Research Newsletter Volume I, Issue 3, Fall 2019


John L. Bixby, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Research

A Message from the Vice Provost for Research

We hope everyone had a relaxing and productive summer. There is a lot going on, which I hope you can appreciate by scanning through the newsletter. Highlights are as diverse as the development of a new Pre-Award system (Huron Grants) at the Office of Research Administration, initiation of a new expert faculty review committee for internal awards (the UM Research Review Board), and formation of a critical new position in the office of Research Compliance & Quality Assurance (RCQA), to certify compliance with FDA regulations regarding electronic signatures and audit trails (21 CFR part 11) as well as with Good Laboratory/Good Manufacturing Practice (GLP, GMP).

This summer UM became part of a newly formed ad hoc committee of Vice Provosts/Vice Presidents for Research from schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), and the initial meeting of this group, held at Clemson University, has already yielded the idea of joining the “Public Voices” project (see below from Susan Morgan).

Leadership in UM research continues to evolve. In the past few months, we welcomed new research deans at the School of Law (Lili Levi) and the Frost School of Music (Carlos Abril), and most importantly, Provost Duerk has named Erin Kobetz to be the next Vice Provost for Research, beginning in FY2021. Dr. Kobetz has already joined our group, and I’m sure you will be hearing more from her in the coming months.

Susan E. Morgan, Ph.D., Associate Provost for Research

A Message from the Associate Provost for Research

We have a lot to report on in this fall newsletter. Most exciting are the awards that were made to our 3 new Phase II U-LINK teams and the 11 diverse teams that have been invited to submit a full application for our new Phase I competition. Phase I awardees will be announced by early December.

U-LINK isn’t the only source of internal funding at UM, of course. In this newsletter, we offer tips for successfully competing for Provost’s Research Award funding.

We also have a brand-new fellowship at UM which is intended to magnify the voices of female and underrepresented minority faculty, who are rarely heard in public discourse about vital topics affecting society. Of 43 applicants, 20 faculty will be selected to participate. We look forward to celebrating the impact they will make.

In this issue, we also report on the results of our Research Climate Survey, which was administered last spring. In addition to the results of the survey, we also wanted to tell you about the work we’ve done in response to your feedback.

Thank you to everyone for all that you to advance your fields and improve the lives of students, patients, and members of the public.

Welcome to the Future Vice Provost for Research

Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Welcome to Dr. Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H. (Professor, Associate Director for Population Science and Cancer Disparity, Chief of Population Health and Cancer Disparities for UHealth Oncology Service Line, Program Co-Leader, Cancer Control Research Program), who will begin her tenure as Vice Provost for Research in June 2020. Dr. Kobetz has substantial experience with disparities-focused research, and has been involved in multiple community-based participatory research endeavors to understand racial differences in breast and cervical cancer outcomes. We are excited to have Dr. Kobetz join our office and look forward to her leadership of the University's research efforts.

Welcome to the Research Development & Strategy Team

Grace Delgado, Sr. Administrative Assistant

Welcome to Grace Delgado, our new senior administrative assistant in the Research Development office. Grace will spend much of her time supporting U-LINK and other interdisciplinary initiatives, but will be helping us with event planning and a wide range of other work. Grace was previously administrative assistant at the Ryder Trauma Center, department of Surgery, and recently served as administrative support for a team of surgeons.

New Associate Deans for Research

Welcome to our new Associate Deans for Research Dr. Carlos Abril, Research Dean for the Frost School of Music, and Dr. Lili Levi, Research Dean for the School of Law.

Featuring Dr. Carlos Abril, Professor of Music Education and Director of Undergraduate Music Education at the Frost School of Music, Research Dean for the School of Music and Dr. Lili Levi, Professor of Law, Research Dean for the School of Law.

Dr. Abril

Dr. Carlos Abril is Professor of Music Education and Director of Undergraduate Music Education at the Frost School of Music. He teaches courses in philosophy of music education, music in childhood, culture and music education, and qualitative research methods. Dr. Abril has conducted extensive research focusing on sociocultural issues in the areas of music education, music education policy, and music perception. He has contributed to 14 chapters that can be found in several books, and 30 articles that have appeared in numerous professional journals. He co-edited the books Teaching General Music: Approaches, Issues, and Viewpoints (Oxford) and Musical Experience in Our Lives: Things We Learn and Meanings We Make (Rowman & Littlefield). In addition, Dr. Abril has served on over ten editorial boards in North America, South America, and Europe, including Journal of Research in Music Education, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, and Revista Complutense Investigación en Educación Musical.

As an educator at the Frost School, I strive to empower my students by having them construct knowledge and make broad connections that are meaningful to their unique professional goals and intellectual curiosities. I seek to facilitate a personal change or expansion in thinking about music, education, community, and life, that is relevant in contexts beyond the university classroom. - Carlos Abril

Dr. Levi

Lili Levi, Professor of Law, Dean's Distinguished Scholar, and Vice Dean for Intellectual Life, earned an A.B. summa cum laude in philosophy from Bryn Mawr College in 1977 and a J.D. cum laude in 1981 from Harvard Law School. She then worked as a litigation associate with the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and as Broadcast Counsel with CBS, Inc., before joining the faculty in 1987. Her scholarship focuses primarily on communications and media law. She is a member of the American Law Institute. Professor Levi currently teaches Business Associations, Copyright Law, and Media Law. She has previously taught International Copyright Law and Defamation and Privacy Law.

“What I’m interested in intellectually is media and information policy, which are always changing. But what that means is that I too have to change. My ideas have to change. I have to be culturally and legally aware. So all the stuff that my students are bringing into class is grist for my mill, too. It’s not just that I’m teaching them, but they’re teaching me also, every day, about the cultural and technological contexts I need to understand.” - Lili Levi

Exciting News

U-LINK Updates

Three interdisciplinary teams have been awarded Phase II grants from the University of Miami Laboratory for Integrative Knowledge (U-LINK) for research projects that relate to two grave challenges—climate change and domestic terrorism.

Given U-LINK’s mission of forging interdisciplinary collaborations to solve complex problems, the awards advancing projects that aim to counter extremist conspiracy theories, promote “hyper-local” climate adaptation strategies, and design the next-generation of coastal protections aren’t surprising. But it wasn’t easy for the U-LINK Action Team to choose which three of the seven teams awarded Phase I funding last year would advance to Phase II.

During this award cycle, the Action Team also renewed Phase II funding for two teams awarded U-LINK’s inaugural Phase II grants. They are the HURAKAN team, which is working to improve the graphic products that the National Hurricane Center uses to convey the risks and uncertainties of approaching storms, and the coastal resilience team, which is testing the effectiveness of innovative wave mitigation strategies, such as heat-resistant corals and cement/coral hybrids, to protect coastlines that are increasingly vulnerable to storm surges and wave-driven flooding.

The winning proposals and teams for U-LINK’s newest round of Phase II grants are:

CONNECT: Countering Online Networked Extremist Conspiracy Theories

The team’s goal is to develop a model that captures the causes and dynamics of the dissemination process as well as countermeasures that social media outlets and law enforcement authorities can use to halt the spread of the misinformation that breeds extremist conspiracy theories.

Team members include Manohar Murthi, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Joseph Uscinski, Professor of Political Science; Casey Klofstad, Associate Professor of Political Science; John Funchion, Associate Professor of English; Michelle Seelig, Associate Professor of Cinema and Interactive Media; Kamal Premaratne, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Stefan Wuchty, Associate Professor of Computer Science; Caleb Everett, Professor and Chair of Anthropology; Lisa Baker, Head of Richter Library’s Learning and Research Services.

Hyper-localism: Transforming the Paradigm for Climate Adaptation

Their goal is to move the conversation about climate change to a “people-first perspective” and, to that end, members are developing an Integrated Climate Risk Assessment protocol with community partners, including the CLEO Institute, Catalyst Miami, and The Nature Conservancy, to close the gap between top-down policies and neighborhood interests.

Team members include Amy Clement, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences; Joanna Lombard, Professor of Architecture and Public Health Sciences; Tyler Harrison, Professor of Communication Studies; Sam Purkis, Professor and Chair of Marine Geosciences; Gina Maranto, Director in the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy; and Angela Clark-Hughes, Head of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Library.

Next generation of coastal structures: Feasibility, quantification, and optimization

During Phase II, members plan to refine, test, and optimize their preliminary prototypes for protective coastal structures, which included artificial barrier islands made from discarded shipping containers, floating wetland mats, and lacy biophilic concrete structures that could attract a range of sea life.

Team members include Prannoy Suraneni, Assistant Professor, and Esber Andiroglu, Associate Professor of Practice of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering; Kathleen Sealey, Associate Professor of Biology; Billie Lynn, Associate Professor of Sculpture; Joel Lamere, Assistant Professor of Architecture; David Kelly, Professor of Economics; Renato Molina, Assistant Professor of Marine Ecosystems and Society; and James Sobczak, STEM Librarian Assistant Professor for Learning and Research Services.

OpEd Project

Did you know that only about 10% of OpEds are written by people who are not white and male? The new Public Voices fellowship offered through the Office of the Vice Provost for Research will provide faculty members who are women or from underrepresented minority groups the opportunity to work with mentors and members of the media to learn how to increase the public impact of their knowledge. The goal is to dramatically increase the public impact of UM's thought leaders who are women and/or underrepresented minorities, to ensure that their ideas help to shape important contemporary conversations. The Public Voices fellowship will run during the 2020 calendar year. To learn more, visit https://www.theopedproject.org/public-voices-fellowship.

Report on Research Climate Survey

Last spring, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research conducted a research climate survey, which assessed faculty perceptions of the resources and support UM provides for research and scholarly activities. Participants indicated highest satisfaction with their research / creative space and lowest satisfaction with research resources and post-award services. They also indicated that practical barriers (e.g., spending time on other high-priority tasks) were more likely to impede grant writing than were knowledge barriers [e.g., “I don’t know how to write a grant proposal”]). In terms of interdisciplinary inquiry, participants tended to show a high willingness to collaborate on interdisciplinary projects but expressed concern over how interdisciplinary research is rewarded in tenure and promotion.

In response to the open-ended questions, participants made calls for improving wait times, customer-service orientation, and responsiveness from administrative bodies like ORA. Issues with Workday (especially Workday Finance) were mentioned frequently. There was also a consensus that more attention needs to be paid to core resources and that greater support services for applying for grant funding, including help with writing and editing, as well as dedicated support for more complicated grants be provided. Finally, participants requested that research resources be offered on one centralized website.

In light of the findings, which will be made available to the university community, we are taking several actions to address concerns expressed by faculty (see pages 44-47). You can find a list of those actions, along with detailed discussions of the closed-ended and open-ended sections, in the final full report:

News You Can Use

Internal Grant Funding Opportunities:

Provost's Research Awards (PRA) Tips

Increase your chances of funding

The Provost’s Research Awards are designed to provide seed funding for projects that have promise for external funding or to enhance UM’s scholars’ reputations, both of which help to increase UM’s reputation for scholarly excellence. Members of UM’s Research Council review proposals forwarded by each eligible School and make recommendations to the OVPR about which proposals should receive funding. On August 21, 2019, we hosted a Q&A session that provided tips on enhancing applicants’ chances for funding. If you weren’t able to make it, here is a recap:

  • Avoid jargon and provide clear, discipline-neutral explanations of your procedures. The Review Council is comprised of active, accomplished scholars from a wide variety of fields. Everyone needs to be able to appreciate the importance of your work.
  • Have someone review your application before you submit it through InfoReady. If you are in a smaller School, your research dean may be able to do this. In larger Schools, though, it makes more sense to have a senior colleague provide feedback. This person does not need to be in your field. In fact, it may even be better for someone unfamiliar with the methods and theories in your field review your proposal so they can catch any jargon that requires explanation.
  • Have the Writing Center edit your proposal. Staff at the Writing Center (headed by Dr. Joanna Johnson) are available to edit all types of grant proposals and manuscripts.
  • Budget thoughtfully. Requesting funds for a 4-bedroom Airbnb for two months in southern France for research at an archive that is available online is unlikely to be received well by the Research Council. Similarly, if the budget requests funds to pay a student to collect data and summer salary is also requested to supervise the student’s work, this is also unlikely to be received well.
  • Take a grant writing workshop. Two 5-week workshops are offered on the Coral Gables campus in the spring (one oriented toward NIH and the other toward NSF). The skills learned there will certainly enhance the likelihood of PRA funding.

Grant Writing Support Offered through One-on-One Consultations

Mary Lou King, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Cell Biology

Grant writing consultations with Mary Lou King, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Cell Biology, are available starting the week of October 7. University of Miami faculty researchers, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students with new or previous grant submissions (R, K and F-style grants) can receive personalized mentoring on specific aims, summary statements and approach sections, among other areas. Consultations can be in-person or virtual. To schedule an appointment, click here.

Joanna Johnson, Ph.D., Director of Writing College of Arts & Sciences

Faculty can also receive grant proposal editing support from Dr. Joanna Johnson, who heads UM’s writing center. Dr. Johnson can help improve the expression and organizational flow of your work. Appointments with Dr. Johnson can be made here.

Soyeon Ahn, Ph.D., Chair and Professor Director, Statistical Supporting Unit (STATS-U) of Dunspaugh-Dalton Community and Educational Well-Being Research Center

The Statistical Supporting Unit (STATS-U) is part of the Dunspaugh-Dalton Community and Educational Well-Being Research Center (CEW) at the School of Education and Human Development (SEDH). STATS-U was founded to support research at the University by providing the following resources:

  • Quantitative and qualitative research training
  • Grant proposal development
  • Consultation on quantitative and qualitative research methods

The CEW Help Desk also offers the following extended methodological support:

  • Writing methodological components of grant applications
  • Running analyses for funded projects

Dr. Soyeon Ahn, Director of the Statistical Supporting Unit (STATS-U) and other faculty from the STATS-U program want to help strengthen your methodological approach and analysis plans. Contact the STATS-U Help Desk for a free appointment.

Core Facilities & Shared Resources

The University of Miami recognizes the importance of maintaining a variety of specialized facilities and instrumentation to support the growing research and education enterprise. Core facilities and shared resources are created and directed by UM faculty and supported by the university to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration. Most of these facilities operate as recharge centers and are accessible on a fee-for-service and availability basis.

Researchers outside of UM may also inquire about the availability of the facilities and services by contacting us directly. For general information, to add your facility to the list, or to create a new core, please contact Helene Valentine, Director of Research Support for the Executive Dean for Research, Research Education and Innovative Medicine.

To learn more about Core Facilities and Equipment Lists, please click on the link below.

New CTSI Collaborative Resource Supports Researchers Working with Aging Populations

Members of the University of Miami's Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and Aging (CNSA) team

The University of Miami CNSA focuses on understanding the aging brain and brain disorders through research, clinical care and education. Through a collaboration with the Miami CTSI, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and Aging (CNSA) is now a valuable resource available to the greater research community. CNSA's consulting services offers advice about navigating the social-behavioral IRB, recruiting aging populations, elderly minority populations, cognition, cognitive decline and aging.

Transformation of Libraries/librarians in the research enterprise

The University of Miami Libraries are adapting to support you and your research goals. You might be particularly interested in resources that help researchers identify funding opportunities (Foundation Directory Online), find potential collaborators (Pivot), and develop skills (LinkedIn Learning). In addition to providing expert consultations and resources, we offer spaces to support collaboration and networking. In Richter Library, visit the Faculty Exploratory, where you can record videos in the One-Button Studio. Or stop by the Creative Studio and Magic Leap Lab, where you can engage with emerging technologies. To increase access to your research, deposit your publications in the Scholarly Repository. Also, take a peek at our plans to create a Faculty Research Commons in Richter Library. And, as always our librarians – subject librarians, digital scholarship librarians, and medical librarians – are available to consult with you on questions about everything from journal databases to data management plans. Search our integrated catalog, uSearch, for journals, books, and resources. To learn more about all we offer, see our Faculty Essentials webpage.

Breaking News

Data Workshop Series at the Libraries

This series of seminars and workshops is designed for students who will be undertaking research in any discipline.

Data Analysis Software Instruction Presented by Dr. Cameron Riopelle, Head of Data Services

Gain introductory experience with data analysis in a variety of new software environments, particularly R, SPSS, SAS, and Tableau, paired with discussions of statistical analysis and data science best practices.

Research Data Management Series Presented by Dr. Timothy Norris, Data Scientist

This workshop series will provide students with strategies to increase productivity (efficiency), enable proper data stewardship (security), and help students exceed data management expectations and requirements in the research environment (compliance).

For questions about the Workshop Series event, please contact the UM Libraries at 305-284-4026 or click on the link below.

In Case You Missed It

U-LINK Symposium 2019

Our 10 U-LINK teams gathered at the annual U-LINK Symposium to share their Phase I and II work with each other and with the U-LINK Action Team. The symposium was followed by a poster session where Deans, Associate Deans for Research, and department and university development staff mingled with the teams and learned about their plans for the future.

Provost's Research Awards (PRA) Q&A 2019

The Provost's Research Awards (PRA) Q&A was held on August 21, 2019. Dr. Morgan, Associate Provost for Research, presented tips on how to apply to the PRAs. Several Research Deans attended to answer their faculty's questions related to their School/College's internal review criteria, the university's review process and how the Research Council identifies a winning proposal.

For Your Information

Linking ORCID Identifiers to eRA Profiles to Streamline Application Processes and to Enhance Tracking of Career Outcomes

Michael Lauer, M.D., Deputy Director for Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Enter once, reuse often. That’s the mantra of Open Researcher and Contributor Identification (ORCID), a non-profit organization that promotes the use of its unique digital identifier to connect researchers with their science contributions over time and across changes of name, location and institutional affiliation. With this in mind, in fiscal year 2020, NIH will begin requiring individuals supported by training, fellowship, career development, and other research education awards to have an ORCID iD linked to their personal electronic Research Administration (eRA) account.

New Pre Award Grants Management System Coming in 2020

The Office of Research Administration (ORA) will be replacing the current Pre-Award system with a new system that will reduce administrative burden on faculty and will provide access and transparency into the status of applications, contracts/agreements, subawards, and award notifications. The new system will also provide an interface with Workday.

Many changes to our current processes and procedures can be expected. One of the most anticipated changes includes full electronic routing and approvals, which will eliminate the use of forms such as the PCRF-L (routing form) and the IPAR (prior approval form).

To find the best ways to implement the system, we are reaching out to faculty and departmental personnel for collaboration and feedback. If invited, we hope that you will agree to help us review the system and offer suggestions.

Implementation of the new system is targeted for June 2020. For more information see the project website, and sign up for our project listerv. Stay tuned for further updates.

Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute FY19 Annual Report Available

CTSI FY2019 Annual Report

The Miami CTSI has released its FY19 report (June 2018- May 2019), highlighting our partnerships and the impact of our collaborative work in advancing research translation that improves the health of our diverse population. We invite you to learn about the resources and tools we developed, education and training initiatives, our new K scholar and pilot cohorts, and additional notable accomplishments in FY19. Please see the full annual report here.

Awards Across the U

Online Journalism Awards

Creative scholars like Kim Grinfeder (Interactive Media) and social scientists like Liz Miller (former visiting Knight Chair and Communication Studies professor at Concordia) at the University of Miami are receiving recognition for their interdisciplinary work to address environmental justice. They are finalists for an Online Journalism award in the category of Immersive Media, along with journalists from the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Frost School of Music Faculty Scores Big at 2019 GRAMMY™ Awards

The Frost School of Music at the University of Miami’s faculty, alumni and students played a starring role in the 2019 Grammy Awards. We are proud to announce the esteemed members of our faculty who were honored with the coveted award Sunday, Feb. 10 in Los Angeles at the 2019 Grammy awards ceremony. In addition, 23 Frost faculty, students and alumni participated in recordings that received Grammy Awards, including alumni Kenneth D. Fuchs whose composition Piano Concerto “Spiritualist: Poems of Life” was awarded the Grammy for Best Classical Compendium. In commenting Dean Shelton G. Berg stated: “In recruiting John Daversa to the Frost School, I said to him ‘we need your beating heart.’ That beating heart along with immense talent and originality led him to the Dreamers Project and an almost unbelievable three Grammy wins in one night. John is a leading voice in contemporary music, along with Dafnis Prieto, who virtuosity and distinctive music brought him another coveted Grammy to the Frost Studio Music and Jazz Department. I am equally proud of Professors Craig Morris and Lansing McLoskey, who shined in the classical area of the Grammys. I congratulate each of you on your extraordinary achievement and feel so grateful for all you do each day to attract, teach, mentor and serve our great students.”

Lansing McLoskey has been described as “a major talent and a deep thinker with a great ear” by the American Composers Orchestra, “an engaging, gifted composer writing smart, compelling and fascinating music” by Gramophone Magazine, and “a distinctive voice in American music.” His music has an emotional intensity that appeals to academic and amateur alike, defying traditional stylistic pigeonholes.
John Daversa, winner of Best Improvised Jazz Solo, Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, and Best Arrangement, Instrumental Or A Cappella, poses in the press room during the 61st Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Feb. 10, 2019 in Los Angeles.

Announcements and Opportunities

Call for Interdisciplinary Research Teams for Miller School Seminar Series (MSOM)

The monthly Dean Henrí Ford’s Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series highlights innovative, collaborative, translational biomedical research conducted by University of Miami faculty across all its disciplines. Outstanding, successfully-funded teams present research that cuts across real and/or perceived siloes in academia and engages the scientific community to think and work more collaboratively. Teams are comprised of a minimum of two individuals, of all ranks and levels, from different disciplines.

Submit a nomination by emailing the topic area, team member names and disciplines to: CTSIservices@med.miami.edu.