New NIH policy on appendix materials in applications

A notice was issued on Aug. 12, 2016 detailing plans to eliminate most appendix materials for applications submitted to the NIH, AHRQ or NIOSH on or after Jan., 2017. According to the notice, the new policy is “intended rectify inequities in the peer review process that can arise from submission of inappropriate or excessive appendix materials by some applicants and consideration of appendix materials in peer review by some, but not all reviewers.”

New application instructions will be issued by Nov. 25, 2016 to reflect the following:

All information required for the peer review process except the cover letter, assignment request form and allowable appendix materials must be assembled in a single application image. Allowable appendix materials are as follows:

For applications proposing clinical trials (unless the FOA provides other instructions for these materials):

  • Clinical trial protocols
  • Investigator’s brochure from Investigational New Drug (IND), as appropriate

For all applications:

  • Blank informed consent/assent forms
  • Blank surveys, questionnaires, data collection instruments
  • FOA-specified items. If appendix materials are required in the FOA, review criteria for that FOA will address those materials, and applications submitted without those appendix materials will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Applications submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2017 will be withdrawn and not reviewed if they are submitted with appendix materials that are not specifically listed above or as allowed in the FOA.

Clarification of this new policy may follow in the coming months; we’ll keep you updated.

NIH seeks input on biomedical digital repositories

The era of “Big Data” in biomedical research presents both opportunities and challenges. Increasing access to digital data allows for expanded accountability and accelerated discovery. But to take advantage of these opportunities, data must be managed and shared appropriately. The data repository is a common mechanism for managing and storing content, and the number, scale, and complexities of these repositories continue to grow. In the context of increased demand, it’s vital to understand and measure the value these data repositories are providing to the research community.

To help manage, fund, and communicate the value of these repositories, the NIH wants input on qualitative and quantitative metrics such as those that describe:

  • Quality of service
  • Indicators of data repository quality and impact (e.g. data citations, patents, publications from the data)
  • Utilization (rates of access or download, size, and demand of community served)
  • Infrastructure and governance
  • Qualitative metrics that may address the above categories
  • Consideration of case studies demonstrating the value of the repository

Send your responses to the NIH repository metrics project by Sept. 30, 2016.

Science Hack Day meet and greet, Aug. 17

The organizers of Portland Science Hack Day, including the OHSU Library, are hosting a happy hour meet and greet:

BlogPostsWednesday, Aug. 17
5 to 7 p.m.
Scout Beer Garden @ the South Waterfront Tram

Science Hack Day is an event where anyone excited about making things with science comes together to see what they can prototype in 24 hours. As described in this recent Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences article, these events are valuable and often transformative for scientists. Learning the guts of our equipment, hardware, and software helps researchers to improve transparency and reproducibility. It helps us learn new skills and forge collaborations to build the tools and software we need, rather than relying on proprietary resources.

Never hacked before? Wednesday’s meet & greet is for you! Hack Day enthusiasts will be there to share their experiences and ideas to get you inspired for Portland Science Hack Day in October. There will also be a raffle for two $50 Powell’s Books gift cards. Anyone who is excited about making things with science and technology is encouraged to attend.

Learn more, get inspired, form a team!

Questions? Contact Robin Champieux.

The business of science: Internship applications due Aug. 26

For those interested in the sciences who want to explore opportunities outside the lab, there are many career paths to explore through OHSU Technology Transfer and Business Development. The office offers a comprehensive internship program to help participants – bioscience or engineering graduates pursuing advanced degrees in these areas as well as medicine, business, or law, who also have an interest in intellectual property and technology business development – gain experience in navigating the business, legal, and commercialization process of moving scientific innovations to the market. Over the past several years, more than 55 interns have come through the program, going on to apply valuable knowledge and skills to a variety of science, business, and legal professions. Meet TTBD’s current summer interns:

Michaele ArmstrongFor Michaele Armstrong, who received her Ph.D. in molecular oncology and M.B.A. in strategy and operations from the University of Pittsburgh, a TTBD internship was the ideal experience for pursing her career goals in biomedical portfolio and alliance management. As an intern, Armstrong evaluates new OHSU technologies for commercial potential, drafts non-confidential summaries and marketing materials, conducts market research and investigator interviews, markets technologies to potential licensees, and drafts licensing agreements and amendments. In tandem with her internship, Armstrong consults with local biotech businesses to evaluate and facilitate university intellectual property.

LeeAnn RooneyLeeAnn A. Rooney is no stranger to OHSU. After receiving her M.S. in chemistry from Stony Brook University, she joined OHSU’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, where she’s been a research associate for the past eight years. Rooney pursued a TTBD internship to explore her interest in transitioning from the bench and lab management into the technology transfer and business development field. She is working to evaluate OHSU technologies developed as part of the Beat AML research initiative and has gained experience in preparing new technology disclosure evaluations and non-confidential summaries, surveying prior art, and preparing competitive analyses.

Brenda WattBrenda Watt, who received her Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from the University of Pennsylvania and completed her postdoctoral studies in OHSU’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, wanted to flex her research muscles in a different way. As a TTBD intern, Watt identifies trends in material transfer and research-sponsored agreements, and helps determine new collaborative opportunities. Watt was recently hired as a lead scientist by StoneStable Inc., a local startup developing a product to reduce vaccine wastage by eliminating the need for refrigeration.

Where are they now?

We checked in with our interns from the 2015-2016 academic year to see where they are on their career paths since completing the TTBD internship.

Abby Dotson, Ph.D., worked closely with the business development team to identify and develop industry partnerships for OHSU’s infectious disease technologies. She has since accepted a permanent position within TTBD as an alliance manager.

Sudeshna Dutta, Ph.D., worked with the licensing team to evaluate the commercial potential of OHSU-owned mouse models. She currently works as a translational strategist at Due North Innovation, a Portland company dedicated to moving technologies to the market.

Scott Vanderwerf, Ph.D., worked with the licensing team to prepare non-confidential summaries and evaluate the commercial potential of OHSU technologies. Vanderwerf was hired as a lead scientist at Pacific Diabetes Technologies a few weeks prior to the end of his internship.

TTBD is now accepting 2016-2017 internship applications! Apply by Aug. 26, 2016.

The year-long unpaid internship program starts at the beginning of the academic school year (next start date: Oct. 3, 2016). Interns are expected to volunteer 8 to 10 hours per week in the TTBD office.

To qualify, candidates must:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in a life science, physical science, and/or engineering
  • Be pursuing or have received a graduate-level degree in science, medicine, engineering, business, or law
  • Have an interest in intellectual property, technology transfer, and/or business development

To apply, please visit the careers and internships page on the TTBD website.

Calling all OHSU researchers: Step up to pitch your innovations to investors at upcoming events

If you’re an OHSU researcher, Technology Transfer and Business Development has two opportunities to help you move your research forward. Through partnerships with the Oregon Bioscience Association and the Technology Association of Oregon, you are invited to pitch your innovations to a crowd of local community members, entrepreneurs, and investors. In two separate events, OHSU researchers can hone their messages, craft compelling presentations, and practice their pitches. OHSU provides individualized coaching to help you succeed. Participation in such events can open doors to other opportunities through these associations and TTBD’s extensive network contacts. Following are details about these upcoming events.

Oregon Bioscience Association fast pitch event, Oct. 20

Held at Reed College during the Oregon Bioscience Association’s annual conference, this fast pitch event showcases basic and applied researchers sharing their knowledge and expertise with the local bioscience community. Ten applicants will be chosen to deliver three-minute pitches, allowing each presenter to demonstrate how their innovation or technology improves the health and well-being of Oregon communities. The winner will receive a cash prize.

Application deadline: Monday, Sept. 12 by 5 p.m.
Submit your proposal today.

Technology Association of Oregon Health Ignite event, Nov. 16

Health Ignite 2016, held at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, features five-minute presentations on topics including wellness, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, health care reform, and more. Following a fast-paced, thought-provoking format, presenters will share their ideas for products, services, and research to take health care to the next level for patients, doctors, and communities. More than 300 practitioners, researchers, administrators, entrepreneurs, consultants, and health care business professionals will be in the audience, so come share your ideas and be inspired by other health innovation enthusiasts.

Application deadline: Tuesday, Sept. 20
Submit your proposal today.

Need help with your applications? Want to sign up for coaching and practice sessions? General questions? Please contact Daphne Emerson Peters for more information.

Neuroscience Ph.D. student awarded 2016 Gilliam Fellowship

Antoinette Foster, a Ph.D. student in the Vollum Institute/OHSU neuroscience graduate program, is one of 34 students across the country to receive a Howard Hughes Medical Institute 2016 Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study. The fellowships provide full support to promising doctoral students from groups traditionally underrepresented in science. Recipients receive an annual award totaling $46,000, for up to three years.

“The Gilliam Fellows are outstanding young scientists who have expressed a clear commitment to advancing diversity among scientists,” said David Asai, senior director of science education for Howard Hughes Medical Institute. “Their potential for scientific leadership is enormous, and the program emphasizes the professional development of the students and their thesis advisers.”

Foster is mentored by Ben Emery, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology in the School of Medicine. Read more about this prestigious award here or in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s news release.

Fall Vollum writing class starts Sept. 28

Vollum Writing Class 08042016The Vollum Writing Class is a six-week professional science writing course open to OHSU graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty.

This class uses short lectures, class discussion, and workshop-style writing assignments to help researchers learn to write better papers and grants. Topics include:

  • The basic elements of good scientific writing style, including sentence and document structure
  • Insight into scientific conventions regarding grammar, punctuation, and usage
  • Strategies for revising
  • Dealing with writer’s block and time management
  • Best practices for writing introductions, results, discussions, and grant proposals

The class runs for six weeks, Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., beginning Sept. 28, 2016. Six individual tutorials with the instructor are included. There are no prerequisites for this non-credit professional development course, but you should not take the class unless you have enough data to write about.

The course carries a fee of $500 per student (unless you are in a Vollum lab or part of certain graduate Ph.D. programs). Questions? Contact

Access Compass to register for the Vollum Writing Class.

Parkinson’s grants awarded to three OHSU researchers

The American Parkinson Disease Association announced today, Aug. 3, that it has awarded $1.6 million toward research for the 2016-2017 funding cycle. Three OHSU researchers are among the recipients of this year’s awards.

unniVivek Unni, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology in the Parkinson Center of Oregon and Jungers Center for Neurosciences Research at OHSU, is the recipient of the prestigious George C. Cotzias Fellowship, named in honor of the scientist who helped develop Levodopa as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. The fellowship award will support Unni’s research using new imaging approaches to examine the molecular mechanisms of Lewy body pathology-associated death in mouse models of Parkinson’s disease. Specifically, Unni’s lab is working to distinguish between protective and toxic alpha-synuclein protein aggregates which may lead to new treatments to slow Parkinson’s disease progression.

martinIan Martin, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology in the Jungers Center for Neurosciences Research with membership in the Parkinson Center of Oregon, received one of seven of the association’s research grants. The funding will support his research defining key pathogenic mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease.

Vinita-Chittoor-120Vinita Ganesh Chittoor, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in the Martin lab, was one of only three Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award recipients. Chittoor works on evaluating the influence of diet on LRRK2-mediated toxicity in Parkinson’s disease. (Mutations in LRRK2, an enzyme encoded by the PARK8 gene, are a proven cause of PD.)

The grants are awarded through a competitive application process and reviewed by American Parkinson Disease Association’s scientific advisory board. “The objective…is to invest in the best science,” said David G. Standaert, M.D., Ph.D., John N. Whitaker Professor, chair of neurology, and director, Division of Movement Disorders, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and chairman, scientific advisory board. “As we evaluate these proposals, we focus on funding researchers who are at the start of their Parkinson’s research career and seek to attract the best and brightest minds to work on this important problem. Our aim is to accelerate research and support translational ideas that have the potential to truly improve the quality of life for persons living with PD.”

Grant applications: A quick guide to rigor and reproducibility

Many of you still have questions about how to address the new NIH requirements on rigor and reproducibility in your grant applications. Last week, NIH published a new one-page resource to walk you through the four key areas of scientific rigor: Scientific Premise, Scientific Rigor (Design), Biological Variables, and Authentication. The guide can be downloaded as a PDF. Additional resources supplying more in-depth information can be found on the NIH grants policy website and the NIH website.

Click the image to enlarge and download.

RigorandReproducibilityChart508 (1)

University Shared Resources pilot award applications due Oct. 7

The OHSU University Shared Resources (USR) program and the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research are soliciting grant applications for the second round of the USR Core Pilot Awards program. These awards support OHSU faculty and USR cores by providing pilot funding for principal investigators, especially to support generation of data for new grant applications, as well as to support core development. The program will provide two types of funding this round:

  • Faculty pilot funding: Up to roughly $5,000 for awards utilizing available core resources and services. Applicants must be OHSU faculty members. Previous awardees are eligible to apply with a new project, but new applicants may be given priority.
  • Core innovation funding: Up to roughly $10,000. Applicants must collaborate with one or more USR core director in developing new workflows, assays, or technologies that will benefit the core program.


  • PIs must contact USR core director(s) to assess feasibility and discuss budgets prior to applying. A single award may be used to support a project that involves more than one USR core.
  • All funds must be spent in a USR core. No FTE, supplies, or other expenses outside the USR will be allowed. Funds are only to be used for data generation or services with the cores, including consultation time in the core and other technical services.
  • Funds must be spent in FY2017.
  • Applicants must cite this support and core contributions in relevant publications.
  • Applicants must acknowledge specific USR cores in relevant publications.

Applications must be filled out online through OHSU’s Competitive Application Portal (CAP). Full instructions are provided on CAP and can also be found here.

Please note: Applicants must consult with the director of the designated core prior to application submission. An email from the core director(s) acknowledging a consultation must be received by USR Program Director Andy Chitty before applications can be moved forward for review. Applications are due Oct. 7, 2016, and awards will be announced in late fall.

Learn more here.

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