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Office of the Vice President for Research

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Weekly Research Update: Thursday, April 15, 2021

Discover UofSC is coming up next Friday

Discover UofSC 2021 organizers are excited to be in the home stretch of planning for the big day, which is coming up on Friday, April 23. We are honored to have keynote speaker Helmut Albrecht presenting the keynote speech, which will begin with warm welcomes from UofSC President Bob Caslen and Vice President for Research Prakash Nagarkatti. The event will be hosted on the Discover UofSC iPosterSessions Conference Website beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, April 23, with all speeches and iPosters available throughout the day and for about six months afterward. We encourage all UofSC faculty, staff, students and friends to join us for this virtual showcase of research, scholarship, leadership and creativity!

Next week, organizers will be reaching out to presenters who have not yet begun work on their iPosters and have missed the initial iPoster publishing deadline coming up this weekend on Sunday, April 18, at 11:59 p.m. If you are a mentor/supervisor for a Discover UofSC presentation, you may receive one of these messages and/or a follow-up question from the presenter(s) you have mentored/supervised. Please refer any presenters you mentor/supervise to the For Presenters section of the Discover UofSC website for iPosterSession getting-started webinar recordings, tutorials, FAQs, and other iPosterSession resources and contacts, and a complete listing of Discover UofSC iPoster requirements and guidelines.


U.S. universities call for clearer rules on science espionage amid China crackdown

The U.S. government is converging on a long-awaited set of rules designed to protect American science from theft by foreign spies. A series of announcements this year describes steps that U.S. universities and researchers must take when reporting foreign financing and collaborations to U.S. science funders. But university groups say they need more clarity on how to implement the rules. And the guidelines do not spell out how institutions can address concerns of racial profiling sparked by the U.S. government’s crackdown on foreign interference in recent years. NIH’s new requirements take effect in May, ahead of two major submission deadlines for grants. Universities and researchers could struggle to meet this deadline, says Kristin West, director of research ethics and compliance at the Council on Governmental Relations, based in Washington D.C. Read more about this complex issue on


America needs more research funding to prevent the next pandemic

As Americans take vaccines and benefit from new therapeutics for COVID-19, they should take stock of the irreplaceable role that decades of research — much of it done at America’s leading research universities — has played during this emergency. And, as we recognize the central importance of research, we must also prepare for the next pandemic by renewing America’s commitment to private, state and federal funding for scientific research. Read more of this message in The Hill’s opinion section.


More details on big plans to expand National Science Foundation

The idea of massively expanding the budget and mission of the National Science Foundation (NSF) is gaining political momentum in Washington, D.C. In Congress, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–NY) is preparing to introduce a revised version of bipartisan legislation that would create a technology directorate at NSF and boost its funding by $100 billion. The changes address fears voiced by academic leaders that the new unit might disrupt the agency’s culture and dilute NSF’s ability to support basic research at universities. Read more about NSF plans in Science Magazine.


More changes to Title IX on the way

Less than a year after colleges scrambled to carry out sweeping new requirements for handling sexual-misconduct cases, campus officials will have to prepare for yet another round of Title IX changes. Read more in the Chronicle of Higher Education.


New bill would allow CFIUS to scrutinize gifts to higher education

The proposal is part of the Strategic Competition Act of 2021, which includes a number of legislative and policy initiatives aimed at curtailing China’s global influence more broadly and “assuring that the United States is positioned to compete with China across all dimensions of national and international power.” While the bill is likely to undergo significant changes as it moves through the Senate, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) provisions highlight the interest of Congress in leveraging the powerful national security panel to further limit China’s access to sensitive U.S. technologies. Read more.


Write an effective "Specific Aims" section for your research grant application

If you’re an academic seeking an applied-research grant, the most-read element of your application will be the “specific aims” page. It serves as the face of your research proposal, and is often the only document read by the key panelists who help determine whether your project gets grant money. Read about how to make your "Specific Aims" as effective as possible in the Chronicle of Higher Education.


15 April 2021

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