Research News - January 2, 2015





January 2, 2015




1. Additional RCR Requirement
2. New J-1 Visa Rules Effective on January 5, 2015
3. Core of the Week: Ragon Institute Imaging Core
4. PCORI Update: New PCORnet Funding Opportunities; IHS Workgroup Meetings




1. MGH Research Council Meeting
2. Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) 2015 Poster Session
3. MGH Seminar Series in Cell Biology Sponsored by the Division of Nephrology
4. “Science BITES” CNY Faculty Lunch Seminar Series
5. HMS Faculty Seminar - Panel Discussion: Claflin Distinguished Scholar Awards




1. Claflin Distinguished Scholar Awards for Junior Faculty Women Investigators in Basic & Clinical Research
2. Private Funding Opportunities
3. Limited Submission Funding Opportunities
4. NIH Update for Week Ending January 2, 2015




Reminders of recently posted funding opportunities, deadlines and events




1. Additional RCR Requirement

The NIH requires trainees or career awardees with three or more years of NIH training support to complete additional Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training, what we are calling a "refresher" course. Partners Research Compliance has made arrangements for Investigators with an additional RCR requirement to fulfill this obligation online by completing three CITI RCR Refresher Course modules: Collaborative Research, Peer Review and Research Misconduct. Instructions on how to enroll and complete the modules can be found here. Investigators have until 4/1/15 to complete this requirement. 

Questions should be sent to the RCR mailbox.



2. New J-1 Visa Rules Effective on January 5, 2015

The U.S. Department of State recently announced that they will implement new rules on January 5, 2015. The new rules directly affect J-1 researchers and J-2 family dependents at all Partners institutions. The rules summarized below have the most impact on managing your international staff.

New J-1 Requests
Your Department Must Provide Terms and Conditions of Activities in Writing

Before submitting a new J-1 visa sponsorship request to our office, your department must provide the researcher with the following terms and conditions in writing:

  • hospital name
  • hospital address
  • position duration
  • job duties
  • number of work hours
  • wages, or other compensation and benefits
  • itemized list of any fees or deductions from wages to be paid to the hospital or any third party

Your Department Must Document Specific English Proficiency Standards

Before submitting a new J-1 visa sponsorship request to our office, your department must document that an applicant's English proficiency will allow him/her to successfully function in the research environment and on a day-to-day basis in the U.S.
Your department must document one of the following "objective measurements of English language proficiency":

  • Signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school; or
  • A documented interview conducted in English by the sponsor/PI either in-person or by videoconferencing, such as Skype or Facetime (or by telephone if videoconferencing is not possible); or
  • A recognized English language test

Department of State continues to increase J-1 on-site audits. If your department is audited for any J-1 request that you submitted to our office on or after January 5, you must produce one of the three types of English proficiency documentation listed above.

The two new requirements above apply to those who are will be offered new J-1 visa sponsorship (not current J-1 extensions/transfers).

Current J-1s in Your Department
Cultural Activities
The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program was originally created by the U.S. government to foster cultural exchange between its citizens and citizens of other nations. The updated rules reinforce this primary purpose by requiring sponsors to “offer or make available” a variety of appropriate cross-cultural activities to J-1 researchers and their dependents. In order to comply:

  • Encourage J-1 researchers’ and their family dependents’ exposure to American society, culture, and institutions.
  • If your department does not host cross-cultural social events, you must accommodate your J-1 researchers’ and their J-2 dependents’ participation in such events (without interfering with the research goals and responsibilities listed on the J-1’s visa paperwork)
  • As you consider options about which cultural activities to encourage, PIPS website has information to which you can direct Js for more exposure to American culture, such as networking, local sports, and socialization.

Additional Rules
In addition to the new rules outlined above, PIPS will work with your J-1 researchers and their J-2 family dependents to facilitate their compliance with stricter requirements for reporting their activity, potentially higher levels of required health insurance, and other changes. If you have any questions about this update (22 CFR Part 62 Exchange Visitor Program – General Provisions; Final Rule) please feel free to contact us at



3. Core of the Week: Ragon Institute Imaging Core

Ragon Institute Imaging Core
Director: Galit Alter, Ph.D.
Location: 400 Technology Square, room 910, Cambridge, MA 02139

The mission of the Ragon Institute Imaging Core is to bring the latest imaging modalities to bear on fundamental molecular and cell biological questions pertaining to infectious diseases. As an MGH core, it also serves the greater MGH community in all aspects of microscopy, flow cytometry and cell sorting. The Flow Cytometry division of the Ragon Institute Imaging Core is located on the 9th floor of 400 Technology Square in Cambridge. The core offers training, assistance, and access to flow cytometers and other instrumentation. Consultation is provided on experimental design. Our high speed cell sorter is situated in a BL2+ facility, permitting sorting of fixed or live samples with up to BL2+ containment.

For more information about the Ragon Institute Imaging Core please click here.



4. PCORI Update: New PCORnet Funding Opportunities; IHS Workgroup Meetings

Please click here to read the latest news from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.




1. MGH Research Council Meeting 

Monday, January 5, 2015, 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Simches Auditorium (3.110), Broadcast to Isselbacher Auditorium (CNY-149, 7th Floor)

Come learn about a new funding opportunity, how to keep your research data safe and resources to better engage patients in the research process!

1. Boston Biomedical Innovation Center (B-BIC)
2. Health Online for Patient Enrichment (HOPE)
3. IS Security Update

Lunch available at 11:45 AM

All MGH Researchers welcome!



2. Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) 2015 Poster Session

Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 110:00 am – 1:45 pm, SERI, Simches, 2nd Floor

ECOR is now accepting abstracts for the 2015 SAC Poster Session! 

Deadline for Submission: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 5:00 PM

The SAC Poster Session gives researchers the opportunity to create a compelling visual display of their work, and present it to some of the best scientific minds in the nation. It is an essential part of the two-day meeting, which highlights excellence in research at MGH. Presenters must be a MGH employee.

NEW for 2015!
This year, we will be featuring a limited number of electronic poster boards (ePosterBoards). We are looking for dynamic, visually interesting presentations for these ePosterBoards.

Schepens Eye Research Institute
185 Cambridge St.
Simches Building, Second Floor
Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 11:00am - 1:45pm

Twelve $1,000 Awards of Excellence for Scientific Meeting Travel

Please click here for more information and to submit a poster abstract!

Please note: Space is limited! Submissions will be closed before the deadline if we reach capacity.

If you have problems or questions, please email



3. MGH Seminar Series in Cell Biology Sponsored by the Division of Nephrology

Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 3:00 PM, Isselbacher Auditorium (CNY Bldg. 149-East, Room 7231)

“Innate Immune Mechanism for dsRNA Recognition: RIG-I and MDA5”
Sun Hur, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology and Department of Pediatrics
Harvard Medical School

Host: Roy J. Soberman, M.D.

Contact: Christine Plouffe - email:, phone: 617-724-1502



4. “Science BITES” CNY Faculty Lunch Seminar Series

Monday, January 5, 2014, 12:00pm - 1:00pm, CNY Building 149, Conference Room A, behind Eat Street Café

“Understanding pathomechanisms of traumatic brain injury: Lessons learned from animal models”

Michael Whalen, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Neuroscience Center at MGH

Bring your lunch and we’ll provide cookies!


Click here to view the schedule for all upcoming “Science BITES” seminars.



5. HMS Faculty Seminar - Panel Discussion: Claflin Distinguished Scholar Awards

Tuesday, January 13, 2014, 12:00 - 1:00 pm, Location provided upon registration.

The Center for Faculty Development’s Office for Women’s Careers presents a seminar for MGH faculty with HMS academic appointments. 

Would you like to know more about the Claflin Distinguished Scholar Awards? These awards are designed to provide bridge funding for junior faculty to sustain research productivity during the child-rearing years with the intention of advancing women in academic medicine. In this session you will learn:

  • Eligibility requirements
  • Application tips
  • Application tips
  • How the award can help advance your career

Panel Discussion: Claflin Distinguished Scholar Awards


  • Andrea L. Ciaranello, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine, 2011 Claflin Award Scholar
  • Basak E. Uygun, PhD, Instructor in Surgery, 2013 Claflin Award Scholar
  • Karen K. Miller, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, 1999 Claflin Award Scholar and Co-chair of Claflin Award Review Committee

Faculty with HMS academic appointments, please click here to register by Thu, Jan 8.




1. Claflin Distinguished Scholar Awards for Junior Faculty Women Investigators in Basic & Clinical Research

Applications are now being accepted by the Executive Committee on Research (ECOR) for the Claflin Distinguished Scholar Awards!

What are the Claflin Awards?
Although women scientists are recruited to Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) programs, their advancement to senior faculty positions is still far less frequent than that of their male counterparts. In 1993, The Women in Academic Medicine Committee, originally chaired by Mrs. R. Morton Claflin, Honorary Trustee, was established to facilitate the academic careers of women in science at MGH. Recognizing that a significant obstacle to career advancement is the difficulty of maintaining research productivity during the child-rearing years, this Committee, with the sponsorship of the Executive Committee On Research (ECOR), established the Claflin Distinguished Scholar Awards. It is intended that this transitional funding will increase opportunities for women to advance to senior positions in academic medicine.

How much is each award?
These are two year awards for $50,000 per year in direct costs, plus 15% for indirect costs.

When is the deadline?
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - 9:00 PM

How do I learn more and apply?
Click here to read more and apply online!



2. 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.

  • Role of Healthcare, Insurance in Improving Cancer Prevention/Treatment, American Cancer Society
  • Edmond J. Safra Movement Disorders Fellowship Program, Michael J. Fox Foundation
  • Grants Program, CurePSP
  • Research Grants, DEBRA International
  • Postdoctoral Cancer Research Fellowships, Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars

Please click here for further details on these funding opportunities.



3. 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 for 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.

  • Centers for Common Disease Genomics (UM1) - NEW!
  • Centers for Mendelian Genomics (UM1) - NEW!
  • Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers (EHS CC) (P30) - NEW!
  • NIAMS Skin Biology and Diseases Resource-based Centers (P30) - 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.



4. NIH Update for Week Ending January 2, 2015

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

MGH ECOR Formulaic Bridge Funding
Application Deadline: 7th day of each month

MLSC Cooperative Research Matching Grant Program
Application Deadline: February 13, 2015 

Boston Biomedical Innovation Center (B-BIC) Accepting PILOT & DRIVE Grant Pre-Proposals

Clinical Trial Billing (Part 1):  Basic Overview  - January 5

Considering the Research Subject's Perspective - January 7 

Clinical Trial Billing (Part 2): Tracking Charges and Patient Care Corrections - January 22

Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Study Subjects - January 22 

Research Nurse Book Club - January 27

Save the Date! Research Administrators Retreat - February 10

Save the Date! SAC 2015 - April 1 & 2, 2015

2015 World Medical Innovation Forum - Neurosciences - April 27-29




ECOR Website

MGH Research Intranet

MGH Research Internet

Find A Researcher

Research Help and How-To


Executive Committee On Research (ECOR) Massachusetts General Hospital

50 Staniford Street, Suite 1001, Boston, MA 02114