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Home > Research > Research > CFANS Research News > CFANS Research eNews - September 1, 2010

CFANS Research eNews - September 1, 2010

NSF Unveils New Program to Study STEM Ed

stem learningThe National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings is accepting applications for a new grant program focused on exploring the future of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The agency is inviting interdisciplinary teams composed of researchers with experience and interest in the STEM fields, educational research and evaluation, and the learning sciences to study current models as well as to design and development innovative models for STEM education through the Transforming STEM Learning program. Applicant are asked to propose projects in one of two challenge areas:

NSF expects to offer an additional funding stream for the second phase of projects initiated under Challenge 2 in which significant testing and evaluation of these new structural models will begin.

Applications are due by March 11, 2011. Approximately $5 million is available to support five large research projects and 10 planning and pilot development projects. See the solicitation for details or send inquiries to

New Faces in CFANScollege logo

The CFANS Dean's office is happy to announce a new addition to the CFANS team; Sahar Angadjivand has come on board as the Grants and Data Management Administrator, working closely with Steve Gillard as well as the grants management team. In addition to being a recent graduate of the BS in Applied Economics program, Sahar held a student worker position focused on grants management and data analysis for two years in the dean's office. Prior to starting at CFANS, she interned for the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy and for the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy.

CFANS is also pleased to welcome the following faculty members who are joining the college this fall. Click on each faculty member's name to learn more about his/her research interests and activities here at the University. Welcome!

Brian Aukema
Assistant Professor
Department of Applied Entomology
Timothy Beatty
Associate Professor
Department of Applied Economics
Michael Boland
Department of Applied Economics
Allen Bridges
Department of Animal Science/
North Central Research and Outreach Center
James Forester
Assistant Professor
Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and
Conservation Biology
Bradley Heins
Department of Animal Science
Kyungsoo Yoo
Assistant Professor
Department of Soil, Water, and Climate
 Jason Hill
 Assistant Professor
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering

NIH Improving Peer Review Feedback

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is hoping to provide more transparency in its review process by establishing a new requirement for peer reviewers to take effect this fall. The agency will soon require reviewers to include a paragraph within their individual written critiques explaining how they arrived at the overall impact scores for the applications they were assigned. As there is no defined formula for weighing the individual review criteria scores and deriving an overall impact score during the peer review process, there is significant room for individuality in judging the scientific merit of applications. By providing greater clarity as to how scores are derived, the new requirement will help demystify the review process as well as assist potential PIs in improving their applications - a fact which, with the elimination of the second resubmission option for NIH applications, is surely to be appreciated. To learn more about the NIH peer review process, click here.

research enews wind energy bioenergy MN lake
CBET Grant Opportunities

The Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems Division (CBET) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) is currently accepting applications under its annual unsolicited fall submission window for research and education in relevant areas of bioengineering, biotechnology, environmental engineering, and transformation processes. The following program areas may be of interest to CFANS faculty and researchers:

Applications are due by September 23, 2010. See the individual program pages for more details and visit for a list of other CBET opportunities. Not interested in applying this year? Working on a future submission? Become a CBET peer reviewer and get an inside look at the proposal review process.


In this CFANS Research eNews Issue: 

NIH Seminars Offered in 2011

The National Institutes of Health's Office of Extramural Research (OER) has announced the locations and dates of its two Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants for 2011. The seminars are designed to acclimate grant administrators, researchers new to NIH, and graduate students to the NIH application and review process. For more information, see the OER website.

EPA Sponsoring Training Partnership

With the goal of fostering new leaders in the scientific community, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking parternship with academia to establish a training program focused on aquatic toxicology and ecosystem research. This cooperative agreement will enable universities to offer student and postdocs opportunities for mentorship with EPA scientists and researchers at the Mid-Continent Ecology Division facilities in Duluth and Grosse Ile, MI. Approximately $1.8 million is available to support one award. The closing date for applications is September 28, 2010. Click here (pdf) to learn more.

NIH Eliminating Error Correction Window

Following public comment, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has decided to eliminate a measure which currently allows applicants to reivew and make changes to their applications after the application deadlines have passed. The error correction window, originally designed to smooth the transition from paper to electronic application submission, is slated for elimination on January 25, 2011, a move NIH hopes will ensure consistency in the application of submission rules and deadlines for all potential investigators. NIH will continue to accept post-submission materials in the event of unexpected administrative issues such as changes in key personnel. In addition, all applicants will still have the two-day application viewing window to review their submissions in the eRA Commons and reject or resubmit corrected applications prior to the deadline. To learn more, click here.

Recent CFANS Grant Awards

A number of CFANS faculty members have received grant awards in August. Click here to learn more. Congratulations to all the successful PIs!

Upcoming Deadlines

The CFANS Dean's Office maintains a comprehensive list of upcoming grant program deadlines online at the CFANS Research Intranet web page. Do you have a question about a program? Or would you like to suggest a program be listed. Contact Jessica Weaver.