18 at 11 a.m. in the Parker Ballroom at the Hunter Henry Center, we will officially launch a new initiative between Mississippi State, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities. Dr. Rick deShazo, UMMC distinguished professor of medicine, pediatrics and immunology, and a host for "Southern Remedy" on Mississippi Public Broadcasting, will be the keynote speaker as we sign a memorandum of understanding creating this innovative partnership. I hope to see you there.

Full agenda set for animal care and use conference
On April 29, the Office of Research Compliance is hosting a Shining a Light on Issues Affecting the Animal Care and Use Community conference in conjunction with Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hunter Henry Center. The meeting will include presentations from the USDA, NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Care International, and FBI. Online registration is available at http://www.orc.msstate.edu/animalcare/iacuc/annual/registration.

Learn about working with industry (and get RCR credit too)
We have an opportunity this month to learn about the challenges and opportunities that come with working with industry. Associate Vice President for Corporate Engagement and Economic Development Kathy Gelston will lead a seminar to help faculty, researchers, staff and students identify ways to establish mutually beneficial industrial collaborations and develop strong strategic partnerships. Her presentation takes place on April 19 from 10-11:30 a.m. in the theater at Bost Extension Center, and it will also count as a Responsible Conduct of Research credit. To register, visit http://www.research.msstate.edu/workshops or contact Lynn Taylor at 662-325-3168 or ltaylor@research.msstate.edu with questions.

International Institute plans study abroad program development session
The International Institute's Office of Study Abroad will be hosting a workshop on April 14 at 3 p.m. in 210 Lloyd-Ricks-Watson Building for Mississippi State faculty and administrators interested in developing a successful faculty-led study abroad program. Participants will learn about the key components that lend themselves to an effective study abroad program. Study abroad is an integral component of the university's focus on international development, and I encourage you to attend this session if you are interested in learning more. Contact Annika Campbell at acampbell@international.msstate.edu with any questions about the workshop.

Reminder: May site visit set for HRPP accreditation
The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) site visit for re-accreditation has been scheduled for May 16-17. Administrators, researchers, staff and key personnel from around campus will be asked to meet with the AAHRPP site visit team to answer questions about MSU's HRPP. Feel free to contact the HRPP team at irb@research.msstate.edu with any questions.

Kudos and congratulations
I always look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you, and here are a few that have crossed my desk in the past few weeks:

* Congratulations to Darrin Dodds, an associate extension and research professor, who received the Dr. J. Tom Cothren Outstanding Young Physiologist Award at the 2016 Beltwide Cotton Conference. Read more about this honor at http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2016/02/msu-students-and-faculty-honored-beltwide-cotton-conference.

* Kudos to Associate Extension/Research Professor Tom Allen, the 2016 Soybean Researcher of the Year, and to Research Professor Wayne Ebelhar, the 2016 Corn Researcher of the Year. They received their awards at the 19th Annual National Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference, Southern Corn and Soybean Conference, Southern Precision Ag Conference and Delta States Irrigation Conference. Read more about the awards and their research at http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2016/03/delta-based-msu-researchers-receive-national-recognitions.

* Congratulations to Mimmo Parisi, the executive director of the National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center and professor of sociology, who recently won a 2016 Diversity Award from the President's Commission on the Status of Minorities at MSU. Read more about this recognition at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3396.

* Kudos to Diana Outlaw, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, for winning a $81,712 congressional award from the National Institutes of Health's Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for her innovative work on the specific properties of malaria parasites. Read more about this prestigious funding award at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3391.

Final words
On April 28, we will join the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine to co-host the Annual Research Awards Banquet. This special event is a highlight of my year, and I am looking forward to spending some time with our award-winning faculty, staff and student researchers and research support team members. Look for additional information about this year's recipients in next month's letter.

Please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu if you have any questions, suggestions or concerns about any of our research and economic development activities.

March 15, 2016

Spring calendar filling up with research events

Although many of you are away for spring break this week, I still wanted to take a few minutes and provide a brief update from the Office of Research and Economic Development. We have several important events coming up that you will not want to miss.

DavidShawHeadshotBlog.jpg

David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

New initiative tackling health disparities
In April, I hope that you will join us for a celebration officially launching a new initiative between Mississippi State, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities. Dr. Rick deShazo, UMMC distinguished professor of medicine, pediatrics and immunology, and a host for "Southern Remedy" on Mississippi Public Broadcasting, will be the keynote speaker as we sign a memorandum of understanding creating this innovative partnership on April 18 at 11 a.m. in the Hunter Henry Center's Parker Ballroom.

University hosting IACUC-focused conference in April
As I mentioned last month, we are looking forward to the Office of Research Compliance hosting a Shining a Light on Issues Affecting the Animal Care and Use Community conference in conjunction with Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research on April 29 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hunter Henry Center. The meeting will include presentations from the USDA, NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Care International, and FBI, and I encourage you to attend. Online registration is available at www.orc.msstate.edu/animalcare/iacuc/annual/registration and the $25 fee includes lunch. Please contact Trina Smith at tsmith@orc.msstate.edu with any questions.

Reminder: May site visit scheduled for HRPP accreditation
The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) site visit for re-accreditation has been scheduled for May 16-17. Administrators, researchers, staff and key personnel from around campus will be asked to meet with the AAHRPP site visit team to answer questions about MSU's HRPP. If you have any questions about the site visit or Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research (IRB) submissions, please feel free to contact the HRPP team at irb@research.msstate.edu.

SPA here to help with proposal development
Sponsored Programs Administration and my office work closely together to help faculty find the resources they need to support their work. We realize that writing grants can seem like a daunting task, and that is why we are committed to offering assistance. We have a number of exciting enhancements planned for this area, and look forward to sharing details with you in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you need help with creating your proposal budget, completing Grants.Gov forms, or other administrative tasks such as these, please contact SPA director Jennifer Easley at jeasley@spa.msstate.edu or 662-325-3751.

Federal program officers visiting campus
As the research funding environment becomes more competitive, relationships with federal agency program officers are essential. Faculty will have the opportunity to meet with two officers next month. Steve Ellis, the Physiological and Structural Systems program director in the National Science Foundation's Division of Integrative Organismal Systems, will lead a presentation on April 4 from 10-11:30 a.m. in the theater at Bost Extension Center. On April 11, Tingyu Li from the Division of Chemistry in the NSF's Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences/Chemistry will visit and offer a presentation from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Bost theater. Each official also will be available for one-on-one sessions for researchers who would like to pitch a proposal. Learn more about this opportunity at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3358.

Global Engagement Series to explore 'Inviting an International Scholar'
The International Institute will host a forum on "Inviting an International Scholar" as part of its Global Engagement Series on March 24 at 3:30 p.m. in Colvard Student Union's Fowlkes Auditorium. The seminar will explain the process of inviting an international visitor -- including scholar, researcher or intern -- to campus and obligations of the host department to the visitor during their stay. Considerations that will be discussed include housing, immigration (DS-2019 form assistance), export control compliance, letters of invitation, and funding. Additional information is online at http://memo.msstate.edu/announcement.php?id=2066.

The International Institute has also released the newest edition of Global Insight magazine, and I encourage you to take a look at it -- http://international.msstate.edu/pdf/GIfall2015.pdf.

Kudos and congratulations
I always look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you, and here are a few that have crossed my desk in the past few weeks:

* Congratulations to Merrill Warkentin, professor of management information systems and Drew Allen Endowed Fellow in the College of Business, who spoke during the 2016 NATO Advanced Training Course -- Countering the South-East European Terrorist Threat -- in Macedonia last month. The training course promotes regional cooperation between NATO and partner countries in developing resilient responses, effective prevention of terrorist activities and significant counter radicalization processes. Read more about his presentation at www.business.msstate.edu/archive/index.php?uid=844&itk=1a88674b9d39d3beea3b4e32d3e4db88.

* Kudos to Dallas Brooks, the director of the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory and ASSURE associate director of research, who is serving on the FAA's Micro Unmanned Aircraft Systems Aviation Rulemaking Committee. According to the agency, the rulemaking committee will develop recommendations for performance-based standards for the classification and operation of certain UAS that can be operated safely over people; identify how UAS manufacturers can comply with the requirements; and propose operational provisions based on the requirements. The FAA will draft a rulemaking proposal after reviewing the committee's report.

* Congratulations to Renee Clary, an associate professor of geology and director of the Department of Geoscience's Dunn-Seiler Museum, who was recognized in February as the Mississippi Academy of Sciences' 2016 Science Teacher of the Year. Read more about this honor at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3321.

Final words
The spring issue of Maroon Research magazine is now available on our website, and printed issues will be mailed later this week. If you'd like to read it online, visit www.research.msstate.edu/rresources/pdf/MaroonResearchSpring2016Web.pdf.

Please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu if you have any questions, suggestions or concerns about any of our research and economic development activities.

February 11, 2016

Busy semester with seminars, program officer visits, more

We have a seminar coming up this month that many of you will have an interest in: "Establishing Effective Working Relationships between Faculty and Students in the Laboratory" will be led by Jan Chambers on Feb. 18 from 3-4:30 p.m. in the theater at Bost Extension Center. Her presentation will help both faculty and students understand their roles, responsibilities and expectations to achieve optimal research progress and student training. I encourage you to attend and to invite your students. This session will also count for Responsible Conduct of Research training credit. Register or learn more at http://www.research.msstate.edu/workshops.

Like you, we have been busy in the Office of Research and Economic Development this semester, and I'd like to take a few minutes to give you an update.

DavidShawHeadshotBlog.jpg

David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

Cross-college collaborative research grants awarded
We are pleased to announce the latest recipients of our cross-college, collaborative research grants in conjunction with the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine. This marks the sixth year we have funded these grants, and we are very pleased to be able to provide additional resources that help faculty move their work forward. I appreciate Assistant Vice President for Research Teresa Gammill leading this effort. Thanks to all who submitted a proposal, and congratulations to our recipients: Stamatis Agiovlasitis, Harish Chanderm, Lei Chen, Linda Coats, Steven Elder, Yuhua Farnell, Michael Galaty, Jennifer Gambino, Leslie Hossfeld, Richard Ingram, Mohammad Marufuzzaman, Emily McGlohn, Deb Mlsna, Amy Moe Hoffman, Jean Mohamadi-Aragh, Robert Moorhead, Brittney Oliver, Courtney Siegert, Nima Shamsaei, Brian Shoup, LaShan Simpson, Colleen Sinclair, Elizabeth Tofte, Te-Ming Paul Tseng and Hui Wan. For additional information, please see http://www.research.msstate.edu/rresources/news.php?id=4642.

International Institute awards faculty grants
The International Institute has awarded eight faculty grants as part of its inaugural International Working Group program. Successful proposals coincided with the university's strategic research focus areas, including environmental sustainability, food safety and health, and international development. Awards ranging from $2,500 to $4,000 were designed to stimulate international interdisciplinary research and outreach, while also serving to catalyze MSU's partnerships with other universities and organizations abroad. Congratulations to the recipients: Peter Allen, Craig Capano, Chih-Chia Chen, Lei Chen, Matthew Freeman, Margaret Khaitsa, Margaret Ralston and Timothy Schauwecker. Read more about their projects at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3298.

Federal program officers visiting campus
As the research funding environment becomes more competitive, relationships with federal agency program officers are essential. Later this month, faculty will have the opportunity to meet with two officers: Katherine Jung and Abraham Bautista from the National Institutes of Health will lead a presentation on Feb. 24 from 10-11:30 a.m. at Bost Extension Center, and also will be available for one-on-one sessions for researchers who would like to pitch a proposal. They will offer immediate feedback. The individual sessions begin at 8 a.m. that day and will run on 15-minute intervals. Please contact Lynn Taylor at ltaylor@research.msstate.edu or 662-325-3168 to schedule an appointment. Register or learn more about the seminar at http://www.research.msstate.edu/workshops.

University hosting IACUC-focused conference in April
We are looking forward to the Office of Research Compliance hosting a Shining a Light on Issues Affecting the Animal Care and Use Community conference in conjunction with Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research on April 29 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hunter Henry Center. The meeting will include presentations from the USDA, NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Care International, and FBI. Online registration is available at http://www.orc.msstate.edu/animalcare/iacuc/annual/registration and the $25 fee includes lunch. Please contact Trina Smith at tsmith@orc.msstate.edu with any questions.

May site visit scheduled for HRPP accreditation
In September 2013, the university's Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) received full accreditation for a three-year period from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP). The site visit for re-accreditation has been scheduled for May 16-17, and if successful, we will achieve five-year accreditation. Administrators, researchers, staff and key personnel from around campus will be asked to meet with the AAHRPP site visit team in May to answer questions about MSU's HRPP, and we will provide more details with you as the time nears. If you have any questions about the site visit or Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research (IRB) submissions, please feel free to contact the HRPP team at irb@research.msstate.edu.

Kudos and congratulations
I always look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you, and here are a few that have crossed my desk in the past few weeks:

* Congratulations to Renee Clary, an associate professor in the Department of Geosciences and director of the Dunn-Seiler Museum, who has been named the Mississippi Academy of Sciences 2016 Science Teacher of the Year. Well done!

* Kudos to Cody Coyne, professor of molecular pharmacology and immunology in the College of Veterinary Medicine's Department of Basic Sciences and president of the Robert Holland Faculty Senate, who was named MSU's 2016 HEADWAE faculty honoree. Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3293.

* Congratulations to 2015 Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award winner Brent Funderburk, a professor in the Department of Art, whose work has received recognition in the fine art category of Creative Quarterly: The Journal of Art and Design's Best 100 Annual 2015. Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3299.

* Kudos to Pedro Mago, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who has been appointed to serve a two-year term on the Tennessee Valley Authority's Regional Energy Resource Council. In addition to ME department head and professor, Dr. Mago fills the position of MSU PACCAR chair and serves on the ASME Mechanical Engineering Department Head Executive Committee. Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3284.

Final words
As many of you know, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has altered its criteria for classifying the country's research universities every five years, and in fact, Carnegie transferred responsibility for the program to Indiana University in 2015, with the Lumina Foundation underwriting an update of the program to reflect "an evolving higher education landscape." The latest review was released this month, and MSU is now classified as a "higher research activity" institution in the new system. We were very surprised to learn of this status change, as were many of our peers around the country who saw changes at their institutions. There is a great deal of uncertainty about the specific values assigned to the rating criteria because the formula is not public. However, we are working through that process and expect to have a clearer understanding of the new Carnegie methodology soon.

While I do not want to understate my concern, I feel compelled to reassure you that our university's research enterprise is robust and growing. In the most recent National Science Foundation survey, Mississippi State research expenditures totaled $210 million in FY 2014, accounting for more than half of the total $410 million in research and development expenditures reported by all Mississippi institutions. We were also ranked among the nation's top 100 research institutions, and came in at No. 8 in agricultural sciences R&D expenditures. The FY 2015 numbers look well ahead of 2014, and that is a credit to the hard work and commitment of our faculty, staff and student researchers -- you will never know how much I appreciate your efforts.

Please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu if you have any questions, suggestions or concerns about the Carnegie classification or any of our other research and economic development activities.

Go Dawgs!

-- David

January 15, 2016

Tackling challenges, opportunities in the new year

The beginning of a new semester is an exciting time to be on our campus, and I hope your spring semester is off to a terrific start. Last week, the Office of Research and Economic Development team and our colleagues from throughout the research division spent some time talking about where we are, where we need to go, and how we are going to get there. It was a very productive session, and I appreciated the candid feedback from the folks who often work behind the scenes, but are nonetheless critical to the success of Mississippi State's research enterprise. The challenges and opportunities before us in the new year are many, and we are looking forward to tackling them. Please let me take a moment to give you a brief update from around ORED.

DavidShawHeadshotBlog.jpg

David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

Nominations sought for Powe and research awards
One of the highlights of my year is the annual research awards banquet in April when we honor our faculty, staff and students for their outstanding research achievements. We are now taking nominations for the awards, and I encourage you to make your submissions as soon as possible. Forms and additional information are posted on our website at http://www.research.msstate.edu/rresources/news.php?id=4600.

HORNE Cyber Solutions opens office in Research Park
We recently welcomed HORNE Cyber Solutions to the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park, and look forward to a productive partnership with this Mississippi business success story. Read more at http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2016/01/horne-cyber-solutions-selects-research-park-new-office.

Monthly RCR seminar coming up Tuesday
Three federal agencies require training and oversight in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR): the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the USDA-National Institutes of Food and Agriculture. To help you comply with these requirements, the Office of Research Compliance hosts at least one seminar per month during the fall and spring semesters that satisfy the face-to-face component of the training. If you have questions about RCR training, visit the ORC website at http://www.orc.msstate.edu/conduct or contact Kacey Strickland at 662-325-7474. The first seminar of the spring semester will be on Tuesday [Jan. 19] from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Bost Extension Center theater, and it is not too late to sign up. Robert Green will facilitate a research ethics discussion. Register online at https://ssl2.msstate.edu/orc/workshops/loginorc.php.

Reminder: IRB training required for human subjects researchers
With the start of classes and course-related projects, the Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) would like to remind everyone that Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB) training is required in order to conduct human subjects research. The HRPP is available to assist faculty and students in determining if their study requires IRB oversight:

-- If you need to complete or update your IRB training, several options are available at www.orc.msstate.edu/humansubjects/training.

-- To assist you with your IRB submission planning, view a timeline flowchart about the review process at www.orc.msstate.edu/humansubjects/forms

Please feel free to contact Jodi Roberts, Nicole Cobb or Ashley Massey at 662-325-3294 with any questions or concerns about your human subjects research projects.

Process for inviting international research scholars on J-1 visas updated
The process for inviting an international research scholar on a J-1 visa has been updated to encompass authorizations from both the Office of Research Security and for Procurement and Contracts, as well as a fully executed official visitor agreement coordinated by ORED. In addition to these steps, a complete visitor packet must also include the DS-2019 request form as required by the International Services Office for immigration document issuance. The DS-2019 request form was recently revised to incorporate changes in federal immigration regulation. For more information on inviting an international research scholar or student intern, please contact Caroline Hearnsberger or review the process at http://international.msstate.edu/current/services/visschol/invite.php.

NSF has new public access plan
As we move into a new year, we wanted to remind you of the new public access plan that the National Science Foundation has developed for all NSF-funded research. The plan -- "Today's Data, Tomorrow's Discoveries" -- is designed to encourage data sharing and the effective communication of research results. Read more about this requirement at https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/public_access.

Spring Research Seminar Series underway
We have a solid lineup of presentations and speakers scheduled for ORED's Research Seminar Series this spring, and I encourage you to participate. View an online brochure at http://www.web.ur.msstate.edu/web/temp/newsfiles/OREDSeminarSeriesSpring2016Web.pdf or visit the registration website at http://www.research.msstate.edu/workshops.

Kudos to newest certified research administrators
Congratulations to the newest Certified Research Administrators (CRAs) on campus: Brandy Akers, High Performance Computing Collaboratory; Becky Bassett, Sponsored Programs Administration; Chris Bell and Cheryl Woody, Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems; Nicole Cobb, Office of Research Compliance; and Kate Teasler, Institute for Imaging and Analytical Technologies. I appreciate SPA facilitating a study group for the CRA exam, which is another way we are promoting research and creativity by providing optimum administrative support for faculty and staff. It is worth noting that 22 of the 38 CRAs in the state of Mississippi are at MSU.

Final words
As many of you know, David Thompson, the Airbus Helicopters Inc. Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, has joined us in ORED for a one-year administrative internship as special assistant vice president. I am looking forward to working closely with Dr. Thompson, and believe he will provide keen insight and be a valuable part of our leadership team. David will be focusing his efforts on providing a faculty perspective on how we can improve ORED support for faculty research development and enhance Mississippi State's competitive grants success.

Thank you for taking the time to read this month's letter. Please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu if you have any questions, suggestions or concerns about Mississippi State's research and economic development activities.

-- David

December 7, 2015

Research proposals and the upcoming break

Season's greetings from the Office of Research and Economic Development. We find ourselves near the end of another semester at Mississippi State, but before it draws to a close, please let me share a brief update with you.

DavidShawHeadshotBlog.jpg

David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

Research proposals and the upcoming break
I need to begin with a reminder to anyone working on research proposals that may be due during MSU's winter break between Dec. 22-Jan. 1. The Office of Sponsored Programs Administration closes along with the rest of the university, and so if you have a special need for SPA support over the holidays, please coordinate that with SPA Director Jennifer Easley prior to the break. Her e-mail address is jeasley@spa.msstate.edu or call 662-325-3751.

Proposals sought for international working group grant program
As you know, developing international research opportunities and relationships is a priority at Mississippi State. With that goal in mind, the International Institute is requesting proposals from faculty and research and extension staff interested in creating interdisciplinary, cross-college international working groups at MSU. Grants will be awarded up to $2,500 and have a 12-month duration. The deadline to apply is Dec. 15, and additional information is online at http://www.research.msstate.edu/rresources/news.php?id=4551.

Space heater questions? EH&S Office has answers
It's that time of year when it gets cold -- even in Mississippi. Many of you will be using space heaters in your offices over the coming months, and I urge you to contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office with any concerns about heaters that are allowed on our campus. EH&S serves as the liaison for the university with the State Fire Marshal's Office, and all questions pertaining to purchase or usage of heaters should be communicated through MSU's EH&S Office. Portable, electric space heaters are allowed only if the requirements of MSU OP 95.502 are met. The State of Mississippi has adopted NFPA standards and ICC codes. Therefore any heater in use in a state-owned facility, including MSU facilities, must be UL approved. Procurement and Contracts and EH&S have assembled a list of UL-approved space heaters available for purchase, and a copy of this list can be obtained by contacting Alicia Musselwhite at amusselwhite@ehs.msstate.edu. or 662-325-4607.

NRTC awarded major grants to expand mission
Congratulations to the National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, which is receiving two new federal grants totaling more than $7.3 million. The funding supports six new university research projects under its Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment Outcomes for Individuals with Blindness or Other Visual Impairments. Read more about this achievement at http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2015/11/msu-blindness-center-awarded-major-grants-expand-mission.

Final words
During this special time of year, we wish you happy holidays and all the best in the upcoming new year. If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns about Mississippi State's research and economic development activities, please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu.

Merry Christmas and Go Dawgs!

-- David

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