Monthly Update From the Office of Research and Innovation

The Arkansas Catalyst is published monthly during the fall and spring semesters. It contains important updates, announcements and deadlines from the Office of Research and Innovation. Subscribe to the Catalyst on the Research and Innovation website.

Welcome to Daniel Sui

Sui joins the University of Arkansas on Oct. 1 as vice chancellor for research and innovation. In this role, he will oversee research administration, research compliance, the planning and optimization of research space and shared instrumentation, interdisciplinary research centers, undergraduate research and the University of Arkansas Press.
Read more.

deadlines and critical information

RazorGrant: IRB Submission Training

The Office of Research and Innovation has rolled out a new online RazorGrant module for Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocol submissions. The IRB ensures researchers use safe, ethical practices when engaging in research involving human subjects. 

RazorGrant: Proposal Training

Learn about proposal development in RazorGrant, PI and Co-PI certifications, working with your grant specialist and routing and approval completion.

Science Venture Primer Partnership

The University of Arkansas and Startup Junkie have partnered to develop seminars and resources for research faculty and graduate students on research funding, commercialization and how to better communicate their research to a broad audience.

The full schedule is available on the Economic Development website. The following seminars are scheduled for the next month:

Broader impacts = commercial potential

This workshop, led by Ellen Brune, liaison for economic development for the U of A-Startup Junkie Science Venture Primer Partnership, will focus on how to communicate both the broader societal impacts of your research in addition to its commercial potential when writing grants or applying for other sources of funding.

  • Sept. 25 at 3:30 p.m.
  • Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub
  • Register

Lean Business Canvas

Looking to turn your great ideas and/or discoveries into a business? Get those ideas out of your head and into a plan using the Lean Business Canvas. Carol Reeves, vice chancellor for entrepreneurship and innovation, will lead this seminar that will help you formulate business models, identify challenges and put you on the road to launch.

  • Oct. 1 at 4 p.m.
  • Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub
  • Register

Demand-driven innovation

Join Cynthia Sides, director for the Office of Industry Engagement, to learn more about demand-driven innovation and how this office is a resource for faculty in all disciplines across campus. She will lead a discussion on industry sponsored research that touches on asking the right questions, connecting with the right partners, getting the right contracts in place and exploring educational and professional options for students.

  • Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m.
  • Bell Engineering Center
  • Register

Communicating science to the public

Conveying complex ideas to a non-specialist (be it a scientist from another discipline, a grant reviewer, an investor, or a student) requires plain language and an ability to see the world through your audience’s eyes. This 90-minute workshop will provide attendees with a toolkit for improving those skills and draw on evidence to dispel myths about science communication. The seminar will be led by Sarah Goforth, director of outreach for the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Camilla Shumaker, director of science and research communications for University Relations and the Office of Research and Innovation.

  • Oct. 10 at 11 a.m. and Oct. 23 at 4 p.m.
  • Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub
  • Register

Animal Care and Use

The Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee is charged with monitoring adherence to the university's Policy on Animal Care and Use and federal and state statutes and regulations. Researchers must have an approved Animal Use Protocol (AUP) before initiating any research or teaching activities involving the use of live, vertebrate animals.

The IACUC meets on the first Friday of each month. Investigators are encouraged to attend the meeting to answer any questions about their protocol(s) that the committee may have. Protocols must be received at least seven working days prior to the meeting.

Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) Labs Now Available in the Central Laboratory Animal Facility

The Central Laboratory Animal Facility, or CLAF, located in the basement of the Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences Building, now has two Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) laboratories available to researchers with approved animal protocols. This expands the type of biomedical research that can be conducted in the lab.

RazorGrant Now Sends Email Reminders

Based on feedback from our end users, there is now a new email feature in RazorGrant. Researchers who have either proposals or IRB protocols in a RazorGrant Action List awaiting approval will automatically receive an email reminder after two days. To adjust the frequency of the email reminders, see this document. It is also posted on the RazorGrant webpage under RazorGrant: General Information.

NSF Fastlane and Changes

Effective immediately, the National Science Foundation has changed its registration process. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs is here to assist you through this transition; however, we can no longer create your NSF FastLane/ account. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs has created an NSF FastLane & changes webpage to support you during this transition.

Reminder About Materials Transfer Agreements

All Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) for biological materials should be reviewed and signed by the Office of Research Compliance, and researchers buying materials from the ATCC repository in Manassas, Virginia, should do so using the institutional account rather than establishing new accounts. For more information about research compliance, contact Jason Ramage, assistant vice provost for research compliance. Proposal Submission Changes phased out the Legacy Application Package effective January 1, 2018. This means that applicants will no longer be able to apply using the older, single PDF package of forms. Applicants will apply for grants using the new, web-based platform called Workspace. For more information on Workspace and a list of resources, see the Research Website.

Budget Workbook Template Updates

The RSSP Budget Template Workbook has been updated. You can find the most recent version in the Investigator’s Toolbox section of the RSSP website, under “Proposal Preparation/Pre-Award.” Several items on the template have been updated to reflect changes that went into effect in July 2018, including changes to F&A, fringe benefits and tuition, so be sure you are using the current version of the template.

August Research Award Highlights

Mike Johnson, associate vice chancellor for facilities management, received $23.97 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for demolition, debris removal and site recovery for the Sefor nuclear reactor site.

Andy Periera, a professor in the Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Science, received $4.65 million from the National Science Foundation to study systems genetics on rice genomes.

Yue Zhao, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, received $2.76 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for a reliable, cost-effective inverter for grid integration of combined solar and energy storage.

Janet Penner-Williams, associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, received $2.74 million from the U.S. Department of Education for Project CONNECT, a program to increase the number of educators prepared to teach English language learners in Arkansas schools.

Diana Gonzales Worthen, director of Project RISE, received $2.74 million from the U.S. Department of Education for REACH: Retooling Educators and Paraprofessionals to ACHieve Teacher Credentialing.

See all awards is the home of research news at the University of Arkansas. Recent topics include:

We want to hear from you. Send your research news to Camilla Shumaker, director of science and research communications at



Office of Research and Innovation
205 Administration Building
1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701

  • Check our Announcements page for the latest news and updates on funding opportunities.
  • The Limited Submissions page has information on how to apply for grants when funding agencies limit the number proposals from each institution.
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