This Week in Illinois Research

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“This Week in Illinois Research” is a weekly communication for the campus research community, from the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation Susan Martinis. 

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Show Me—& UIUC—the Money!

From the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation

Congress passed a massive infrastructure package last week that includes provisions that have implications for our state and campus. At the DOE, a $73B infusion includes funding for several energy infrastructure and clean energy demonstration projects, as well as four clean hydrogen hubs. Transportation-related topics are front and center in the new bill, and Congress has directed additional funds to University Transportation Centers while establishing a new Rail R&D Center of Excellence and multiple Transportation Resilience and Adaptation Centers of Excellence. The legislation also provides $157M for cybersecurity research. The APLU and the AIP have both published additional analysis of the bill. 

Closer to home, the OTM is opening a new round of funding through the Illinois Proof of Concept (IPOC) program. IPOC bridges the funding gap between the government-supported innovations that result from UIUC research and private sector translation of those innovations into products and services. Since 2009, a $1.7M investment in campus proof-of-concept funding has supported 36 projects and 15 start-up companies, leading to an impressive $300M+ in venture, angel, and government funding. Importantly, the OTM is seeking proposals that represent the breadth of campus research excellence and have the potential for positive societal impact, regardless of discipline.

As RFPs for these and other projects are released, we'll be sure to let you know about them. If you aren't already signed up for our weekly "Funding and Opportunities" email, subscribe now to stay in the loop! 



Featured Stories

ACES Hosts Indonesian Delegation for Future Collaborations

A delegation of Indonesian officials recently visited campus to discuss future student exchanges and potential faculty research partnerships in ACES.

Spring 2022 NIH Grant Writing Series Applications Open

Applications are now open for IHSI's NIH Grant Writing Series. The program is geared to junior faculty and includes six lectures, a peer-review workshop, and one-on-one mentoring.

Volodymyr Kindratenko Named Director of the Center for Artificial Intelligence Innovation at NCSA

Volodymyr Kindratenko has been named the director of the Center for Artificial Intelligence Innovation at NCSA.

Around Campus

Sponsored Programs Administration Closed for Thanksgiving Break

Sponsored Programs Administration will be closed for the Thanksgiving break on November 25th and 26th. All proposals due between November 22nd and November 28th should be submitted to SPA no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 17th.

OVCDEI Issues RFP for 2022-23 Call to Action to Address Racism and Social Injustice Research Program

The OVCDEI has issued a request for proposals for the 2022-23 Call to Action to Address Racism and Social Injustice Research Program. Attend an information session on Wednesday to review the RFP in detail. The 2021-22 program funded …

Exploring Alternatives to Inexpensive Inorganic Nitrogen Fertilizers

A new USDA/AFRI-funded project is exploring alternatives to inexpensive inorganic nitrogen fertilizers to help organic farmers who "struggle to meet the nitrogen demands of corn and other crops." The research team includes Richard MulvaneyCarmen…

UIUC Project Using Self-Healing, Water-Resistant Featured on the NSF Research News Blog

project that uses self-healing polymers as an ultrathin coating with "properties to form a self-healing, water resistant ultrathin coating on aluminum, copper, silicon and steel and more" was featured in the NSF Research News blog last week. Co-investigator Chris Evans was quoted.

SimBioSys Announces $15M in Funding to Accelerate the Development of TumorScope

SimBioSys, an EnterpriseWorks startup, announced last week that it has raised $15M in funding to support and accelerate the development of TumorScope, a "novel, simulation-based, precision medicine platform (that) enables individualized treatment planning for cancer patients."

Illinois Global Institute Launches New Transitional Justice Speaker Series

The Illinois Global Institute has launched a new speaker series on transitional justice. The next talk, "Bones in the forest: Exhumation and reburial as tools to ‘healing the dead’ in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe," is on Thursday.

National Landscape

National Academies Publishes Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2020s

The National Academies has published a decadal survey, Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2020s, the seventh in its history. The survey identifies the most compelling challenges and frontiers in the field. 

NIH Rescindes Notice Aimed at Encouraging Grant Proposals from Minority Scientists

The NIH has rescinded a notice aimed at encouraging grant proposals from minority scientists, saying it was unclear, according to an article in Science. Some scholars argue that the notice was a way to "help bridge a funding success gap between Black and white scientists."

Study Explores How Research Funding Agencies Have Treated Scientists With Novel Ideas

An article in Science last week discussed a study of how research funding agencies have treated scientists with novel ideas, finding that at least one funder (the Swiss National Science Foundation) wasn’t "wild about researchers with records of pursuing out-of-the-box ideas."

NSF Hosting Webinar Detailing the National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes Program

NSF is hosting a webinar on November 16 detailing the National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes Program and covering the program's solicitation, submission requirements, and program updates.

AAU Announces Eight New Principles for Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education

The AAU announced last week that it is adopting eight new principles for preventing sexual harassment in higher education. The principles are nonbinding and intended to be customized at member institutions (UIUC is an AAU member, and Sean Garrick served on its Advisory Board on Sexual Harassment). 

New Index Includes Billions of Phrases from 107M Research Papers

An article in Nature last week described a newly released index that includes billions of phrases from 107 million research papers that may make it easier for researchers to search the scientific literature.