Research News- February 7, 2014






February 7, 2014




1. Core of the Week: Cell, Tissue and Organ Resource Core
2. Research IS & Computing Information Table at Simches on 2/11/2014
3. Freezerworks software now available
4. Partners Research Management Message for February 7, 2014
5. Partners Research Compliance Update - January 30, 2014
6. NIH Extramural Nexus Update




1. MGH Seminar Series in Cell Biology
2. Introduction to Survey Design
3. Problem-Based Biostatistics for Clinical Investigators
4. Genetic Literacy: A Guide to Understanding the Language and Concepts of Modern Genetic Research




1. Changes to the Shared Instrumentation Grant Program (S10): Intent to apply due February 10, 2014
2. Limited Submission Funding Opportunities
3. Private Funding Opportunities
4. PCORI Issues Funding Announcements Offering Up To $206 Million in Research Support
5. ADA-CDA Joint Postdoctoral Award
6. Pilot Funding: Up to $500,000 for Novel Approaches to Crohn's Disease Proposals
7. NIH Update for Week Ending January 31, 2014




Reminders of recently posted funding opportunities, deadlines and events




1. Core of the Week: Cell, Tissue and Organ Resource Core

Cell, Tissue and Organ Resource Core
Directors: Korkut Uygun, Ph.D. & Maria Louisa Izamis, Ph.D.
Locations: 114 16th St, Charlestown MA, 02129

The mission of the Cell Resource Core (CRC) is to provide high quality primary cells and tissues to researchers reliably and affordably. Leveraging a new MGH technology that significantly increases the viable yield of high quality hepatocytes from human and animal donor livers, we are initially offering hepatocytes to the research community.

To learn more about the Cell, Tissue and Organ Resource Core, please click here.


2. Research IS & Computing Information Table at Simches on 2/11/2014

Tuesday, February 11 from 8:15AM - 3:30PM, Simches Research Building, 3rd Floor Conference Area

Research IS & Computing (RISC) team members will be on site during the MGH Research Administrators Retreat next week. All researchers and administrators are encouraged to stop by the info table to learn more about Freezerworks, RPDR, High Performance Computing (HPC), REDCap, Research Computing Core Facility, Partners Enterprise Apple Support (PEAS) and additional ERIS resources.


3. Freezerworks software now available

Are you tracking samples and managing inventory for freezers in your lab? Enterprise Research Infrastructure & Services (ERIS) now offers Freezerworks, a user-driven freezer management system that includes features to improve the organization, labeling, reporting and shipping of your samples. Labs using the license will be charged an annual subscription cost that covers new user set-up, software upgrades, technical support, training, data storage and system security administration. Visit the Research Computing Core Facility Website to learn more, submit a brief form online to get started, and contact with any questions.



4. Partners Research Management Message for February 7, 2014

Please click here to view the Partners Research Management Message for February 7, 2014.

  • Partners Research Analytics Releases Research Management Financial Summary and Partners IRB Operational Metrics for Q1 FY14
  • Update on Subcontracts and Agreement Processing
  • Guideline for the New NIH Salary Cap
  • Research Management Training Classes for 2014
  • Salary & Payroll Deadlines for February 2014
  • HMS, BWH and MGH Researchers Receive PCORI Award
  • President's Day Schedule for Partners Research Management


5. Partners Research Compliance Update - January 30, 2014

Please click here to read the Partners Research Compliance Update.



6. NIH Extramural Nexus Update

Please click here to read the NIH Extramural Nexus Update.

  • What's New with NIH's Small Business Research Programs?
  • New Reforms to Federal Grant Policies
  • FY2013 By The Numbers: Research Applications, Funding, and Awards





1. MGH Seminar Series in Cell Biology

Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 3:00 PM, Isselbacher Auditorium (CNY Bldg. 149-East, Room 7231)

Sponsored by the Division of Nephrology

"Leveraging Cell-to-Cell Variability to Understand Signal Transduction Circuits"
Suzanne Gaudet, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Genetics
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Host: Roy J. Soberman, M.D.

Contact: Christine Plouffe,, 617-724-1502


2. Introduction to Survey Design

Thursdays, March 6, 13, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm, Simches 3.120
Wednesday, March 19, 26, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm, Simches 3.120

Sponsored by the MGH Clinical Research Program

This four session course is designed to provide investigators and study staff with an overview of survey design and methodology. Upon completion of this course, participants will have an understanding of survey questionnaire design, data collection and analysis, participant recruitment, selection, consent and assent, and advantages and disadvantages of different databases. Registration is required. Please contact Kelsey Gay with any questions.


3. Problem-Based Biostatistics for Clinical Investigators

Thursdays, March 6, 13; Wednesday, March 19; Thursday March 27
2:00pm - 4:30pm, Simches Building, Room 3.110

The MGH Clinical Research Program is sponsoring this program.

In this four-session series, John Orav will review biostatistics problems often encountered by clinical investigators. The goal of the seminars is to demonstrate alternative statistical approaches. This course is intended for clinical investigators who have moderate or substantial statistical experience. Each of the four sessions will focus on a different theme and an actual research project and database will be used to provide concrete and realistic examples.

Registration is required. Please contact Kelsey Gay with any questions.


4. Genetic Literacy: A Guide to Understanding the Language and Concepts of Modern Genetic Research

Tuesday, March 4, 1:00pm to 4:30pm, Simches Building, Room 3.110

This program is sponsored by the MGH Clinical Research Program, the MGH Center for Human Genetic Research, and the Harvard Catalyst

This course is strongly recommended for both new and experienced clinicians, clinical investigators, nurses, and other clinical research staff who wish to further expand their knowledge of modern concepts in genetics and genomics. Registrants should have a basic knowledge of the modern concepts of genetics and genomics. This course will explore several "hot" topics in greater detail.

Registration is required. Please contact Jillian Tonelli with any questions.

This program meets the requirements of the Board of Registration in Nursing, at 244 CMR 5.00, for 2.25 contact hours of nursing continuing education. Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to: Utilize basic concepts of genetics and genomics in the conduct of clinical research; describe the benefits and limitations of new technologies for genomic research; Identify opportunities for integration of genetic and genomic methods into research and ongoing clinical care.





1. Changes to the Shared Instrumentation Grant Program (S10): Intent to apply due February 10, 2014

The ORIP Shared Instrument Grant (SIG) program encourages applications from groups of NIH-supported investigators to purchase or upgrade a single item of expensive, specialized, commercially available instrumentation or an integrated system that costs at least $100,000. The maximum award is $600,000. Types of instruments supported include, but are not limited to, confocal and electron microscopes, biomedical imagers, mass spectrometers, DNA sequencers, biosensors, cell-sorters, X-ray diffraction systems, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers among others.

The MGH Executive Committee on Research (ECOR) has again committed funding to provide institutional support of $50,000 (for up to 10 funded grants) this year. ECOR has made this commitment because it recognizes that institutional support greatly increases the likelihood that a SIG application will be funded.

Several required application components for submitting an S10 grant to the NIH have changed for this call and ECOR will be preparing this information and including it in your institutional letter of support. The changes include:

  • The institution must now explicitly state a commitment to provide financial support for the proposed financial plan should a shortfall be experienced due to a lack of other grant funding or chargeback/volume fluctuations (see Sect. IV).
  • The institution must also provide a Letter of Support that includes a table that provides information about instrument performance of all previous S10 awards for instruments awarded or installed within the past five years.
    • To meet this new requirement, any recipient of an S10 award from 2009-present will be asked to provide specific details that will be used to support all shared instrumentation grants going forward. A separate email will be sent directly to the PIs to which this applies.

How to Apply
Due to increased administrative components required for these grants to be submitted for review going forward, we ask that any investigator who will be seeking institutional support to email their intent to apply to no later than Monday, February 10, 2014. This email should simply be a statement of intent to apply with your contact information and the appropriate administrator contact information.

If you have questions, please contact MGH ECOR at or call Erin McGivney at 617-643-6471.


2. Limited Submission Funding Opportunities

We ask that all MGH Investigators interested in applying for any limited submission award submit a Letter of Intent (see detailed instructions below) to the MGH Executive Committee on Research (ECOR) by the deadline indicated for each award to be considered to receive an institutional nomination.

Submit a one- to two-page Letter of Intent (LOI) to the MGH Executive Committee on Research (ECOR) via email to In addition to your LOI, please include an NIH Biosketch.

The letter of intent should include:
1. Name of the Principal Investigator with appropriate contact information
2. A descriptive title of the potential application
3. Brief description of the project
4. Brief description of why you specifically should be selected to receive institutional nomination for this award

In the event that there is more than one MGH investigators interested in applying each limited submission award, the LOIs will be used to assess candidates and a review and selection process will take place.

Current Limited Submission Funding Opportunities
Please click here for more information and for our internal deadlines.

  • Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars: Postdoctoral Cancer Research Fellowship
  • NIH Coordination and Evaluation Center for Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce Program (U54)
  • NIH National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) (U54)
  • Superfund Hazardous Substance Research and Training Program (P42)
  • Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers (EHS CC) (P30)
  • Botanical Dietary Supplement Research Centers (BDSRC) (P50)
  • Alzheimer's Disease Core Centers (P30)
  • Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers (P50)
  • Jointly Sponsored Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Institutional Predoctoral Training Program in the Neurosciences (T32)
  • Cystic Fibrosis Research and Translation Core Center (P30)
  • American Diabetes Association Pathway to Stop Diabetes Research Awards - NEW!

If there is a limited submission funding opportunity you do not see listed above or you have any additional questions, please contact Erin McGivney at 617-643-6471.


3. Private Funding Opportunities

Please contact Corporate & Foundation Relations in the Office of Development at if you wish to submit a proposal in response to any of these funding opportunities. Note that proposals are still routed through the standard InfoEd/Research Management process.

  • Innovator Awards for Early Career Investigators in Translational Stem Cell Research, New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF)
  • Proposals for Research on Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, Progeria Research Foundation
  • Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Please click here for further details on these funding opportunities.


4. PCORI Issues Funding Announcements Offering Up To $206 Million in Research Support

We're pleased to announce our latest round of research funding opportunities, offering up to $206 million to support comparative effectiveness research (CER) designed to answer the health and healthcare questions of greatest concern to patients and other healthcare stakeholders.

Today, we began accepting proposals for patient-centered outcomes studies through eight PCORI Funding Announcements (PFAs):

  • Our first call for proposals through our new Large Pragmatic Clinical Studies Initiative. We'll award up to $90 million to fund up to nine large, multi-year CER studies in the first of two such announcements we plan this year. Priority topics we'll fund are based on the previous work of respected health care organizations and the input of our multi-stakeholder advisory panels.
  • Up to $20 million to fund up to two trials comparing obesity treatment options - such as dietary counseling, increased physical activity, and behavioral therapy - in primary care settings. Because low-income, minority, and rural individuals experience higher rates of obesity, this PFA focuses on how well these options help these underserved populations lose weight.
  • Up to $15 million to fund a comprehensive study to determine which clusters of transitional care services work best at reducing preventable hospital readmissions and improving outcomes among at-risk patients, such as those with multiple chronic illnesses. The study will also determine which of these services are most effective in various healthcare settings and payment contexts.
  • Up to $81 million for the Spring 2014 Cycle of funding under our five broad National Priorities for Research. This includes $5 million, through our funding announcement on improving methods, for studies focused on the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) of the National Institutes of Health.

The deadline for required Letters of Intent for each of these PFAs is 5 p.m. (ET) Friday, March 7. LOIs for the pragmatic studies, transitional care, obesity, and improving methods PFAs will be reviewed for how well they fit with our programmatic goals; applicants will be notified whether they are invited to submit full applications. Information on other key dates is included in each PFA.

We'll host informational town hall and training webinars for interested applicants in February and March. More information is available here.

Applicants for these new funding opportunities will find a number of changes and improvements in our application process, including greater clarity about the types of studies we are and are not seeking, guidance on how to note adherence to PCORI methodology standards within the research plan, and new resources to guide the development of required engagement plans indicating how patients and other stakeholders will be meaningfully involved in the research project. Find out more about these in a new blog post by our Science and Contracts Management teams.

These PFAs are part of a dramatic increase in the amount of funding we're investing in patient-centered CER starting this year and, with the first call for large pragmatic studies proposals, a broadening of the types of studies we'll support. You can find out more about these initiatives in a new blog post by PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH.


5. ADA-CDA Joint Postdoctoral Award

Now through February 17, the Association is seeking grant applications for the American Diabetes Association-Canadian Diabetes Association Joint Postdoctoral Fellowship Award. The joint ADA-CDA program encourages international training of diabetes researchers by offering training awards for postdoctoral fellows from the United States performing their fellowship work in Canada, and for fellows from Canada performing fellowship work in the United States.

Application Guidelines: Training proposals in diabetes research at the postdoctoral level will be considered. Candidates are expected to pursue a career in diabetes-related research as an independent investigator upon completion of postdoctoral training. Applications will be received and reviewed by the CDA Personnel Award Committee.

Support: $40,000 per year for up to three years, plus additional $3,000 yearly travel allowance to attend the American Diabetes Association and Canadian Diabetes Association annual scientific meetings.

Deadline: February 17, 2014, for anticipated funding beginning July 1, 2014.

To learn more about this training grant opportunity or to apply, visit


6. Pilot Funding: Up to $500,000 for Novel Approaches to Crohn's Disease Proposals

Applications due March 13, 2014

Attention Crohn's Disease researchers: Apply for up to $200,000 for collaborative research projects and up to $500,000 for program projects (direct costs only) for your one-year project.

The opportunity is open to collaborative teams of researchers who will develop and nurture new approaches for understanding the prevention, diagnosis, and/or treatment of Crohn's disease. Projects that result in biomarker discovery, new diagnostics, or early therapeutic leads are of particular interest.

All Harvard-appointed junior and senior investigators are encouraged to apply. Please see the RFA for detailed eligibility requirements and application instructions. Applications are due March 13.

The Harvard Institute of Translational Immunology (HITI) is a collaborative effort bringing together basic, translational, and clinical investigators from across the Harvard community to develop interdisciplinary approaches for elucidating mechanisms of immune-mediated diseases. Funding for this pilot funding opportunity is provided by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Contact us if you have questions.


7. NIH Update for Week Ending February 7, 2014

For the latest National Institutes of Health notices, requests for applications, and program announcements, follow this link:





Reminders of recently posted funding opportunities, deadlines and events

Alex's Lemonade Stand: 2014 Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST) Program
Application Deadline: February 10

The Eleanor and Miles Shore 50th Anniversary Fellowship Program for Scholars in Medicine
Application deadline: February 10

Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies $100K Innovation Award
LOI deadline: February 13

2014 Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award
Application Deadline: February 17

Rabkin Fellowship in Medical Education
Application Deadline: February 28

MGH Claflin Distinguished Scholar Awards
Application Deadline: March 4

Managing and Reporting Unanticipated Problems Including Adverse Events - February 12

K Writing Workshop - February 13

Study Electronic Data Capture: REDCap and StudyTRAX - February 26

Hands-on MORA Training: Managing Monitor Online Record Access - February 28





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