This Week in Illinois Research

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“This Week in Illinois Research” is a weekly communication for the campus research community, from the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation Susan Martinis. 

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A Fresh Start

From the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation

I know I am not alone in using some of the slow down over the winter semester break to bring a little order to the paperwork, notes, and mementos that have piled up—scattered between my administrative, lab, and remote offices and on my computer. It feels inspiring to start the new year with a clean slate! In the spirit of organizing and getting ready for the new semester, I’d like to tidy up my inbox and share a few odds and ends that have rolled in since we last published This Week in Illinois Research

  • If you have reports due to any of our sponsors, please knock those out ASAP. Start the semester off right!
  • We are seeking a Faculty Fellow–Humanities, Arts, and Related Fields in the OVCRI. This is an excellent opportunity for mid-career and senior faculty for career development. 
  • We are also looking for a new Director of the Beckman Institute. We welcome your help in spreading the word to candidates who might be interested.  
  • Did you see the brief YouTube video that MCB put together highlighting our new cryoEM capabilities on campus?  
  • NSF released Higher Education R&D (HERD) numbers earlier in the month. Even though it's FY20 data, it's interesting to dive in. (And I'm happy to note that we've moved up to the #3 slot in Department of Energy expenditures.)
  • Last year marked the retirement of two truly remarkable sponsored projects (the Illinois Basin-Decatur carbon capture project and the Blue Waters supercomputer). What an impact these teams had on our campus and the broader scientific community!

There's much more below, so read on—and if you have news to share, feel free to add to my inbox anytime!



Featured Stories

The Power of I: Leveraging Amazon Web Services to Combat COVID-19

Wondering how to use cloud technology in your projects?

Artist's Solo Show Emphasizes Black Resilience Through Historic Vigilantism

Patrick Earl Hammie’s latest work, “I Am … Legend," highlights "Black resilience through historic vigilantism" by combining celebratory drawings from “Soul Train” with painted images of lynch mobs.

Carle Illinois Students Design Bionic Knee Brace to Empower Cerebral Palsy Patients

Carle Illinois College of Medicine students Dylan Mann and Shahnoor Amin have developed a new bionic knee brace that "could help cerebral palsy patients overcome muscle stiffness that limits their mobility." The device is one of 13 C

Around Campus

Learn More About IHSI's 2022 NIH Grant Writing Series

Learn more about IHSI's 2022 NIH Grant Writing Series, running from Feb. 1 to March 8. The series prepares early-career faculty to navigate the grant submission process and submit strong NIH proposals.

ECE Researchers Part of $25M Grid-Integration Technology Consortium

Alejandro Dominguez-Garcia and Olaolu Ajala are part of the Universal Interoperability for Grid-Forming Inverters project, a consortium of 40+ university and industry organizations that are exploring the "reliability challenges involved in integrating more solar and wind energy onto the nation’s…

Provide Feedback to the Humanities Research Institute

Consider taking a brief survey to provide feedback and ideas on how the Humanities Research Institute can best serve the campus and the broader community—in the coming year, and beyond.

Register for the Privacy Everywhere Virtual Conference

Register now for Privacy Everywhere Virtual Conference, a virtual conference hosted by the CIO and OPRS on January 28th. The conference will explore privacy culture, privacy by design, privacy and protection of research subjects, and data privacy policy.

Nicolás Yunes Awarded a Simons Foundation Target Grant

Nicolás Yunes has been awarded a Simons Foundation Target Grant for Astrophysical Investigations of Dynamical Chern–Simons Theory, a project exploring "predictions beyond Einstein’s general relativity, with an impact on understanding black holes, dark matter, singularities, and dark energy."

SPA Announces Holiday Hours

SPA will be closed from Dec. 24—Jan. 4, so submit your proposals no later than THIS WEDNESDAY at 5:00 p.m. SPA will submit these proposals by Dec. 21st (and will resubmit any proposals with errors on Dec. 22nd and 23rd).

National Landscape

OSTP Releases "Protecting the Integrity of Government Science" Report

new report from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, "Protecting the Integrity of Government Science," calls for an "assessment of agency scientific integrity policies and identifies good practices for improving their implementation." 

DOE and the DHS Announce Calls to Combat Climate Change

The Department of Energy and the Department of Homeland Security both announced calls last week to ramp up staffing to combat climate change. The DOE will add up to 1,000 staffers to its Clean Energy Corps to "accelerate the nation’s drive to a clean energy future," while DHS is recruiting for its new …

Humanities for All Launches Monthly Newsletter

Humanities for All, an initiative of the National Humanities Alliance, has launched a monthly newsletter. Consider subscribing to learn about the "national community of practice dedicated to advancing community partnership through the humanities."

Weak or Flawed Health Studies May Contribute to Misinformation and Misinterpretation

A recent article in Science explores how weak or flawed health studies contribute to misinformation and misinterpretation, affecting public health. 

Higher Education Funding Levels Delayed for at Least the Next Two Months

Congress recently passed a temporary measure to avoid a government shutdown, delaying the annual appropriations process and locking in the higher education funding levels for at least the next two months.

Pick Your Favorite "Breakthrough of the Year"

Pick your favorite "Breakthrough of the Year" in the 2021 Annual People’s Choice poll from Science. Cast your vote for your favorite breakthrough in three categories: Ancient Origins, Health and Medicine, and From Molecules to Space.