Goodbye, Hello

Former colleagues at the VA Hospital sent new Vice Chancellor for Research Sandra Brown off with a well-attended luncheon late last month, and the new VC hosted the directors, faculty, researchers and staff of the campus Organized Research Units at a get-acquainted reception in the Faculty Club a day later.

Sandi Brown Going Away Event VA Hospital Sandi Brown Going Away Event VA Hospital Sandi Brown Going Away Event VA Hospital Sandi Brown Going Away Event VA Hospital Sandi Brown Going Away Event VA Hospital Welcoming Sandra Brown as UC San Diego Vice Chancellor of Research at the Faculty Club Welcoming Sandra Brown as UC San Diego Vice Chancellor of Research at the Faculty Club Welcoming Sandra Brown as UC San Diego Vice Chancellor of Research at the Faculty Club Welcoming Sandra Brown as UC San Diego Vice Chancellor of Research at the Faculty Club Welcoming Sandra Brown as UC San Diego Vice Chancellor of Research at the Faculty Club Welcoming Sandra Brown as UC San Diego Vice Chancellor of Research at the Faculty Club Welcoming Sandra Brown as UC San Diego Vice Chancellor of Research at the Faculty Club Welcoming Sandra Brown as UC San Diego Vice Chancellor of Research at the Faculty Club

Research News

New Export Compliance Certification Required for H-1B and O-1 Non-Immigrant Petitions

Effective February 20, 2011, the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has added an export compliance certification that will affect all H-1B and O-1 petitions sponsored by UC San Diego.

In order to comply with the new USCIS requirement, supervisors of non-immigrant employees must complete an "Office of Research Affairs Certification" (henceforth referred to as "the Certification,") which will be part of all future International Center's International Scholar Office H-1B and O-1 Department Request Forms:  http://research.ucsd.edu

Information on export control regulations may be found at:  http://ocga.ucsd.edu

UC San Diego Tops in UC System for 2010 Research Funding

UC San Diego, now celebrating our 50th anniversary, has added another distinction to our list of achievements: the campus is ranked first among the 10 University of California campuses in contract and grant awards, with $1,059,326,359 in awards for fiscal year 2010. UC San Diego narrowly edged UC San Francisco and UCLA, which brought in $1,054,324,978 and $1,014,696,797, respectively, in contracts and grants.

The numbers were compiled by the Institutional Research Office of the University of California Office of the President. UC San Diego reported in July 2010 that it had passed the billion-dollar mark in research funding, a milestone for the La Jolla institution. Its top ranking among UC campuses is also a first, although it has typically ranked in the top three in recent years.

“Our success in attracting contracts, grants and other kinds of funding is a testament to the hard work of our faculty, postdoctoral scholars, students and staff,” said Vice Chancellor for Research Sandra Brown. “From the general campus to Health Sciences and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, we’re working very aggressively to use these investments to improve people’s lives, not only in California and the United States, but also around the world.”

About 70 percent of funding for research supports the salaries of faculty, staff and students conducting that research, Brown said, and many projects evolve into larger endeavors and generate discoveries, inventions, patents and licensing agreements that can help create additional jobs.  

Goverment Research Relations

Scarce Funds Mandate Resourcefulness, New Partners

By Barbara Perry

The recent elections, combined with the fiscal challenges faced by federal and state governments, make one thing clear for research universities:   It will take significant decisive action on the part of a financially constrained Congress to avoid making major cuts to federal support for research in the foreseeable future.

The evidence is pretty clear -- the nation needs to be strategic in how it addresses the huge amount of debt it bears.  There is a strong chorus throughout the country seeking restraint and even draconian measures to get costs under control.  This is when far-sighted visionaries must make a decision to spend on unproven theories and untested assumptions at the heart of basic research.  It is not unreasonable to assume that research that is closer to applications in health, company formation, job creation or solutions to social problems may be more fundable during this period.  The researcher who can make a case for early adoption by the commercial sector may have a better chance at funding than those farther back in the developmental stream.

This is not the first time the nation has had to cut back dramatically on discretionary funding.  In earlier situations, there was some residual local, state or campus economic health to fill in with bridge funding until things got better – which they did.  The alternative pockets this time around are empty, torn or are not very deep.  Researchers must become more resourceful than ever and learn to find partners in unlikely places. 

Another resounding theme in Washington these days is Partner or Perish. Entrepreneurial researchers will find companies, NGOs, other schools, regional governmental and non-governmental entities to help shape proposals which demonstrate broad benefit to communities.  “Regional economic clusters,” “innovation ecosystems,” and other catch-phrases now appear in funding-agency literature and typify how legislators intend to invest the scarce discretionary funds they have.

It is going to take a lot of creativity to make up for the loss of funding.  As always, UC San Diego researchers will figure out how to advance knowledge and meet these new requirements, with a positive result for the knowledge base and the nation.