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Office of the Vice President for Research

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Weekly Research Update: Thursday, November 5, 2020

Register for December 2 data science webinar

The demand for data science in making business, research and policy decisions continues to explode, as does the growing need for data scientists. In partnership with the University of Virginia, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) will host a webinar on key factors that shape the current and future evolution of data science; promote more in-depth discussions on current trends; and discuss what it means to be a data educator, a data scientist, and a data policy maker and why all three are critical to advance data science. This webinar, to be presented on December 2, 2020, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., will be the kickoff of a series of virtual discussions by thought leaders representing some of ORAU’s member institutions. Register here.


NIH publishes new policy for data management and sharing

The National Institutes of Health recently published the Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing. This represents the agency’s continued commitment to share and make broadly available the results of publicly funded biomedical research. The new policy applies to all research funded or conducted by NIH that results in the generation of scientific data. The final policy requires the submission of a Data Management and Sharing Plan and compliance with the approved plan. NIH will ask for plans at the time of application submission to help ensure planning and budgeting for data management and sharing needs occur in tandem with planning the research itself. 


NIH exception for changing salary under extraordinary circumstances has expired

Earlier this year, NIH established a flexibility to allow awardee institutions to charge salary to NIH grants when no work was being performed if the institution’s policy allows for the charging of salaries and benefits to currently active awards (under unexpected or extraordinary circumstances) from all funding sources, federal and non-federal. Effective October 1, 2020, the flexibility for recipients to charge salaries and benefits to active NIH awards under extraordinary circumstances has ended.


Federal agencies seek researcher suggestions

  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are updating their NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research (pdf), initially released released last July. From shifting public health needs to the unprecedented pace of biomedical discovery, everything about the coronavirus response is evolving. This goes for the plan as well, so too must it evolve. The NIH is seeking public feedback on the current Plan (NOT-OD-21-018). Individual researchers and institutions can submit ideas here by Monday, December 7, 2020.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Research Integrity (ORI) is seeking comments from researchers regarding activities that foster research integrity and promote the responsible conduct of research under 42 CFR part 93. In particular, ORI is interested in learning about best practices, challenges, and needs related to teaching the responsible conduct of research, promoting research integrity, and preventing research misconduct. Comments are welcomed to by December 18, 2020. Be sure to include “RCR RFI” in the email subject line.


Science magazine publishes article calling for U.S. to support research during COVID-19

Colleges and universities are critical components of the U.S. innovation ecosystem. As colleges and universities across the nation make difficult decisions to advance their vital missions this fall, the $55 billion in federal support for university-performed research and development (i.e., on-campus research) is at risk. Maintaining the strength of the U.S. research enterprise—the same research enterprise that has enabled the rapid sequencing of the COVID-19 genome and launched numerous treatment and vaccine studies—must be a national priority. Laboratories must remain open, and researchers must be allowed to continue data collection and analysis, with all the necessary health protocols in place. Read the full article here.


NIH reports on continuing impacts of COVID-19 on biomedical research

In the months since the COVID-19 pandemic crisis struck, the NIH and other groups have been publishing information on how it has affected biomedical research in the U.S. This week, the NIH published a timely blog post aggregating much of this information and examining ongoing COVID-19 impacts, and sharing some recommendations to help alleviate continuing issues.


5 November 2020

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.