Inside Research & Funding Opportunities
04/23/2020, 01:00:02 PM
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Inside Research
News, Events and Resources for the UH Research Community
Latest News Upcoming Events Announcements Recent Grant Awards Featured Funding Ops
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Answers for PIs Regarding Research Continuity

We all heard Governor Abbott last Friday announce first steps to open Texas for select activities and services. While at this point only essential research activities are allowed on campus, DOR hopes we will soon be in a position to take advantage of the reduction in restrictions on research.

Read more from VP Elnashai's April 21 letter to the research community

Campus News

UH Researchers Improving Resolution in 3D Data Collected by Drones

Drones have become a quick and relatively inexpensive way to capture on-the-ground images of geographic areas, offering valuable information to soldiers and others. But those images have a drawback: they often can’t accurately be compared with images taken previously. 

Researchers with the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping are using a $1.89 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create a set of algorithms that would allow users to more precisely align datasets collected at different times and reliably estimate changes between images captured at different times.

COPD as a Lung Stem Cell Disease

Two internationally renowned stem cell experts have found an abundance of abnormal stem cells in the lungs of patients who suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a leading cause of death worldwide. Frank McKeon, professor of biology and biochemistry and director of the Stem Cell Center, and Wa Xian, research associate professor at the center, used single cell cloning of lung stem cells to make their discovery. Now they are targeting the cells for new therapeutics. 

Upcoming Events

Online: Real-Time Well Data Analysis in the Cloud
Thursday, April 23
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Online: COVID-19 Related Funding Opportunities for Research
Friday, April 24
1 p.m.-2 p.m.
University Research Explained Series Hosted in the Virtual Faculty Cafe 

Online: Mastering the Craft of Research: Architecture
Tuesday, April 28
11 a.m-Noon
Professor Bruce Race will be interviewed by professor Patrick Peters


Join us for Mastering the Craft of Research next week!

Tuesday, April 28
11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Hosted via Zoom

During this session, professor Bruce Race, director for the Center of Sustainability and Resilience (CeSAR), will be interviewed by professor Patrick Peters, director of the Graduate Design/Build Studio, regarding research trends in architecture and sustainability.

This 50-in-5 session is part of the Division of Research’s University Research Explained series, developed to support faculty in a variety of research and innovation efforts. It is held in partnership with the Faculty Engagement and Development office.

The session will be hosted in Zoom. An email will be sent 24 hours before the event with the login information.



NSF Biographical Sketch Webinar

NSF recently recorded a webinar about the requirement to use an NSF-approved format for both the biographical sketch, and current and pending support documents as part of proposals submitted to NSF. The policy, outlined in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1), goes into effect for proposals submitted or due, on or after June 1, 2020.  The two NSF-approved formats are SciENcv: Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae, and an NSF Fillable PDF.  

  Webinar topics include: 

  • the policy guidance for preparation of the biographical sketch and current and pending support sections of the proposal;   

  • a walk-through of the user experience in accessing these formats in NSF systems;  

  • detailed guidance from NIH on using SciENcv for preparing both documents; and  

  • answers to a number of frequently asked questions. 

For additional information, see the NSF pages for the biographical sketch and current and pending support.  

View past announcements on the Division of Research website.

Recent Grant Awards


PI/Department: Harish Krishnamoorthy, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Sponsor: NewEdge Signal Solutions / Cornerstone Other Transaction Agreement
Amount: $1,705,000


PI/Department: Ashwini Joshi, Communications Disorders
Co-PI: Paulina Kulesz, TIMES
Sponsor: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Amount: $436,202


PI/Department: Ji Chen, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Sponsor: Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare Co
Amount: $60,000


PI/Department: Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Sponsor: Houston Methodist Research Institute
Amount: $55,420


PI/Department: Devin Shaffer, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Sponsor: Prairie View A&M University / National Science Foundation
Amount: $50,000


PI/Department: Ji Chen, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Sponsor: Advanced Neuromodulation Systems, Inc.
Amount: $50,000


PI/Department: Wa Xian, Biology & Biochemistry
Sponsor: Brigham & Women's Hospital / U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity
Amount: $44,168


PI/Department: Hadi Ghasemi, Mechanical Engineering
Sponsor: Surfellent / U.S. Air Force Research
Amount: $30,000


PI/Department: Omprakash Gnawali, Computer Science
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Amount: $30,000


PI/Department: Devin Shaffer, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Sponsor: Harris-Galveston Subsidence District
Amount: $24,228


Recent Patents


Inventors: Richard Willson and Andrew Paterson
Date Issued: January 14, 2020
Patent Number: 10,533,996

Featured Funding Opportunities

Health Science, Engineering & Technology Social Sciences, Art & Humanities Education
Image Health

Funding Agency: Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Title: Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention (NEPQR) Simulation Education Training (SET) Program
Limited Submission Internal Deadline: 05/01/2020
Application Deadline: 06/01/2020

The purpose of this program is to enhance nurse education and strengthen the nursing workforce through the expansion of experiential learning opportunities. This includes using simulation-based technology, including equipment, to advance the health of patients, families, and communities in rural and medically underserved areas experiencing diseases and conditions that affect public health such as: high burden of stroke, heart disease, behavioral and mental health, maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS, and/or obesity.

Funding Agency: Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Title: Nursing Workforce Diversity-Eldercare Enhancement (NWD-E2) Program
Limited Submission Internal Deadline: 05/01/2020
Application Deadline: 06/01/2020

The NEPQR-SET program aims to enhance to enhance nurse education and strengthen the nursing workforce through the expansion of experiential learning opportunities, including the use of simulation-based technology, including equipment, to advance the health of patients, families, and communities in rural and medically underserved areas experiencing diseases and conditions that affect public health such as: high burden of stroke, heart disease, behavioral and mental health, maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS and or obesity.

Funding Agency: Moore Foundation
Title: Development of Clinical Quality Measures to Improve Diagnosis
Application Deadline: 06/30/2020

To align with the foundation’s principles of supporting work that is important, measurable, and impactful, we have identified three categories of disease that comprise the most common and most harmful diagnostic errors, including acute vascular events (such as stroke and myocardial infarction), infections (such as sepsis and pneumonia), and cancer (such as lung and colorectal cancer). Proposals must relate to one or more of these three broad categories.

Funding Agency: Microsoft
Title: Microsoft AI for Health COVID-19 Grant
Application Deadline: 06/15/2020

This grant program provides Azure cloud and High-Performance Computing capabilities. Our team of AI for Health data science experts, whose mission is to improve the health of people and communities worldwide, is also open to collaborations with COVID-19 researchers as they tackle this critical challenge.

Funding Agency: Harrington Discovery institute
Title: Harrington Scholar Award for Coronavirus
Application Deadline: 04/30/2020

This call for proposals is part of a recently announced major initiative to support the global fight against novel Coronavirus and potential future pandemic events. Harrington Discovery Institute will provide successful applicants with grant funding and expert guidance and oversight in all aspects of drug/therapeutics development, while taking no rights to intellectual property, which is retained by the award recipient and their institution.

Funding Agency: Mark Foundation
Title: Emerging Leader Award
Application Deadline: 06/04/2020

The Mark Foundation Emerging Leader Awards support innovative research from the next generation of leaders in cancer research. These grants are awarded to outstanding early career investigators to support high-impact, high-risk projects that are distinct from their current research portfolio.

Funding Agency: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Title: National Centers for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NCBIB) (P41 Clinical Trials Optional)
LOI Deadline: 07/30/2020 (LOI required 12 weeks before application deadline)
Application Deadline: 09/25/2020

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages grant applications for Biomedical Technology Resource Centers (BTRCs). BTRCs are national resource centers for conducting research and development on new technologies that are driven by the needs of basic, translational, and/or clinical researchers. BTRCs also make their technologies available to other investigators, train members of the research community in the use of the technologies, and disseminate the technologies broadly.

Image Science, Engineering, & Technology

Funding Agency: Department of Defense (DOD)
Title: Newton Award for Transformative Ideas during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Application Deadline: Rolling until 05/15/2020

This award will be presented to a single investigator or team of up to two investigators that develops a “transformative idea” to resolve challenges, advance frontiers, and set new paradigms in areas of immense potential benefit to DOD and the nation at large.

Funding Agency: Department of Defense (DARPA)
Title: Artificial Intelligence Exploration (AIE) Opportunity: Techniques for Machine Vision Disruption
Application Deadline: 05/14/2020

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is issuing a new Artificial Intelligence Exploration (AIE) Opportunity entitled Techniques for Machine Vision Disruption (TMVD), which invites submissions of innovative basic or applied research concepts in the technical domain of disrupting machine vision systems without detailed knowledge of their internal architecture or how they were trained.


Funding Agency: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Title: Disrupting Operations of Illicit Supply Networks (D-ISN)
Application Deadline: 07/01/2020

Major goals of NSF’s D-ISN include:

  • Improve understanding of the operations of illicit supply networks and strengthen the ability to detect, disrupt, and dismantle them.
  • Enhance research communities that effectively integrate operational, computational, social, cultural and economic expertise to provide methods and strategies to combat this complex and elusive global security challenge.
  • Catalyze game-changing technological innovations that can improve discovery and traceability of illicitly sourced products and illicitly sourced labor inputs to products.
  • Provide research outcomes that inform U.S. national security, law enforcement and economic development needs and policies

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Title: NSF Program on Fairness in Artificial Intelligence in Collaboration with Amazon (FAI)
Application Deadline: 07/13/2020

NSF and Amazon are partnering to jointly support computational research focused on fairness in AI, with the goal of contributing to trustworthy AI systems that are readily accepted and deployed to tackle grand challenges facing society. Specific topics of interest include, but are not limited to transparency, explainability, accountability, potential adverse biases and effects, mitigation strategies, algorithmic advances, fairness objectives, validation of fairness, and advances in broad accessibility and utility. Funded projects will enable broadened acceptance of AI systems, helping the U.S. further capitalize on the potential of AI technologies.

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Title: NSF Convergence Accelerator Phase I and II
Application Deadline: 05/11/2020 (Preliminary Proposal)

The goals of NSF’s convergence accelerator effort are to support and accelerate use-inspired convergence research in areas of national importance within particular topics (tracks). NSF Convergence Accelerator tracks can be related to Industries of the Future (IotF)NSF’s Big Ideas, or other topics, that may not relate directly to an IotF or Big Idea, however, they must have the potential for significant national impact.

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Title: Dear Colleague Letter: Enabling Quantum Computing Platform Access for National Science Foundation Researchers with Amazon Web Services, IBM, and Microsoft Quantum
Application Deadline: 06/18/2020

Supplemental funding requests will be limited to research activities in one or more of the following research area(s):

  • Quantum algorithms and their experimental realization;
  • Quantum compiler and run-time infrastructure design;
  • Fault-tolerant computing and other methods to boost the performance of existing quantum-computing hardware;
  • Benchmarking of architectures, systems, algorithms, and scalable error-correction techniques;
  • Quantum simulations, optimizations, cryptography, and machine learning; and
  • Demonstrations of feasibility for applications of quantum algorithms.

Funding Agency: Department of Transportation (DOT)
Title: Intelligent Railroad Systems For Universities and University-led Teams
Application Deadline: 06/26/2020 (Depending on Research Focus)

The purpose of this Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) is to solicit basic and applied technology research projects that will support DOT and FRA goals to advance automation in the rail industry. Research projects will likely align with one or more of the FRA research division program areas. Additional information on the FRA’s research programs can be found here:

Funding Agency: Department of Energy (DOE)
Title: Coal-Derived Materials for Building, Infrastructure and Other Applications
Application Deadline: 07/14/2020

The overall objective of the FOA is to support the development of value-added products from coal. This will be accomplished through the research and development of coal-derived components for residential, commercial, and infrastructure applications. Another path to developing value-added products from coal is the production of high-value specialty products, as well as research and development of technologies capable of producing carbon-based building materials using a continuous, rather than batch, manufacturing process. The FOA will also support the design, R&D, and validation of a prototype carbon-based building.

Funding Agency: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Title: Standards Services Curricula Development Cooperative Agreement Program
Application Deadline: 06/15/2020

Enriching college curricula to raise awareness of the role of standards and standardization in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and law, public policy, business, and other related or multi-disciplinary fields.


Social Science, Arts and Humanities

Funding Agency: Russell Sage Foundation
Title: Social, political, economic, or psychological disruptions resulting from the coronavirus crisis that affect social and living conditions in the United States
LOI Deadline: 05/21/2020

RSF will consider only LOIs that satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

(a) The research is so timely and time-sensitive that the project must start before April 1, 2021; or
(b) the research analyzes social, political, economic, or psychological disruptions resulting from the coronavirus crisis that affect social and living conditions in the United States.

Funding Agency: AXA Research Fund
Title: Mitigating risks in the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic
Internal Limited Submission Deadline: 05/01/2020
Application Deadline: 05/06/2020

These AXA Awards aim at supporting promising mid-career researchers between PhD + 6 years1 and PhD + 10 years maximum2 on a priority topic for society. The support of the AXA Research Fund should be transformative for the researcher and the advancement of their field.

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Title: Civic Innovation Challenge
Application Deadline: 07/01/2020 (Stage 1)

The Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC) is a research and action competition in the Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) domain designed to build a more cohesive research-to-innovation pipeline and foster a collaborative spirit. Building on the NSF S&CC program and the extensive S&CC ecosystem, CIVIC aims to accelerate the impact of S&CC research, and deepen cooperation and information sharing across sectors and regions. CIVIC will lay a foundation for a broader and more fluid exchange of research interests and civic priorities that will create new instances of collaboration and introduce new areas of technical and social scientific discovery. CIVIC will fund projects that can produce significant community impact within 12 months (following a four-month planning phase) — in contrast to many community-university partnerships that take years to provide tangible benefits to communities — and have the potential for lasting impact beyond the period of the CIVIC award.


Funding Agency: Department of Education
Title: Supporting Effective Educator Development Program
Application Deadline: 05/13/2020

The SEED program is designed to encourage the use of rigorous evidence in selecting and implementing interventions to support educators’ development across the continuum of their careers (e.g. in preparation, recruitment, evaluation, professional learning, and leadership development). The evidence required for interventions aimed at teachers and other School Leaders,1 respectively, are outlined in this competition’s absolute priorities.

Funding Agency: Department of Education
Title: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; Supporting Effective Educator Development Program
Notice of Intent Deadline: 04/30/2020
Application Deadline: 06/15/2020

The EIR program, established under section 4611 of the Elementary and Secondary Education

Act, as amended (ESEA), provides funding to create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated

innovations to improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students; and rigorously evaluate such innovations.

For more information about available grants, visit our Pivot system or

Lindsay Lewis | University of Houston Division of Research | | 713-743-0951


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