May 2019 Newsletter
From the Vice President
This month, I am pleased to share the 2019 edition of “Inspired Discoveries”, the University of Idaho’s research report. This is an opportunity to celebrate the impact we make as Idaho’s land-grant university.
The report does more than summarize our record-breaking expenditures and innovative contributions. It shines a spotlight on just a fraction of the impact our research, scholarship, and creative activities make to address society’s needs.
I am so proud to lead our research enterprise to serve the faculty, students and staff who tirelessly work to improve the quality of our lives and broaden our understanding of the world.
Please join me in celebrating our accomplishments and imagining the possibilities for the future.
Janet E. Nelson Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Economic Development
ORED News and Events
U of I is on Cutting Edge of Genomic Sequencing
Sequencing the first human genome took 13 years and cost $3 billion. And now, the University of Idaho is one of the first institutions in the world to take delivery of a just-released, state-of-the-art DNA sequencer that will take less than a week and cost about $5000 to sequence a human genome.
The new machine is a game changer in the field of genomics and will have applications in many fields, including medicine, natural resources and agriculture. This machine, the PacBio Sequel II, will improve research at the U of I and across the state, creating tremendous opportunities for our researchers to lead the world in integrating this new type of data into our research programs. It will also allow our Genomics Resources Core to continue to provide the value-added services for which it is so well known.
U of I is one of the first institutions in the world to take delivery of this new instrument. It highlights how our university comes together to invest in our tradition of high impact research. In just over a month, we brought together 23 contributors from across U of I to purchase this machine, and now the exciting work of genomic sequencing is being done on the second floor of the IRIC building.
You’re Invited: Explore a Unique New Aquaculture Facility May 30
Join the Aquaculture Research Institute and ORED from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, May 30, for a dedication and open-house tour of a unique new aquaculture research facility on our Moscow campus. It’s one of the only facilities in the West capable of conducting research on both freshwater and marine fish species. Faculty, staff, students and members of the community are welcome to attend the indoor/outdoor event, which is located at 2000 W. Sixth St., about a quarter-mile past Farm Road, Moscow. Parking is available on the west side of the building. Light snacks and beverages will be provided!
ORED’s SAS Talks Break Viewership Record
Nearly 500 individuals participated in the SAS (Short and Sweet) Talks event May 7, either at the event in person in the IRIC building or via U of I Live online, shattering the previous record of 220. Nine speakers discussed a variety of research projects associated with this semester’s theme: “Public Impact Research: How Does Research Make the World a Better Place?” Each talk included 20 easy-to-understand slides and each of those slides was timed to 20 seconds. The result was an informative, accessible presentation in less than seven minutes per talk. Missed the event? Presentation recordings will soon be available via our SAS Talks website.
Get to Know ORED
Connecting the Dots
John Russell wears many hats. He helps researchers find funding opportunities, make contact with program managers, write compelling proposals and win awards. He builds teams with pioneering research collaborations; and he advises researchers on how to overcome bureaucratic challenges.
“In short, my role here is to be a conduit for the Office of Research and Economic Development in Idaho Falls,” Russell said.
Russell is the University of Idaho’s associate director for the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), a consortium of research entities headquartered at U of I in Idaho Falls. There, he interfaces with the five CAES member institutions: U of I, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Boise State University, Idaho State University and the University of Wyoming.
Through his role, Russell keeps connected with CAES entities and funding agencies, putting him in an excellent position to help faculty and students by:
- Facilitating requests for laboratory space and equipment to help researchers do their work.
- Creating opportunities for U of I researchers and students to exhibit their research results at workshops, meetings and symposia.
- Advocating for faculty members and advising them on how best to interact with federal program managers.
- Connecting faculty and students to opportunities, such as grants, internships and jobs.
- Representing U of I in the CAES consortium.
- Supporting relationships between U of I and INL, as well as partnerships that may fall outside the CAES umbrella.
- Serving as the point of contact for the Office of Research and Economic Development at U of I Idaho Falls.
With a doctorate in chemistry, postdoctoral research experience at Argonne National Laboratory, plus a professional background in public policy and the military, Russell has a unique combination of education and experience that helps him excel at fostering success for students and faculty.
Russell’s public policy experience stems from his work with the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and with Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, where he advised legislative staff on science, technology and security.
“Science is a people business” Russell said. “You really need to build relationships with program managers at funding agencies when working with competitive solicitations and research awards. You have to build trust and show how researchers at your institution can deliver results for the agency’s mission.
“Working in a Senate office, you learn different lessons,” he said. “Legislative work is all about engagement with constituents and supporting their needs. We need to present the best case of how our R and D efforts support the economic development of the state.”
Russell finds each interaction with researchers is unique.
“Every faculty member is an individual, and all research areas are niches,” he said. “You have to identify needs and find the right solution for the right person.”
In the end, Russell sees his job in simple terms. “I see my role as being an advocate for the faculty, to promote their interests and to connect faculty to university-wide initiatives.”
Faculty and students are encouraged to contact Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss research and internship opportunities in the Idaho Falls area.
Applying to the NSF Faculty Early Career Development Program?
Deadlines to submit 2019 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career (NSF CAREER) proposals are July 18-21, depending on the program. Proposal development specialists in Research and Faculty Development (RFD) are available on a first-come, first-served basis to assist with the development of specific proposals. To request proposal development assistance, complete this short form and a proposal development specialist will follow up. Some of the resources offered are available on the website and others can be requested by emailing the RFD team at email@example.com.
- Faculty Invited to Apply for Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence initiative (IE3).
Deadline: June 3
Learn more about ORED’s new Research and Faculty Development (RFD) team and its services.
New $17 Million Grant to Boost Idaho’s Biomedical Research, Workforce
A statewide network of Idaho educational institutions, led by the University of Idaho, received a five-year, $17 million award to build Idaho’s growing biomedical workforce and strengthen research infrastructure. The funds, received through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, will continue research on advances in areas including new antibiotics, brain trauma, safety issues with e-cigarettes, cancer therapeutics and improvements for wound healing. Read more.
ORED Faculty Fellow Discusses Integration of Programs in the Arts, Humanities and STEM in Washington, D.C.
On April 12, ORED Faculty Fellow Scott Slovic attended Branches from the Same Tree: A National Convening on the Integration of Arts, Humanities and STEM in Higher Education. The event was hosted by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, D.C. The daylong symposium was part of the rollout of the 2018 NAS report of the same title, encouraging integrative courses, programs and research at colleges and universities across the country. The April meeting featured a panel of senior administrators from institutions including UC Berkeley, the University of Maryland, Penn State and Virginia Tech, each discussing how their personal and administrative career trajectories led them to appreciate the integration of disciplines. That panel was followed by a panel of students advocating for integrative academic programs. In between sessions, actors performed skits illustrating potential obstacles to cross-disciplinary research and teaching, as well as potential benefits. One of the afternoon sessions featured presentations of courses, internships and degree programs at Drexel University, Howard University, the University of North Texas and the University of Wyoming that feature effective convergences of disciplines. The University of Idaho and Washington State University are currently collaborating on a follow-up event that will feature researchers, teachers and administrators from our institutions. Stay tuned for further information.
U of I Interest Group Meets to Discuss Global Research Opportunities
ORED Faculty Fellow Scott Slovic organized the first in a series of regional interest group meetings with U of I faculty interested in conducting research in other areas of the world. The first discussion, held April 30, focused on research in China, as well as current relationships with Chinese universities. More meetings will be planned this summer for the fall semester. Anyone interested in participating or learning more may contact Slovic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ORED Tip of the Month
Confused as to what items are allowed or unacceptable on your grant budget? Our Guidelines for Spending Sponsored Funds give you a broad overview of what expenses are unallowable. If you have specific questions or if your question falls into a gray area, email email@example.com for an answer to your specific concern.
- Kris Freitag,
Cost Accounting and Compliance Unit Manager,
Office of Sponsored Programs