Faculty members who want to work with the National Science Foundation should sign up for the organization’s email and become familiar with the NSF’s Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), representatives of UNM’s Faculty Research Development Office (FRDO) told audience members at a recent workshop.
The workshop, held at Advance at UNM Sept. 13 is part of a series of workshops designed to help faculty maneuver through the procedures for creating and submitting proposals.
The speakers discussed the types of proposals and funding opportunities that are available through the NSF. Subscribing to newsletters from the NSF means recipients can get information on specific topics as well as find out about the availability of proposals or upcoming events. Users also can also search for open opportunities directly through the NSF website.
Another source of information and support is the UNM Faculty Research and Development Network. Users may enroll through a listserv in order to find out about future events and available opportunities, much like the NSF newsletter. You may also request for help by submitting a ticket directly through the FRDO website.
There are several websites for submitting proposals, such as grants.gov, Fast Lane, and research.gov. These are known as application submission web services. Once you select your preferred web application (FRDO tip: research.gov), you must request a login username and password from UNM. After completing a submission, users may check on the status of their proposal directly through the website of their choice. Proposals can also be edited within these web applications.
One major benefit of these sites is that incomplete proposals cannot be submitted. The application first verifies that all required fields have been completed. However, the website cannot catch any errors inside your documents. If the NSF cannot find all of the required items inside your submission, then your proposal will be declined and returned without review.
The FRDO can help UNM faculty through every step of the proposal submission. Regardless of how much or how little help you may want, the FRDO has plenty of resources readily available, including but not limited to, templates required by the NSF.
Applicants must also be aware of any additional requirements, such as those established by the Office of the Institutional Review Board (OIRB) at UNM. If your proposal must go through the OIRB, they also offer workshops and consults to support applicants.
As long as humans have looked toward the stars, we have wondered what lies beyond our view. Patricia Henning, the associate vice president of research and a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of New Mexico, has taken a leading role in finding that answer.
Henning was part of a team of scientists from around the globe that discovered 883 new galaxies using the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) Parkes radio telescope. The group published the results in 2016.
“The Milky Way galaxy has a lot of stars, but also a lot of dust,” Henning said.
“Since the dust blocks everything beyond the disk of the Milky Way, this project used a radio telescope to see beyond the optical realm, deeper into the universe.”
The telescope, which is located in Australia, allows the radio waves to travel beyond the dust and gather data on the galaxies that otherwise couldn’t be seen. This typically obstructed area of the sky is particularly important because it helps to confirm a gravitational anomaly called the Great Attractor.
“The Great attractor is an enormous mass concentration predicted to exist by watching the ways that galaxies move,” Henning said.
“The problem was that there didn’t seem to be a lot of galaxies where it was predicted to be. We realized that nothing could be seen because of the dust, so using the radio telescope we discovered a lot of galaxies in the right place to be a part of the great attractor.”
To pinpoint the galaxies, Henning and a team of UNM graduate students split the data received from the telescope into cube sections. From there, the students analyzed the data looking for major spikes of radio waves, indicative of galaxies.
“The tricky part is that some man made signals like GPS look very similar in the data,” Henning said. “This means we have to scrutinize everything to make sure we have a galaxy. GPS is great for driving, but not so great for discovering galaxies.”
Henning wouldn’t keep all the fun for herself though. One of Henning’s graduate students, Monica Sanchez, is discovering galaxies of her own at UNM by using the Very Large Array, a radio astronomy observatory located in New Mexico.
Sanchez is working on the Cosmos H1 Large Extragalactic Survey (CHILES) project. CHILES is looking at one section of the sky for 1,000 hours to gain a better understanding of neutral hydrogen in the universe. Because of the long exposure time, the data will be able to show galaxies that date back 4.6-billion years.
While discovering galaxies may seem day to day for Henning and Sanchez, there is nothing ordinary about mapping the history of the universe.
“When I tell my friends at school that I discovered a new galaxy, they’re always really excited at first,” Sanchez said. “But after I get into the fine details, their eyes start to become glassy.”
While it may not all be easy to explain, a lot of work goes into huge scientific breakthroughs such as CSIRO’s Parkes project and CHILES. Both Henning and Sanchez highlighted the value that UNM has brought to these discoveries.
“Being a professor at UNM, I have the opportunity to work with diverse and intelligent students everyday. A huge part of what we do is teamwork, even though I have spent a career doing this, sometimes a student with fresh eyes will be able to see something that no one else has.” — Patricia Henning, the associate vice president of research and a professor of physics and astronomy.
After spending her undergraduate career at the University of Costa Rica, Sanchez also has a great respect for UNM.
“UNM has such a collaborative atmosphere,” Sanchez said. “There is always other students and professors willing to collaborate and help.”
Especially with the collaboration at UNM, Henning and Sanchez agreed that students should take every opportunity to build connections in the STEM community.
“Never be afraid to go up and shake someone’s hand,” Henning said. “Go to lectures that sound interesting and afterward, go up to the speaker and making that connection will benefit you in your career.”
Whether just starting to attend lectures, or discovering the hidden secrets of the universe, UNM welcomes all members of the community to engage with people in the STEM fields.
“UNM is so important to everything we do,” Henning said.
“UNM is great,” Sanchez said. “New Mexico is beautiful and the view of space isn’t too shabby either.”
After our fall 2016 survey, we’re collecting stories about UNM faculty loads. We want to hear from you about your service load.
Preliminary results from our fall 2016 survey of UNM faculty indicate that women and underrepresented minorities (URMs) are more likely to report higher service burdens than their male and non-URM counterparts. When asked whether they agree or disagree with the statement: “I feel burdened by university service responsibilities beyond those of my colleagues,” 44% of men agree compared with 51% of women and 46% of non-URMs agree compared with 60% of URMs (see Figure 1).
Further, we found evidence to suggest that these differences in perception of service loads may be driven by the pressures women and URMs face to represent people who share their gender or racial/ethnic identities. When asked to agree or disagree with the statement “My colleagues/co-workers expect me to represent the ‘point of view’ of my identity,” a higher proportion of women (45%) than men (29%) agree. Similarly, more URMs (63%) agree that they are expected to represent the point of view of their identity than non-URMs (31%) a difference of more than 30 percentage points (see Figure 2).
Charts for call (1)
We want to hear more about your experience in this area.
Do you feel like your gender or your race/ethnicity means you are expected to carry a larger explicit or implicit service load? Has service been a positive experience for you? Whatever your experience, we’d like to hear it.
Please send us your story either through our website, at our email address, or at our office – MSC03 2241 on campus. Your responses will remain completely anonymous.
We will use this collection of stories to create a general narrative that we can present to decision makers to help start a conversation about how service loads are assigned, assessed, and counted. (Remember, we’ll be presenting sets of stories that can’t be attributed to any one person).
Help us to understand current experiences of service load and shape the future of faculty service at UNM by sharing your story.
Title with Advance at UNM:
Internal Advisory Board member
Your background in academia:
Dr. Jane Ellen Smith is a the department chair and a professor in the department of Psychology at the University of New Mexico. Smith received her doctorate degree from the University of New York at Binghamton in 1985 and conducts research on clinical psychology. Smith conducts research on the difference between “healthy eating” and “dieting” and what these terms mean to college students as well as determining why ethnic minority women prematurely drop out of weight management treatment, and how to address this dilemma, among other research projects. Smith has published four books as well as more than 20 articles in refereed journals.
Title with Advance at UNM:
Internal Advisory Board
Your background in academia:
Yemane Asmerom is a professor of isotope geochemistry at the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, the University of New Mexico. He founded and is the director of the Radiogenic Isotope Laboratory. Asmerom was born in Eritrea and moved to the United States for higher education, obtaining a BA from St. Louis University in philosophy and chemistry, MS from Eastern Washington University in geology and a PhD in geochemistry from the University of Arizona. He did postdoctoral training at Harvard University and the University of Minnesota. He has a wide-ranging research interests, ranging from dynamics and time-scale of climate change to the evolution of the solar system, with results published in leading journals in the field, including Nature, Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Over the last decade he has been part of the leading edge in the technical (e.g. half-life determinations, ionization techniques, chemical procedures, and instrumental configurations), conceptual and applied developments in uranium-series isotope geochemistry. He applied these capabilities towards answering fundamental questions in geodynamics, surface processes, climate change and human-cultural evolution. At the same time, he has applied long-lived radiogenic isotopes in many novel applications, including uplift rates of terrains and inception and incision rates of the Grand Canyon, for example. His interests extend to the origin and evolution of the solar system, in subjects ranging from the latest magmatism in the Moon to the nature of Martian crust. Asmerom is Geochemical Fellow and Follow of the Geological Society of America. He is a relentless advocate for broader participation of women and minorities in the sciences and institutional transformation locally and nationally.
Ecologists take a comprehensive look at sagebrush habitat through the eyes of a small, but important, resident
This is an NSF News item.
Source: NSF news