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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.


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


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