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atharine Nelson is a doctoral student in the American University Psychopharmacology Laboratory. Her research focuses on studying animal models of psychostimulant use including cocaine, MDPV , and α-PVP (aka: ‘Bath Salts’, Flakka, Gravel, 5-dollar insanity). She is currently researching this second generation bath salt by quantifying addiction potential, rewarding effects, aversive effects, effects of drug history, cross tolerance, sex differences, age differences, strain differences, selfadministration behaviors, withdrawal, and long-term effects. Due the newness of α-PVP and other ‘bath salts’, they remain mostly unexplored compared to more familiar drugs like cocaine and amphetamine. Because of this unfamiliarity, there is much to research on these compounds and Katie is ready for the challenge! What is α-PVP (aka: ‘Bath Salts’)?

Listen to Katie as she talks about the affects of ‘Bath Salts’ on the body and how AU has helped her to expand her research. PODCAST available HERE.

A potent, short-lasting stimulant that has similar effects to methamphetamine. The drug became popular despite not be particularly euphoric, perhaps due to its propensity to cause compulsive redosing.


ony Riley is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and manages the Psychopharmacology Lab at AU. Professor Riley is also the 2012 recipient of the Allan Angerio PhD Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentorship, an award given at the Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies’ annual Undergraduate Research Conference. Katie, as well as many other students, credit Tony Riley on facilitating their research.

processes and the use and abuse of drugs. Several of the most important factors that we have identified are age, sex, genetic predispositions and drug history. In this work, we have concentrated primarily on heroin, cocaine, alcohol and THC and have recently begun investigating the new synthetic compounds (bath salts).

OSP recently interviewed Professor Riley on he how fosters a collaborative research environment at AU.

Simply put, their passion and excitement. They bring to the table an eagerness to learn and a desire to grow. I honestly learn so much from my students, and they are the ones that keep ideas and issues fresh. It has been the highlight of my work here at AU.

OSP: Your lab has facilitated a lot of graduate student research. How do you foster this research environment? TR: My focus as both a researcher and an academician is on training. As such, I see a major part of my job is interacting with both undergraduate and graduate students. When a new student comes into my lab, I immediately try to get them integrated with ongoing research to teach them basic research skills in the lab as well as to get them heavily involved in the scholastic side of research (bottom line, lots of reading). My intent is that while they are initially working with others to hone their skills and refine their interests, the goal is to have them become independent scientists. At the outset, I am talking to and directing them, but as their confidence and experience grows, they become the ones informing and leading me. OSP: What are some of the exciting findings that your students have discovered? TR: I think the issue that has been most exciting over the years is our development of a model for addiction in which we focus on the rewarding and aversive effects of drugs of abuse and how the balance of these affective processes impact abuse vulnerability. We have been working within this model for many years and in so doing have identified a host of factors that affect these

OSP: What motives you to work with graduate students on their research?

RESEARCH ADMINISTRATION @ AU overview of roles PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR  Overall management of project, including budgetary management Verify expenditures are appropriate and adhere to regulations Notification to OSP in case of any potential contractual issues Completion of time and effort certifications Preparation of technical or progress reports

DEAN'S OFFICE Expense Approval Financial review of expenditures Approve commitment of department funds (if necessary) Processing of personnel paperwork

OFFICE OF SPONSORED PROGRAMS Negotiations with Sponsors and coordination of award terms and conditions Issuance of project information to establish grant accounts Preparation of consultant agreements and other subcontracts documents Liaison with Sponsors on all contractual matters: budget modifications, no cost extensions, etc.

GRANTS & CONTRACTS ACCOUNTING Establishment of project accounts in the financial system Preparation and submission of all financial reports and invoices Reconcile all awards to the AU Financial Statements Perform final review and approval of all cost transfers Coordination of all Audits, Site Visits, and Desk Reviews Coordination of award closeouts


Caty Borum Chattoo

Director of the Center for Media & Social Impact School of Communication

The Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI), based at American University’s School of Communication, is an innovation lab and research center that creates, studies, and showcases media for social impact. Focusing on independent, documentary and public media, the Center bridges boundaries between scholars, producers and communication practitioners across media production, media impact, public policy, and audience engagement. The Center produces resources for the field and academic research; convenes conferences and events; and works collaboratively to understand and design media that matter. CMSI is directed by Caty Borum Chattoo, who also serves in an appointment as Executive in Residence at the School of Communication. Since 2015, when Borum Chattoo took over the leadership position from CMSI’s founder, Professor Patricia Aufderheide, she has garnered 20 funding grants and contracts for research and creative work completed at the Center for Media & Social Impact.


AU RESEARCHER OPEN HOUSE The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), in collaboration with the Office of Graduate Studies and Research (OGSR), Office of Research Integrity, and Grants and Contracts Accounting (GCA), will host the inaugural Researcher Open House! Lunch will be provided!


STAFF WILL BE AVAILABLE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ON: Award Review & Acceptance Proposal Review & Submission Human Subjects/IRB Training & Workshops Funding Opportunities Grant Writing Consultants 

Register by October 17 to be eligible to win one of four prizes!



e’ve heard it all before – some of us have even said it, “can I charge that expense directly to the grant?” Several tests can be performed to determine the answer to that question, but before we start testing, let’s make sure we all understand what a direct expense is. Direct Costs are expenses that can easily be identified to a specific project or activity with a high degree of accuracy. Unlike indirect costs, direct costs normally benefit a single project, activity, or cost objective and can be traced to that cost objective with little to no effort.

are classified as overhead and are recovered by the use of a negotiated indirect cost rate as outlined in the Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) received from the Department of Health and Human Services. On a monthly basis, Grants & Contracts Accounting (GCA) conducts a closing process that allocates indirect costs to a sponsored project by multiplying the negotiated indirect cost rate to the direct expenses incurred for the project. So, what happens if we directly charge an expense to the grant that is normally considered indirect? The grant gets charged twice for the same expense. Here’s how - the following indirect expenses are used to determine the indirect (overhead) rate charged on a grant for a small “fictitious” University*:

Indirect Costs are expenses incurred for common or joint objectives which cannot be readily identified with a particular project or activity (AU Policies and Procedures). In other words, indirect costs are real costs that provide reimbursement to the University for actual institutional expenses that support multiple projects or activities. These costs are therefore, not directly traceable to a specific grant, contract, project, function or activity. At AU, these costs



Building Lease and Maintenance


Administrative Support


IT Services/Cell Phones


Office Equipment & Supplies







Indirect Costs (Overhead) Rate


(B ÷ A)

As outlined, the overhead rate for this University is 43%. This percentage will be applied to all direct costs associated with a sponsored project to ensure the project is allocated a correct portion of the indirect costs. Since cell phone charges are a part of the costs used to determine the indirect rate, if these cell phone charges are also charged directly to the grant, the grant will pay for these costs twice.

The Office of Management and Budget says:

*(Please Note: the example above has been extremely simplified and, in no way, represents all the costs and calculations associated with establishing a true indirect costs rate.)

You can charge an expense directly to the grant if the expense is 

Reasonable – The amount a prudent person would pay under the prevailing circumstances

Allocable – Does the costs benefit the grant? If the benefit is shared, is the allocation to the grant equitable and supported by evidence

Allowable – Is the costs necessary for the performance of the grant, conform to regulations

Consistently Treated – not an expense normally considered indirect or used to calculate the indirect rate*

Traceable to the grant with a high degree of accuracy

CLEAR AS MUD, RIGHT? Great, so let’s answer our first question, “can I charge that expense directly to grant?”





Labor costs of project staff working specifical- Secretarial labor costs and labor costs for instily on the objectives of the project (direct tutional and departmental administrative serlabor costs) vices not related solely to any major function


Employee fringe benefits (including vacations, Employee fringe benefits (including vacations, holidays, sick leave, and other excused abholidays, sick leave, and other excused absencsences) allocable on direct labor employees es) allocable on indirect labor employees


Long distance telephone calls and/or postage identifiable with a specific award or activity.

General communication costs, local calls, cell phones and monthly phone costs


Necessary travel expenses for employees on an official project related travel status

Business travel not related to a specific project

COMPUTERS, MATERIALS & Materials, supplies, and equipment less than Office supplies, books, materials, and expenda$5,000 purchased directly for use on a specific ble office equipment not related solely or diOFFICE SUPPLIES project

rectly traceable to a specific project


Tangible personal property used for the sole General purpose equipment purpose of the project having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost of at least $5,000 (2 CFR 200).


Project specific subcontracting and consulting Services provided to meet general services organization needs not directly relatable to a specific project



n January , 2017, a rule change in the federal register is set to affect the “Common Rule”, which governs human subjects research with federal funding. One of the significant changes is the mandate for Single IRB for Multi-site Research. NIH has announced that applications with due dates on or after January 25, 2018, all participating sites will streamline processes and have one site act as the IRB of record for ethical review of non-exempt human subjects research. The process will follow similar procedures that are currently used to initiate reliance agreements, or institutional authorization agreements, which set one IRB as the IRB of record. The goal of this change is to reduce administrative burden by eliminating duplicative reviews of the same study, and managing different review schedules and processes.

For collaborative research that is not federally funded, the IRB office will make all efforts to work with partnering institutions to draft and execute reliance agreements. If a collaboration is proposed for a study which has approval at another institution, please provide the IRB office with the name of the Principal Investigator, the title of the study, the IRB approval number, and the IRB contact information at the partner institution. If AU will act as the IRB of record, the partnering IRB should contact the AU IRB office and provide the PI and IRB approval number. Reliance agreements are usually valid for one study only. They do not act as a blanket assurance for all research. For additional details or questions about the NIH policy, visit single-irb-policy-multi-site-research.htm. For details about AU’s management of this process, please contact Matt Zembrzuski, the Research Compliance Manager or email

INTERNAL FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES The Office of Graduate Studies and Research will be announcing the Faculty Research Support Grant program for FY19 in early October 2017. These are competitive internal research grants to support the development of faculty research, scholarship, professional and creative activities. The awards are intended to provide financial support for the direct costs of pilot research studies, demonstration projects, feasibility studies or other forms of proof of concept, to enable faculty members to leverage the results and apply for external funds to support their research, scholarship or creative activities.

All full-time tenured or tenure earning faculty, and term faculty are eligible to submit proposals. The Washington College of Law faculty are not eligible for this particular funding opportunity. A formal announcement will be sent to faculty in early October and application documents will be posted to: research/funding.cfm.

CURATED FUNDING LISTS Please note that these offerings are a sampling of what is available via our search funding tools and serve as examples for you to consider. If you have not attended a “search funding tool� training session, we encourage you to do so. Performing an individualized search, tailored to your unit or specific research interests will provide the most exhaustive means of locating resources.

Curated Lists by Discipline: Please click on the discipline to view a sampling of funding opportunities. You must be signed-in to Pivot to view the opportunities.

Arts & Humanities Business Communications Education Environment Health International Affairs Law Library Science

RESEARCH AWARDS In August & September 2017 (FY 2018), the Office of Sponsored Programs recorded the following grants for American University researchers. SEPTEMBER AWARDS


PI: Michael Baron College of Arts and Sciences - Mathematics & Statistics Title: ATD: Statistical detection of new patterns and potential threats in geospatial sequences of social and political events Sponsor: National Science Foundation Funds: $200,000.00

PI: Vladimir Airapetian College of Arts and Sciences - Physics Title: Prebiotic Chemistry of the Young Earth and Mars from Theoretical and Experimental Studies Sponsor: National Aeronautics and Space Administration Funds: $106,138.00

PI: Kathleen Holton College of Arts and Sciences - Health & Fitness Title: Glutamate Neuro-Excitotoxicity in GWI Sponsor: Department of Defense Funds: $914,879.00 PI: Eric Hershberg Provost - Center for Latin American and Latino Studies Title: Mapping Wildlife Trafficking, Illegal Logging, and Associated Criminal Networks in Latin America Sponsor: U.S. Department of State Funds: $350,000.00 PI: Robert Hone School of Communication Title: Cooperation Project Sponsor: WGBH Foundation Funds: $53,346.00 PI: Jonathan Fox School of International Service Title: Fiscal Governance Core Support to ARC Sponsor: Open Society Foundations Funds: $150,000.00 PI: Thespina Yamanis School of International Service Title: A Pilot social network intervention to reduce HIV and IPV among adolescent girls Sponsor: National Institutes of Health Funds: $204,561.00 PI: Malini Ranganathan School of International Service Title: Corruption Plots, Imagined Publics: Narrating Urban Space in the Global South Sponsor: American Council of Learned Societies Funds: $160,784

PI: Laura Cutler College of Arts and Sciences - Center for Israel Studies Title: Israel Institute Support 2017-2018 Sponsor: Israel Institute Funds: $16,000.00 PI: Douglas Fox College of Arts and Sciences - Chemistry Title: Biomacromolecules as Flame Retardants for Wood-Based Construction Materials with Improved Weatherability Sponsor: National Institute of Standards and Technology Funds: $128,000.00

PI: Gregory Harry College of Arts and Sciences - Physics Title: Collaborative Research: LSC Center for Coatings Research Sponsor: National Science Foundation Funds: $92,407.00 PI: Kiho Kim College of Arts and Sciences - Environmental Science Title: Identifying Hotspots of Nitrogen Pollution in Saipan Sponsor: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Funds: $62,736.00 PI: Ethan Mereish College of Arts and Sciences - School of Education Title: Minority Stress Reactivity and Hazardous Drinking Sponsor: National Institutes of Health Funds: $169,287.00 PI: Benjamin Stokes School of Communication - Dean's Office Title: Pokemon Go Sponsor: The Miami Foundation Funds: $18,500.00


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12 10:30 am - 11:30 am / Bender Library, Training and Events Room USING RESEARCH NETWORKING TOOLS TO FOSTER TEAM SCIENCE Speaker: James King, Branch Chief & Information Architect, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Library Team science and globalization have dramatically changed research and research collaboration. Learn how NIH is working to directly harvest information from trusted data sources to dynamically create researcher profiles (or CVs) utilizing researcher networking tools with a goal of fostering collaboration across the entire Department of Health and Human Services. RSVP

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18 10 am –12 pm/ Spring Valley RM 602 RAC SESSION 2: PROPOSAL RELATED ISSUES (PRE-AWARD) RAC is a comprehensive training and certification program designed to assist AU departmental and school/ college level staff with research administration and/or grant/contract management responsibilities. The RAC program consists of eight (8) consecutive sessions that will be offered annually throughout academic year. Topics covering proposal preparation, research compliance, financial management and reporting, as well as applicable regulations, polices, and guidelines governing sponsored grant and contract awards. REGISTER

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24 11 am - 1 pm/ Spring Valley Room 618 AU RESEARCHER OPEN HOUSE Come and meet representatives of the Office of Sponsored Programs and Grants and Contracts Accounting. Learn about new initiatives as well as upcoming events. Lunch will be provided! REGISTER

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2017 10:30 AM –11:30 AM/ Bender Library, Training and Events Room SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION AND SOCIAL JUSTICE: PUSHING TO SUBVERT TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING POWER STRUCTURES Speaker: Charlotte Roh, Scholarly Communications Librarian, University of San Francisco Scholarly communication and the open access movement has come a long way in its acceptance in the academic environment. However, the economic models of open access have not been as open and free as anticipated, and this is because publishing models are still rooted in traditional power structures. What can libraries do to subvert these imbalances?

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2017 12 PM –1 PM/MGC 330N FINDING FUNDING WITH FOUNDATION DIRECTORY ONLINE Need funding? Melissa Grannetino, Engagement Specialist for the Foundation Center, will give a an overview on how to use Foundation Center resources. Lunch will be provided! REGISTER

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13-TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14 MULTIPLE EVENTS GRANT WRITING WORKSHOP Presented by Dr. Ralph Pollack Monday, November 13, 2017 ~ 9:00AM-Noon Workshop/ Location: MGC 200: The workshop will focus on the basics of external funding proposal preparation. In the afternoon you can schedule a 30 minute 1-on-1 session with Dr. Pollack to review your research and discuss funding strategies. RSVP to Tuesday, November 14, 2017~ 9:00AM – Noon Workshop/ Location: MGC 200: This workshop will focus on applications to NSF, with specific information about how to tailor applications to this agency. In the afternoon you can schedule a 30 minute 1-on-1 session with Dr. Pollack . RSVP to

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15 10:00 am- 12:00pm / Spring Valley RM 602 RAC SESSION 3: GRANTS MANAGEMENT PRE-AWARD ISSUES RAC is a comprehensive training and certification program designed to assist AU departmental and school/ college level staff with research administration and/or grant/contract management responsibilities. The RAC program consists of eight (8) consecutive sessions that will be offered annually throughout academic year. Topics covering proposal preparation, research compliance, financial management and reporting, as well as applicable regulations, polices, and guidelines governing sponsored grant and contract awards. REGISTER

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30 10:30 am - 11:30 am / Bender Library, Training and Events Room 150

MOTIVATIONAL METRICS: A PUBLISHER AND LIBRARY COLLABORATION Speakers: Alphonse MacDonald, Director of Marketing and Technology, National Academies Press and Colleen Willis, Senior Librarian, Digital Resources, National Academies Research Center MacDonald and Willis will present on how their metrics initiative has impacted the work of librarians, researchers, and program staff, what they have learned about the increasing importance of metrics in scholarly publishing, and what they have in mind for the future.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6 10 AM-12 pm / Spring Valley Building 602 RAC SESSION 4: GRANTS MANAGEMENT POST AWARD ISSUES RAC is a comprehensive training and certification program designed to assist AU departmental and school/college level staff with research administration and/or grant/contract management responsibilities. The RAC program consists of eight (8) consecutive sessions that will be offered annually throughout academic year. Topics covering proposal preparation, research compliance, financial management and reporting, as well as applicable regulations, polices, and guidelines governing sponsored grant and contract awards. REGISTER

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7 10 AM-11:30 AM / Bentley Meeting Room, Gray Hall Basement GRANT ADMINISTRATOR ROUNDTABLE A forum led by OSP and GAC to discuss various topics regarding research administration at AU.

Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)

Grants & Contracts Accounting (GCA)

Office of Research Integrity

Research Forward  
Research Forward  

Research Forward, October 2017