Weekly COVID-19 Update
06/17/2020, 02:00:01 PM
From the Vice President for Research at the University of Houston. View this message in browser.
50-in-5 Email Header

Dear Research Faculty,

​Researchers working in SERC experienced the closure of the building over the weekend after two employees tested positive for COVID-19. The building underwent deep cleaning and reopened on Monday. This event underscores the importance of mask-wearing, handwashing and observance of social distancing. I want to share funding opportunities and operational matters, as below.

Funding Opportunities

There are two new COVID-19 related funding opportunities. The Cisco Research Center is accepting proposals for their RFP-20-04 Pandemic/COVID-19 Science, Technology and Social Impact Grants. Areas of interest include mathematical models for the spread and the impact of pandemics; scalable simulation techniques for pandemics; biomedical/nanosensor devices for detecting symptoms and agents; algorithms for rapid exploration of the drug screening and discovery workflows; advanced computational biology techniques for sequencing, detecting viral evolution; and algorithms and systems for contact tracing.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism issued a FOA that addresses HIV and alcohol-related morbidity and mortality, and interventions that reduce the impact of alcohol on HIV disease progression and transmission: RFA-AA-20-009 on Alcohol-HIV/AIDS Program Project Comorbidities, Coinfections, and Complications Research: Intervention and Cross-Cutting Foundational Research (deadline of LOI: October 17, 2020). COVID-19 is recognized as an alcohol-associated coinfection among people living with HIV.

Building Security

Some of you have mentioned that there are buildings with exterior doors that do not lock properly. This is a safety concern as we have little control over who enters which building. If you enter or leave a building and you notice that the door does not lock properly, please contact your building coordinator or report the broken door to FIX-IT. FIX-IT has four convenient ways to contact them, including texting or emailing them at fixit@uh.edu.


Visitors are not yet allowed in shared research spaces except for the purpose of delivery, maintenance, repairs or research collaboration that cannot be conducted remotely. Deliveries should be left outside the lab, if possible. Visitors must adhere to the same rules as lab members if they enter the lab. Human subjects are not considered visitors, and separate rules apply, which can be found under the Human Subjects Research section on the Phase 2 Reopening page.


Last weekend, you may have received an email from University Information Technology about only using VPN when it is necessary, for instance, if you use Remote Desktop to log into a desktop or departmental file service on campus or log into a server or network device that is not open to the public. Many other applications, such as Microsoft Office 365, Access UH, Sharepoint, Blackboard or any of the different types of collaborative tools (Skype, Zoom or Teams), do not require VPN. Please share this information with your research group.

VPR Virtual Office Hours

The next VPR Virtual Office Hours will be this Friday, June 19, at 11:30 a.m. (please note the time). You can access the event through the Research & Innovation Teams site. I hope you will be able to join us next week. I will address research reopening, college-level research data, and the way forward for our 50-in-5 campaign.

Best regards,

Amr Elnashai, FREng  
Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer

Amr Elnashai | VP for Research and Technology Transfer | elnashai@uh.edu | 713-743-4736

This is an official message sent by the University of Houston.
To verify the validity of this message, email security@uh.edu.