Research Resources

Lessons learned regarding chemical exposure on campus

Lessons learned: Chemical exposure

While checking on the progress of an ongoing gas sensor test a post-doctoral researcher was exposed to a chemical known as cadaverine when an over pressurization event dislodged a flask stopper spraying the chemical onto the post doc’s face.

What happened?

While checking on the progress of an ongoing gas sensor test a post-doctoral researcher was exposed to a chemical known as cadaverine. While making an adjustment to the experiment the researcher inadvertently obstructed the tube connected to the test apparatus causing the test flask to over pressurize, pushing the stopper out of the top of the flask and splashing the chemical inside the flask into the face of the post doc. The test set up was located inside a chemical fume hood but the fume hood sash was not properly configured to protect from a splash hazard. The post doc was not wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The postdoc’s face was rinsed for 15 minutes, the SDS for the chemical in question was retrieved and the postdoc was transported to the University Hospital emergency room for evaluation. The incident was not reported to EHS in a timely manner as required.

What went right:

  • Post Doc was not working alone
  • Lab group responded quickly and appropriately by 
rinsing the exposed area thoroughly for 15 minutes 
then taking the SDS to the ER with them
  • Principal Investigator is taking the opportunity to review 
all lab SOPs and complete a safety self-inspection

Lessons learned:

This incident emphasizes the need for robust written standard operating procedures (SOP) and training of lab personnel on the requirements of those SOPs.
The following lessons learned were identified by lab personnel and EHS:

  • Written SOPS: A robust written SOP is a critical element of any laboratory’s safe operations. Written SOP ensure that appropriate controls are in place to prevent incidents of injuries as well as ensuring the integrity of the research.
  • Training is crucial: Lab personnel were unaware of the proper procedures for handling an incident such as this and had to ask for guidance from an adjacent lab. Principal Investigators are responsible to ensure that all lab personnel have been properly and adequately trained in emergency procedures.
  • Wear your PPE: Personal protective equipment is your last line of defense against injury. Minimum PPE when working in a lab is long pants, closed shoes, lab coat, eye protection and appropriate gloves. Additional PPE may be required as outlined in the lab’s written SOPs.
  • Use equipment properly: When working in a fume hood the sash glass must be positioned such that it is between the user and the experiment inside the hood.
  • Situational Awareness: Always pay close attention to all aspects of an experiment in progress to help prevent inadvertent actions leading to system failure.
  • Assess the Risk: Reviewing SOPs and experimental procedures every time an experiment is conducted is crucial. Even if you have performed an experiment fifty times the procedure should be reviewed every single time. Asking every time, “what could go wrong with this experiment,” and ensuring measures are in place to prevent incidents.

801.581.6590 |

F&A town halls

Dear Colleagues,

The Office of the Vice President for Research would like to invite you to join us for one of two town halls to discuss how F&A is used and distributed at the University of Utah. Each town hall is open to all faculty, staff, post-docs and students, and will consist of a presentation and open house style Q&A session. The presentation will cover the following:

  • FY19 Research Awards and Expenditure data
  • How F&A will be used and distributed in FY20
  • Recommendations from the presidentially commissioned F&A Task Force
  • Changes to the F&A distribution model for FY21
  • Support for graduate student tuition and stipends as it relates to:
    • Alignment of responsibilities with resources
    • Reduction in tuition for graduate students taking thesis hours

The current town hall schedule is as follows:

Monday, Sept. 23, 2019 | 2-4 p.m.
Health Sciences Education Building
Room 1730 (lecture hall)

Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019 | 2-4 p.m.
Gardner Commons
Room 2900

These will be the first of a series of annual town halls on F&A usage and distribution at the university. We encourage all interested members of our Research community to attend. Please feel free to distribute this message and the town hall flyer throughout your respective departments. Thank you.



Andrew S. Weyrich, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research
Professor of Internal Medicine

DEA statement for U of U faculty members, employed institutional veterinarians, and research staff



To:                  University of Utah Research Faculty, Administration, & Staff
From:              Andrew S. Weyrich, Ph.D., Vice President for Research, University of Utah
Date:               September 1, 2019
Re:                  Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Registration Fee Exemption Interpretation

Faculty, institutional veterinarians, certain research staff, and other University of Utah employees who are required to obtain a DEA registration number as part of their official University of Utah duties (collectively RESEARCHER) are exempt from paying application or renewal fees, so long as the RESEARCHER is acting within the scope of his or her official state duties and his or her only direct compensation is provided by an agency of the State of Utah (e.g., University of Utah, University of Utah School of Medicine, University of Utah College of Pharmacy, etc.). 


Q: What about moonlighting, consulting, private practice, or non-University research?

A: Consulting (meaning any work that is outside the course and scope of a person’s University of Utah employment) must be done in accordance with University policy. See Policy 5-204.

Moonlighting for physicians (meaning clinical work that is outside of the course and scope of a person’s University of Utah employment) is not allowed by University of Utah School of Medicine policy. See Policy 8-001.

An employee participating in moonlighting, consulting, private practice, or research outside the course and scope of University employment cannot claim the DEA fee exemption for those activities.

Q: Who should I list in the registration as the “Fee Exempt Institution”?

A: Please list the University of Utah as the name of the Fee Exempt Institution on the registration form.

Q: Who is the Certifying Superior for purposes of the fee exemption?

A: You cannot certify yourself. For faculty of the School of Medicine, the Certifying Superior is the Department Chair or Division Chief who approves credentials / privileges associated with your department or division. You should be prepared to provide the name, title, email address, and phone number of this individual in connection with your fee exemption application. You should ensure that this Certifying Superior has sufficient information about your employment such that they could answer questions from the DEA if necessary about your duties for an agency of the State of Utah (i.e., University of Utah), your state Controlled Substance license, if applicable, and the requirement that you have a DEA registration in connection with your duties.

For faculty of academic departments and colleges other than the School of Medicine, the Certifying Superior is your Dean or an individual to whom the Dean has delegated this responsibility.

Q: What is the role of the Certifying Superior?

A: The Certifying Superior is listed on the fee exemption application as the person who can certify that the underlying registrant is employed by an agency of the State of Utah, is performing services for that agency, is receiving salary from that agency, and is required to have DEA registration in connection with her/his job duties for the agency. The Certifying Superior cannot certify an individual who is performing outside the course and scope of employment for an agency of the State of Utah, such as moonlighting or consulting activities or private practice duties.

Q: What about institutional veterinarians, veterinary staff, research staff, and other non-faculty RESEARCHERS?

A: Other University of Utah-employed RESEARCHERS also qualify for the exemption when performing duties on behalf of an agency of the State of Utah. For example, institutional veterinarians and staff who are employees of the Office for Comparative Medicine (OCM) are eligible for a fee-exempt DEA registration if such registration is required in the course and scope of their University employment. For their Certifying Superior, OCM employees should list the institutional veterinarian.

Moonlighting, consulting, and private practice outside the course and scope of University of Utah employment are not eligible for the DEA fee exemption. In addition, RESEARCHERS cannot use their fee-exempt DEA registration when conducting research for which the RESEARCHER receives a paycheck from an entity other than an agency of the State of Utah (e.g., when research funding from a non-University entity is paid from the entity directly to the RESEARCHER, rather than to the University).

Q: What if I conduct research outside of the State of Utah?

A: RESEARCHERS will need to obtain a separate DEA registration in each state where they plan to administer, dispense, or prescribe controlled substances.

Q: What if I conduct research at the VA or at another non-University facility?

A: RESEARCHERS may use their fee-exempt DEA registration at the VA and other non- University facilities within Utah, as long as the research is part of their official state duties (i.e., in the course and scope of their University of Utah employment) and their only direct compensation is provided by an agency of the State of Utah (e.g., University of Utah, University of Utah School of Medicine, etc.).

TVC Town Hall

Dear Colleagues,

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) and the Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization (TVC) are hosting a series of town hall presentations to discuss exciting new updates and services at TVC. In addition, we will discuss proposed adjustments to existing policies in order to address historical barriers to commercialization, align the University with best practices at other top-tier research institutions, support a thriving culture of innovation, and establish more tools and resources for future generations of researchers and entrepreneurs at the University of Utah.

Each town hall presentation will cover:

  • Organizational changes and new TVC programs to support innovators
  • Upcoming initiatives that will create additional resources for commercialization activity
  • Proposed changes to policies that regulate and strengthen commercialization activities at the University

The town halls are open to all faculty, staff, post-docs, & students, and will consist of introductory remarks by Vice President for Research, Andrew Weyrich, a presentation by TVC’s Executive Director, Keith Marmer, and an open forum Q&A and UofU community feedback session. Refreshments will be served at each event, (with lunch included at the Oct. 14 event.)

The current schedule of town hall events is as follows:

  • Friday, Sept. 27, 2019 | 1:30pm-3:00pm
    Gardner Commons, Hinckley Caucus Room, Ste. 2018
  • Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019 | 1-2:30 p.m.
    Hospital West Pavilion, Red Rock Room (WA350)
  • Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
    Fort Douglas Officer’s Club
  • Friday, Oct. 25, 2019| 10-11:30 a.m.
    Alumni House, Ballroom C


Andrew S. Weyrich, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research
Professor of Internal Medicine
H.A. & Edna Benning Presidential Endowed Chair

Keith Marmer, DPT, MBA
Associate Vice President for Technology & Venture Commercialization and Corporate Partnerships

Research Culture Survey

You are invited to participate in the University of Utah’s Survey of Organizational Research Climate.

We are asking you to help the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance assess our current climate for scholarly and research integrity by completing an online survey that will take less than 10 minutes. Your participation is voluntary but important to the success of this effort. All departments that sufficiently participate will receive aggregated data about their department’s responses about their research climate along with national averages specific to that discipline. Further, these data will serve as a baseline for how resources for research education and training should be prioritized.

All faculty, scientists, researchers, technicians, postdoctoral trainees and graduate students across the organization are being asked to participate.

We hope you will join us in participating. Click here to take the survey.

NIH Loan Repayment Program

NIH Loan Repayment Program: 2020 Application Cycle Sept. 1-Nov. 15, 2019

Do you have outstanding student loan debt? The congressionally established National Institute of Health Loan Repayment Programs (NIH LRP) is designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals into biomedical or biobehavioral research careers. Successful applicants will have up to $50,000 annually of qualified educational debt repaid by the NIH in return for a commitment to engage in NIH mission-relevant research. From 2011-18, the application success rate for the NIH LRP was 50%.

There are five specific program areas for the NIH Loan Repayment Program: Clinical Research, Pediatric Research, Health Disparities Research, Contraception and Infertility Research and Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds.

The online application period is Sept. 1-Nov. 15, 2019 (5 p.m. local time).

For more information, review the NIH LRP website, or contact Jan Abramson, M.S., Office of Sponsored Projects.

C-FAHR Open House & Mixer

C-FAHR Open House & Mixer
Oct. 17, 2019 | 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Gardner Commons, Room 2900

All members and interested potential members are encouraged to attend. This session will provide the background of C-FAHR goals and recent activities, showcase research areas of a few members, review member benefits of C-FAHR (including upcoming funding announcements and statistical consultation for members) and provide an opportunity for you to formally and informally mix with like-minded colleagues from across campus. We look forward to connecting with you at this event. Graduate students are welcome and encouraged to attend. Providing interdisciplinary mentoring and training to graduate students is a priority of C-FAHR.

Please RSVP here by Oct. 14, with subject line RSVP Open House.

Research Roundtable–Disability Research

Research Roundtable–Disability Research
Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019 | 3-4 p.m.
Gardner Commons, Dean’s Conference Room (3825)

This Research Roundtable will provide an opportunity to foster new collaboration and research teams across campus around the theme of disability research. Researchers in the following disability sub-fields are encouraged to attend.

  • Quality of life
  • Policy
  • Special education
  • Culture and politics of disability

Please RSVP here and be sure to include a brief statement of your interest.

Introductory remarks by Vice President Andy Weyrich.

NEXUS’ Core Facilities—Focus group room available for use

NEXUS’ Core Facilities at Gardner Commons house a Focus Group Room.

The room has a projection screen for groups, can record audio/video in the attached observation room which is separated via a two-way mirror and opens new avenues of research with individuals of diverse groups.

This room must be reserved in advance, and requires keycard access and
NEXUS Membership.

More information on the focus group room and NEXUS facilities.

Seed Grant Program reminder

The Office of the Vice President for Research’s Seed Grant Program is currently running. The goal of the seed program is to support investigators collecting preliminary data that can be leveraged for extramural grant applications.

For questions on eligibility and applications please reach out to your college’s associate dean for Research.

Limited Submissions

NSF Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL)

Internal deadline: Oct. 2, 2019
External deadline: Nov. 6, 2019 

Summary: The Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks to advance new approaches to and evidence-based understanding of the design and development of STEM learning opportunities for the public in informal environments; provide multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences; advance innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments; and engage the public of all ages in learning STEM in informal environments.

Click here to apply via Infoready.

 NSF Critical-Zone Collaborative Network

Internal deadline: Oct. 21, 2019
External deadline: Dec. 2, 2019

NSF seeks proposals to establish an adaptive and responsive research network that supports investigations of the Earth’s Critical Zone.  This network will consist of two components that will work together to advance knowledge, education, and outreach in this convergent science: 1) Thematic Clusters of fixed or temporary locations will conduct basic research on significant, overarching scientific questions concerning the structure, function, and processes of the Critical Zone. These U.S.-based Clusters could include existing observatories engaged in collecting environmental data, other monitoring locations that have been in operation for extended periods of time, and new sites that will support the scientific goals of the Cluster;  2) A Coordinating Hub  that will oversee the compatibility and archiving of the data resulting from the Thematic Clusters, coordinate outreach and community-building activities, support the use of network facilities by outside researchers, and plan for infrastructure needs of the network.

Click here to apply via Infoready.

NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program

Internal deadline: Oct. 25, 2019
External deadline: Dec. 6, 2019 

The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative models for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduate education training. The NRT program seeks proposals that explore ways for graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs to develop the skills, knowledge and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers.

Click here to apply via Infoready

 Edward J. Mallinckrodt Jr. Foundation: Mallinckrodt Scholar Awards

Internal submission deadline: Nov. 1, 2019
Award amount:  $100,000 for 4 years
Limited submission: Two nominees

The mission of the Foundation is to support early stage investigators engaged in basic biomedical research that has the potential to significantly advance the understanding, diagnosis or treatment of disease.

Click here to learn more.

Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars

Internal submission deadline: Nov. 1, 2019
Award amount: $75,000 unrestricted funds
Limited submission: One nominee

The Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program supports the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences. Based on institutional nominations, the program provides discretionary funding to faculty at an early stage in their careers. Criteria for selection include an independent body of scholarship attained in the early years of their appointment (see below), and a demonstrated commitment to education, signaling the promise of continuing outstanding contributions to both research and teaching.

Click here to learn more.

David and Lucille Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering

Internal submission deadline: Nov. 1, 2019
Award amount: $875,000 over 5 years
Limited submission: Two nominees

The Fellowship Program provides support for highly creative researchers early in their careers; faculty members who are well established and well-funded are less likely to receive the award. Packard Fellows are inquisitive, passionate scientists and engineers who take a creative approach to their research, dare to think big, and follow new ideas wherever they lead.

Click here to learn more.

Moore Inventor Fellows

Internal submission deadline:  Nov. 1, 2019
Award amount: $675,000 over 3 years
Limited submission: Two nominees

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is launching a competition to identify outstanding inventors who harness science and technology to enhance the conduct of scientific research, strengthen environmental conservation, or improve the experience and outcomes of patient care.

Click here to learn more.

Brain Research Foundation – Fay/Frank Seed Grant Program

Internal submission deadline:  Nov. 1, 2019
Award amount: $80,000 over 2 years
Limited submission: One nominee

The Seed Grant program supports full-time Assistant or Associate Professors working in the field of neuroscience. The program aims to provide start-up money for new and innovative research projects that have the potential to become competitive for an NIH grant or other external funding sources.

Click here to learn more.

Intramural Funding

1U4U Initiative – VPR Targeted Seed Grant Program
Internal deadline: Oct. 15, 2019

The Office of the Vice President for Research is launching a targeted seed grant program is intended to foster campus-wide collaborations to facilitate the formation of new interdisciplinary, multi-investigator teams that will pursue significant external funding. In fall 2019, the program will target two focal research areas:

  1. Opioid addiction
  2. Violence against women

Proposals are solicited for seed projects in these areas that bring together U researchers from different units on campus to initiate new, solutions-oriented research programs that address causes and/or possible solutions to these pressing societal and public health issues. Research teams should be interdisciplinary, span different departments or colleges and constitute new collaborations. Preference will be given to proposals that include researchers from both the main and health sciences campuses, and to projects with strong off-campus partnerships.

Research that is already supported by other sources will not be approved for funding. Gap funding to bridge support between external grants or contracts will not be considered. The applicants must clearly and convincingly demonstrate that the proposed project represents a new research direction that is eligible for extramural funding. Thus, the proposal must not overlap with any existing grants (i.e. PIs cannot receive funding from the VPR Funding Incentive Seed Grant or existing mechanisms for the same, or a similar project). Seed funding under this program is to be used to successfully compete for extramural funds to support the project in the long term and proposals must include a detailed plan for soliciting extramural support.

Guidelines and requirements for the application can be found here on the VPR website funding opportunities page. Please contact Diane Pataki or Tyler Matsamas with any questions.

Click here to apply via InfoReady.

Laboratory Health and Safety Equipment Fund
Internal deadline: June 30, 2020 

The Laboratory Health and Safety Equipment Fund (LHSEF) is a limited-time opportunity to obtain funding for laboratory supplies or equipment necessary to address immediate health and safety needs or non-compliance conditions. The fund is intended to address urgent health and safety needs for which funding is not currently available or for which funding was not requested in the FY20 budgeting process. Beyond FY20 it is expected that funding for health and safety equipment would be included in the normal departmental budgeting process, course fees and grant proposals. Up to $10,000 can be requested in each application. Please see the info sheet for more details.

Note: This is a rolling award that is available throughout FY20. If equipment is needed, you do not need to wait for the deadline to apply.

Click here to apply via Infoready.

Corporate and Foundation Funding

The University of Utah Corporate and Foundation Relations program can help build a relationship between you and potential private funding partners. Our team can advise on strategic approaches, arrange visits, review draft proposals and help translate ideas into fundable projects or programs. Please contact Chris Ostrander at 5-7220 if you are interested in applying for an opportunity listed below, or on the CFR Funding Opportunity website.

Simons Foundation — Fellows in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
Deadline: Sept. 26, 2019

Amount: $100,000

The foundation is offering funds for faculty in mathematics or theoretical physics to take a semester-long sabbatical to help provide strong intellectual stimulation, thus leading to increased research creativity and productivity. Awards are based on the applicant’s recent scientific accomplishments and on the potential impact of work done during the sabbatical period.

Click here to learn more.