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Billy C. Covington, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Research and Federal Relations

The primary commitment of the Office of the Associate Vice President for Research (AVPR) and Federal Relations is to support and promote the research and scholarship needs of the faculty and staff while promoting shared responsibility, compliance and scholarly integrity. Toward that end, the AVPR assists faculty members in their research endeavors, encourages interdisciplinary activities across campus and provides matching funds to support new programs and initiatives. In addition, this office provides administrative support for research activities through the Office of Sponsored Programs, the Office of Research Compliance and the Office of Electronic Research Administration. Six multidisciplinary centers and institutes also report to the AVPR.

 New Awards in January of 2014

Project Name Sponsor Award Amount
Winter Ecology of a Declining Grassland Bird, The Sprague’s Pipit The Nature Conservancy $26,685.00
Land Management Impacts on Water Quality in New Zealand Across Political Boundaries National Aeronautics and Space Administration $114,943.00
Support for Brazos River Fish Collection Texas Parks & Wild Life Department $5,520.00
Houston Toad Research and Management During Roadway Recovery And Restoration Operations Bastrop Couny $150,000.00
EcoLab-Correlates of Drought-Related Tree Mortality During the TX Drought 2011 Braun and Associats $11,019.13
Offender Decision-Making: Decision Tree and Displacement U.S. Department of Justice of Justice Programs 377,582.00
Organized for Action E3 Alliance $28,750.00
Economic Adjustment-Center for Material and Life Sciences Commercialization U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration $100,000.00
Evaluation of Complete Streets Policy Implementation by Metropolitan Planning University of New Orleans $11,000
Applied Environmental Research and Biological Monitoring In the Comal and San Marcos Area Bio-West, Inc. $130,000.00
Couch-Stone Symposium Society for Study of Symbolic Intectonira $8,000.00


NSF and NIH Guidelines on Resumption of Operations:




Federal Shutdown Updates From NSF:

A new page (http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/postshutdown.jsp) has been developed directly off the main NSF website that includes both the Important Notice as well as supplemental guidance that addresses grant and cooperative agreement related policy and systems issues.  This page will be of interest to your membership and we would appreciate your sharing this link as soon as possible. This page will continue to be updated as new information becomes available. 


Policy-related questions regarding the shutdown may be addressed to policy@nsf.gov.

Federal Shutdown Updates From NIH:

Interim Guidance on Resumption of NIH Extramural Activities

Guidance on Resumption of NIH Extramural Activities Following the Recent Lapse in Appropriations

Update on the NIH RPPR Phase II Pilot Training Webinar for Demonstration Partnership Members


NSF Guide About Agency Functions During the Government Shutdown


Shutdown 2013 External Guidance.pdf


Updates on Effects of Federal Shutdown on Federally Sponsored Programs.




TO:  NIH Extramural Community


This is a brief communication to update the biomedical research community of the current status of extramural operations at NIH. The NIH continues to be shut down for all non-excepted activities. This means that the vast majority of NIH staff that oversee program, review, and grants management are furloughed, NIH grants and contract submissions are not being processed, reviews are not occurring, and no awards are being made. As described in NOT-OD-13-126, the Payment Management Systems remains operational and funds for most grants awarded before the shutdown can continue to be drawn down. 


As the shutdown drags on, the challenge of reestablishing normal operations quickly is growing. Once the shutdown is over, NIH will need time to set new dates for grant and contract submissions, review meetings, conferences, and other activities that were scheduled to happen during and immediately following the period of the shutdown. It will take us a few days after this is over to communicate our plans, so please bear with us. 


You can find the current guidance posted at grants.nih.gov. Once we reopen, additional information will be posted and published in the NIH Guide as quickly as we can make it available.


All of us at NIH hope the current situation is resolved soon, but we don’t know when that will be.   

We appreciate your patience as we go through this difficult experience together.      




Sally Rockey, Ph.D.

NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research



From: A۰P۰L۰U Congressional and Governmental Affairs Staff

• Updated Agency Contingency Plans for Lapse in FY14 Appropriations
• Legislative Activities of Interest This Week

• Updated Agency Contingency Plans for Lapse in FY14 Appropriations

Most federal agencies have now posted their guidance for a lapse in FY2014 appropriations in case the federal government shuts down tomorrow.


Texas State University Research Foundation


 Meeting of Board and Officers
Wednesday, October, 9, 2013
11:00 to 11:30 a.m.
President's Office


11:00 Review and approval of previous meeting Minutes, Bill Nance
11:05 Approval of language change to Section 5.08 of ByLaws; Bill Covington
11:15 Status of Foundation activity, Bill Covington
11:20 Annual Financial Report, Darryl Borgonah
11:25 Discussion of new and any old business, All
11:30 Adjourn

 New Awards in the Month of July of 2013

Project Name Sponsor Award Amount
2013 ASBMB UAN Undergraduate Research Award-Beau Sterling American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology $1,000.00
Collaborative Research: Vertical GaN Nanostructures on Silicon Fins for Power Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center $26,184.00
College Access Challenge Grant FY14 TX Higher Education Coordinating Board $284,692.00
Assessment of Foal Larval Fish Species in the San Antonio River Phase II TX Parks & Wildlife Department $50,000.00
City of Victoria Project City of Victoria $73,603.00
Support of the Grosvenor Scholar for the 2013-2014 Program Yr National Geographic Society Education Foundation $68,166.00
Student Interns for Wood Laboratory FY2014 TX Parks & Wildlife Department $21,840.00
FirstSolar Materials Characterization First Solar $2,500.00
TCEQ Interns 2013 TX Commerce on Environmental Quality $73,000.00
Highly Doped P-Typed CdTe Grown by Molecular Beam Epitaxy National Renewable Energy Lab $15,913.00


APLU Analysis of the Administration’s FY2014 Budget Request


Increased automated compliance checking is coming to NSF!

Beginning March 18, 2013, the NSF will enhance the FastLane system to begin automated compliance checking of all required sections of proposals.  This will bring NSF systems in line with long-standing proposal preparation requirements as outlined in the  NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) ( Chapter II.C.1 of the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG)). 


The GPG-required sections of a proposal include:


Project Summary *

Budget Justification

Project Description

Current and Pending Support

References Cited

Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources

Biographical Sketch(es)

Data Management Plan *


Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan (if applicable)*

* These proposal sections are already being auto-compliance checked by FastLane.


Proposal submission instructions for conferences, symposia or workshops; international travel grants; or program solicitations may deviate from the GPG instructions.  If the submission instructions do not require one of the above sections to be provided, proposers will need to insert text or upload a document in that section of the proposal that states, “Not Applicable.”  Doing so will enable FastLane to accept the proposal.


Additionally, proposers providing Biographical Sketches and/or Current and Pending Support information for Principal Investigators (PIs), co-PI(s) or Senior Personnel in a single PDF file associated with the PI, must insert text or upload a document in that section of the proposal that states, “Not Applicable,” for any co-PI or Senior Personnel so that FastLane will accept the proposal. 


PIs will receive a warning message if any of the GPG-required sections is missing, however, the PI will still be able to submit the proposal to the organization’s Sponsored Project Office (SPO).  If the SPO attempts to submit proposal that is missing any of the GPG required sections, they will receive an error message identifying the missing section(s), and FastLane will prevent submission to NSF.  After obtaining all required sections, the SPO may submit the proposal to NSF in accordance with the established deadline date policy.


Proposals submitted through Grants.gov must include all GPG required sections or include a document stating that the section is “Not Applicable.”


We encourage you to share this information with your respective communities so that they are aware of this system enhancement.  Additional information will be posted on the NSF website at: 



Please contact policy@nsf.gov for any further questions.



Spotlight on Research

Texas State wins prestigious P3 Award from EPA

EPA image

A team of students from Texas State University and South China University of Technology has been named one of 15 college teams nationally to receive the prestigious P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) Award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Following an initial peer review process, this year’s winners were selected from 45 competing teams after two days of judging by a panel of national experts convened in Washington, D.C., April 21-23 to provide recommendations to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

EPA selected the award-winning projects from the most competitive pool of teams ever, basing its decisions on the potential to provide innovative, cutting-edge sustainable solutions to worldwide environmental problems.

“The competition and expo are not only about EPA’s prestigious P3 Award, but also about supporting the next generation of this country’s innovators and entrepreneurs who are entering the environmental and public health field with passion to make a difference,” said Lek Kadeli, acting assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Research and Development. “The P3 program gives these students the opportunity to bring those ideas to realization and many have the potential to make significant impacts on our nation’s sustainable future and development of environmental technologies.”

Each P3 award-winning team will receive a grant of up to $90,000 to further develop their design, apply it to real world applications or move it to the marketplace. Previous P3 award winners have started successful businesses and are marketing the technologies in the U.S. and around the world.

Texas State’s team was honored for its project that converts rice husks, a byproduct of agriculture, into a starter material called lignocellulose for producing fabrics, biofuel and silica nanoparticles.

Other teams receiving the P3 Award represented Appalachian State Universiy, Butte College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Gonzaga University, Oregon State University, Princeton University, Santa Clara University, Southern Illinois University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Engineering, University of California-Riverside, University of Cincinnati, University of Connecticut, University of Oklahoma and Vanderbilt University.