February 2022

Research Insider

FY 2023 Internal Grants Proposals Due February 28, 2022

The Internal Grants Program at The University of Texas at Tyler (UT Tyler) provides seed funding for interdisciplinary research conducted by faculty and staff at the main campus and the Health Science Center (HSC) campus to advance the university’s research and scholarship goals outlined in the strategic plan. The FY 2023 Internal Grant Program will make awards to foster an environment of collaborative research and scholarship across disciplines. Proposals are accepted for projects that include faculty or staff from at least two different departments, with one PI and up to four Co-PIs. Preference will be given to proposals submitted by collaborations involving faculty and staff from the UT Tyler main and HSC campuses. Visit the Internal Grants Program webpage to download the request for proposals and other required documents.

Training in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Requirements

UT Tyler will provide at no cost to participants an online RCR-Basic training provided by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). This RCR-Basic training is required for all faculty, post docs, lab assistants, technicians, undergraduate or graduate students who are engaged in research. 

The RCR-Basic training modules must be completed by no later than May 2, 2022. Once completed, the training is valid for three years.

You should select the RCR CITI training most relevant to your research program. The CITI RCR training choices are: (1) Biology; (2) Biomedical Sciences; (3) Engineering, Computing, Mathematics and Physical Sciences; (4) Humanities, Social, Behavioral, and Education Sciences; and (5) Research Administration. Each choice consists of the following seven RCR-Basic Modules:

  1. Authorship (RCR-Basic)
  2. Collaborative Research (RCR-Basic)
  3. Conflicts of Interest (RCR-Basic)
  4. Data Management (RCR-Basic)
  5. Mentoring (RCR-Basic)
  6. Peer Review (RCR-Basic)
  7. Research Misconduct (RCR-Basic)

Please note that the completion of the above RCR training is separate from the human or animal subjects training required by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Required training for faculty, staff and students engaged in research with animals and/or human subjects will be assigned by IACUC and/or IRB administrators. More information about RCR training can be found on the ORS website.

Congratulations!

Dr. Indic and Dr. Ramanand:

Dr. Premananda IndicThe University of Texas at Tyler received a subaward of $861,744 from a National Institutes of Health R01 grant awarded to the University of Alabama at Birmingham for a project entitled Vital Signs in Opioid Exposed Neonates. Dr. Premananda Indic, an associate professor of electrical engineering and the director of the Center for Health Informatics and Analytics, will serve as principal investigator the The University of Texas at Tyler site. Dr. Pravitha Ramanand, an assistant research professor of electrical engineering in the College of Engineering will be a co-investigator.

“There is an ongoing epidemic of opioid use during pregnancy. Babies exposed to opioids before birth often develop neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) and are at higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). However, the challenge is to identify such signs early in life” said Dr. Dr. Pravitha RamanandNamasivayam Ambalavanan, principal investigator of the project, a Virginia Walker Jones Endowed Chair in Neonatology and a Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Pioneering work done by Drs. Indic, Ramanand and Ambalavanan has identified that patterns of heart rate and breathing as early as the first day after birth can be used to identify infants who later develop signs of opioid withdrawal. Drs Indic and Ambalavanan have been collaborating for the past six years on the NIH-funded PreVENT project that focused on apnea and bradycardia in very preterm infants and have now extended their expertise to this different high-risk population of infants. 

Dr. Milan and Dr. Graves:

Dr. David MilanThe University of Texas at Tyler received an award of $311,154 from a National Science Foundation grant, for a project entitled Algebra, Graphs, and Number Theory at The University of Texas at Tyler. Dr. David Milan will serve as the principal investigator and Dr. Christy Graves will be a co-principal investigator for the project. Both are professors in the Department of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences. Their project was awarded a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) grant for three years beginning May 1, 2022.

The award will be used to support ten students coming to UT Tyler each year for an eight-week long summer research experience in mathematics. Each group of three to four students will have a dedicated faculty Dr. Christy Gravesmentor. Faculty mentors include Dr. David Milan, Dr. Christy Graves, Dr. Katie Anders, Dr. Kassie Archer, Dr. Madeline Dawsey, and Dr. Joseph Vandehey. Participants will present their research at national meetings and write a draft of a paper suitable for publication. 

The primary goal of the REU site is to increase the participation of underrepresented groups – especially Hispanic students, women, and first-generation college students – in mathematical research and graduate training. The project builds on Dr. Milan’s and Dr. Graves’ successful track record in mentoring undergraduate students in mathematics research.

Dr. McGaha and Dr. Alfred:

Dr. Paul McGahaThe University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler has been notified that it will receive a subaward of $2,210,123 from a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant awarded to The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston for a project, entitled Community-Based Workforce for COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach. Dr. Paul McGaha, Chair of the Department of Community Health in the School of Community and Rural Health will serve as principal investigator. Other personnel from the Health Science Center involved in the project are Carlton Allen, Program Director for the Department of Community Health, and Kim Bush, Community Health Worker Training Coordinator. A program coordinator will be hired to manage the one-year project. 

Dr. Danita AlfredThe UT Tyler School of Nursing will receive a sub-subaward from the UT Tyler Health Science Center in the amount of $655,701 which includes another subaward to Jarvis Christian College for $26,745. Dr. Danita Alfred, professor in the School of Nursing, will serve as principal investigator for the School of Nursing project activities with support from the school’s clinical facilitator and field supervisors, and faculty in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. 

The Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) will also receive a sub-subaward from the UT Tyler Health Science Center in the amount of $981,408 to support its project activities. 

Dr. McGaha brings a wealth of experience in public health management to the project and has assembled a leadership and operational team from these partners. The overarching goal of the project is to reduce COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and expand current vaccination access through public outreach and education activities that reaches rural and underserved populations within the service region’s 22 counties. Nursing and Health Science students from UT Tyler, students from Jarvis Christian College, and community health workers will be hired and/or paid stipends to assist NET Health vaccine operations by accommodating the needs of the clients and the community and tracking required data during the project.

News from the National Institutes of Health

Did You Know NIH has an NIH Grants YouTube Channel?

On the YouTube channel NIH has bingeable playlists all about grants!  Whether you’re looking for an introduction to NIH fundamentals, insight into the peer review, information on NIH policy and compliance or applying for grant funding, an orientation to special funding programs, eRA systems or any of the grants administrative topics covered by our seminars and webinars, you can find it here.  

Extending Existing Guidance for Preparing Applications During COVID-19

For Spring 2022 due dates, NIH recently extended the guidance that while grant applications should not include contingency or recovery plans for problems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, investigators may address effects due to the pandemic on productivity or other scoreable issues in the personal statement of the biosketch.

Revised NIH Grants Policy Statement for FY 2022

The revised NIH Grants Policy Statement (NIHGPS) has been published, replacing the previous version as standard terms and conditions of award. This revision applies to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2021.

News from the National Science Foundation

Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)

NSF’s new Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) went into effect October 4, 2021. Included are new formats and requirements for the NSF Biographical Sketch and the Current and Pending Support. You can use SciENcv to develop these documents or use the NSF Biographical Sketch fillable PDF  and the NSF Current and Pending Support fillable PDF

NSF Pre-award and Post-award Disclosures Relating to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support

NSF has issued an updated version of the table entitled NSF Pre-award and Post-award Disclosures Relating to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support that includes information regarding start-up packages provided by proposing organizations as well as outside organizations.  Any questions regarding the contents of the table should be directed to the Policy Office at policy@nsf.gov

Want to Know Who to Contact for Help with Submitting a Grant Proposal or Managing a Grant Award?

We know that UT Tyler is now a comprehensive public academic and health science institution and that the main campus and Health Science Center campus are “together as one,” so why do we still have two offices that support the development, submission, and management of grants and sponsored projects? The answer is that the two campuses have separate unique entity identifiers which are the identifiers assigned by the System for Award Management to entities receiving federal funds. 

Panda PowellPanda Powell, MBA, CRA is the Director of both the Office of Sponsored Programs at the Health Science Center campus and the Office of Research and Scholarship at the main campus. She is celebrating 39 years in research administration in 2022. Prior to coming to UT Tyler, her career encompassed university, state, private, non-profits as well as consulting work. She received her B.A. from the University of Kentucky, M.B.A. from University of Phoenix and obtained her CRA (Certified Research Administrator) in June 2005. Well versed in federal guidance including the new Uniform Guidance, she has extensive knowledge of research administration and grant compliance areas. Panda can be reached by phone at 903-877-7392 or by email at panda.powell@uthct.edu

If you are employed at the Health Science Center campus, then the Office of Sponsored Programs will assist you. If you are employed at the UT Tyler main campus, then the Office of Research and Scholarship will assist you. You can find contact information for staff in both offices in the table below.

Service

Office of Research and Scholarship

UT Tyler Main Campus
research@uttyler.edu
903-565-5858

Office of Sponsored Programs

Health Science Center
grants@uthct.edu
903-877-7245

Proposal Development and Submission
and Award Negotiation

(Pre-Award Services)

Carla Reichard, PhD, CPRA
Assistant Director
903-565-5670

creichard@uttytler.edu 

Matthew Lee, MA
Grants and Contracts Lead
903-877-7245

matthew.lee@uthct.edu

Kay Jenkins, MS
Grants & Contracts Specialist
903-566-7094

kjenkins@uttyler.edu

Audrey Gray, CTCM
Grants & Contracts Specialist II
903-877-7585

audrey.gray@uthct.edu

Grant/Contract Management

(Post-Award Services)

Angela Nunez, MBA
Grants & Contracts Specialist
903-566-7340

anunez@uttyler.edu

Carrie Bower
Senior Accountant
903-877-7755

carrie.boyer@uthct.edu

Vacant
Grants & Contracts Specialist

 

Bob Armstrong
Post-Award Account Analyst
903-877-7710

bobby.armstrong@uthct.edu

Time and Effort Certification

(Post-Award Services)

Angela Nunez, MBA
Grants & Contracts Specialist
903-566-7340

anunez@uttyler.edu

Rachel Lee
Grants & Contracts Specialist I
903-877-7594

rachel.lee@uthct.edu

 

What About Research Compliance?

Dr. Anna KurdowskaSome functions of research administration on the two campuses are merged operationally. For example, Dr. Anna Kurdowska is the Associate Vice President of Research Compliance and works on both campuses to ensure that the institution and investigators follow applicable regulations and policies while engaged in research. Dr. Kurdowska oversees the activities of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), Infectious Organism Research Review Committee (IORRC) and other activities such as radiation safety, vivarium operations, export controls, laboratory safety and intellectual property. She also serves as a board member of the Texas Society for Biomedical Research which supports biomedical animal research conducted in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.  

Dr. Kurdowska, a professor of Cellular and Molecular Biology at the Health Science Center, came to the UT Tyler HSC as a Research Associate Specialist in 1991 and joined the faculty in 1992.  Dr. Kurdowska discovered that Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (Btk) is a master regulator of pro-inflammatory processes in the alveolar compartment and vasculature. With Dr. Kurdowska's groundbreaking research initiating the concept, a few major pharmaceutical companies are exploring Btk inhibitor use for clinical trial testing in patients with severe COVID-19 infection. Further, several preliminary studies that show the effectiveness of Btk inhibitors in patients with COVID-19 cited Dr. Kurdowska’s work as a primary proof of concept. Dr. Kurdowska can be reached by phone at 903-877-7738 or by email at akurdowska@uttyler.edu or anna.kurdowska@uthct.edu.

Lisa Bush, MSThe Institution Review Board (IRB) of the UT Tyler main campus and the IRB of the Health Science Center campus are merging with the IRB of UT Health East Texas Healthcare System under the leadership of Lisa Bush, MS, CIP, Director of Human Research Protections Program, and the Institutional Review Board Office. Lisa is a certified Institutional Review Board professional with 17 years of experience in research administration, research compliance, research conflicts of interest and grants policy compliance. She has served in research administration since 2015 at East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System before becoming the director of Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) at UT Health East Texas. Lisa can be contacted by phone at 903-877-7632 or by email at lisa.bush@uthct.edu or lbush@uttyler.edu. You can contact the IRB Office by phone at 903-877-7632 or by email at irb@uthct.edu

The IRB is made up of three IRB committees each with its own chair that serve the over-arching Institutional Review Board program. Reciprocity agreements are in place so that any of the committees can review research regardless of what campus the research originates. Felice Calico and Tamela Kimbro are the IRB coordinators who support all three committees as shown in the table below.

IRB Committee
1

IRB Committee
2

IRB Committee
3

Paul Latta, DDS
Chair

Emmanuel Elueze, MD, PhD, MPA, FACP
Chair

David Pearson, PhD
Chair

Felice Calico, BBA
IRB Coordinator
903-877-8122
felicia.calicojefferson@uthct.edu

and

Tamela Kimbro, MBA
IRB Coordinator
903-566-6317
tkimbro@uttyler.edu

 

Would you like guidance in developing your research design and methods or conducting data analyses for your project?

Visit the Research Design & Data Analysis Lab website where faculty, staff and students can find and sign up to participate in one-on-one consulting, workshops, and tutorials.