VTPP Science Friday conversations continue to be stimulating and helping develop more interactions. All faculty are encouraged to attend these important VTPP research- and mission-focused discussions. The next Science Friday discussions are scheduled via Zoom for Thursday 8:30AM, October 8 and October 22. Recent discussions have been focused on individual laboratory capabilities. Faculty are encouraged to step up and initiate similar interactions and discussions. If you have specific interests in leading any Science Friday discussion/topic or have specific aims to outline or develop, just let Dr. Suva know and come present and stimulate the conversation.
VTPP Seminar Series
The Fall seminar series will be here before we know it. Dr. Clement is hard at work re-engaging with faculty who could not present as the pandemic descended upon us. The series will re-commence in the Fall, most likely remote but hopefully with some opportunities for face-to-face seminars. The first VTPP Seminar (Scheduled for October 23; zoom link to follow) is to be given by Dr. Cris Heaps. Please let Dr. Clement know of other speakers you would like to hear. As always, please push, encourage and direct your graduate students and trainees to attend seminar.
Colleagues, the Undergraduate Research Expo highlights and celebrates undergraduate research experiences at Texas A&M University and is open to all!
For our UGs, there are workshops, learn how to get involved, and network with faculty and graduate students. For Faculty, staff and graduate students discover innovative ways to recruit students and incorporate high-impact practices into our research models. I highly recommend it to you. For more information and registration etc. please go to
Upcoming NIH Grant Deadlines and Opportunities
October 5: New R01 submissions
October 16: New R21 submissions
November 5: R01 renewal, resubmission, revision
November 15: R21 renewal, resubmission, revision
December 8: New, renewal, resubmission F Series Fellowships (including F31 Diversity – NOT-OD-17-029)
For more details and upcoming submission dates go to:
Upcoming NSF Grant Deadlines and Opportunities
October 20, 2020: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
January 1-January 19, 2021: Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)
For more details and upcoming submission dates go to:
VTPP Research Infrastructure
VTPP continues collecting details of the major equipment and technical capabilities that exist in VTPP research laboratories. This effort will develop a framework to support VTPP investigators identify skills and equipment resources in VTPP. By identifying VTPP resources these can be leveraged multi-investigator grant applications, but also help identify where we may lack important equipment. Current resources information is available on our VTPP website. If you have not done so, please send DH your most recent grant resources page so we can continue to compile the information.
Texas A&M Research Cores
VTPP Success provides links to TAMU research core that may help VTPP researchers and identify research resources in VTPP and across the Texas A&M system.
This month we highlight the College of Medicine Core for Integrated Microbiota Research (CIMR) (contact: Dr. Robert Alaniz; [email protected]; Ph 979.436.0844). The CIMR is supported by and administratively headquartered in the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology. CIMR is a core resource of and received support from the Center for Translational and Environmental Health Research. The CIMR also received generous, multi-year seed-investments from the College of Medicine, TAMHSC Vice President for Research, and the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Of particular interest maybe the CIMR Gnotobiotic Animal Core facility, housed in a state-of-the-art vivarium at the Texas A&M Health Science Center. Currently, germ-free isolators are available for maintaining breeder colonies and for experimental use, with single cage isolators for use in short-term and multiple-association experiments in the works. Details of the available resources can be found at: https://medicine.tamu.edu/centers/cimr/index.html
NIH and Institute and Center Award Rates and Funding Disparities. A recent NIH study of funding disparity has expanded on information from 2011 identifying that African American and Black applicants to the NIH received grant awards at a lower rate than their white counterparts. Hoppe et al (paper attached) found that African American and Black PIs are more likely to propose research on topics that are less likely to be funded. The authors’ suggest that after considering a number of confounders, that topic choice accounts for over 20% of the gap in funding success for applications that are discussed. In response to the idea, the NIH performed a detailed analyses that revealed different reasons for the disparate funding rate. The NIH analyses demonstrated that African American and Black PI’s sent more applications to Institute or Centers (IC’s) with lower award rates, and that differential award rates rather than decisions made by peer reviewers as suggested by Hoppe, were critical drivers of differences in funding outcomes for applications linked to different topics, and that funding ICs that received a greater proportion of applications in topics to which African American and Black PIs disproportionately apply had lower award rates. Full details of the NIH findings and discussion can be found at: https://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2020/08/12/institute-and-center-award-rates-and-funding-disparities/ I encourage you to read carefully