ReCAST Newsletter

V3_Issue 3_Page_01

Graduate Stipend changes effective 08/01/2016 for Graduate Titles

Students with Graduate Student Job Titles on Graduate Stipends

On summer appointment/stipend for grad students, need to change to new stipend rate effective 8/01/2016

  1. Do Job Change ePAF
  2. Appointment end date is date summer stipend ends
  3. Change Comp Rate on ePAF
  4. Action Reason- Pay/NBN- non benefit eligible
  5. Put hours enrolled for summer in comments
  6. No FICA checklist needed
  7. Submit to HR

IF Student with Graduate Student Job Title continuing into fall at a different FTE/Rate, process another ePAF for job change effective 08/14/2016

  1. Need to change to Fall Appointment new stipend rate effective 8/14/2016
  2. Do Job Change ePAF
  3. Enter appointment end date
  4. Change Comp Rate on ePAF
  5. Action Reason- Pay/RPT
  6. Put hours enrolled for fall in comments
  7. FICA checklist needed
  8. Submit to HR


FICA Exempt/Subject changes for fall semester- Graduate Titles and Student Assistant Titles

 Students with Graduate Student Job Titles

When reappointing all monthly graduate student employees for the fall semester make sure that FICA status is set with “E” (exempt).  Also make sure that the hours have been reduced appropriately for the fall semester. Please process ePAFs using Job Change, to change hours, FTE and/or FICA.  The FICA checklist needs to be completed and signed by the department and student employee and attached to the ePAF.

Please indicate in comments on the ePAF enrollment hours for the fall semester.

For grad students who are not returning to work at Missouri S&T, please process ePAFs using Status Change for termination. They will continue to be paid, UNLESS you process an

Please use “Review Paycheck” or “View Gross Pay” to verify your graduate students August monthly scheduled payment.

Students with Student Assistant Job Titles

Student Assistant employees that were subject to FICA and/or working more than 20 hours for the summer semester need standard hours changed to 20 hours or less and FICA status “N” (subject) changed to “E” (exempt). Please process ePAFs using Job Change, to change hours, FTE and/or FICA effective 08/21/2016.  The FICA checklist needs to be completed and signed by the department and student employee and attached to the ePAF.

Please indicate in comments on the ePAF enrollment hours for the fall semester.

Energy Security and the Department of Defense

recorded event “From Blue Skies to Black Starts”


The Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, based at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) “requests information about current and future states of cybersecurity in the digital economy.” The 12-member panel is midway through five field hearings – it will be in Minneapolis August 23 – and is due to make detailed recommendations to President Obama in December on ways to strengthen cybersecurity in public and private spheres. These could be important. The group is chaired by Obama’s former National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon and includes University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Pat Gallagher (former NIST director); Annie Anton, chair of the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech; Samuel J. Palmisano, former CEO of IBM, and Peter Lee, corporate VP, Microsoft Research. See the RFI.

Deadly Sky: The American Combat Airman in World War II,

Professor John McManus’s latest publication.

Deadly Sky: The American Combat Airman in World War II by [McManus, John C.]

DOE: Next Generation Technology in Development, Real Estate Wrap

Top News: Next Generation Technology in Development, Real Estate Wrap

SunShot announces two new sets of awards that will drive the next-generation of CSP and PV technologies. But with so many panels already on homes across the country, we have compiled a wealth of information for those who have questions about solar and real estate. Not to be left behind, solar technology makes it to the 2016 Olympics, but not how you may think. If you know how, maybe you’ve got what it takes work at SunShot. Read these stories and more in this edition of our newsletter.

New SunShot Awards to Improve CSP Technology

SunShot recently announced $9 million for six awards to improve solar collectors, the most expensive component of a concentrating solar power (CSP). The Concentrating Optics for Lower Levelized Energy Costs (COLLECTS) program will improve the design and manufacture of lower-cost solar collectors, which could in turn reduce the overall cost of a CSP power plant. Learn more.

The COLLECTS funding program drives innovation in solar collectors, the most expensive parts of a CSP plant.

Small Awards Aim for Big Impact

SunShot also announced $2 million for 10 small-scale, single-year research and development projects designed to push the limits of photovoltaic (PV) technologies. Projects under the Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS) funding program have the potential to advance the state of the art in PV technology and manufacturability, and will support progress toward reducing costs beyond SunShot’s 2020 goals. Each project is designed to allow researchers to test a concept and, if successful, develop data to support further research. Learn more.

Wrapping Up Solar Real Estate Week

Solar energy is playing an increasingly important role in residential real estate, which is why SunShot dedicated a week in July to highlighting some of the most important issues for homeowners and real estate professionals alike. Both parties need to understand how solar impacts home values, how to find solar homes, and what the future holds for solar energy systems. See all the content developed by SunShot, including a number of blog posts, an infographic and several new resources.

Solar at Work in 2016 Olympics

Ever wonder how the Olympic torch is lit for the summer and winter games? Fun fact: it’s done using the same technology utilized by concentrating solar power (CSP). A parabolic mirror focuses the sun’s rays onto the torch, where the focused heat warms the torch to its burning point. The same idea is at work behind many CSP power plants – in some systems, parabolic dish mirrors direct and concentrate sunlight onto a central engine that produces electricity, and in other systems, hundreds of heliostats reflect sunlight onto a power tower where a heat transfer fluid creates thermal energy that can be stored for later use or immediately sent to power a turbine and generate electricity. Learn more about CSP technology.

Featured Resource

Solar Transaction Disclosure Forms

In an effort to protect consumers, the Solar Energy Industries Association created standard transaction disclosure forms. Learn more.

Follow the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office on LinkedIn

Are you on LinkedIn? So are we! Check out EERE’s LinkedIn page to see more news from the SunShot Initiative, as well as other news about efforts to develop and deliver market-driven solutions for sustainable transportation, renewable power, and energy-saving homes, buildings, and manufacturing. Visit EERE on LinkedIn.

Work at the SunShot Initiative

The SunShot Initiative has job openings for a deputy director and multiple technology managers. The deputy director position assists with overall management, formulation, and execution of policies and programs within SunShot. The deputy will work in partnership with the U.S. solar industry, academia, and national labs to advance the technology, market, and policy needs to create and maintain a robust industry for the development of solar energy technology. Apply by August 15. In addition to the deputy director position, there are multiple positions available for technology managers, who are responsible for managing funding opportunity announcements, including developing strategies, planning workshops, and collaborating with contracting officers. Positions are available for different levels of experience. Apply for the GS-13 position or the GS-14 position. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until December 30.

Solar Events for Professionals

Webinar – Resilient Solar Retrofits: Adding Storage to Existing PV and Making New Installations Storage Ready
August 4 | 2:00pm-3:00pm ET
This webinar will provide an overview of a new solar storage resource, guidance on retrofitting existing solar with energy storage, and information on reducing future integration costs by making new PV installations “storage ready.” Register.

Webinar – Solar Installed: The People and the Process enabling Market Acceptance and Installations
August 30 | 2:00pm-3:00pm ET
This webinar will help you understand the role codes and standards play in the delivery of solar goods and services, including how solar products ultimately get accepted in the marketplace. Register.

Solar Power International
September 12-15 | Las Vegas, NV
Solar Power International brings together all cross-sections of the solar industry for four days of innovation and collaboration. Register.

SunShot in the News

Solar Picture of the Week

Brief rain showers can help to clean solar panels, but the best part might be the rainbow that follows. Photo courtesy: Michael Dorausch. Download the photo here

Rigor and Reproducibility in NIH Applications: Resource Chart


NIH: xTRACT: An Easier Way to Complete Training Tables for Your Grant Application or Progress Report

see NIH notice

The xTRACT module, accessible via eRA Commons, helps applicants and grantees create training data tables for institutional training grant applications and progress reports (RPPRs). xTRACT can save investigators and administrators time preparing training table information, and provides grantees and NIH with training table data in a way that can be reused for future submissions and will be more readily available for analysis. Using Commons IDs and xTrainappointment data, xTRACT prepopulates the tables from data we already have, including trainee names, selected characteristics, institutions, grant numbers and subsequent NIH and other HHS awards. Once you have used xTRACT to develop a training table submission, the information will be available for reuse in subsequent submissions. When you finish populating the table data, xTRACT produces a PDF file for you to attach to your grant application or RPPR.

How Criterion Scores Predict the Overall Impact Score and Funding Outcomes for National Institutes of Health Peer-Reviewed Applications



Understanding the factors associated with successful funding outcomes of research project grant (R01) applications is critical for the biomedical research community. R01 applications are evaluated through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) peer review system, where peer reviewers are asked to evaluate and assign scores to five research criteria when assessing an application’s scientific and technical merit. This study examined the relationship of the five research criterion scores to the Overall Impact score and the likelihood of being funded for over 123,700 competing R01 applications for fiscal years 2010 through 2013. The relationships of other application and applicant characteristics, including demographics, to scoring and funding outcomes were studied as well. The analyses showed that the Approach and, to a lesser extent, the Significance criterion scores were the main predictors of an R01 application’s Overall Impact score and its likelihood of being funded. Applicants might consider these findings when submitting future R01 applications to NIH.


The Obama administration’s BRAIN Initiative “has already catalyzed more than $1.5 billion in public and private funds,” the White House says. Altogether more than $500 million has come from private sources, including “Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Kavli Foundation, the Simons Foundation, GE, GlaxoSmithKline, members of the National Photonics Initiative, as well as patient advocacy organizations and universities.” The administration wants to add the Department of Energy to agencies already brain-focused: DARPA, NSF, IARPA, FDA, and NIH.