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Busy summer: mentoring, Yokohama Tire, new AVP, and more

We have had an eventful summer in the Office of Research and Economic Development: new faces, productive collaborations, successful programs and more. Like many of you, we are now looking forward to the start of a new academic year when our students return to class Aug. 19.

Several weeks ago, I participated in a memorandum of understanding signing event with the Army’s Project Manager for Unmanned Aircraft Systems at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., and while there, I met a number of Mississippi State alumni who are engineers with the project office. I am always impressed by the caliber of our graduates whom I meet when traveling. Their success is a testament to the outstanding programs and faculty we have on campus.


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


Research videos online
For several months, ORED has been working with the Television Center and University Relations to develop short videos that tell our research story to the public. These high-quality clips cover a variety of topics, from educational curriculum development to oil spill analyses by our State Chem Lab. We will be continuing to develop these videos over the next several months, so if you have a good idea that would demonstrate the breadth and depth of our creative discovery, please don’t hesitate to share your ideas with me. You can find these videos at http://www.research.msstate.edu/rresources/videos

Reorganization streamlines responsibilities
Safety and regulatory compliance are two of my office’s highest priorities because they are essential to the well being of our students, employees, visitors and local community, and they are absolutely critical to advancing our status as a major research university. Last month, we announced that Michael Parsons will lead the new Environmental Health and Safety Office at MSU. The new EH&S office is charged with developing, managing and implementing policies and programs related to occupational safety, environmental management and fire protection. With campus-wide environmental compliance issues and safety-related activities consolidated into EH&S, the former Office of Regulatory Compliance and Safety is now the Office of Research Compliance with Kacey Strickland continuing as director. The research compliance office will also have oversight of financial conflicts of interest related to the university's research enterprise. Please contact Michael at parsons@icet.msstate.edu or Kacey at kstrickland@research.msstate.edu with your environmental health and safety or research compliance concerns or questions.

Human subjects research conference a success
In late July, dozens of Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects professionals from around the region gathered at the Hunter Henry Center for the third-annual IRB Connections Conference. Topics on the agenda included minimizing risks, human-robot interaction, social media data collection, and a roundtable discussion of new and ongoing issues in human subjects research protection. Congratulations to MSU IRB officer Jodi Roberts and the IRB staff for hosting this informative and well attended event, and thank you to our faculty who led sessions: Daniel Carruth, Cindy Bethel, John Edwards and Kari Babski-Reeves.

Training opportunities for human subjects research
If you are a student, staff or faculty member and are planning to conduct human subjects research in the upcoming months, or are in need of a refresher, please plan to attend the training workshop scheduled for Sept. 13 in the Tully Auditorium in Thompson Hall Annex. You may register to attend this human subjects session at https://ssl2.msstate.edu/orc/workshops/login.php but if you are unable to attend the live training, an online option is available. Please visit http://orc.msstate.edu/humansubjects/training to access the online training.

Sponsored Programs Administration here to help
As I mentioned last month, Sponsored Programs Administration is committed to helping faculty find the resources needed to support research endeavors. Recognizing that not all faculty members have departmental support for proposal development, SPA is working to provide this support as needed. Please let Jennifer Easley know if the SPA team can assist you with creating your proposal budget, completing Grants.Gov forms, or performing other administrative tasks related to your funding proposals. Contact her at jeasley@spa.msstate.edu or 662-325-3751.

SPA taking nominations for DAWG program
After a successful launch last year, Sponsored Programs Administration is taking nominations for year two of the Departmental Administrator Working Group — DAWG, for short. The professional development program provides participants an eight-month curriculum designed to develop sponsored-project administration skills and foster networking opportunities with campus peers. Topics included budget building, sponsor guidelines, application packages, regulatory compliance, proposal submission systems, the role of the principal investigator in managing a project, and understanding facilities and administrative costs. To apply, visit http://blogs.msstate.edu/ored/2013/08/spa_taking_nominations_for_dep.html

MSU hosting Argonne National Lab Day in September
Please remember that on Sept. 9-10, Mississippi State will host officials from one of the world’s leading research facilities. During the two-day visit, MSU faculty, staff, administrators and students will have opportunities to meet with Argonne National Laboratory leaders and researchers and explore partnership and funding possibilities. I encourage you to take advantage of this special opportunity to engage with personnel from this top-tier federal research lab. The registration deadline is Aug. 26. To register, visit http://www.tfaforms.com/290885

Mentoring our graduate students
Many of us can thank a mentor, or mentors, for the success that we have achieved in our lives. Additionally, my career has been enriched by mentoring students and colleagues over the years, and I believe it is one of the best ways we can give back and also contribute to the ongoing success of our university. In October, the Graduate School and the Center for Teaching and Learning are holding a two-part training course on “Fundamentals of Quality Graduate Student Mentorship,” and I urge you to participate. Part one takes place Oct. 2, with part two following on Oct. 17. To register, visit http://www.ctl.msstate.edu/programsandservices/teachwork

Yokohama Tire opens office in Cochran Research Park
Since 1989, the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park has been an integral part of economic development in our state, and it is now home to a number of leading corporations. The park’s newest tenant is Yokohama Tire, which has opened an office in the Industry Partners Building while its manufacturing facility is under construction in Clay County. The office will host an array of professionals ranging from engineers to human resources professionals. We are pleased to have Yokohama Tire in the park, and look forward to working with the company, its suppliers, local economic developers and elected officials as the multi-phase project moves forward.

Final words
On Aug. 1, Drew Hamilton came on board as the new associate vice president for research. Dr. Hamilton hit the ground running, and I expect him to have an immediate impact as we work to support and expand fundamental and applied research, secure funding and seek innovative solutions for pressing local, state, national and global needs. Please join me in welcoming him to the Mississippi State family.

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

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 12, 2013 1:57 PM.

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