Federal overtime changes will affect universities

This week, the White House announced new federal regulations concerning pay for most classes of workers who make up to $47,476 per year. Specifically, it increases the salary threshold for overtime pay–if you are salaried and make up to $913 per week, you need to receive overtime pay if you work more than 40 hours per week. National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins and Thomas Perez, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, co-authored an article stating explicitly that this applies to postdoctoral fellows, and Mike Lauer, deputy director of extramural affairs at NIH, weighed in as well.  Businesses have six months, until December 1, to comply with the new rules, and it looks as though universities will need that much time to figure out what to do. The new rules pose challenges for many areas of academia: for example, they don’t apply to adjunct instructors (thus potentially creating even more inequity in the system), though they do apply to admissions officers, athletic trainers, and so on.

The Department of Labor gives a number of options for compliance besides paying overtime: for example, salaries could be raised to surpass the threshold, comp time could be offered, or base pay could be reduced. But researchers paid off grants have more to consider: the NIH modular budget has been the same since 2000 (when the Year 0 postdoc salary was about $27,000), and new requirements for reproducibility of research and scientific rigor may put additional pressure on already tight grant budgets.

We will update you with more information as this story unfolds.


Are you eligible? OHSU Export Controls duty waiver program

Are you purchasing research or education equipment from an international company? Your purchase may be eligible for a waiver of the duties normally assessed. OHSU research and education departments making large equipment purchases from overseas suppliers may have an opportunity to save 3.5 percent to 7 percent of the cost. Equipment must be manufactured outside the U.S. and with no U.S. equivalent available, and it must be used primarily for research or educational purposes. Recent equipment purchases realized a savings of between $6,000 and $12,000 each.

Please contact Jen McCaw, export controls officer, with a copy of your quote or purchase order or for more information.

Philip Copenhaver, Ph.D., receives 2016 women’s health Circle of Giving grant

Philip CopenhaverThe OHSU Center for Women’s Health Circle of Giving, a group of philanthropic women who pool and target their resources to advance women’s health research at OHSU, selected Philip Copenhaver, Ph.D., from the department of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology to receive their annual grant. The grant will support Dr. Copenhaver and his collaborators to investigate the potential of STX, a novel selective estrogen receptor modulator, to have long-term protective effects on neurons in the brain. Ultimately, his research will be used to see whether STX can be used as an alternative to estrogen use in preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Circle of Giving grant is focused exclusively on OHSU researchers who wish to launch new ideas and innovations in a broad range of women’s health issues. The next grant cycle will begin in December 2016. Please contact Casey Conrad for more information about submission requirements.

Reminder: MRF award nominations due May 27

MRF_Luminate_600x320In addition to their quarterly grant program, once a year the Medical Research Foundation (MRF) recognizes Oregonians who are performing cutting edge research and demonstrating outstanding leadership. So if you have an exceptional colleague you feel deserves recognition for their work, nominate them for one of these awards by May 27, 2016. Note: nominations are usually due in August so this is a new deadline!

Detailed information about each award including the Mentor Award, Discovery Award, and Richard T. Jones New Investigator Award can be found here.

Questions? Contact Nicole Good at 503-552-0677 or goodn@ohsu.edu.

“NIA 101” webinar scheduled for June 14

National-Institute-on-AgingDo you have a research idea related to aging but don’t know how to get your project funded? Dr. Chyren Hunter, deputy director of the Division of Extramural Activities and training officer with the National Institute on Aging may have the answer for you.

On June 14, 2016, Dr. Hunter will host “NIA 101,” a free hour-long webinar.  She’ll explain each step of the NIA grant application and review process and respond to questions from the audience. The aim is for investigators to have all the information they need to apply for NIA funding. Participants will get a copy of the presentation, a transcript of the questions and answers and a link to the archived recorded session.

Register for the webinar online. Once you’ve registered, you’ll receive an e-mail telling you how to join the webinar and other information.

“NIA 101” is the latest in a series of webinars sponsored by NIA’s Office of Special Populations and the Emerging Scholar and Professional Organization (ESPO) of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA). The collaboration is part of an effort to enable researchers to access NIA funding and training programs, and to help students, postdocs and junior researchers become involved in the gerontology field.

Access past webinars and let NIA know what you’re interested in learning about as they plan their next webinar, here.

People Management for Principal Investigators, June 17-18

Every principal investigator wants to build and maintain a lab that attracts and retains outstanding trainees and staff members. Juggling this endeavor with everything else the PI must do – writing papers, teaching, mentoring, gaining and maintaining funding, creating collaborative and productive relationships with other PIs – can be challenging at best. This 1.5-day course, led by Jennifer Crosby-Meurisse and Rachel Dresbeck from the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, will help you learn to manage people with a focus on the particular needs of running a lab or research group.

When: Friday, June 17, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, June 18, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Location: Biomedical Research Building, 581
Register on Compass

In this course you will learn:

  • Strategies for approaching the role of “coach” in the lab – developing your leadership style
  • Recruitment and retention strategies – building (and maintaining) the best team for your lab
  • Steps to take when coaching doesn’t work – performance management in the lab
  • Resources that are available to you to support you and your lab staff

Enrollment is limited; there is no cost to participants. Please indicate your interest and willingness to participate by registering for this course. Participants will be notified of acceptance after registering.

NRSA application workshop: Technical components, June 16

If you’re planning to apply for a pre- or post-doctoral NRSA fellowship from the NIH in the near future, we encourage you to attend this workshop to learn about essential, non-research elements of your fellowship application. Topics covered include elements needed for an InfoEd proposal, how to develop a budget, how to manage reference letters, biosketches and PMCID numbers, and elements of a great training plan.

This upcoming workshop is led by Rachel Dresbeck, Ph.D., director of Research Funding & Development Services, and Gavin Hamilton, grants and contracts administrator with the Office of Proposal and Award Management.

NRSA Application Workshop
Thursday, June 16
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mackenzie Hall 2201

Open to researchers and administrators. Registration now available on Compass.

Marquam Hill Lecture: Transforming cancer care with next-gen. sequencing, May 19

The 2016 Marquam Hill Lecture Series continues this month with Christopher Corless, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology in the School of Medicine and chief medical officer of OHSU’s Knight Diagnostic Laboratories, presenting “Transforming cancer care with next-generation sequencing.”

Marquam Hill LectureCorlessChris-07
Thursday, Mar. 19
7 p.m.
OHSU Auditorium

About the lecture
New technology gives researchers mountains of data about DNA mutations and how they cause cancer, but how can this information be turned into the right therapy for the right tumor? The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is using big data analysis to advance precision cancer care. Dr. Corless is an expert in personalized diagnostics. He and his colleagues take millions of fragments of DNA from a single sample and use high-end computing tools to sequence them at the same time. This next generation sequencing helps scientists identify the weak points in many types of cancer, and helps health care providers create personalized treatment plans for patients.

Attend this lecture and learn how OHSU researchers are turning data into knowledge that will transform the way all cancers are treated – one patient at a time.

Join the fight against skin cancer, May 21

In a state more known for rain than sunshine, one would think skin cancer wouldn’t be much of a concern in Oregon. The fact is, Oregon ranks fifth in the nation for melanoma, the most serious of all skin cancers.

Researchers at OHSU are on the case, declaring war on melanoma and engaging patients, survivors and the community to figure out how best to prevent, treat and detect the disease. Sancy Leachman, M.D., Ph.D., director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s Melanoma Research Program and chair of the OHSU Department of Dermatology, is leading the effort. She launched the Melanoma Community Registry in May 2014, and has seen more than 5,800 participants sign up to learn about skin cancer education events, community activities, and research opportunities.

Leachman and her colleagues are reaching out in another way on May 21 when they bring the 2016 War on Skin Cancer Event to the Collaborative Life Sciences Building on the South Waterfront. This will offer researchers a new way to connect with melanoma survivors and would-be research participants. The event will differ from many other health events in that it will give Melanoma Community Registry members an opportunity to take part in ongoing research. Plus, there will be skin checks and education about skin protection.

An addition to this year’s event is the Redhead World Record Attempt. The Redhead community will attempt to set a Guinness World Record for most natural redheads in one place at one time (9am-2pm). This gathering will help raise awareness about this high-risk population by featuring Redhead “Edu-tainment,” live music, Irish dancers, and food vendors.

Saturday, May 21, 2016
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Collaborative Life Science Building
2730 S.W. Moody Ave., Portland

For more information about the registry and what is taking place at the event, visit the event webpage. Want to get involved? Start by signing up for the Melanoma Community Registry here or come to the event and learn more about how you can make a difference.

Data Jamboree: RNAseq data through visualization, May 20

RNA is in our dnaAttend this Friday’s Data Jamboree for a workshop on exploring RNAseq data through visualization. Attendees will learn about the RNAseq experimental pipeline at OHSU, including study design considerations and RNAseq technologies. Bring your laptop and data for a hands-on introduction to an open source tool for visualizing your data. Please visit the RNAseq visualization website for help on formatting your data for inputting into the data visualization tool or explore the pre-loaded data. Everyone is welcome and food and drink will be provided!

May 20th, 2:30 – 5:00 PM
Collaborative Life Sciences Building, 2S060

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