rFall 2019 Newsletter

Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile. William Cullen Bryant

Dean’s Corner

We are well into our fall semester rhythm by now, at mid-October.   This cool break in our weather pattern is a welcome change to the 95+ pattern of so many weeks in September!

We’ve had a few changes, recent and pending, in our CERD pre-award office.  Gabe Rivera took on a Senior Research Development Officer position in the University’s Division of Research Proposal Development Office starting early September.   So if you work on multi-center or very large proposals in coordination with that office, you may interact with him there.   Gabe did a great job for us over the preceding 2 years and we wish him all the best in this new endeavor.  We hope to begin interviews next week for his replacement.

The pending change relates to our physical location.  After some CEHD research staff move to the CEHD second floor of the Collaborative Learning Center (on Hensel Drive near Texas Avenue), our pre-award group will move to the 4th floor of Harrington Tower.   Current projections are for this to occur sometime in mid-December.

Some of you are aware that replacement of all pipework in Heaton is occurring during night hours and on weekends; this work began in earnest last week.   We will likely volunteer to come to your office for any face-to-face meetings until this renovation-in-place is completed (~ Thanksgiving).   In fact, our pre-award group heads out today for a “listening tour” meeting with EPSY Assistant Professors today; Wednesday we meet with junior faculty in EAHR.   These are important steps towards my goal this fall to meet with all Assistant Professors and new faculty (all ranks) to learn about their research agendas and specific support needs; if you fall in one of these categories and a meeting with you is not yet on your calendar, please alert me to the oversight (sbloom@tamu.edu).

The Request for Applications for this year’s version of the Catapult seed grant was released a few weeks ago (see 9/26/19 email from me).  Thanks to the Dean’s generosity, we are returning this year to the original model of fewer but larger $30K awards along with a limited number of awards to Centers and Institutes to promote faculty engagement and collaborations.   Note that at least two distinct disciplines must be included on the project team; you may include faculty from outside the CEHD but our expectation is that a majority of investigators on each project will be CEHD faculty.   Don’t hesitate to contact me  or Jesús Palomo (jpalomo@tamu.edu) with any questions you have; the deadline is very soon (10/28/19, 5 pm).

Find the application and RFA below.

Catapult Application FORM_ AY 2020_9.26.19.docxCatapult AY 2020 RFA_9.26.19 

Amy Jurica Hinnant has been super busy attending the Engagement Scholarship Consortium with the Provost Office Outreach Director, Janice Meyer, and Dr. Valerie Hill Jackson (TLAC)  in addition to region/state-wide meetings with school principals and superintendents and key stakeholders all over Texas.   That said, she is always ready to work with you (by email and phone, as needed) to connect you with ISD’s, community agencies or develop new strategies to develop networks or recruit subjects for your studies.    Our CERD Post-Award Business Office has been working on multiple services designed to keep all PI’s well informed about status of their external funding budgets; be sure to check out their section on this newsletter.

Kudos to Drs. Mary Alfred, Fui-hui Tong, and Christine Stanley, who have been elected as departmental representatives to our College Council of PI’s.   This CPI group works hard to represent all PI’s interests; contact yours to have your concerns addressed at their meetings (twice per semester).  [See  more below about the CEHD Council of PI’s.]    One issue that was discussed last spring has resulted in a short survey that should be arriving to your Inbox soon, regarding IT, communications, and website support needs that appear to be more and more prevalent in our PI’s proposed projects.   This needs assessment is an important step in furthering the conversation about how much support College resources could provide; I urge you to complete the anonymous survey at your earliest convenience so we can include your voice.

Wishing you all the best for a productive fall semester.



New Awards

Marielle Engelen

NIH – R56


Project Title: Nutritional modulation to minimize resistance exercise induced metabolic deregulations and improve training responsiveness in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Dr. Engelen( HLKN) and Dr. Bloomfield (HLKN) recently met with Drs. Anna Fisher and Rusty Schwieckart at the Human Clinical Research Facility (HCRF). Dr. Fisher flew on multiple Space Shuttle missions while Dr. Schwieckart was a Lunar Module pilot on Apollo 9.

Council of Principal Investigators

The Council of Principal Investigators (CPI) held their first meeting of the 2019-2020 academic year on October 22, 2019.

For more information about The Council of Principal Investigators please visit the CPI website.

Check out our Facebook Page


Pre Award Updates

DID YOU KNOW…. That your proposal budget may be eligible for reduced IDC rates, even if the agency allows full IDC rates (now 50%)?

If 51% or more of the physical work of your project (i.e., >51% of scope or work),

will occur off-campus, work with your pre-award professional in the CERD Office

and/or SRS to file a justification for a reduced IDC rate at 26%.    In our College,

this is most common for “field work” projects, where most of the day-to-day work

is actually executed in public agencies or public schools.   It is wise to settle this

very early in your proposal development process, since direct costs available to

support your scope of work change a good deal between 50% and 26% IDC rates.

Call Jesús (845-5351) or Thess (845-8293) for more information.

Post Award Updates

Reporting Initiative Update:

As indicated in the Summer newsletter, the post-award team is now providing monthly account balances to PIs. We our happy to announce that we have expanded our reporting to include transaction details, payroll expenses, and encumbrances.  In addition, now that full reports are being provided, we ask that PIs please review reports for accuracy and provide email approval by the end of the month.  If there are any errors or concerns, please contact CEHD Post Award Research Services.

For more information on this initiative or if you have questions about the reports you are currently receiving, please contact us at cerd-reports@tamu.edu.

*Please note that the Post-Award team utilizes shared email boxes for reporting, purchasing, and payroll in order to provide PIs and research staff with a quicker response to your questions and concerns.

Laserfiche Purchase Form Tips

  • Research account is used to purchase/pay- include the correct account number on the request
  • Attach the invoice/link/vendor and quantity of how many items are needing ordered
  • If specific address is where items will need to be shipped please include that information on “justification” section
  • Attach PI approval prior to submitting the request, either by email or PI signature on invoice with the account number
  • The “Payee” section of the request is where you document what vendor is being paid.

*** Please note that the CERD office cannot edit or add any documents to an already submitted purchase request. If documentation/approval/account number are not attached to submitted request it will be rejected back with information of what is needed and a new purchase request will need to be entered.

Outreach Updates

Traveling to Spread the Word

The past few months have been full of great meetings and a strong CEHD presence at several national, state and regional conferences. CERD Outreach supported research faculty through out the summer and fall who presented at conferences by sponsoring a booth or exhibit table.  This provides interested attendees  the opportunity to  have further conversations about research results or possible participation in ongoing or future projects. Included below are pictures from events in  Region 20 (San Antonio) with Dr. Julie Thompson (EPSY), the NAESP National Conference in Spokane, Washington with the research team of Dr. Jean Madsen (EAHR) and the TABE State Conference in Corpus Christi, Texas with Drs. Rafael Lara-Alecio (EPSY) and Beverly Irby (EAHR). Additionally, CERD Outreach participated with exhibits at educator conferences in Midland (Region 18) and Waco (Region 12).

Dr. Julie Thompson (EPSY) presents at the Region 20 Special Education Summer Academy. CERD Outreach supported her during the event with an exhibit table offering more information about her projects as well as other trainings for educators in the areas of autism and bilingual education.


CERD Outreach supported the research team that works with Dr. Jean Madsen (EAHR) at the National Association of Elementary School Principal’s (NAESP) Conference held in Spokane, Washington. Pictured are Amy Jurica Hinnant, Dr. Elisabeth Luevanos, Anthony Luevanos and Nick Smith.

David Jimenez along with Drs. Rafael Lara-Alecio and Beverly Irby at the 2019 TABE (Texas Association of Bilingual Education) Conference in Corpus Christi. The team from CRDLLA gave multiple presentations at the conference.

CEHD Supports New Teachers in Hearne ISD

Every  new teacher has needs for the classroom.  This fall some CEHD faculty along with CERD Outreach partnered with Hearne ISD administration to provide some extra supplies  and mentoring for the new teaching staff  to start the school year off on the right foot.  Thanks to the organization efforts of faculty members Dr. Melissa Fogarty  (EPSY) and Dr. Marcia Montague (EPSY) our College was able to deliver the materials before classes started in August.  Pictured above is also superintendent Dr. Adrian Johnson.

Best Practices for Asking for  Letters of Support

One of the services our office can help with is obtaining letters of support for your grant proposal.  Often, the PI may already have good contacts with schools or decision makers that can provide the appropriate form of support.  We can help by reaching out on behalf of the PI  to those contacts, or possibly help in creating new contacts prior to the grant application process so that when the time comes, asking for the support is comfortable.  When asking for letters of support, it is always smart to provide  a draft letter for the individual to have some context for writing the letter.  Additionally, the PI needs to provide a summary or abstract of the project.  Finally, and most importantly, make sure there is plenty of lead time so that the process is not rushed.  We are asking a favor of the individual and want to make it as easy as possible for them to provide the best letter possible.  Contact Amy Hinnant for more information or questions.