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Need help identifying funding opportunities? We can assist

As we rapidly approach the end of the spring semester, I know that many of you are looking forward to the summer and catching up on all of those projects that you weren't able to get to during a busy academic year. This is the perfect time to work on proposals, and if you are doing so, please keep in mind that we are here to assist. Dr. Teresa Gammill and our entire office are available to help identify opportunities for you, and the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration is prepared to get them submitted. As we continue to work through the current uncertainties of federal funding for research, thank you for your efforts to secure funded grants and contracts. I appreciate your many contributions.

As many of you know, Dr. Ray Vaughn has been named Vice President for Research at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, and he will be starting his new position in June. In his many roles for our university, most recently as associate vice president for research, Ray has provided leadership, offered insight and contributed significantly to the success and national prominence of our research enterprise. He is also a really great guy. Please join me in congratulating him on this new opportunity at UAH, and thanking him for his hard work on behalf of MSU. While we are reluctant to say goodbye to Dr. Vaughn, we look forward to working with him collaboratively at UAH in the future.

Efforts underway to accredit Human Research Protection Program
The MSU Human Research Protection Program (HRRP) has completed the first step of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) application process. We expect to hear from them very soon concerning the scheduling of a site visit to our campus. Researchers at MSU will be asked to meet with the AAHRPP team to answer questions about the HRPP. We will provide more details as the time nears, but I ask for your cooperation if contacted.

This accreditation is very important to the overall regulatory compliance efforts that are among the responsibilities of my office. In the meantime, please take a few minutes to review the Human Subjects website at http://orc.msstate.edu/humansubjects -- paying particular attention to the standard operating procedures (SOPs), as many of them have changed as we prepare for the site visit.

IRB training reminder
Please remember that all students, faculty and staff engaged in human subject research need to participate in Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB) training. If you are in need of IRB refresher training, we are offering a live training session on April 17 at 10 a.m. in Tully Auditorium.

This session will be the last live training offered until the fall semester. For more on training requirements or opportunities, please contact Ms. Jodi Roberts, IRB Officer, at jroberts@research.msstate.edu or 662-325-3294. You may register online anytime at https://ssl2.msstate.edu/orc/workshops/login.php

NIH program manager to visit
Dr. Franziska Grieder, the newly appointed Director of the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs at NIH -- http://dpcpsi.nih.gov/orip/index.aspx -- is planning to visit Mississippi State on Aug. 15. It is always helpful to our faculty and the university as a whole to have program managers visit, and we thank the College of Veterinary Medicine for coordinating this visit in cooperation with ORED.

Faculty leadership program seeks nominations
For the 2013-2014 academic year, we will again be conducting an academic leadership orientation program for selected faculty at Mississippi State University. This program has been very successful in the past, and many of its participants serve in key leadership positions on campus today. For the upcoming year, attendance will be limited to approximately 12 individuals who will be chosen from those who apply. Any faculty member is eligible to attend, but must be nominated by their center director, department head or dean. To apply, interested faculty should send a one-page summary addressing their future career plans, a current CV, and a one-page nomination letter from their center director, department head or dean. These materials should be sent to Ms. Jessica Northcutt at jnorthcutt@research.msstate.edu no later than Friday, May 31.

Kudos to our faculty and staff
One of the highlights of my job is to learn about the outstanding work that our faculty, staff and administrators do on a daily basis, and then to share their honors and awards with you every month. Here are a few that have come to my attention recently:

* Dr. Mark Novotny, Physics and Astronomy department head, has been named a William L. Giles Distinguished Professor. This achievement is the highest honor that a faculty member at MSU can earn, and it recognizes the many successes and contributions that Dr. Novotny has made.

* The Department of History had two major accomplishments that I would like to share. First, Dr. Alexandra Hui was awarded an NSF grant for a project titled "Threshold Spaces of Mind and Music: A History of the Science of Background Music, 1900-2000." Additionally, Dr. William Anthony Hay was awarded a 2013 Harry Frank Guggenheim Research Grant by the Guggenheim Foundation. Congratulations to both!

* Dr. Bob Collins will retire on May 1 from his position as Director of University Health Services. Dr. Collins has provided invaluable service to the Office of Research and Economic Development through his service on multiple regulatory compliance committees over many years. We are very grateful for the time and expertise he gave to us, and wish him well in his retirement endeavors.

* Dr. Ron McLaughlin, head of the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, was selected to fill a national role with the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians as their President. Congratulations to Dr. McLaughlin.

* Dr. Li Zhang, an associate professor in Civil Engineering, will serve a nearly three-year term on the task force for emergency evacuations of the Transportation Research Board, a division of the National Research Council. The 26-member task force focuses on preparing for emergency evacuations from natural or man-made hazards.

Final words
As you might expect, we have launched a national search to fill the associate vice president for research position. The job details are available from the Human Resources Management website by searching for "Vice President for Research" in the department field on the Search Postings page. We are working diligently to fill this critical position, and I will update you on our progress in the coming weeks. Please consider asking a colleague that would be a superb fit for this position to apply, as it is critical that we have the best possible individual in this role.

Thank you for taking a few moments to read this letter. If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns about Mississippi State's research and economic development endeavors, please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu

Go Dawgs!

David Shaw
Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Mississippi State University

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