OR Horizon
Mary Lidstrom

Message from Mary Lidstrom, Vice Provost for Research

The Connection of Research and Technology

Research is foundational to our mission, and our shared future success depends in part on the investments we make to support technology today. Our track record of federal funding has been critical for our ability to invest in targeted initiatives and research to stay competitive. We have tripled our research funding over the last twenty years, and in fiscal year 2013 received an astonishing $1.238 billion in sponsored research funds. From 1974 - 2009 the UW received more federal research funding than any other U.S. public university, and since 2009 has been in the top two nationally.

UW’s competitive strength is due in part to our support of technology that enables research collaboration within the UW community, and our partners around the world. Our goals are to provide students with the tools they need for academic success, and faculty with the collaborative tools and networks necessary to support research and sophisticated teaching methods.

One of the ways in which we do this is to enable connections and foster research collaborations. This quarter’s Office of Research Campus Update features tools and services such as eScience, Hyak, Husky SciVal Experts, and our suite of tools and resources for complex proposals. The Office of Research is also committed to providing the technological resources that will decrease the administrative burden for our faculty and staff, and provide easy access to tools like the upcoming research profile tool. Read further to get more information on tools and resources that support research and maintain UW’s role as a world class leader.

Mary Lidstrom
Vice Provost for Research


Research in the Community

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Data Science @ the UW

By Ed Lazowska

We are at the dawn of a revolutionary new era of discovery. Rapid advances in technology are transforming nearly every field from “data-poor” to “data-rich” – not only in the sciences, engineering, and medicine, but also in the social sciences and increasingly in the humanities. The ability to extract knowledge from this abundance of data – “data-intensive discovery” or “data science” – lies at the heart of 21st century discovery.

Data-intensive discovery is referred to as “The Fourth Paradigm” of scientific inquiry, augmenting observation/experiment, theory, and simulation. Data-intensive discovery relies on intellectual infrastructure more than on physical infrastructure – new methods, new tools, new partnerships, and new types of people. Today, most researchers – even the very best – are not well versed in the methodologies of data-intensive discovery. Until recently one could be a world-class oceanographer without expertise in data science. No longer! Oceanography, like many other fields, is becoming an information field, through rapid advances in chemical, physical, and biological sensors, highly capable teleoperated and autonomous vehicles, and cabled observatories. Similarly, the discovery 50 years ago of a universal genetic code transformed our understanding of biology, but within the past five years, technological advances have radically improved scientists’ ability to read, understand, modify, transfer and re-write this code; these new technologies are transforming biology and medicine into information fields, and have huge potential to improve human health and to engineer organisms for a wide variety of applications. Neuroscience and neuroengineering are being revolutionized by new sensors and new sensing techniques. In the social sciences, we can watch relationships evolve in real-time through the Facebook graph and get immediate updates about individuals’ opinions, feelings and actions through Twitter, rather than relying only on surveys or small focus groups.  Read the full article 

Research Computing Support  

By Brad Greer

Since the summer of 2010, UW has operated a capable cyberinfrastructure (CI) in the form of Hyak, a large-scale shared compute cluster, lolo, a storage service offering data archives and other options, and a high speed research network (HSRN) and Science DMZ.  The centrally managed UW CI now supplies more than 30 million CPU core hours a year to hundreds of UW researchers across more than a dozen research areas, stores more than 1 Petabyte of data, and supports the easy transfer of terascale data sets between campus, Hyak, and remote instruments and supercomputers. Read the full article 

On the Horizon: The UW Researcher Profile  

By Jason Myers

With an increased demand for collaborative research, the Researcher Profile has become a hot topic. At the same time, the amount of data available online and at home institutions for use in the researcher profile has become more prevalent, accurate, and useful.

One example of a new researcher profile tool is SciENcv, which is the first iteration of a federal-wide researcher profile project.  SciENcv is being developed by the NIH National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in cooperation with a Federal Demonstration Partnership workgroup.  Seven federal agencies have signed on to utilize the tool including the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Smithsonian Institution.  The current beta version focuses on creating and managing a research profile and creating a NIH biosketch.  The tool can be accessed at NCBI’s website.

While the SciENcv tool will be most beneficial for those doing federally-sponsored research, there are other efforts underway to help researchers here at UW. The Office of Research Information Services (ORIS) is beginning work on a UW Researcher Profile, which will leverage the open-source VIVO research and scholarship discovery platform.  ORIS has chosen to leverage VIVO to be used for creating UW Researcher Profiles because it integrates well with SciENcv, and has a strong partnership with other initiatives (e.g. ORCID) in the researcher profile and identity business.  Within the next few months watch for more news about the UW Researcher Profile and opportunities to be part of a pilot user group.

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Office of Research Strives to Make your Life Easier

Emergency or Compassionate Use - New Widget to Access Consent Form

Implemented:  February 28, 2014

Physicians who wish to use an investigational drug, device, or biologic for clinical treatment of a single patient must comply with specific Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements and UW Medicine policies. 

Changes 

The procedures to ensure compliance with these requirements have been significantly revised and improved. 

  • IRB concurrence not required:  It is no longer necessary to obtain the concurrence of an IRB chair or to inform the Human Subjects Division (HSD) before the emergency or compassionate use. 
  • Complete detailed instructions are now provided in a single document for each type of use.
  • A template consent form is now available (and must be used).
  • Single easy-to-find location:  The instructions and the template are located together on a single HSD webpage.  Click on the big red button Single Patient Emergency Use on the HSD homepage.  

Benefits

  • The instructions guide physicians through everything they need to do, including UW Medicine requirements.
  • All requirements and documents are together, in an easy-to-find location.
  • The process is now simpler and faster.
  • The required template consent form is:
    • Easy and fast to complete;
    • Meets all FDA requirements;
    • Is as short and simple as possible, to improve patient comprehension.

Project Management Toolkit Eases the Burden of Preparing Complex Grant Proposals

The pilot project, Complex Proposal Management Group (CPMG), no longer offers consultation services, however, all of the tools it developed over the two year pilot are now available online. The project management tools that clients loved are still accessible as downloadable templates and samples. Templates include calendars, meeting agendas, a proposal development timeline, budget justification primer, UW boilerplate, and other tools.

Ask your T32 Training Grant Questions

Questions about how to prepare or manage your T32 training grant?  Join the Training Grant User listserv and ask a community of experts about what is vexing you -- from preparing tables to where you can find deadlines for your progress reports, from how to set up appointments to what to include in an offer letter.  To subscribe, email:  uwresearch@uw.edu

SciVal Funding

SciVal Funding,  available as part of the Husky SciVal Experts package, provides researchers with information on sponsored research opportunities from a wide spectrum of funders including federal and non-federal, as well as foundations.  All UW faculty and staff are welcome to use SciVal Funding, accessible when on the UW network at:  http://depts.washington.edu/research/fostering-collaboration/profiles.php

Announcements

Uniform Grant Guidance (Omni-Circular)

The Office of Management and Budget released its grant reform regulations called the Uniform Grant Guidance. This guidance relates to administrative requirements, cost principles and audit requirements for federal awards, and was the outcome of one of President Obama's goals to provide a government that is more, "…efficient, transparent, and creative." Led by sponsors Sue Camber and Mary Lidstrom, a cross-unit team (the Omni Guidance Core Team) has been assembled to discover and report on differences between past and new federal requirements including policy, procedure, and system changes. See the new Uniform Grant Guidance webpage for updates and federal and sponsor documentation. The effective date for most of the new regulation is 12/26/2014. It will be applicable for all new federal funds received on or after that date.

Funding Opportunities Webpage

We are happy to announce the launch of a one-stop funding opportunities landing page, which lists all links for external and internal funding resources.

Office of Research Fact Sheet for FY 2013 is Now Available 

The Office of Research Fact Sheet for FY 2013 is now available. View and download from the Research Home Page/Research Excellence box or the Stats and Rankings webpage

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Did you know??

OEI, the Organization Effectiveness Initiative that provided a wide range of consulting services across campus, is transitioning.  Housed under the Office of Research, OEI is changing its name to RAPID, (Research Administration Performance Improvement and Development) and will primarily focus its efforts to reduce researcher administrative burden for the research enterprise across campus and in conjunction with the efforts of the Research Road Map.  Both RAPID and the Research Roadmap are focused on streamlining and automating research administrative processes so that more research can be done at the UW while less time is spent on administrative duties.    

This support will include services to administrative units, centers, institutes, and other research entities, as well as colleges and schools working on improvements involving research functions. 

RAPID services include:

  • Strategic planning and implementation
  • Leadership and team development
  • Organizational assessment and restructuring
  • Defining roles & responsibilities
  • Organizational/process improvement
  • Organizational assessment/surveys

Additional resources are available on the RAPID/OEI website, including self-assessment tools and templates as well as self-access to free online training on process improvement.  Please contact RAPID at (206-616-0804) or (oei@uw.edu) for services.