Research Announcements

UCF College of Health Professions and Sciences

Pitch Circle program

The Research Development team in the Office of Research is coordinating the Pitch Circle program for faculty planning to submit to NSF, NIH or any other federal agency this fiscal year. The purpose of the program is to prepare participants to present a “pitch” for a research project to an agency program officer. Participants will also receive feedback and comments on the related project summary, specific aims, or white paper abstract.

Participants have 15 minutes to pitch their project to a panel comprised of awardees/senior faculty mentors. 30 minutes is allotted for Q&A and feedback on the pitch and related document.

Please visit this link for more information about the Pitch Circle Program.

Fill out this form to request a pitch circle.

In addition to the pitch circle program, our team can provide the following support services:

  1. Identification of funding opportunities
  2. Assistance with contacting senior faculty for one-on-one mentoring
  3. Best practices for contacting program managers
  4. Discussion of review comments and assistance with developing the proposal for re-submission
  5. Technical proposal review by peers (internal and external)

The Pitch Circle program is offered in the Fall semester! It will be held via Zoom.

Thank you for attending the first Nuts and Bolts session in September.

A recording of September’s Nuts and Bolts session is now available here (passcode: MM^dan2N). The session provided an update on CHPS’ Strategic Plan and an overview of Workday’s grant functionality.

Details are forthcoming on the next Nuts & Bolts session to be held on Dec 1, from 12-1 pm via Zoom

New Recruitment Website for Older, Diverse Adults

Are you interested in reaching older adult participants, particularly those from underrepresented groups, for your research studies? The AgeWell Registry is a new recruitment website from UCF, Florida International University and the University of Florida that connects diverse adults interested in participating in research with available opportunities. Anyone over the age of 18 can join the AgeWell registry, and the registry is currently accepting research recruitment flyers and registering participants.

As a researcher, you will have the opportunity to become a member and to post your research recruitment flyers on AgeWell. This will be visible to the older adults who access the site to explore potential research opportunities.

The registry is part of a tri-institutional research study funded by the National Institute on Aging and represents the Florida Statewide Registry for Aging, which works to promote healthy aging and engagement of culturally diverse adults in research.

The AgeWell registry website was created to bring awareness and increase research participation among African American, Caribbean, and Hispanic/Latino adults who traditionally have low representation in health research. Prior research identified several reasons for the underrepresentation of diverse populations in research studies, including inadequate outreach and engagement; socioeconomic stressors; family and/or work responsibilities; poor communication and messaging; rigorous study methods, and/or community mistrust of researchers and academic institutions.

If you have questions, please contact Dr. Donna Felber Neff with UCF College of Nursing at [email protected].

**NEW** UCF POSTDOC PROGRAM: Exciting opportunity for you and your 2023 PhD graduates

The UCF Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) is excited to announce a pilot program for Short Term Postdoc Support (STePS). As we strive to meet preeminence metrics for universities to receive additional state funding, UCF must reach at least 200 postdocs. UCF currently has about 160 postdocs. To augment this number, we are piloting the STePS program whereby spring and summer PhD graduates, primarily in STEM degrees (and possibly those who meet all requirements for graduation in early fall) would be eligible for a 6-month postdoctoral position with a salary of $27,500. (This will not affect the existing P3 – Preeminent Postdoctoral Program.)

PIs would cover just $10,000 (including fringe) and OPA would cover the remaining $23,825. This six-month period would provide the students/scholars with more time to complete remaining aspects of their doctoral research, publish chapters from their dissertation, finalize plans for employment beyond UCF, etc. These postdocs will then count in our tally for the NSF/NIH survey and the state metric, which occurs in the late fall.

If you are interested in participating in this program, please email [email protected] to obtain the application form. Funding will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. Please send any questions you may have to [email protected]. Upon completion, please submit the application to [email protected], with the subject: STePS Application.

IRB Notice–Increase in Fraudulent Responses to Online Survey Studies

The IRB office is receiving an increased number of notifications from researchers reporting that their online surveys are experiencing bot attacks and other apparently fraudulent responses. Survey links shared publicly for studies offering compensation are especially of concern.

We are recommending all researchers to check the security settings of their survey platforms to ensure fraud detection is enabled.  Use of CAPTCHAs, attention-checking questions, adding an automatic notification to the researcher when a certain number of responses are received, and monitoring the time and speed of survey completion duration can be helpful in preventing and detecting fraudulent responses. For studies currently approved, no modification to the IRB application is needed unless changes to the survey instrument itself or the informed consent document are required.

Research IT will release additional guidance soon.  If researchers have questions about their specific platform features before then, they can request assistance from Research IT [email protected]. Researchers who experience suspected fraudulent activities can contact [email protected].

Time and Effort Certification on Sponsored Research, Training, and Service Awards Policy – Implementation

The Time and Effort Certification on Sponsored Research, Training, and Service Awards Policy went into effect on May 2, 2023, Policy 4-212.  The policy applies to all university employees working on sponsored awards as required by Title 2 Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), § 200.430.

University employees (Principal Investigators and key employees) must devote a reasonable amount of committed effort but no less than one percent (1.0%) of their full-time equivalency (FTE) to the award and/or cost share grant account unless otherwise excluded by the sponsor and approved by the university.

Effective immediately, sponsored proposals must specify PI(s) and key personnel committed effort and FTE in HRS Grants under the funding proposal (FP) and indicate whether the salary will be charged directly to the award or to a university cost share grant account.  If a university cost share grant account is used, a separate cost share budget must be created in FP budget form and included in the internal budget attachment.

Office of Research proposal specialists will verify the compliance of this requirement at initial review for any new proposals moving forward and provide comments to create a cost share budget when appropriate and if missing.  Those proposals submitted or created May 2 through May 10 which require a cost share budget to account for the committed effort and FTE not charged to the sponsor budget will be addressed separately.

Should you have questions related to the policy or procedure in the proposal, please feel free to contact your proposal specialist or Assistant Director for Proposals, Stephanie Rodriguez-Makhlouf.

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