A Better Place

The directors of the 20 campus Organized Research Units recently put together a display of their achievements and contributions for Chancellor Pradeep Khosla and many of their industry partners in the region. Hosted by Sandra Brown, Vice Chancellor for Research, and her associate vice chancellors, the briefing featured remarks by Brown and Khosla, and trade-show-style exhibits and demonstrations by the ORU directors. As he began his tour of the research-unit demos and displays, Khosla expressed his appreciation to the directors for their efforts. "Thank you for the work that you do," he said. "You are making our campus and our world a better place."

Organized Research Units Organized Research Units Organized Research Units Organized Research Units Organized Research Units Organized Research Units Organized Research Units Organized Research Units Organized Research Units Organized Research Units Organized Research Units Organized Research Units Organized Research Units Organized Research Units

Research News

Useful Guide Helps New Faculty Compete For, and Win, Research Funding

The Research Proposal Development Service in the Office of Research Affairs has made available for download the “New Faculty Guide to Competing for Research Funding.” For use within UC San Diego, the concise but comprehensive guide covers every aspect of the competitive process, from “big picture” strategic planning to helpful particulars of writing, using graphics, editing, and reviewing. Download it here.

New, Customizable Options Help Meet Ethics-Training Requirements

UC San Diego and the Office of Research Affairs are proud of our highly respected Research Ethics Program, which has been in existence for 15 years under the leadership of Dr. Michael Kalichman. 
Following a major review of the program, including an evaluation of campus Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training needs, and after extensive discussions with campus leaders, Vice Chancellor Brown has announced new options to facilitate required training in RCR and research-ethics education in general.

The Research Ethics Program was originally established to meet NIH requirements that postdoctoral scholars and graduate students on NIH training grants receive RCR training. 

In 2010, the National Science Foundation also implemented a requirement that all undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars receiving salary and/or stipends from NSF awards be trained in the responsible conduct of research. To meet the different requirements of these agencies, to anticipate the possibility of other agency requirements, and to ensure that students receive training in research ethics as part of their experience at UC San Diego, the campus is expanding opportunities to develop customized programs to meet the regulatory and/or educational needs within departments.

A summary of the recommendations of the Research Ethics Program Review Committee may be viewed here.
To review options available for RCR training, please click here.

To learn more about the Research Ethics Program, the committee recommendations, or options for RCR training, contact Michael Kalichman (kalichman@ucsd.edu; x22027) or Marianne Generales (mgenerales@ucsd.edu; x44636).

Stricter Conflict-of-Interest Rules Affect NIH, Public Health-Funded Research

New, more stringent rules for conflict of interest in all research sponsored by the Public Health Service (PHS), including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) went into effect in August. 
Under the new regulations, the monetary interest considered to be a “significant” financial interest has been reduced from $10,000 to $5,000.  Receipt of $5,000 or more in consulting income, honoraria, stock or equity ownership, or personal payment of travel expenses by a sponsor will now be considered significant and require formal disclosure at the time of proposal submission. 
Additionally, the new regulations now require PHS-funded investigators to annually disclose financial interests received from any source (with the exception of federal and state agencies, U.S. colleges and universities, and academic medical centers), which may relate to all professional activities – not just research-related activities.
The Office of Research Affairs has launched several initiatives designed to make compliance as efficient as possible. These include:

Please keep in mind that having an outside financial interest is not automatically a conflict of interest.  The Independent Review Committee on Conflict of Interest will continue to review your financial disclosures and relevant features of any related research projects to determine if a financial interest rises to the level of a conflict of interest.  And, almost all disclosed financial interests and resulting conflicts of interest can be managed so that the research project can be accepted and funded by the sponsor.   
Check the Conflict of Interest site for more information about these new requirements and other COI issues.

Feel free to contact Valerie Dixon, Director of the Conflict of Interest Office, at info@coi.ucsd.edu if you have questions or need additional information.

New “eMTA” Makes Material Transfers Fast, Friendly, Paper-Free

In cooperation with the Office of Contract & Grant Administration and the Technology Transfer Office, the Electronic Research Administration Program (eRAP) is launching a new electronic Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) system to replace the current paper-based process.  Implementation is now under way, and will soon expand to more areas of campus.
MTAs are legal agreements between UC San Diego and external parties that establish terms and conditions for tangible research materials and, most important, protect the rights of both the providing researchers and the university. 
The new system is being designed from the ground up to make the MTA requests and approval process more efficient and streamlined -- for both faculty and staff users -- by consolidating new inbound and outbound material-transfer records while providing process transparency.
With its user-friendly interface and branching “smart forms,” the new eMTA system will:

Find more information about the new eMTA system at mta.ucsd.edu. Or contact Nicole Joyce at njoyce@ucsd.edu or 858-534-9112.