Spring 2019 Newsletter from CERD


Research Dean’s Corner

by Dr. Susan Bloomfield

We are well into 2019 and the pace of academic/research life seems to accelerate the deeper we get into the semester.   That said, I hope you can reserve some time on your schedule to attend our third Grant Skills Builder workshop on March 22nd from 12-1pm in 404 Rudder about revising your proposal.   I am particularly excited about the final workshop in this series scheduled in mid-May, a Department of Education Mock Review Panel.  Many thanks to Research Leadership Fellow Dr. Kimber Vannest for organizing this.  Four of our CEHD faculty and two more from UT-Austin, all of whom are experienced DOE reviewers, will talk through the review of two different proposals and then be available for Q&A from the audience afterwards.  Save the date and time (May 14, 1-2:30 pm)!  

Related to this is our Program Officer Visit program :  any faculty member attending 3 out of 4 of our Grant Skills Builder workshops will be eligible to apply for a funded visit to a federal agency of his/her choice to visit directly with a program officer in your topical area.   If you were unable to attend one or both of the first two workshops, we will be posting videos of those sessions.   Viewing these and completing a very short questionnaire can substitute for your attendance at the live workshop session…. we will send out full details shortly in an email blast to al research faculty.

I sent some detailed emails out to all CEHD faculty some weeks ago about how some of our applications to Department of Education and other federal agencies might now be defined as “clinical trials”.   PI’s should pay close attention if their human subjects protocols 1) involve a prospective intervention and 2) track medical or behavioral outcomes.    Thus far “behavioral” appears to include cognitive changes, which might well pertain to (e.g.) reading and writing skills.   If you are planning to submit a proposal to a federal agency anytime this year that might fall under this definition of “clinical trial”, I strongly urge you to contact a program officer at that agency as early as possible (months ahead of your deadline) to confirm if your project will be defined as a clinical trial.    If it is, there is a ream of extra paperwork involved in the human subjects portion of your proposal and in your IRB application.   Our pre-award office and I are communicating frequently with SRS and the Division of Research to keep on top of this; I will pass on any further gleanings as we learn more.

In case you missed this other important announcement from the Division of Research we passed on earlier, the Facilities & Administration (F&A, also known as Indirect Cost Returns/IDC’s) rate for all grant applications will be rising twice in the next two years.   Currently at 48.5% of total modified direct costs on your proposal budgets, it will rise to 50.5% on 9/1/2019 and again on 9/1/2020 to 51.5%.   For those of us writing proposal budgets on which IDC’s must be included within the total dollar limit, this does mean a bit less available for your direct costs.  One consolation is that, even after these increases,  A&M’s IDC rate remains very much on the low side nationally.  As always, if you have any questions about this, please contact Jesús Palomo or Gabe Rivera in our office.

We are interviewing now for a third Research Development Officer and hope to add one of our very qualified candidates to our CEHD R&D pre-award team soon— stay tuned!

As always, don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you have suggestions or specific requests for how our dedicated CERD team can better support you and your research program.

New Awards:

September 21, 2018-February 26, 2019

Name Agency Title Funding
Christine Stanley (Co-PI) [Karen Butler-Purry, PI] National Science Foundation Louis Stokes STEM Pathways and Research Alliance: Texas A&M System LSAMP-Research Alliance (TAMUS LSAMP-RA) 194,475
Stephen Crouse (PI) Texas A&M Agrilife Research – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Impact of Beef’s Unique Food Matrix on Human Health — Cholesterol metabolism and voluntary nutrient intake in men consuming low-fat and high-fat ground beef 25,166
Whitney Garney  (PI) Thrive, Inc. Evaluating the Effectiveness of Innovative Strategies for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs Contributing to Protective Factors for Youth and Families in Oklahoma County 230,000
Carisa Armstrong (PI) Arts Council of the Brazos Valley American College Dance Association South-Central Regional Conference hosted by AVPA and TAMU Dance Program 8,000
Nicolaas Deutz (PI) International Business Machines (IBM) Nanoscale Deterministic Lateral Displacement Technology 30,400
Richard Kreider (PI) Natreon Inc. Natreon Research and Development Program 285,404
Whitney Garney  (PI) American Heart Association Million Hearts Collaboration – Supplement to Year 3 11,093
Kausalai Wijekumar  (PI) Julie Thompson (Co-PI) US Department of Education Massively Open Online Virtual Practice-Based Professional Development for Teachers in High Need Schools 7,580,548
Hersh Waxman (PI)   Harmony Science Academy – USDE Evaluation of Harmony Public Schools’ Education Innovation and Research Project 864,994
Andrew Kwok (PI) University of California-Riverside – Riverside County Office of Education Teacher Induction Program Center For Teacher Innovation (RIMS BTSA) 8,124
Hersh Waxman (PI), Cheryl Craig (Co-PI) Andrew Kwok (Co-PI) Jacqueline Stillisano (Co-I) TEACH – To Educate All Children EVALUATION PROPOSAL To Educate All Children (TEACH) Beginning 65,553
Valerie Hill-Jackson (PI),  Cheryl Craig (Co-PI) Marlon James (Co-PI) Andrew Kwok (Co-PI) Miranda Walichowski (Co-PI) Texas Education Agency aggieTERM 220,000

CPI Updates

by Dr. Timothy Elliott, Chair

The CEDH CPI group has met twice this year.  In our first meeting (October 25th), Mack Burke (from the Department of Educational Psychology) was elected as the Vice Chair.   Clayton Holle and Suprena Bennett discussed post-award processes and issues with the group.  Concerns about space and resources required for funded projects were also discussed. Dr. Sue Bloomfield also reported on updates from the VPR Research Development Fund and the University Research Council, and college representatives to the university CPI – Drs. Kwok and Lara – reported on the formation of three new subcommittees with the university CPI and current discussions about IRB policies and procedures (among other topics).  Changes in IRB policies and procedures were addressed at the January 16th meeting by guest speaker Aliese Seawright, Director of the Human Research Protection Program.  Her presentation entitled, “Overview of the Revised Common Rule” addressed many of the issues and questions the CPI had concerning policy changes that have been occurring at the IRB.  A copy of her presentation is available to all colleagues  at this link. CEHD Overview of Revised Common Rule The next CPI meeting is scheduled for March 5th.



Spotlight on Research Staff

Dr. Andrea Beerwinkle works in the Center for Urban School Partnership as a Senior Research Associate with Dr. Kay Wijekumar. Growing up in Lubbock, Texas , Andrea earned her  B.A. from Texas A&M in 2005, her M.Ed from Texas Tech, and  her Ph.D. from Texas A&M in 2018.  Mostly,  she taught reading/English in grades 5-12 for 9 years before starting her work at the Center for Urban School Partnerships. Her hobbies include running half-marathons (to-date she has run 7) and reading.  Andrea has two beautiful children. At CUSP, Andrea provides staff development to in-service teachers on how to use text structure to improve reading comprehension. She also creates text structure materials for teachers that participate in the research, conducts fidelity observations, organizes researcher-practitioner events where researchers with evidenced-based interventions connect with teachers, and coordinates and run data collection for the studies. More information about Andrea’s work can be found at Literacy.IO.

When asked about Andrea, Dr. Wijekumar had this to say, “Andrea is an amazing asset to the children of our state, country, and world. She is dedicated to providing practical-highly-effective literacy interventions for all learners in K-12 settings, especially those currently struggling and at risk of falling into the achievement gap. She has worked tirelessly to provide literacy professional development to teachers and administrators across Texas and beyond. She regularly visits classrooms to model and coach teachers. Every place she visits the students gain so much knowledge about reading and becoming successful. Her energy and passion are contagious and she juggles all her priorities with great poise. She is talented and focused and is an up and coming leader whose impact will only grow rapidly.”

Pre-Award Updates

Pre Award Team includes Gabe Rivera and Jesus Palomo, Research Development Officers and Amy Jurica Hinnant, Outreach Coordinator.

There is quite a lot that has happened since the last time we sent out our newsletter. We are in the process of hiring our third Research Development Officer! Our faculty has been hard at working writing proposals and bringing in research dollars. That has required us to bring in extra help to ensure we are providing the absolute best service we can as a Pre-Award group. In addition, were hard at work ensuring we are staying up-to-date on guidelines and policies to ensure your proposals are in compliance and avoid last minute proposal submission issues.


Revised IDC Rate Agreement

Recently we were informed of the new DHHS negotiated Indirect Cost Rate agreement for the TAMUS components based in College Station and TAMU Galveston.   A copy of the agreement is attached and is located on the TAMUS website at   http://assets.system.tamus.edu/files/budgets-acct/pdf/FA_Rates_College_Station_Based-FY2018-22.pdf

The guidance we have is that beginning now the budgeting for the out years needs to be based on the newly published rates. Please use the new rates when preparing budgets that will have periods in the out years.  The rates are as follows for on campus research.

9/01/18 – 8/31/19 – 48.5%

9/01/19 – 8/31/20 – 50.0%

9/1/20 – 8/31/22 – 51.5%

9/1/22 until amended – 51.5%

On our part, we will aim to have your budget start date coincide with the start of the fiscal year 9/1 whenever possible.

If you have questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

Revised Guidelines for Sub-recipient vs Contractor/Consultant

The Vice President for Research Office has revised guidance to help us distinguish between Sub-recipient vs Contractor/Consultant. The process will change for proposal development as we assist you in the development of your proposal.

If you are working with our office in the development of your proposals, we will assist with the completion of these forms and ensure your proposals are compliant with the revised guidance.

Below are the revised requirements for Pre-Award and the process for Post-Award as well which has also been changed:


Checklist to Determine Subrecipient or Contractor/Consultant Classification

  • If an individual or a company is named in the proposal as performing works, the sub vs contractor determination form MUST be completed, signed, and uploaded in the routing package.
  • Proposal administrators should do due diligence in reviewing the SOW and compare to the answers the PI provides on the checklist, to ensure accuracy
  • If it is determined the relationship is an independent contractor, and are specifically named in the grant proposal, letters of support/collaboration from the contractor/vendor cannot be on their affiliated entities letterhead, i.e., University/Company. They can identify their credentials in the letter and should describe their expertise and address why they are the subject matter expert. (NOTE – Under Uniform Guidance, effective 9/1/2018, naming of an independent contractor in the grant proposal will no longer be sufficient justification for a soul source in the procurement process


 SRS Independent Contractor/Consultant Status Certification

  • If it is determined at proposal stage, that the service/performance of the work, will be in the form of an independent contractor, the project administrator will review the work described in the agreement. If SOW reconciles with the pre-award determination, the PA will have the PI complete the independent contractor status certification form.
  • Conflict of interest (COI) will need to be addresses if the PI marks they are married/related to the independent contractor. If a COI is indicated, need to be brought to an Assistant Director for further review.
  • If the amount of services will be > $10K, procurement processes in Aggiebuy will be followed.
  • In general, if <$10K formal service agreements will be written by System Member Procurement offices; however, there may be exceptions.
  • SRS personnel will need to review for previous (on payroll) employment, any potential conflict of interest, is it under $10K, and over-all project compliance- allowable, reasonable, and allocable.

As always, we are here to help you every step of the way! If you have any questions, please reach out to us and we will be happy to assist.

We are your one-stop shop for all things research for CEHD!

Post Award Updates

Move to Harrington Tower and New Procedure for Purchase Request

In an effort to better serve the College of Education & Human Development faculty, staff, and students; the Research and Development Post Award team has moved to Harrington Tower.

You may find us in the following offices:

Tracy LaTourette              437 Harrington

Adriana Burnett                439 Harrington

Kristin Ebner                      440 Harrington

Clayton Holle                     441 Harrington

Post Award staff are available for walk-in assistance:

Monday – Friday               8:30-11:30am and 1:30-4:30pm

Our office has a new process beginning in the past few weeks for purchase requests on research funds.  Please submit all purchasing requests (including travel receipts for faculty) through MyCEHD using the R&D Purchasing Request Form.

Requesters: After you complete this form, a task is sent to Post Award Services to review and approve. Once your request is approved and processed by our office, you will receive an auto-generated email with the subject line containing “Final Copy”.

We ask for patience during the implementation of this new process. The goal is to produce faster turn-around times on your purchase requests and allow for shifting of work between our team based on your research needs.

New Post Award Business Coordinator Kristin Ebner joins CERD

Kristin Ebner, a Texas native, has traveled almost all over the state of Texas to attend school or for work. She has earned her B.A. in Business Administration and M.B.A. from Schreiner University and her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University. Before moving to the College of Education and Human Development as a Business Coordinator I, she worked in various roles across different system parts. She has also worked in financial compliance and reporting for a major financial firm and worked as an aviation insurance agent for corporate accounts. In her free time she enjoys reading a good book, an excellent cup of coffee, and watching baseball games with her niece and nephew.



Outreach Services Update

Bryan ISD Showcase and TCASE

Faculty and staff of CEHD pose with Bryan ISD administration at the Bryan ISD Showcase in January with Representative Bill Flores and James Edge. CEHD hosted a table at the very successful event put on by the district highlighting student achievement in arts, sports and academics at all age levels , as well as community partnerships.

The outreach services of the CERD office continue to work diligently to meet the needs of the faculty PIs of CEHD and maintain sustainable relationships with school districts both in the local community as well as statewide.  Recently, CEHD had a strong showing at a Saturday event in Bryan ISD.  Dr. Valerie Hill-Jackson , along with CERD, hosted a table at the district’s annual “Showcase” held at SFA Middle School.  Loaded with fun give aways and lots of good information about the college, several faculty members came and helped at the table.  Drs. Poh Wee Koh, Kirsten Newell, Andrew Kwok, Beverly Irby, Miranda Walichowski and Carly Gilson graciously offered their time to meet and greet the Bryan ISD student, families, teachers and administrators.  Many Aggie teachers also stopped by and said “Howdy”!  Thanks goes out to Dr. Hugo Ibarra, Community Engagement Coordinator for BISD and Class of ’18 for his assistance in working with our college.

At the state level, Outreach Coordinator, Amy Jurica Hinnant, attended the annual TCASE conference, “Great Ideas“, held in Austin February 10-12th.  TCASE is the Texas Council for the Administrators of Special Education.  While at the conference, Amy was able to speak to the session aimed at assisting new special education directors of the state.  She offered  on-line training opportunities to the group that are part of the Dr. Jeni Ganz’s work in autism.  The project titled PREP-Preparing Researcher, Educators and Parents: Tools for Autism & Behavior is geared to provide free training to Texas residents  and beginning educators who work with children with autism.  This work is supported by a gran from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.  Additionally, while at the conference, Amy was able to attend the closing session presented by Dr. Justin Porter, Director of Special Education with TEA as he outlined updates including the corrective action plan offered by the state in response to the January 2018 letter from OSEP (Office of Special Education Programs) at the Department of Education.  To see the full presentation, click on the link below.


If your upcoming grant requires partnerships with schools or groups in the community, please contact Amy at aggieamy@tamu.edu to set up a time to visit about your project.