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Office of the Vice President for Research

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Weekly Research Update: Thursday, March 18, 2021

February 2021 grant awards report now available

The Office of the Vice President for Research is pleased to share the February 2021 monthly awards report listing new grant awards received by faculty throughout the University of South Carolina System. Get the report.


NIH to require new formats for several application components beginning May 25, 2021

In an effort to support strong collaboration among federal research agencies, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has made changes to some application forms and instructions required to apply for NIH funding. The Biographical Sketch (Biosketch), Other Support format page and Application Form Instructions will be more closely aligned with the guidance issued by the Office of Science and Technology Policy Joint Committee on the Research Environment, and will require applicants/recipients to provide full transparency and disclosure of all research activities, foreign and domestic. To inform researchers of these changes, the NIH recently issued a new Guide Notice with updated application forms and instructions to guide applicants through the new formats, which will be required on applications with a due date of May 25, 2021 or later.


NIH Center for Scientific Review takes steps to end racial bias in the peer review process

On March 1, NIH Director Francis Collins announced NIH’s broad-based initiative, UNITE, to end structural racism and racial inequities in biomedical science. This is a recognition of the need for urgent, sustained effort on many fronts across the research enterprise, including in all parts of the NIH’s extramural processes, to change culture. While the NIH Institutes and Centers will examine their programmatic priorities and discretionary funding practices, The NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) is committed to pushing ahead with efforts to protect the peer-review process from the systemic biases that exist in all areas of the scientific community. Read more about the CSR’s efforts.


Washington Post opinion article highlights the need for America to compete with China in artificial intelligence

Spring boarding off a congressionally commissioned report on national security and artificial intelligence that notes America, “is not prepared to defend or compete in the AI era,” the Washington Post Editorial Board has published an opinion article calling for renewed efforts to address this issue. Read the article and find out more about the congressional report at the Washington Post website.


Academies report outlines pandemic impacts on women in STEM

A National Academies report released last week describes how the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the wellbeing of women working in STEM fields, including its impacts on productivity, work-life boundary-setting, networking and mental health. The report finds the pandemic has posed significant challenges for parents and caregivers that disproportionately affect women due to the gendered division of nonemployment labor, and suggests “structural racism” and social isolation may have amplified impacts among women of color and others with overlapping marginalized identities. The report’s findings are based on five commissioned research papers, including a survey of around 900 women faculty that was conducted in October 2020.


18 March 2021

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