The New Tufts University Research Administration System

The Tufts Research Administration System (RAS) will enable researchers and their support staff to access information about past and current funding proposals and awards, and use that information to create new proposals within the system. The principle investigator (PI) will be able to grant access to the proposal to others (collaborators, support staff) so multiple people can contribute to the development of the proposal. Proposals will be electronically routed for internal Tufts approvals, and NIH and NSF applications will be submitted directly to the funding agency, bypassing the need to use agency electronic submission systems ( and FastLane). Researchers will also be able to generate reports on their pre- and post-award research activities, which will facilitate post-award reporting requirements. Read more »

Grant Proposals Require Concise Writing

Most grant proposals have strict page limits that require concise writing. The Office of Proposal Development (OPD), which collaborates with Tufts faculty on the development of grant proposals, developed the following concise writing tips to assist faculty in making the most of their limited pages. Read more »

New Tufts Tech Transfer Internship Program

In 2013 the Office for Technology Licensing & Industry Collaboration (OTL&IC, or simply Tufts Tech Transfer) began offering an internship program for Tufts graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Technology transfer, the practice of transferring discoveries from research labs to the marketplace, lies at the intersection of science, business, and law. The program is designed to provide interns with an introduction to basic tech transfer skills and allow them to explore this career path. Licensing Associate Erika Bechtold, who manages the program, knows firsthand how helpful such internships can be. A tech transfer internship while she was a grad student at Wake Forest University was a major reason Erika chose tech transfer as a career. “I found it infinitely helpful,” she said. “When you’re in a PhD program, you can be very one tracked, so for me it opened this whole other world of career options.” Read more »

What’s It Like To Be an IRB Member?

It’s “interesting,” “challenging,” “an important service to the community of scholars,” and “a serious time commitment.” Those are some of the comments made by current members of Tufts’ three IRBs (Institutional Review Boards): two IRB panels for health sciences and one IRB panel for social, behavioral and educational research. A federal mandate requires that all research studies that involve human subjects are reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board. Each IRB panel is made up of approximately 20 Tufts faculty members and staff, both scientists and non-scientists, and at least one community representative. The IRB panels convene about once each month to review research protocols and informed consent forms and to provide feedback to principal investigators requesting IRB approval. Read more »

Avoid Potential Delays in NIH Funding—Cite PubMedCentral IDs

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy has two major points:

  1. All final, peer-reviewed journal manuscripts reporting research that was funded by the NIH since October 1, 2007 must be submitted to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication. PubMed Central will provide investigators with a unique PubMedCentral ID (PMCID) for each submitted manuscript.
  2. All NIH grant applications, proposals, and progress reports must provide the PMCID for all investigator citations that fall under the NIH Public Access Policy manuscript rules. Failure to do so can result in the restriction of NIH research funds. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), noncompliance with public access reporting in progress reports delayed funding for about 20 percent of noncompeting awards. According to Paul Murphy, director of the Tufts Office of Research Administration, several grant progress reports that did not have a PMCID for all required cited publications have had research funds restricted until the PMCIDs were provided to the NIH. Read more »