Archives for May 14, 2015

Restoring Active Memory

DARPA’s RAM (Restoring Active Memory) Replay program is interested in investigating memory replay with respect to the consolidation of episodic memories and newly learned skills, and how these memories are recalled andutilized by humans during subsequent task performance. Respondents to this BAA must propose novel approaches to quantitatively model various parameters associated with human memory replay, and to utilize this model in the development of interventions that assess quality of replay and enable and improve associated memory recall during operationally relevant tasks. All responsible sources capable of satisfying the Government’s needs may submit a proposal that shall be considered by DARPA. Multiple awards are possible. The amount of resources made available under this BAA will depend on the quality of the proposals received and the availability of funds. Applications are due by June 16, 2015.

Pivot at S&T

Microsystems Technology Office Young Faculty Award


Microsystems Technology Office (MTO)

The program aims to identify and engage rising stars in junior faculty positions in academia and equivalent positions at non-profit research institutions and expose them to Department of Defense (DoD) and National Security challenges and needs. 

Pivot at S&T

SAMSUNG’s academic research


This program is an important part of growing SAMSUNG’s academic research engagement and collaboration platforms. The 2015 GRO Program is seeking proposals to encourage novel research ideas and to work with SAMSUNG’s R&D teams to foster technological innovation. 

Pivot at S&T

NIH Small Research Grant Program (Parent R03)


National Institutes of Health (NIH)

This funding opportunity supports small research projects that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources including pilot and feasibility studies; secondary analysis of existing data; small,self-contained research projects; development of research methodology; and development of new research technology.

Pivot at S&T

Army Research Lab agreement signed

It took us awhile but … we now have a signed agreement, a CRADA, with the Army Research Lab that allows the faculty to engage with their faculty/staff and to work together on any project. There is little worry about security or citizenship.  They are hoping that we will (a) come visit them in Adelphi MD and Aberdeen Proving Ground at our own expense, (b) come use their equipment and facilities, and (c) we will use them as partners to compete for grants.

They specifically want people to find connections on the projects or areas listed at the Open Campus site.

NSF’s Pramod Khargonekar offers advice to Early Career Faculty


Dr. Pramod Khargonekar Assistant Director, Engineering Directorate NSF

May 14th Dr. Khargonekar sat down with about 25 early career faculty members and offered the following pearls in response to questions:

  • The CAREER award is for an integration of research and education is some equality. Ask yourself questions:
    1. how does research an education in my proposal interlink and mutually support?
    2. how will this research work help me become a great teacher in the classroom?
    3. a great mentor outside of the classroom?
    4. how will teaching help me see and express research differently?
  • When you approach K12 STEM outreach think about the following:
    1. what is Missouri S&T thinking about K12?
    2. what are the institution’s emphasis points and obstacles?
    3. how can me work support or extend the institutions?
    4. can I connect to and leverage outside organizations?
    5. is what I want to do both unique and complementary?
  • In picking your research idea you need to have advice on its fit to a leng-term program, to the institution to the NSF directorate
    1. leverage your own network
    2. don’t depend on the NSF program officer to guide your proposal ideas they both cannot and should not
    3. with preliminary data the general rule is ‘more the better’ but that is tempered at NSF with the thought that they don’t want the work half-finished already
  • The elements of a strongly competitive proposal are:
    1. is the problem important and practical? (what is the problem and why is it important?)
    2. is my plan to solve the problem flawless (sound)
    3. have I made the case compelling?
    4. do I understand that the reviewers will be familiar with my general field but not experts in my niche? Have I written so they can understand?
    5. that they are making a judgement that you will be a long-term contributor?
  • When rejected and considering a resubmission:
    1. he agrees that comments on rejected proposals are not as constructive and helpful as anyone could wish
    2. that you don’t rework a proposal like you do a paper for editing
    3. that you should step back and return to the questions about is the problem worthy, is my plan going to get the job done
    4. there is likely neither harm nor help by mentioning in the writing that this represents a resubmitted idea.
    5. an entirely new panel will review it without ever seeing the old proposal or its comments
  • When you visit a program directorate you are trying to get his advice of the following:
    1. how does he see your idea fitting into his portfolio?
    2. are there other opportunities at NSF that you could approach?
    3. are there cross-cutting programs where you could apply?
  • If he had to start again but knew what he has learned then:
    1. he would recognize that a research career is a marathon even though the race to tenure is a sprint
    2. that things are more challenging for the current generation of new researchers than were in his early career
    3. consider up front what you want o be proud of when you turn 60; generally you are making contributions to knowledge and to developing people
    4. plant the seeds for your next research focus early (before tenure) and escape the mid-career trap; hire a graduate student that is somewhat of your beaten track, pick another area that should be a lively area when your current one is played out
    5. build a very robust professional network

2015 Research Award for Innovation

eConnection published an article about Dr. Mohammad Tayeb Ghasr the 2015 Research Award for Innovation from American Nondestructive Testing Society (ASNT) and the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society’s 2014 J. Barry Oakes Advancement Award.

Presentation to the Faculty 5.13.15 by NSF Engineering Assistant Director

Dr. Pramod Khargonekar, assistant director engineering directorate NSF, gave a terrific presentation to a packed room May 13. His presentation slides can be accessed at this link. NSF_ENG_MUST_5.2015

His recommended readings are:

A less- thank 2-minute video of his introductory statement is below.