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However, for now we have some flexibility in the types and methods of training we offer. While JMU currently offers little in the way of face to face training in Sponsored Programs; my office is very willing to offer this type of training. The Center for Faculty Innovations (CFI) offers the May Symposium and a willingness to provide the time and accommodations for face to face training. We are also willing to present at Departmental or College meetings when invited. However, until face to face training becomes mandatory, these sessions would require faculty interest in attending and not just our willingness to present.

Accordingly, if you have a topic you would like Sponsored Programs to address in an open training session, or you would like us to address your group on a selected topic, please let us know (jmu_grants@jmu.edu). At a minimum we would look to provide the training and information specifically to you, but our desire would be to identify subjects of interest for group meetings. 

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National Science Board Releases Report on Merit Review Process:

On January 10, the National Science Board (NSB) released a report on the NSF’s merit review process.  While the report approves the current merit review process as it pertains to evaluating proposals, it recommends the agency define two criteria: 1) intellectual merit and 2) broader impacts. To review this report, visit: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=122794&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click

Federal Research Budget Overview
As 2011 came to a close, Washington breathed a collective sigh of relief that a year fraught with tension and partisan conflict had come to an end.  Of course, the year did not end quietly, with conflict persisting until the last moments of the 1st session of the 112th Congress.     On December 23, 2011, the President signed the FY2012 budget into law, bundled together the remaining nine appropriations bills, and, in accordance with the Budget Control Act passed in August of 2011, Congress’ overall spending was capped at $1.043 trillion.  While the spending cuts are considerable, spending for the year ended up being higher than proposed by House, and the final bill’s reductions were a welcome reprieve from the worst-case-scenario. 

The research community felt limited cuts to government-sponsored research. Funding levels to note for undergraduate research advocates include investments at the National Institutes of Health totaling $30.6 billion, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science at $4.89 billion, the National Endowment for the Humanities at $146 million, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture at $1.01 billion, and the Department of Education at $68.11 billion.  Overall, buckets of research funding fared well in the FY2012 budget, but the relief is expected to be temporary as FY2013 is expected to bring a new round of cuts.


NIH launches first online genetics course for social and behavioral scientists

A new genetics educational program will provide social and behavioral scientists with sufficient genetics background to allow them to engage effectively in interdisciplinary research with genetics researchers. The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health, partnered with the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics to create the free, Web-based project.

Increasingly, scientific outcomes are not fully explained by genetic, environmental, or social factors alone or as independent contributors. Instead, public health advances and scientific breakthroughs tend to rely on transdisciplinary teams of social scientists and genetic researchers. This creates a greater need among social and behavioral scientists for an understanding of the complexity of the genetic contribution to health, disease and behaviors.

The overarching goal of the course, Genetics and Social Science: Expanding Transdisciplinary Research, is to improve these scientists’ genetics literacy in several key areas, broadly grouped into conversation, imagination, evaluation and integration. The course will provide sufficient knowledge to support the integration of genetics concepts in the behavioral or social scientist’s own research and will allow for collaborative studies with geneticists. The course will provide users with the ability to conceive of progressive but feasible studies. Scientists will develop the skills necessary to assess genetics research for validity and utility.

For the full article, please visit: http://www.research.vt.edu/announcements/nih-launches-first-online-genetics-course-social-and-behavioral-scientists

 

 

 

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