Welcome to my blog. It contains new and archived messages that I have sent to the campus. Feel free to browse!

Matthew A. Tarr PhD
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This is the list of all contributions published on this web site, in chronological order.

By Carol Lunn (on 2/26/2015 @ 15:05:37, in Professional Development, read 1311 times)
In a recent blog post and notice, NIH officials have made clear that recipients of the agency's largess should give back as peer reviewers. NIH first announced five years ago that it "calls upon investigators who have received research grant funding from the NIH to serve...when invited to do so." At the time, NIH also said, "this expectation for service is entirely voluntary and an inability to serve has no impact on an investigator's ability to compete for grant support." On Feb. 20, Richard Nakamura, director of NIH's Center for Scientific Review, the office that handles most of the peer review of applications for funding, addressed the issue anew on the blog Rock Talk, so-named because posts are usually authored by Sally Rockey, NIH's deputy director for extramural research. NIH crunched the numbers on the 25,500 investigators who have received "a total of $1 million in total costs from NIH in the last five years" and, based on the calculation that "one day of peer review service per year would be considered a reasonable expectation for service," concluded that "currently fewer than half of these funded scientists (45%) achieve that level of service" on peer review groups, Nakamura said. The complementary NIH notice, "Reinforcing Service to the Biomedical Research Community," said, in part, "NIH expects principal investigators of NIH supported grants and contracts to serve on NIH peer review groups, when asked" and "expects grantee institutions and R&D [research and development] contract recipients to encourage" such service among their NIH-supported investigators.


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By Carol Lunn (on 2/20/2015 @ 12:35:49, in ORSP Announcements, read 1014 times)
The CERF 2015 Scientific Program Committee invites you to submit an abstract for an oral or poster presentation for CERF 2015. The Federation is committed to bringing scientists and students from around the world together to exchange information and ideas about the science and management of coastal ecosystems. CERF conferences provide outstanding opportunities for professionals at all stages in their career for continuing education and development.

There will be over 100 sessions at CERF 2015! Please consider submitting an abstract that examines new findings within CERF’s traditional scientific, education and management disciplines and encourages interaction among coastal and estuarine scientists and managers.

Additionally, the Scientific Program Committee encourages abstracts that promote intellectually stimulating discussions of the Grand Challenges in estuarine and coastal science including:

• Managing and mitigating the risks of climate change

• Synergistic effects of ocean acidification with hypoxia, eutrophication or other conditions

• Polar estuaries and coasts

• Making data work

• Cities by the sea

• Estuaries under threat and

• Multiple uses of coastal resources

Visit the website ( for full information on sessions and procedures surrounding how to submit an abstract for CERF 2015.

Please contact the office or (206) 209-2562 with questions.

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University of New Orleans computer science professor Stephen Ware has been awarded a two-year $138,000 grant by the National Science Foundation to develop artificial intelligence systems that interact more naturally with people.

Ware, an assistant professor of computer science, does research on computational models of narrative, meaning he studies how insights about human storytelling and story understanding can be better integrated into artificial intelligence systems. This grant will enable researchers in Ware’s Narrative Intelligence Lab to study how people reason hypothetically when reading and writing stories.

“Imagine a video game that tells a story, or an intelligent tutoring system that adapts to the individual needs of the student, or a military training simulation that responds to the choices of the trainee,” Ware said. “All of these systems need to change the narrative as they are used, and to make those changes they need some way to reason about narrative.”

Ware teaches classes at UNO on artificial intelligence and game development.

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By Carol Lunn (on 1/20/2015 @ 08:57:41, in Important, read 842 times)
On January 26, 2015, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will implement changes in FastLane to support the revised version of the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and to run additional automated compliance checks on proposals.

Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 15-1)

A revised PAPPG was issued on November 20, 2014, which incorporates OMB’s Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance), as well as other policy updates. The following changes will be made to FastLane to support the revised PAPPG:

• Budget Form Update: The budget form will be updated so that the “Residual Funds” line (Line K) will not be editable for all programs except Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR). As this field is currently used for the purpose of collecting fees, “Residual Funds” will be renamed to “Small Business Fee.”

• Budget Justification Upload: Budget justification can no longer be entered as text. Awardees will be required to upload a budget justification for each organization added to the budget via an upload screen. Already, 95% of proposers take advantage of the upload option.

• Cost Sharing Notifications Requirement: The existing requirement that only awards with cost sharing of $500,000 or more must submit a cost sharing certificate will be modified to support the revised policy which specifies that cost sharing notifications must be submitted by all awardees with awards that include cost sharing.

• New Funding Mechanism: The FastLane proposal cover sheet will be updated to include the new funding mechanism type, Ideas Lab. Ideas Lab is designed to support the development and implementation of creative and innovative project ideas. These projects will typically be high-risk/high-impact as they represent new and unproven ideas, approaches, and/or technologies.

Automated Compliance Checks

FastLane will begin to run an additional 24 automated compliance checks on proposals to ensure they comply with requirements outlined in the PAPPG, Chapter II.C.2 of the Grants Proposal Guide (GPG). These checks will validate a proposal for compliance with page count, proposal sections per type of funding mechanism and budget related rules for proposals submitted in response to the GPG, Program Announcements and Program Descriptions. At this time, these checks will not be enforced for proposals submitted in response to Program Solicitations.

• Page Count: Page count rules will be enforced on the following proposal sections:

o Project Description: 15-page limit [exceptions: 8-page limit for Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), and 5-page limit for Rapid Response Research (RAPID)]

o Budget Justification: 3-page limit for the proposing institution and a separate, 3-page limit for each sub-recipient organization

o Mentoring Plan: 1-page limit

o Data Management Plan: 2-page limit

• Budget: Budget-related checks will focus primarily on proposal duration and requested amount. For example, the system will enforce a maximum requested amount of $200,000 for a RAPID proposal and $300,000 for an EAGER proposal.

• Proposal Section: Proposal sections will be enforced by their funding mechanism for Program Announcement, Program Description and other GPG-type funding opportunities. For example, an error message will appear if a Project Description was not provided for an EAGER proposal.

The checks detailed above will be triggered when the “Check Proposal,” “Forward to SPO,” or “Submit Proposal” functions are selected by a proposer or proposing organization. Depending on the rule being checked, a warning or error message will display when a proposal is found to be non-compliant. If an error message appears, the organization will not be able to submit the proposal until it is compliant. To view a detailed list of all compliance checks, click here.

We encourage you to share this information with your respective organization. Please contact for any further questions.

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By Carol Lunn (on 1/14/2015 @ 13:01:06, in Board of Regents, read 1236 times)
The Board of Regents made the following announcement: It has come to our attention that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR Chapter I, and Chapter II, Parts 200, 215, 220, 225, and 230), which went into effect on December 26, 2014, contains provisions which effect the indirect cost rate that can be claimed for proposals and subawards submitted to federal agencies.

2 CFR 200, section 414, paragraph (c) (1) states that "the negotiated rates must be accepted by all Federal awarding agencies" unless deviation is required by Federal statute or regulation or when OMB is notified of any approved deviations by the Federal awarding agency head.

Furthermore, Paragraph (c) (d) further requires that the pass-through entities (i.e., the Board of Regents) comply with section 200.331,which states in 200.331(4) that "an approved federally recognized indirect cost rate negotiated between the subrecipient and the Federal government" must be included in the subaward by the pass-through entities.

What this means is that the restriction on indirect costs that can be claimed for federal NASA funds that was indicated in our RFP (i.e., 25% of wages, salaries and fringe) is no longer in effect. Institutions may charge their federally-negotiated F&A rate for the NASA portion of the funds. The Support Fund portion is still restricted to 25% of salaries, wages, and fringe, however.

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By Admin (on 1/7/2015 @ 15:16:01, in ORSP Announcements, read 1060 times)

We are pleased to announce the 2014 winners of the University of New Orleans Research Recognition Prizes:

Research Excellence Prize

John B. Wiley, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry


Early Career Research Prize

Malay Ghose Hajra, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Competitive Funding Prize

Martin T. O’Connell, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Chair of Earth and Environmental Science

Attached are brief descriptions of the award winners’ efforts that led to their selection, as well as brief descriptions of each prize category.

The Research office intends to hold a reception or some other type of event in the Spring, during which these prize winners will be honored further.  But we did not want to delay this announcement until an event could be finalized. 

Please join us in congratulating these accomplished colleagues on their achievements that are reflected in these designations.

Finally, we wish to thank all those who nominated colleagues for these awards, the nominees who provided important details for the process, and the members of the University of New Orleans Research Council who evaluated and ranked the nominations.  It is clear that we have excellent researchers at the University of New Orleans, as well as committed and appreciative colleagues to support and laud their accomplishments.

Attached File:  2014ResearchRecognitionPrizeWinners.pdf

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By Admin (on 12/19/2014 @ 15:22:11, in Board of Regents, read 2109 times)
For most Board of Regents (BoR) programs, the indirect cost is limited to 25% of salary and fringe benefits. BoR specific templates for one year and up to three year proposals have been posted to the Proposal Development page of the Office of Research website. Indirect cost is calculated using BoR’s limit also calculated is UNO’s waived indirect cost. If the BoR program does not restrict the indirect cost rate, continue to use the regular budget templates. Contact your Research Administrator if you have questions.
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By Admin (on 12/17/2014 @ 12:21:38, in Funding Opportunities, read 1128 times)

Louisiana Sea Grant College Program seeks Statements of Interest for its next funding cycle, February 1, 2016 – January 31, 2018. Research projects within Louisiana coasts focused in three areas will be considered: 1) Healthy Coastal Ecosystems; 2) Resilient Communities and Economies; and 3) Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture. Statements of Interest are due February 6, 2015 at 5:00 PM CST. Please see the message below for full details.


This is a solicitation from the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program for Statements of Interest proposing two-year coastal research projects.  The Statement of Interest serves as a project pre-proposal that identifies a topic relevant to coastal and marine needs in Louisiana and the nation. It describes both the scope of the need, problem, or opportunity and how the results achieved would contribute to development, conservation, or utilization of coastal and marine resources. Statements allow for review of relevancy to Louisiana Sea Grant’s research priorities for this opportunity, as well as concepts, rationale, general approach, and expected outcomes and impacts before faculty must commit to providing a narrative of detailed methodology, literature review, and other requirements of a full proposal.

Research priority focus areas for this request for proposals (RFP) are: 1) Healthy Coastal Ecosystems and Habitats, 2) Resilient Communities and Economies, and 3) Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture. A complete explanation of these research priorities, as well as other pertinent information related to Statement of Interest preparation, submission, and review is included in the RFP at

Louisiana Sea Grant will consider Statements of Interest for this opportunity with maximum budgets of $80,000/year for either one or two year projects.  Statements of Interest must be submitted to Ms. Katie Lea ( Room 238 Sea Grant Building, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 or ) on or before 5:00 PM (CST) on February 6, 2015, without exception.

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By Admin (on 12/17/2014 @ 12:20:43, in ORSP Announcements, read 1024 times)

A revised version of the NSF Application Guide has been posted to the NSF website and is available electronically at:

This document is applicable to all applications submitted, or due, to NSF on or after December 26, 2014.  Please refer to Page 2 of the Guide for a summary of the significant changes, clarifications and other changes.   Any questions regarding the new Guide should be submitted electronically to

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U.S. Department of Energy Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship Program (MLEF)

The Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) Program provides students with an opportunity to gain and develop research skills with the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy for 10 weeks over the summer. For 20 years, this program has increased awareness of DOE research opportunities to students pursuing STEM degrees (science, technology, engineering and math). The goal of the program is to improve opportunities for women and minority students in these fields, however all eligible candidates are encouraged to apply. Stipends start at $600 per week and eligible Fellows will receive an additional travel and housing allowance. For more information, visit


• Be at least 18 years of age at time of application;

• Be a U.S. Citizen;

• Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0;

• Be currently enrolled full-time in an accredited college or university (sophomore year or higher) or had a Ph.D. conferred on or after January 2, 2014 in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) degree

Application closes Friday, January 2, 2015 – click to get started NOW!
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