November 2021 Notes from the Director
We are now halfway through our second year of funding. This year CIEHS hosted two symposia at Research!Louisville – one showcasing our first year pilot project awards and the second showcasing our first year research vouchers. The research presented was exciting cutting edge research. If you were not able to see and hear the presentations live, they are available on our YouTube channel (Louisville CIEHS). All the CIEHS seminars are also posted there. Please subscribe to our channel! Speaking of pilot project and research voucher awards, CIEHS has awarded approximately a half million dollars in pilot grants and research vouchers in its first two years. These programs are continuing with the receipt of letters of intent for next year’s pilot project due soon. Another round of RFAs for research vouchers is also on the horizon.
We also initiated a student/post-doctoral travel award fund. Several members have generously contributed to the fund and we were able to make our first award to Dr. Alexandra Nail to assist her participation in the Gordon Research Conference and Symposium on Mammalian DNA Repair. We can make one award for every five members who donate $10 a month by payroll deduction, so join me in supporting our students and post-docs participation in national and international meetings.
Our seminar series continues with both internal and external speakers. Each RIG hosts one external speaker each year and we have a Center-wide external speaker once per year. This month the Cancer RIG is hosting Dr. Marcelo Bonini from Northwestern University. Dr. Bonini chairs the SIEE study section that reviews many of our grant applications and on which several CIEHS members either currently serve or previously served. He will be our fourth external speaker. In March, we are hosting Dr. Michael Aschner as a Center-wide guest.
CIEHS held the annual retreat last month. The first half was devoted to a presentation by Dr. Becky Antle and Ms. Chyna Angelini, Director and Program Coordinator, respectively, of the Center for Family & Community Well-Being, on systemic racism that stimulated active discussion. You can sign up for the follow-up workshops elsewhere in this newsletter. Dr. Amanda Jo LeBlanc then discussed changes to the Pilot Project Program. We then discussed CIEHS strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats during the retreat. The membership provided valuable feedback on what we are doing well and where we might improve. We thank all those who attended for their participation and input. Review the annual retreat on our YouTube channel.
We are preparing for our upcoming review by our External Advisory Committee in January. As we did last year, we ask that CIEHS members attend as much of the review as possible both to show your support and potentially to answer questions posed by the Committee.
Our annual report to the EVPRI is due this month before the winter break. CIEHS, like other Centers, must collect information on members including publications and active grants during fiscal year 2021 (7/1/20-6/30/21) for this report. A web form was developed to make the reporting easier for the membership. Please respond to the request for information promptly so that the information can be compiled for the report in a timely manner. The EVPRI distributes Center-RIF based on these reports. These funds enable us to offer more research vouchers to enable members to respond to concerns expressed in grant or manuscript reviews.