April 2, 2014

Busy spring semester for research, economic development

Like many of you, we have had a busy spring semester in the Office of Research and Economic Development. In mid-March, we celebrated the official groundbreaking of The Mill at Mississippi State University, a $40-million mixed-used development that will transform the historic Cooley Building property into an economic development asset for our campus and community. I am very excited about this project’s potential, and believe it will serve as a catalyst for additional opportunities in the near future. For more about it, please see the Office of Public Affairs news release at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6546

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

Starkville-Oktibbeha school consolidation moving forward
As I write this, the Legislature just passed HB 2818, which codified the recommendations from the recent Consolidation Commission on which I had the opportunity to represent MSU. This legislation and the follow-on activities that are now sure to come will have some of the most far-reaching impacts on our city, county and university of anything in the past half-century. It is exciting to see the role that Mississippi State can play in impacting the education of our children, the economic development that can occur, and the enhanced quality of life that will result. This is yet one more example of the role MSU can play in moving our state forward.

Faculty leadership program nominations wanted
In the upcoming 2014-2015 academic year, my office and the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President will again be conducting an Academic Leadership Orientation Program for selected faculty. Participation will be limited to approximately 12 individuals who will be selected from those that apply. Any faculty member is eligible, but must be nominated. This program has been very successful in the past, and many of its graduates serve in key leadership positions on our campus. To apply, interested faculty should send a one-page summary addressing their future career plans, a current, abbreviated CV and a one-page nomination letter from their center director, department head or dean. These materials should be emailed to Lynn Taylor at ltaylor@research.msstate.edu no later than May 30.

NSF auditing Responsible Conduct of Research program
The National Science Foundation’s Office of the Inspector General is in the process of auditing the university’s Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training program. The responsible and ethical conduct of research is critical for excellence, as well as public trust, in science and engineering and is essential in the preparation of our students. The NSF now mandates that at the time of a proposal submission the project investigator must complete a certification stating that Mississippi State has a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who will be supported by NSF funding to conduct research. This procedure applies to everyone carrying out research under the auspices of MSU, whether their current place of work is within or outside university premises. This includes, but is not limited to, all staff, visiting researchers, those with honorary posts and registered students. It is the responsibility of the principal investigator on a project to ensure that all students involved in the project are aware of and comply with the federal funding agency’s mandate and participate in the university’s RCR training. Please review MSU’s training plan and make sure that you are in compliance should we receive a site visit from the NSF OIG. Please contact Teresa Gammill at tgammill@research.msstate.edu or 662-325-3570 if you have questions pertaining to RCR training and implementation. Our plan for the NSF, the NIH, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Federal Demonstration Partnership is available at http://www.research.msstate.edu/rconduct

Cayuse 424: proposal development system update
Thanks to everyone who has assisted with Sponsored Programs Administration’s testing of a new proposal development system -- Cayuse 424. During the trial, we have had more than 20 proposals submitted totaling more than $35 million in requested funds and involving faculty from five colleges and a number of centers. We have received important feedback from you regarding the system, and invite you to continue sending your thoughts to Jennifer Easley at jeasley@spa.msstate.edu. We are excited about a formal rollout of Cayuse 424 this summer. Please be on the lookout for training opportunities and other resources in support of this exciting new proposal development system.

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

* Congratulations to Jerry Emison, a professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, for being elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners. The distinction is among the highest for the nation's professional planners with about one percent achieving this status.

* Kudos to Nicholas Herrmann, an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, and his team for their excavation and research of graves discovered on the grounds of the former Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum, now home to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. This effort has garnered national attention, and serves as an excellent example of the incredible real-world difference our university makes in the state. Read more about it from CNN at http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/08/us/mississippi-unmarked-graves/index.html

* Congratulations to the Research and Curriculum Unit, where Kristen Dechert, Alexis Nordin and Lois Kappler had their paper, titled “Developing and Implementing a Principal- and Teacher-Evaluation System in Mississippi,” accepted for the International Conference on Education. And Kristen’s submission, titled “Using a Needs Assessment to Affect Public Perception of CTE in Mississippi,” was accepted for an ICE poster session. Additionally, Sean Owen and Alexis had a paper picked up at the annual meeting of the National Association for CTE Information in Kentucky, titled “A multi-cohort analysis of graduation rates and contributing factors in secondary CTE students.” Kristen’s paper, “CTE Educators' Roles in Implementing Statewide Administrator and Teacher Evaluation Systems in Mississippi,” co-authored with Alexis, was also accepted for NACTEI.

Final words
As I have mentioned, funding from grants and contracts is critical to the continued success of our research enterprise, and I applaud all of you who are writing proposals and developing contacts with funding agencies during this very busy time of year. If my office can be of any assistance, please let us know. As always, thank you for taking the time to read this month’s letter. Please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu with your questions or suggestions.

Go Dawgs!

— David

March 25, 2014

Food security, water resources in focus for consultant's visit

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Leonard Gianessi delivered a lecture to students, faculty and staff in Colvard Student Union's Fowlkes Auditorium on March 20. PHOTO: Beth Wynn | Public Affairs


Leonard Gianessi was at Mississippi State University for presentations and tours last week. The CropLife Foundation consultant discussed the important role of pesticides in food production. He offered case studies from around the world that illustrated challenges in food production over the past 50 years.

Click here to watch a video of Mr. Gianessi's lecture at MSU. The accompanying PowerPoint slides are available by clicking here.

Gianessi also heard from MSU experts who spoke about irrigation, herbicide use and resistance, and issues related to pollinators and pesticides, including a presentation from Dr. Jason Krutz, associate Extension research professor at the Delta Research and Extension Center.

Click here to watch a video of Dr. Krutz's presentation. The accompanying PowerPoint slides are available by clicking here.

Greg Bohach is vice president of the MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine, which joined the MSU Office of Research and Economic Development in hosting Gianessi’s visit.

“Mr. Gianessi is a well-spoken advocate for the use of pesticides as part of the world’s efforts to feed the expanding population,” Dr. Bohach said.

March 4, 2014

REUs provide additional student opportunities, funding

We were pleased to see late last month that Mississippi State is among the top 60 public universities in the country in the latest edition of “The Top American Research Universities.” The annual report released by the Center for Measuring University Performance, a project of Arizona State and the University of Massachusetts, uses National Science Foundation data to measure and rank the nation’s leading research universities, and our placement at No. 56 in the survey is additional confirmation that MSU is our state’s flagship research institution thanks to the outstanding work of our faculty, staff and students. Thank you for your contributions to the success of MSU’s research enterprise.

It is hard to believe that spring break is a week away. This semester is moving quickly, and my office has been working on a number of important research and economic development initiatives that I would like to share with you.


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


INTEREST SESSION ON RESEARCH EXPERIENCES FOR UNDERGRADUATES (REUs)
In conjunction with President Keenum's effort on enhancing undergraduate research opportunities at MSU, as well as the work of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President and the Committee on Undergraduate Research and Creative Discovery, our office will host an interest session for the university community on writing proposals for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) on Tuesday [March 4] from 4-5 p.m. in Colvard Student Union, Room 329. The REU program is supported by federal agencies, and facilitates active research participation by undergraduate students in many disciplines. It is also a means of providing indirect funding for undergraduate students to participate in research while leveraging the current university effort to receive extramural funding to support additional undergraduate students. This is only one of many ways to help position MSU as the leading institution for undergraduate research while recruiting students not only to our university, but also onto a research-related career path. I encourage you to attend this session and learn more about the benefits and process of securing extramural funding through this program.

HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING CAPACITY ENHANCED
The university’s newest supercomputer, Shadow, is now installed and available for researchers here at Mississippi State. We are awaiting word from the next Top 500 benchmarking to determine where it will land in the rankings, but we know it will be one of the top machines at academic institutions worldwide. The member centers and institutes within the High Performance Computing Collaboratory are willing to work with faculty in accessing these phenomenal computational resources. The HPC2 system administrator, Trey Breckenridge, can assist you in providing information as you write grant proposals that can use these resources. Please contact him at trey@hpc.msstate.edu

RESEARCH AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS
As I have mentioned, providing research and community engagement opportunities for all of our students are top priorities at Mississippi State. On April 3, my office is co-sponsoring the Spring 2014 Undergraduate Research Symposium and Community Engagement Presentations. This program is open to all of our undergraduate students who are participating in faculty-guided research this academic year. Please encourage your students to participate in this special event, which features four categories: arts and humanities, biological sciences and engineering, physical sciences and engineering, and social sciences. For additional information, please visit http://www.honors.msstate.edu/research/symposium or contact Seth Oppenheimer at seth@math.msstate.edu

REGULATED ANIMAL CARE AND USE PROGRAMS CONTINUE WITH FULL ACCREDITATION
Dr. Lucy Senter, university veterinarian and director of Laboratory Animal Resources, reports that after an extensive review and site visit by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory and Animal Care International, the regulated animal care and use programs at the College of Veterinary Medicine and in the College of Arts and Sciences have been re-accredited fully. AAALAC accreditation is an example of Mississippi State’s commitment to responsible animal care and use. In addition to complying with local, state and federal laws regulating animal research, our institution participates in AAALAC’s program voluntarily. This process requires significant effort, and I thank everyone involved who have made it a success.

KUDOS AND CONGRATULATIONS
Sharing faculty and staff achievements with you every month is a highlight of the “Dear Colleagues” letter for me, and here are a few that have crossed my desk recently:

* Congratulations to K.C. Morrison, professor and head of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, who is now serving on the board of the American Society for Public Administration.

* Kudos to Damir Novosel, a 1991 Ph.D. graduate of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and to Giles Distinguised Professor Roger King, who was his major advisor and dissertation director at MSU. Election to the National Academy of Engineering is one of the highest professional distinctions for engineers, and this honor speaks very well of Dr. Novosel, as well as Dr. King and our university.

* Congratulations to Antaoli Afanasjev, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, who has been named a fellow of the American Physical Society — one of only 13 from the APS Division of Nuclear Physics. Dr. Afanasjev was honored for “his pioneering work on covariant nuclear density functional theory, and his contributions to the understanding of collective phenomena in atomic nuclei.”

* Kudos to the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and to everyone involved in the university’s outstanding cybersecurity education and research programs. A recent third-party survey of IT professionals for Hewlett-Packard ranks Mississippi State’s cyber program among the best — coming in at No. 3 in the nation. Read more about this honor in the Office of Public Affairs’ news release at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6502

* Congratulations to Robbie Kroger, whose REACH (Research and Education to Advance Conservation and Habitat) program was recently accepted as a case study in the World Bank Shades of Green Series. Dr. Kroger is also serving as the science advisor for the RESTORE Council overseeing funds from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

FINAL WORDS
We had a terrific turnout for Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Day last month with dozens of our researchers meeting with lab officials. We anticipate a number of productive collaborations to come from this meeting. Thanks to everyone who supported this effort, and thank you for reading this month’s letter. If you have any questions or comments about research or economic development at MSU, please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu

Go Dawgs!

— David

February 5, 2014

It might be cold, but spring semester racing forward

While the weather in our state has been decidedly wintry the past few weeks, the spring semester at Mississippi State has been racing forward. Like most of you, we have been remarkably busy in the Office of Research and Economic Development, and I would 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.


Research-related policy updates
After a comprehensive review and careful consideration by all stakeholders, Mississippi State University Operating Policy 56.06 has been updated. This policy brings a common approach to all faculty promotion efforts, and better recognizes the unique roles that our differing faculty appointments have. Drs. Gilbert, Bohach and I have worked with deans, directors and Faculty Senate to ensure we have created a suitable and comparable process for all of the various research, extension and clinical appointments that do not have teaching responsibilities. Many thanks to everyone involved for the efforts to create a much more aligned and workable policy. You may find the policy in its entirety at http://www.policies.msstate.edu/policypdfs/5606.pdf

The university's Cost Share Policy 80.13 has been updated, as well. This update will bring the university into complete alignment with all relevant federal policies, and also articulates the ins and outs of when cost share should and should not be requested. The policy is posted online at http://www.policies.msstate.edu/policypdfs/8013.pdf

Reminder: Research award nominations wanted
As I mentioned last month, our office and the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine recognize outstanding faculty, staff and students during an annual research awards banquet every spring. The 2014 nomination period for research awards and the Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award is now open, and I encourage you to submit your nominations by the March 3 deadline. Additional details and nomination forms are posted on the Maroon Research blog at http://blogs.msstate.edu/ored

MSU hosting Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Day
Next Monday [Feb. 10], I hope that you will be able to participate in Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Day. Officials from this top tier federal research laboratory will be on campus for sessions with MSU faculty, staff, administrators and students, as well as local industry and government representatives. Participants will explore collaborative research opportunities and funding possibilities, among other topics. We had a great turnout for Argonne National Lab Days last fall, and I anticipate that this one will be as productive for everyone. Please register at http://www.tfaforms.com/314074

Jeanson to lead Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer
I am pleased to announce that Josh Jeanson is the new director of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer at Mississippi State, effective Feb. 1. He will be filling the leadership post held previously by Gerald Nelson, who is retiring later this spring. As you may recall, in 2011 MSU's Entrepreneurship Center and Office of Technology Commercialization were merged, and Gerald has done a fabulous job of bringing the university's technology transfer efforts and entrepreneurship focus together in OETT. We are glad he will be here during this important transition, and excited about Josh taking the helm. A news release about the change is online at http://www.research.msstate.edu/rresources/news.php?id=3160

Street named interim director of Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute
In other leadership news, Wayne Wilkerson is stepping down as director of the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute, and Joe Street, associate director of the MSU Extension Service, has been named interim director of MWRRI. Wayne announced his retirement recently, and we appreciate his important contributions to the institute and our state, and wish him the best. Dr. Street will lead MWRRI until a permanent director is named. We expect that search to begin later this year. Read more about this transition at http://www.research.msstate.edu/rresources/news.php?id=3161

EHS launches 'Safety University' for Campus Services supervisors
The Environmental Health and Safety Office and Campus Services are partnering to provide a year-long safety training program called "Safety University." This series of sessions provides Campus Services supervisors with training to enhance workplace safety in their departments while balancing safety, productivity and quality. Each month, the groups will meet for a one-hour workshop where relevant topics, such as risk assessment, job hazard analysis and accident investigation, will be discussed. Workshops will also include presentations from MSU’s General Counsel and off-campus safety professionals. For additional information, please contact Michael Parsons at mparsons@ehs.msstate.edu

Research and community engagement opportunities for students
As many of you know, providing research and community engagement opportunities for all of our students are top priorities at Mississippi State. In early April, my office is co-sponsoring the Spring 2014 Undergraduate Research Symposium and Community Engagement Presentations. This program is open to all of our undergraduate students who are participating in faculty-guided research this academic year. Please encourage your students to participate in this special event, which features four categories: arts and humanities, biological sciences and engineering, physical sciences and engineering, and social sciences. For additional information, please visit http://www.honors.msstate.edu/research/symposium or contact Seth Oppenheimer at seth@math.msstate.edu

Kudos and congratulations
I enjoy hearing about our faculty and staff successes, and sharing them with you every month. Here are several that have come across my desk recently:

* Congratulations to Robert Crossler, assistant professor of information systems in the College of Business, who was named a co-winner of the 2013 Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences Information Systems Society's Design Science Award. Dr. Crossler and a colleague at Virginia Tech were recognized for collaborative research that targeted the improvement of information privacy practices for individuals.

* Kudos to Kathleen Alley, assistant professor of elementary education in the College of Education, who received the J. Michael Parker Award at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association in December. The award is given to the most distinguished research on adult literacy. Her award-winning study, called "Playing in Trellis Weyr: Collaborative Authorships in a Dragons of Pern Role Play Game Forum," was presented at the conference.

* Congratulations to Pedro Mago, Tennessee Valley Authority professor in energy systems and the environment in the Bagley College of Engineering, who has been named a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for significant contributions to the field of energy, especially in the combined heat and power and waste heat recovery technologies.

Final words
Thank you for reading this month's letter. If you have any questions or comments about research or economic development at Mississippi State, please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu

Go Dawgs!

— David

January 15, 2014

New year holds research, economic development opportunities

Welcome back to campus for the start of a new semester at Mississippi State. I hope that you enjoyed the break. Like many of you, we have had a busy start to the new year. Last week, I joined President Mark Keenum and other campus leaders in Rome where we broadened our partnership with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization on initiatives addressing world hunger and poverty [ http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6421 ]. Expanding this international partnership is a fitting way to kick off the new year as our institution continues to change the world through our land-grant mission of research, teaching and service. I am very excited about the opportunities 2014 holds. Please let me give you a brief update.


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


Nominations wanted for research awards
Every spring, our office and the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine recognize outstanding faculty, staff and students during an annual research awards banquet, which takes place April 29 this year. The 2014 nomination period for research awards and the Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award is now open, and I encourage you to submit your nominations by the March 3rd deadline. Additional details and nomination forms are posted on the Maroon Research blog at http://blogs.msstate.edu/ored/2014/01/nominations_wanted_for_2014_po_1.html

MSU hosting Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Day
In early February, I hope that you will be able to participate in Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Day at Mississippi State. Officials from this top tier federal research laboratory will be on campus on Feb. 10 for sessions with MSU faculty, staff, administrators and students, as well as local industry and government representatives. Participants will explore collaborative research opportunities and funding possibilities, among other topics. We had a great turnout for a similar event last fall — Argonne National Lab Days — and I anticipate this one will be as productive for everyone. Look for more details and registration information in the next few days, but please put Feb. 10 on your calendar.

Great faculty support for MSMS student researchers
Over the past several years, we have partnered with the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science to develop a student researcher program that pairs MSU faculty with MSMS students. Last week, our latest cohort of students visited campus for orientation and to meet their mentors. This program is yet another example of the outstanding commitment our faculty has made to enhance research opportunities for potential students, in addition to current undergraduate and grad students at Mississippi State. I offer a special thank you to faculty who have volunteered their time and energy to this program. If you are interested in participating in the future, please contact Assistant Vice President Teresa Gammill at tgammill@research.msstate.edu

Human research protection program going green
As many of you know, streamlining processes and implementing paperless systems are priorities on our campus, and we are asking that all Human Research Protection Program applications, modifications and supporting documents be submitted for review in an editable, PDF format. Please make sure to check the forms section of the Office of Research Compliance website at http://www.orc.msstate.edu for the most up-to-date forms and for instructions on how to submit your documents. Please feel free to contact HRPP staff at 662-325-3294 if you have any questions regarding this process. Additionally, if you need IRB training, a live training session will be held on Jan. 29 at 10 a.m. in Tully Auditorium. Refresher training options will be announced later in the semester. This will be the last live training offered until the fall 2014 semester. You may register online anytime at https://ssl2.msstate.edu/orc/workshops/loginorc.php

Kudos and congratulations
I enjoy hearing about our faculty and staff successes, and sharing them with you every month. Here are several that have come across my desk recently:

* Congratulations to Department of Physics and Astronomy faculty members Dipangkar Dutta and Jim Dunne, post-doc Mitra Shabestari and graduate students Amrendra Narayan, Adesh Subedi and Luwani Ndukum in the Medium Energy Nuclear Physics group for their contributions to an international research team attempting a measurement of the proton’s weak charge. This groundbreaking work was recently featured in Physical Review Letters [ http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v111/i14/e141803 ]

* Kudos to MSU’s newest Certified Pre-award Research Administrators, Carly Cummings in the College of Arts and Sciences and Tina Hood in Sponsored Programs Administration, and Certified Research Administrator, LaDonna Bullman in MAFES.

* Congratulations to Darrin Dodds, associate Extension professor, for being named 2014 Extension Cotton Specialist of the Year at the Extension Cotton Specialist annual dinner banquet during the 2014 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans earlier this month. Extension cotton specialists representing every cotton-producing state select a winner annually for this award based on leadership and industry service and sponsored by Bayer CropScience.

Final words
Last month saw a departure from the Office of Research and Economic Development. Melvin Ray, who most recently served our campus as associate vice president for economic development, took a step toward retirement. With the start of the spring semester, Dr. Ray is working as a research fellow at the Social Science Research Center, and plans to retire this summer after an MSU career that has spanned nearly three decades. I cannot say enough about the contributions Mel has made to our office, this institution and our state. Thank you, Dr. Ray.

Moving forward, we are developing a plan to fill this vital role, and I look forward to sharing more information with you in the near future.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this month’s letter. Please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu with your research or economic development questions or suggestions.

Go Dawgs!

— David

January 7, 2014

Nominations wanted for 2014 Powe and Research Awards

The nomination period is open for Mississippi State University's 2014 Research Awards and the Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award. Employees and students are encouraged to submit nominations for this year's program.

Research Awards recognize individuals who contribute significantly to the university's mission of research, as well as honor and reward students, faculty and staff for their accomplishments in research and creative endeavors. The awards also raise awareness of research programs and capabilities on campus.

The Powe Award is reserved for outstanding, nationally recognized, competitive researchers. Nominees should have a distinguished research career and a currently active research program. The award will be reflective of leadership, vision, facilitation, collaboration, problem solving and team building. The Powe honoree receives a gift of $1,500 and a commemorative plaque.

Recipients will be honored at a banquet in April.

Complete nomination packets for all awards are due in the Office of Research and Economic Development on or before March 3. Additional information and nomination forms are available for download here:

* 2014 Research Award Nomination Information

* 2014 Powe Research Excellence Award Nomination Information

The awards program is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and the Office of the Vice President for Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

For additional information, please contact Lynn Taylor at 662-325-3168 or ltaylor@research.msstate.edu.

December 6, 2013

Busy time for research at MSU as fall semester ends

Season’s greetings from the Office of Research and Economic Development! We want to wish all of you a safe, restful and enjoyable holiday, but before the semester draws to a close, please let me share a few details about the projects we have been working on recently.


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 the Mississippi State winter break of Dec. 23-Jan. 2. 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.

Speaking of Sponsored Programs, last month, I mentioned that the SPA team was testing a new proposal development system — Cayuse 424 — and that they needed a few willing guinea pigs to try it for their Grants.gov submissions during our 90-day trial. We have been learning a lot during the trial. For example, the older, current system in place did not alert us to an error in an NIH proposal when it was submitted, and a critical deadline was missed. A similar NIH proposal submitted via Cayuse was flagged by the software's error-checking engine prior to submission, the error was corrected, and the proposal was submitted successfully. Thanks to everyone who volunteered to test drive Cayuse; your feedback has been very valuable in our assessment.

Cross-college, collaborative grants awarded
We are excited about announcing this year’s recipients of our cross-college, collaborative research grants. This marks the fourth time we have funded these grants, and we are very pleased to be able to provide additional resources that help faculty move their work forward. A $2,000 grant to each of the 41 teams will support the initiation of proposals, as well as help enhance multi-disciplinary collaboration of existing projects. I think it is worth noting that all of Mississippi State’s colleges are represented among the grant recipients, along with the MSU-Meridian campus. Read more about this year’s recipients at www.msstate.edu/web/memo/story.php?id=1929

Myhand joines Office of Research Compliance
Katie Myhand has joined the Office of Research Compliance as an assistant compliance administrator. She will be working with the human research protections, animal care and use, and financial conflict of interest programs, and serve as a point-of-contact for basic questions and initial processing of all documents. Advancing our status as a major research university is one of my office's highest priorities, and ORC plays an important role by assisting faculty with their research endeavors and ensuring that Mississippi State remains in compliance with regulations.

International opportunities
As you know, MSU has placed a major priority on developing international programs for research, outreach and education programs. We’ve seen several successes recently in this regard, including a major U.S. Agency for International Development grant led by Kathleen Ragsdale and Dan Reynolds at MSU. As I write this, they are traveling to Ghana to begin the preliminary work on the project. This is just the latest example of the great international work that our faculty in every college are doing.

Speaking of international efforts, Jon Rezek, the director of the MSU International Institute, and Roger King, director of the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, traveled with me this past month to India and Japan. We met with academic institutions and industries in both countries, and came home with partnership agreements well on their way to completion and, in one case, a proposal already under development. As we continue to develop these types of efforts, please don’t hesitate to contact me or Dr. Rezek.

Kudos and congratulations
I enjoy hearing about our faculty and staff successes, and sharing them with you every month. Here are several that have come across my desk recently:

* Kudos to Wes Burger, a professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture and associate director of the Forest and Wildlife Research Center and MAFES, who was recently named a fellow of The Wildlife Society. Dr. Burger was recognized for his exceptional service to the wildlife profession at the organization’s 2013 annual meeting.

* Congratulations to Angela Robertson, interim director of the Social Science Research Center, for being recognized as a prolific national female scholar in criminology by the Journal of Criminal Justice Education. Dr. Robertson is cited in a new article titled "The most prolific female scholars in elite criminology and criminal justice journals, 2000-2010."

* Kudos to Roger King, director of the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems and Giles Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, for his selection as a fellow of the IEEE, the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology. Dr. King was honored for “contributions to power systems data analytics to improve grid reliability.”

* Congratulations to Jim Giesen, the director of the Center for the History of Agriculture, Science and the Environment in the South and an associate professor in the Department of History, who is part of a five-year, $5-million National Science Foundation grant led by Duke University that will study the Southeast’s first Critical Zone Observatory. As part of the study, Dr. Giesen will analyze the human activity of the area, while others will provide geological and biological analysis. This collaboration is an excellent example how our faculty excel at cross-discipline, multi-institution partnerships.

Final words
By now, most of you have seen the exciting news about one of our students, Field Brown, being named a Rhodes Scholar. This is an extraordinary honor for Field, his family and professors, the Shackouls Honors College and our university. I add my congratulations for this tremendous achivement.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this month’s letter. Please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu with your research or economic development questions or suggestions.

During this special time of year, we wish you happy holidays and all the best in the upcoming new year.

Merry Christmas and Go Dawgs!

— David

November 5, 2013

Successful fall for research and economic development

I hope that your fall has been going well. It has been a very successful semester in the Office of Research and Economic Development, and I would like to thank you for your contributions. While our office plays a leadership role in the university’s overall research enterprise and economic development initiatives, the commitment of our faculty, staff, administrators and students is what makes Mississippi State a catalyst for positive change in our state, nation and in communities around the world.

As you can imagine, having the funding necessary to support our research remains a top priority for us. Appropriation cuts, the federal budget sequester, and the recent government shutdown have all contributed to heightened concern. Quite frankly, less money for research affects major land-grant universities like MSU in a number of counterproductive ways. We are working diligently to mitigate these effects by, among other things, supporting faculty with their funding proposals, and providing resources to enable successful grant writing. Contact Assistant Vice President for Research Teresa Gammill at tgammill@research.msstate.edu with your questions, or visit http://www.research.msstate.edu/rresources for more information.

Please let me share a few of the other things that we have been working on recently.


DavidShawHeadshotBlog.jpg

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


Job accelerator grant a major win
Late last month, we were very pleased to learn that Mississippi State has been awarded a $1.9-million grant as part of the Make It In America Challenge, which encourages U.S. companies to keep, expand or reshore their manufacturing operations in America, and to entice international companies to build facilities to make their products in the U.S. Our three-year effort will focus strongly on both returning jobs to the U.S. and keeping advanced manufacturing jobs in the state. Winning this highly competitive award is an excellent example of MSU’s culture of collaboration and expertise at pulling together effective statewide partnerships. Read more about what we will be doing at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6301.

Governor declares November 'Innovation Month'
Gov. Phil Bryant has declared November as Innovation Month in our state, and we are proud that “Every month is innovation month at Mississippi State. Innovation and discovery that boost economic development is part of our institutional DNA,” as President Keenum wrote in a statewide op-ed piece last week. And we are pleased to join our IHL peers in contributing more than $400 million annually in research and development. Read Dr. Keenum’s column at http://on.thec-l.com/Hzsg71 and find out how Mississippi Public Universities are fueling innovation at http://bit.ly/17A30YS.

SPA testing new proposal development system — Cayuse 424
Sponsored Programs Administration is testing a new proposal development system — Cayuse 424 — and early indications are that it is a very user-friendly system for faculty who are writing and submitting grants. Currently, the university has a 90-day trial of the new application, and SPA is searching for a few willing — and patient — guinea pigs who would like to test it for their Grants.gov submissions and provide feedback. If you are interested, please contact SPA director Jennifer Easley at jeasley@spa.msstate.edu or 662-325-3751. Learn more about Cayuse 424 at http://www.cayuse.com/solutions/connect.php.

SEC visiting faculty travel grants awarded
After carefully reviewing 31 applications for the 2014 SEC Visiting Faculty Travel Grant Program, my office recently joined the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine to announce this year’s recipients from Mississippi State: Robert Crossler, assistant professor of management and information systems; Nick Fitzkee, assistant professor of chemistry; Daniel Petrolia, associate professor of agricultural economics; and Morgan Varner, assistant professor of forestry. Each will receive a $2,500 grant intended to enhance faculty collaborations that stimulate scholarly initiatives between SEC universities.

Mississippi State's role in K-12 education
As you’ve probably seen, I’m serving on the commission to provide recommendations on how the Starkville and Oktibbeha County public schools can be consolidated. I’m very proud of how many at our university, and particularly the College of Education, have stepped up and committed to playing a vital role in the education of children in this city and county. Changing education in our state is a pillar of the Infinite Impact capital campaign that MSU recently brought public. Our entire university is ideally positioned to have a major impact on improving the education of Mississippians, and rural populations throughout the nation. My serving on the commission has brought to light many things that have already been going on without my knowledge from every college on our campus. Thanks to everyone for having such an impact — and let’s see even more happen in the years to come!

OETT welcomes Hill and Lopez
Please join me in welcoming Eric Hill and Julie Lopez to the Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer team. Eric is now coordinating OETT’s entrepreneurship-related endeavors, and Julie is the new licensing associate. Innovation, entrepreneurship and taking ideas from inception into the marketplace are priorities on our campus, and OETT is playing a vital role in these activities. And speaking of how Mississippi State-led innovation is making a difference, take a look at how a few of our researchers are making the concrete used for the Davis Wade Stadium expansion more environmentally-friendly in this great story on the HailStateBeat blog — http://bit.ly/15DKs5a

Kudos and congratulations
Every month, I look forward to sharing success stories about our students, faculty and staff with you. Here are a few that have crossed my desk recently:

* Congratulations to Matt Brown, a new assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, for his contributions to the discovery of a new protist -- a diverse collection of single-celled organisms that do not fit into any other category -- that he named Pygsuia biforma. He is the lead author of the article describing his team’s research, which was published recently in Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Biology), the leading British biological research journal. Well done, Dr. Brown!

* Kudos to Robert Boyd, a professor in the Department of Sociology, for his appointment as deputy editor of the American Sociological Review -- the flagship journal of the American Sociological Association. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Brown for this achievement. It is great to see Mississippi State listed at the top of the journal’s masthead with Vanderbilt, Penn, UC Berkeley and other leading institutions.

* Congratulations to Jim Giesen, an associate professor in the Department of History, for winning the Francis B. Simkins Award from the Southern Historical Association. The award recognizes the best first book in the field of Southern history over a two-year period. He won the award for Boll Weevil Blues: Cotton, Myth, and Power in the American South, which also won the 2012 Deep South Book Prize for the best book in Southern history. Outstanding!

Family care seminar Nov. 19
In our busy lives, many of us face challenges outside of work and need good advice. On Nov. 19, the university’s Work Life Balance Committee and MSU Staff Council will host a family care seminar featuring sessions about child care and elder care, including estate planning for seniors, caring for the caregiver, common childhood illnesses and bullying, among others. Faculty, staff and the local community are invited to attend this free event, which begins at 9 a.m. at Bost Extension Center’s theater. Additional details are online at http://www.worklifebalance.msstate.edu/family-care-seminar.

Final words
As I mentioned previously, MSU recently launched the public phase of a major fundraising program called Infinite Impact: The Mississippi State University Campaign. We work closely with the MSU Foundation, and its work plays a crucial role in supporting research at our institution, and so will this capital campaign. I encourage you to learn more about Infinite Impact at http://www.infiniteimpactmsu.com.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this month’s letter. Please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu with your research or economic development questions or suggestions.

Go Dawgs!

— David

November 1, 2013

FBI on campus for chemical security presentations Nov. 7

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has determined that university laboratories are vulnerable to criminals and extremists wanting to steal explosive precursor chemicals, toxic industrial chemicals or chemical warfare precursors.

Next week, Special Agent Brandon Grant, the weapons of mass destruction coordinator in the Jackson FBI office, will discuss a number of incidents that have occurred at university laboratories over the past 10 years, and what Mississippi State can do to reduce the risk of theft of these chemicals.

These responsible conduct of research sessions will be extremely beneficial to the chemical user community at MSU, according to MSU biosafety officer Patricia Cox.

The seminars will be held Thursday [Nov. 7] in Bost Extension Center's theater from 10-11 a.m., and then repeated from 1-2 p.m.

Please register to attend the academic chemical security presentation at www.tfaforms.com/290908.

If you have questions, please contact Lynn Taylor at 662-325-3570.

October 31, 2013

Export, ITAR-controlled project security session Nov. 5

What are the biggest project issues with export and International Traffic in Arms Regulations-controlled projects? Security and violations.

Security is of the utmost importance, and without it a violation can occur.

A violation is not a simple, "Oh I forgot" or "I didn't know" — playing dumb is not a viable defense when dealing with a U.S. government enforcement officer.

Learn how to keep your export or ITAR-controlled project secure and violation-free with information from the Mississippi State University Office of Research Security's special presentation on "Project Issues and Violations."

Join ORC director Neil Lewis on Tuesday [Nov. 5] from 3-4 p.m. in the Bost Extension Center theater to learn more.

Please register for this free training session at http://www.tfaforms.com/290907.

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