Archives for February 20, 2015

Human Frontier Science Program Invites Applications for Innovative Life Science Research

The Human Frontier Science Program, which supports international collaborations in basic life science research, is inviting applications for grants to support innovative approaches to understanding the complex mechanisms of living organisms.

HFSP offers two areas of funding  — Program grants and Young Investigator grants. Program grants are designed for teams of independent scientists at all stages of their careers, while Young Investigator grants are for teams of scientists who are  within five years of establishing an independent laboratory and within ten years of obtaining their Ph.Ds. Both provide three years of support for two- to four-member teams, with not more than one member from any one country (unless necessary for the innovative nature of the project). Applicants are expected to develop novel lines of research distinct from their ongoing research.

Awards of up to $450,000  a year will be determined  by team size. All teams must be international in their composition, the principal applicant must be located in an HFSP member country. (Co-investigators may be located in any country.)

Applicants must register and obtain a 2016 reference number from the HFSP website by March 19, 2015. Letters of Intent must be received no later than March 31, 2015. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit full applications.

For complete program guidelines, an FAQ, and application instructions, visit the HFSP Web site.


Effort Verification Reporting (EVR) new process

The federal government requires effort reporting when an individual is compensated by or has agreed to contribute time to a federally sponsored project.  All employees responsible to certify the amount of effort that they spent on sponsored activities.  If the employee is unable to certify their own EVR, the PI or someone with knowledge of their time may certify the EVR.  Additional information can be found at

Everyone who received compensation from a sponsored agreement during the time period of  07/01/2014-12/31/2014 were notified via email on 02/11/2015 to certify their effort through the eEVR link.  To date, Missouri S&T is 65% complete.  The deadline to complete is March 4, 2015

Effort Verification Reports

Spotlight on Missouri S&T’s newest industry consortium

“ Preformed Particle Gel (PPG) is a type of superabsorbent polymers that I developed in 1997 when I worked for PetroChina.” said Lester Birbeck Endowed Chair Prof Baojun Bai in the Department of Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering. The gel particles ranging in size from nanometer to millimeter that are designed to control water production and enhance oil production for mature oilfields. On average, about 2/3 of oil-in-place is left in reservoirs that cannot be economically produced by conventional oil recovery methods. Excess water production is the major reason to shut down the wells and abandon these reservoirs. Worldwide, an estimated 210 million barrels of water, accompanied with 75 million barrels of oil, are produced daily; on average, approximately three barrels of water are produced with each barrel of oil. The situation is even worse in the United States, where more than seven barrels of water are produced for each barrel of oil. The annual cost of both treating and removing this water is estimated to be 40 billion U.S. dollars (USD) worldwide. . The general theme of lower volumes of water production associated with hydrocarbon production is a key goal of oil companies. If the oilfield water is classified as a hazardous waste, they would contribute over 98% of the waste produced in this country. Even if only a 1% reduction in water production is achieved, between $50 million and $100 million could be saved annually and a substantial positive environmental impact could be realized. Therefore, water control represents a significant financial and environmental challenge for the petroleum industry.

PPGs are the particles that can absorb water from a few to several hundred times their own weight. Most oil formations have multiple layers. PPGs are designed to plug the flow path of least resistance strata where fractures or extremely high permeability are widely distributed while little movable oil exist during many years of water injection to displace the oil. After PPG injection, water continues to be injected into the well but can be diverted into the least permeable oil-rich layers to sweep oil due to the plugging of PPG in previous least resistance strata. The treatment is called Conformance Control in Petroleum Engineering. A successful PPG treatment can result in significant water production reduction and oil production increase, and a well life can be extended. Currently the technology has been applied in more than 10,000 wells. Many small producers in the USA, such as Blue Top Energy, Colt Energy, started to do pilot test and promising results have been realized.

Dr. Bai along with Professors Tom Schuman (Chemistry) and Mingzhen Wei (Petroleum) opened the Particle Gel Conformance Control Consortium Industrial Consortium in October 2014 to continue Missouri S&T lead in this technology. Industry members Conoco-Phillips, Occidental Petroleum, New Wantong and (pending) PetroChina have banded together to allow the development of more polymers in this class. The main target is to develop cost-effective swelling-rate-controllable or re-crosslinked superabsorbent polymers which can be thermostable at low pH (CO2 Flooding) and high pH (Alkaline-Surfactant-polymer flooding) conditions.

Dr. Bai welcomes additional faculty interest – particularly ‘polymer developers’.

Baojun Bai

Prize: Cellular and Molecular Imaging in Cancer.

 The John P. Robarts Research Institute will award the 31st Annual J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine to an individual or individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of Cellular and Molecular Imaging in Cancer. Each year a topic is selected and the scientific community is invited to nominate individual scientists or groups of scientists whose initiatives fall within that particular field of research. Eligibility is open to scientists anywhere in the world. The recipient of the prize will receive CAD$25,000 and a classical medallion bearing the likeness of J. Allyn Taylor. Nominations are due May 1, 2015.


Pivot at S&T