Limited Submission: NIH Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) (R25)

All current limited submission opportunities can be viewed at

The Office of the Vice President for Research announces the launch of the NIH Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) (R25) competition. The internal submission deadline is Wednesday, November 7, 2018.

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH. The over-arching goal of this NIGMS R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce.

To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on Research Experiences and Courses for Skills Development. Applications are encouraged from research-intensive institutions that propose to equip recent baccalaureate science graduates from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical sciences with the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue Ph.D. degrees in these fields. The program provides support for extensive research experiences and well-designed courses for skills development aimed at preparing individuals from underrepresented backgrounds to complete doctoral degrees.

Click for more information »

College of Medicine’s Fall Dean’s Lecture

The annual Fall Dean’s Lecture, held at the Penn State College of Medicine on October 9, featured a presentation on CAR T-cell immunotherapy by Dr. Carl June.

The lecture was taped and is available online should you wish to view it or share it with others who might have an interest.

University Strategic Initiative Seed Grants

During the past year, the University awarded seed grant funding for 22 pilot projects designed to implement the University’s 2016-20 Strategic Plan. The proposals for cycle 3 are under review and awards will be communicated in December. January 31st, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. will be the deadline for submission of the fourth cycle of Strategic Plan seed grant proposals, with a call for proposals forthcoming (for information on the RFP, please visit the Strategic Plan RFP website). Several of the committees are offering to review short concept papers in advance of the deadline to give constructive feedback to assist in creating stronger proposals. These committees would appreciate your help passing on this information to people in the University community that might benefit from these preliminary reviews. The page with information about the concept papers is here.

The Transforming Education Steering Committee is very interested in encouraging submissions during the next funding cycle that advance strategic Penn State pedagogical and academic initiatives that foster the transformation of education. If you would like input from the Steering Committee prior to submitting a proposal in the Transforming Education category for the next round of reviews, we invite you to submit a one-page concept paper outlining the focus and priorities that will form the basis of a potential full submission. Anyone who would like to receive feedback on a project idea may submit a one-page concept document for committee review and feedback. Submission deadline is Friday, October 26. We will dedicate our November 12 Transforming Education Steering Committee meeting to focus solely on providing feedback on potential submissions. Click here for more information and guidelines. One-page concept paper proposals must be submitted to Judy Wills,, by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 26.

Proposals geared towards Driving Digital Innovation (DDI) can also submit concept papers using the format available here. In an effort to help proposers maximize their chances of success, the DDI Steering Committee will provide preliminary feedback before the Cycle #3 submission deadline. If you would like to take advantage of this feedback opportunity, please send a one-page “concept paper” to DDI Steering Committee Co-chair Colin J. Neill,, by 9 a.m. on Tuesday, November 20, 2018. The Committee expects to complete its review by December 4, 2018, after which it will provide you with feedback.

If you are preparing a proposal for the Steering Committee for Advancing the Arts and Humanities, and you would like input from the Steering Committee prior to submitting your proposal for the late January deadline, you are invited to compose a Brief Concept Paper, using the format available here, and email it to the Steering Committee’s co-chairs, Mark Ballora ( and Carey Eckhardt (, by December 7, 2018. Because the Steering Committee will probably not be able to accommodate requests for consultations close to the final proposal deadline, we strongly encourage you to use this opportunity to get preparatory feedback before you create a detailed proposal. However, please be assured that submitting a Brief Concept Paper is not a requirement: proposals may be submitted for the January deadline without submitting the Concept Paper earlier.

Centre Region Women in STEM Event

To celebrate and encourage the growth of women in STEM fields in our community, Liz Kisenwether and Eva Pell are hosting a Centre Region Women in STEM Event on October 30, from 5:30–7:00 PMN at Discovery Space, 1224 N. Atherton St., State College. Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be provided.

Why take time out of your busy schedule to join them?

  1. Celebrate our unique community
  2. Broaden your circle of women who are also in STEM
  3. Learn about Discovery Space and its value to the STEM community
  4. It’s FREE
  5. Have some fun!

Click here to RSVP by October 22 »

New Clusters of Excellence in Germany

Dear Colleagues,

I am providing the attached press release for your information; disseminate to appropriate parties as you see fit. As you can see, Germany is investing heavily in this effort which spans almost all domains and providing significant opportunities for collaboration. To make things easier still, two of the 57 clusters, funded at $100M euros each, are to be stood up at Albert Luwigs University Freiburg, part of Penn State’s Global Engagement Network. If you are looking for expertise or want to add your own then we suggest you do some exploring and reach out to the appropriate institution/cluster.

Best regards,
Neil Sharkey, Vice President for Research

Click here to download the list of the approved Clusters of Excellence »

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