Archives for May 12, 2016

FAA: students may fly drones

Slowly the restrictions are being lifted off of drones … announced is a rule change that will allow students (not professors or staff) to fly UAV (drones) for educational (not research) purposes.  I urge anyone with the drone flying itch to contact team MinerFLY to get the basics on aircraft registration and the Know Before You Fly Campaign so there are no goof ups on this new permission.

Here is a full interpretation of the new rule.Interpretation-Educational-Use-of-UAS

DHS science and technology

Homeland Security runs a research effort independently of other federal agencies. They call themselves S&T too and this year are changing the pattern that they have been in for the last 6-8 years.

Their new objectives are both short and long term listed as  Visionary Goals.

Their new strategy to achieve these objectives is listed in DHS Science and Technology Directorate Strategic Plan … I read it to say they want to partner but with industry more than academia.

Their new boss explains in a short video.


Notes for Early Career faculty summer 2016

This week of final exams (and grading) caps off with graduations ceremonies this weekend. Some of you will drop the title of ‘freshman faculty’ and may be thinking about the stack of things  that you have saved up for the summer – research, proposals, course adjustments, family time and renewing or forging off-campus contacts.

There are a few things to share for your planning:

NSF CAREER awards are due in July. We see these as a tactical goal for you. They are a terrific and prestigious career boost but you have to choose your timing in a window bounded by your own career.  One of the ways to get smart about this is their annual webinar. Whether you are submitting  this July or just getting smart on the deal this event may be worth scheduling for yourself.

If this is your year to submit I am sorry we do not have a contract grant writer/reviewer this year. But if you want help, we will pull together some volunteers to work it – starting with me. Our friends at the Broader Impacts Network asked me to extend their offer of assistance as well.

More importantly is for you to get your drafts reviewed by people who have been successful in the program. If you can arrange your own – terrific. If you want OSP or the College Associate Deans for Research  to help you organize a thorough critique just ask.  Researchers on campus who have recently scored on CAREER include:  Zhaozheng Yin, Daniel Fischer, Xiaodong Yang, and Yew San Hor.

You may recall that Ming Leu recently cohosted a NSF CMMI 2016 NSF CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop in St. Louis. He will be a great source for you.

Traveling to DC this summer?

The UM Federal Relations Team can really help you make efficient use of your time to visit with program managers at various research funding agencies. We are not organizing group travel from campus this year but will be pleased to help you create a one-page send ahead that introduces you and your research idea.  Sarah and Meaghen welcome your calls to discuss.


Army Research Lab has been very encouraging to have university researchers spend the summer working with them at Adelphi or Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland – at your own expense.  We have a few faculty planning time there this summer to leverage both the terrific equipment and to make alliances that they will use for research proposal collaborations. There is some minor paperwork I can help you get through.

Here is wishing you a productive summer. We’ll keep publishing to keep you abreast of campus research.

Steve Tupper

Mentoring Mondays

We plan to continue Mentoring Mondays (also called pink teaming) starting mid-June, with a focus on the CAREER proposal, so come on out and pitch your ideas.  We’ll have more mentors and, in the last session, there was a great deal of peer mentoring going on.

If you have a full proposal ready two weeks before the submission date, we can also organize a full red-team, please contact Yinfa or myself so we can put the group together.

Bruce McMillin Bruce McMillin

NIH: How long is the communication plan on your multi-site research project?

TIP #2

Whatever it is, double it.

Reviewers understand that it is one thing to know how to run a project and manage a team; it is quite another to manage a group of research teams in geographically disparate locations. The risk here is that each team will function as its own little fiefdom rather than working together as a synergistic whole. Assure reviewers, with lots of detail, that you have strategies in place to keep the entities in regular communication and functioning as a single well-oiled machine, rather than a collection of R01s.

Meg Bouvier


Congrats to Doug Bristow

Missouri S&T News and Events notes Doug Bristow is stepping up to lead CAMT.  Good luck Doug.