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Great response for cross-college research grant proposals

I know that all of you are very busy as we move into the final weeks of the fall semester and begin preparing for the upcoming holidays, exams and winter break. For me, it seems like only yesterday that we were beginning a new academic year in August. We have a number of achievements, accomplishments, and a few announcements from the Office of Research and Economic Development that I would like to share with you this month.

Update on cross-college research grants
For the past two years, our cross-college grant program has been a very popular research facilitation tool, and one that has demonstrated a strong return on our investments. For 2011-2012, we invested $80,000 in 40 cross-college research teams that resulted in $13 million in funded research and approximately $12 million in research proposals pending. Earlier this semester, we received a heavy response to our call for cross-college proposals for 2012-2013, and have been delayed in reviewing those requests for seed funding. I expect to have the results of our review out to you by the end of November so that those selected can begin their group research efforts at the beginning of the spring semester.

New director of Sponsored Programs Administration
Ms. Jennifer Easley was appointed as the new director of sponsored programs administration beginning Nov. 1. Jennifer will be responsible for overseeing externally sponsored programs, proposal submission, contracts, and other pre-award functions. She comes to this position after having worked at MSU in the accounting field since 2004, and has experience in both pre-award and post-award administration. I am very happy to have Jennifer as a member of our administrative team.

IHL economic development efforts
IHL Commissioner Hank Bounds recently appointed Mr. Paul Sumrall to a position designed to assist universities establishing stronger ties to industry in Mississippi. We will have an opportunity Nov. 29-30 to showcase our research efforts to Mr. Sumrall when he and Mr. Marcus Thompson, Commissioner Bounds’ chief administrative officer, visit MSU. If you are involved in any of the scheduled events, please keep in mind that the purpose of the tour is to learn more about how our programs and research can be of value to industrial partners in our state. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Sumrall and Mr. Thompson to campus.

Maroon Research TV now online
As part of our ongoing work to showcase Mississippi State’s research and economic development efforts, we have collaborated with the MSU TV Center and University Relations to produce a new online video series -- Maroon Research TV. We plan on featuring a wide range of projects and people over the coming year, and I encourage you to take a couple of minutes to watch our first episode on the Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory. It is on our website, and the direct link to the series page is http://www.research.msstate.edu/rresources/videos

National Laboratory Day bus trip to Oxford
Our office is sponsoring a bus to take interested faculty and students to the University of Mississippi on Nov. 8 to attend a special meeting with senior Department of Energy representatives from Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This event was arranged by our congressional delegation, and Sen. Thad Cochran and U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee are expected to participate. This event is open to faculty and students from Mississippi universities, as well as to the public and business and industry leaders. There is no charge for this event, and we want to encourage a strong attendance. If you or your students wish to attend, please email Ms. Anna Thompson -- athompson@research.msstate.edu -- by Nov. 7 so that she can confirm seating on the bus. In addition all attendees need to register at the website http://www.research.olemiss.edu/agenda

Kudos and congratulations
* Our Research and Curriculum Unit (RCU) was recently cited by Achieve Inc. for its work with the Mississippi Department of Education. RCU was referred to as a partnership that other states should mimic in training career and technical education teachers how to incorporate English language arts and mathematics Common Core State Standards into their curriculum. We are very proud of the excellent work that RCU does for the State of Mississippi. I would invite you to review the full news release on this achievement at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=5706

* I am pleased to announce that Ms. Nicole Morse in the Office of Regulatory Compliance and Safety successfully completed the requirements to receive the designation of Certified IRB Professional (CIP). This certification validates an individual's professional experience and demonstrated mastery of the body of knowledge essential to Human Research Participation Program administrative practices. Having staff members with this and other professional certification is a credit to the strength of our research compliance programs at MSU. Congratulations, Nicole!

* Dr. Bill McAnally has been elected president of the Mississippi Water Resources Association. Bill is a research professor of engineering in the Bagley College of Engineering and associate director of the Geosystems Research Institute at Mississippi State University. Congratulations on assuming this key service role.

Thank you for taking a few moments and reading this month’s Dear Colleagues letter. Please feel free to contact me at any time with your suggestions, comments or concerns at dshaw@research.msstate.edu -- I always enjoy hearing from you. I appreciate the work you do on behalf of the Mississippi State University research enterprise.

Go Dawgs!

— David Shaw
Vice President for Research and Economic Development


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