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Examples of UNF Faculty research conducted with ORSP

September 2012

Christine Weber
Researcher of the Month: Dr.Christine Weber, College of Education and Human Services

Dr. Christine Weber, a tenured professor in the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS), has dramatically increased her scholarship and become an internationally known expert in gifted education through her sponsored research activities.


She recently wrapped up an eight-year collaborative project Working on Gifted Issues (WOGI), sponsored by the Florida Department of Education and the North East Florida Educational Consortium, which focused on a variety of initiatives in gifted education including the creation of a curriculum framework for teachers of gifted students. The resulting development of the Florida Frameworks for K-12 Gifted Learners has contributed to making Weber a highly sought after presenter, enabling her to travel extensively and grow her professional network.


Weber’s passport includes visits to Prague, Czech Republic, where she presented at the 19th Biennial Conference, World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, and Dubai, where she presented at the 12th Asia Pacific Conference on Giftedness. As an invited presenter, Weber has enjoyed these exotic locales with little out of pocket expenses. She has also presented with her former research assistant Dr. Laurel Stanley, with whom she also shares a publishing credit.


Weber’s ever increasing professional network is a direct result of how scholarly activities can be enhanced by obtaining grants and building collaborations to further her research interests. For example, she was introduced to both of her co-authors, Cecilia Boswell and Wendy Behrens, through her travels with the WOGI grant. In addition to the book publication, Weber was recently the co-editor of an issue for Gifted Child Today on “teacher professionalism” which included her article related to pre-service teachers and their preconceived beliefs about gifted and talented children. She is currently collaborating with former graduate assistant Sarah Mitchell on developing a manuscript about writing and Camp Composition. Weber recognizes the value of graduate assistants, calling them “important to the research mission, confident and opinionated” – all necessary attributes for pursuing excellence in scholarship.


How could one woman do all of this? Weber made time for her work on the grant and subsequent speaking engagements by using the reassignment options available to professors who are pursuing academic research and also by requesting a sabbatical. In fact, during the fall semester of 2012, she will be on sabbatical completing a book entitled Enhancing Professional Development: Examining Issues in Gifted Education. Weber also enlisted the help of graduate students and research assistants and formed collaborations with colleagues.


Her advice to incoming faculty interested in conducting research is to “pursue an area that you love… research can be very fulfilling and open a lot of doors.” This is sound guidance from a professional who has seen first-hand how far reaching and satisfying collaborative work on research grants can be.


New Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Requirements

The Department of Health and Human Services published a FINAL RULE that amends the 1995 regulations of Financial Conflicts of Interest. The University of North Florida has taken steps to ensure changes promulgated in this final rule are incorporated into its policies and standard operating procedures which are outlined on ORSP’s FCOI web page. Major changes to the 1995 regulations and UNF’s Statement of Compliance relative to these topics include:

  • Lower financial disclosure thresholds – The new threshold has no effect on UNF. UNF conflict of interest/outside employment policies (Article 26 in BOT-UFF Agreement and Policy 4.017OR in personnel program) require all outside compensated activity to be reported. Thus, UNF policies contain no financial threshold for reporting. Faculty and staff are to report all outside activity for which remuneration is received.
  • New conflict of interest training – The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) modules required by The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and Academic Affairs’ as training meets this requirement.
  • New public accessibility requirements – No effect on UNF. The conflict of interest policies (CBA for in-unit and policy for non-unit) are posted on the web and thus publically accessible.
  • Increased transparency for travel reimbursement – This will be addressed with adequate accommodations for the requirements of the Final Rule.

Click on this link to learn more about the new FCOI requirements: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/coi/ 

ORSP Services
With the beginning of a new academic year, it is our pleasure to introduce ORSP's varied service offerings to those of you who are new to the University and reacquaint those who may know of us but not what we offer relative to grants and contracts. ORSP is a four-unit department: Research Development, Research Integrity, Grants Accounting and Financial Management and Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer. Below we provide information on the activities of each unit.
Research Development (RD)

The development of proposals for sponsored projects is a team effort involving investigator(s) and ORSP. The ORSP Research Development (RD) team works to ensure that proposals submitted have the best prospects for success and project budgets are designed to meet UNF and regulatory requirements. Investigators should contact the ORSP RD team as soon as they identify a funding opportunity of interest or begin discussions with a potential sponsor. The RD team provides pre-award support to investigators by:

  • Providing individualized searches to identify and distribute funding opportunities related to individual interests
  • Maintaining information about faculty interests to identify teams for collaborative proposals and match faculty to sponsor inquiries
  • Meeting with sponsor representatives and faculty to discuss requirements and/or interpreting funding guidelines and application procedures
  • Reviewing proposals for content, clarity and adherence to guidelines
  • Developing accurate and reasonable budgets
  • Securing institutional approval for proposed projects
  • Completing sponsoring agency forms (hard copy and electronic format)
  • Submitting proposals to sponsoring agencies (hard copy and electronic format)
  • Facilitating collaboration of UNF faculty with outside entities by securing third-party commitments from subcontractors or providing commitments to lead entities when UNF is subcontractor
  • Negotiating contracts and awards and securing institutional approval for award acceptance

For more information see the RD web page.

Research Integrity (RI)

The Research Integrity (RI) team promotes the responsible conduct of research by providing administrative support for the University’s federally mandated oversight committees (Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects [IRB], Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee [IACUC] and Institutional Biosafety Committee [IBC]) which provide for public safety and ethical scientific procedures in all research that involves human or animal subjects and for the safe use of recombinant DNA and biohazardous materials in research. These committees assure compliance with all federal regulations and university policies that govern both funded and non-funded research with human and animal subjects at UNF.


In addition to providing administrative support to the IRB, IACUC and IBC, RI is available to help researchers navigate through the regulatory compliance review process by providing educational outreach and assistance with research protocol development. The RI team in ORSP serves as a liaison between researchers and the regulatory committees by:

  • Providing educational presentations on UNF’s regulatory compliance programs
  • Developing procedures to ensure responsible conduct of research
  • Consulting with researchers on protocol development
  • Overseeing the CITI online educational program on the protection of human research subjects and animal care and use in research
  • Updating the UNF research community regarding changes to federal regulations or university policies that may impact research with human or animal subjects

For information on obtaining RI approvals in a timely fashion, see Research Integrity: A Brief Guide for Planning.


For more information, see the RI web page.

Fiscal small
Grants Accounting and Financial Management (GAFM)

The Grants Accounting and Financial Management (GAFM) unit provides post-award support to investigators and is responsible for the financial administration of all grants and contracts received by UNF. The services provided by GAFM are quite vast and unique in comparison to other universities. PI needs are identified and addressed proactively by providing orientation meetings, on‐going communication of budget analysis, administrative support of requisitions, travel, personnel documents, invoicing, and reminder notifications of due dates for deliverables and technical reports, conducting 30‐day closeout meetings and providing projections until the close of the award. This constant follow up with principal investigators ensures satisfaction and thoroughness in successful monitoring and completion of awards. The unit takes pride in the quality of administrative support that is provided to principal investigators from the time an award is received until the close‐out of the project. Please visit the Grants Accounting and Financial Management Roles and Responsibilities Matrix for a listing of PI and GAFM responsibilities regarding the grants management process.


For more information see the GAFM web page.

Intellectual Property
Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer (IPATT)

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) facilitates the identification, protection and promotion of intellectual property (IP) at the University of North Florida. Through marketing and licensing activities, ORSP brings technology forward to public use and for the benefit of the inventor, the University and the community. ORSP sdministers the University's IP policy, facilitates the legal protection of IP and manages the technology transfer process at UNF. ORSP assists researchers in documenting and processing applications for copyrights and patents and is the institutional negotiating and licensing agent for the commercialization of UNF-owned inventions and works. The Assistant Vice President for Research (AVPR) oversees UNF technology transfer activities, manages the intellectual property resources and portfolio of the University and markets existing UNF intellectual property.


Academic and research institutions engage in technology transfer for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Recognition for discoveries made at the institution
  • Compliance with federal regulations
  • Attraction and retention of talented faculty
  • Local economic development
  • Attraction of corporate research support and
  • Licensing revenue to support further research and education.

For more information, see the IPATT web page.


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction Research Colloquium Series

The College of Computing, Engineering & Construction (CCEC) is rolling out a new research colloquium series. Presentations will take place every other Friday at noon beginning Sept. 7. Dr. Don Resio, Director of the Taylor Engineering Research Institute, is making the first presentation, which is entitled “Innovations, Computations and Engineering for Assessing Coastal Risk and Improved Risk Mitigation.” The presentation will take place in building 39, room 3063, Sept. 7 at noon. The second presentation will be by Dr. Albert Ritzhaupt, Assistant Professor of Educational Technology, School of Teaching and Learning, College of Education, University of Florida. His presentation, “Grant Opportunities in Computing Education,” will take place Sept. 21 at noon.


Mark your calendars for the fall colloquium dates: Sept. 7, Sept. 21, Oct. 5, Oct. 19, Nov. 2 and Nov. 16. The spring colloquium dates are Jan. 18, Feb. 1, Feb. 15, Mar. 1, Mar. 29 and Apr. 12. This is a great opportunity to learn about research interests of our colleagues and build collaborations across campus!


If you would like to make a presentation on the dates listed for spring 2013 or need additional information, please contact Dr. Asai Asaithambi at asai.asaithambi@unf.edu.

UNF Research in the News

Researchers release good and bad news on health of St. Johns River

UNF researchers were part of a team that put together the 2012 State of the River Report, which had mixed news about the river's health. Read about the high points of the study in The Florida Times-Union. (*Funded by the City of Jacksonville) 


‘UNF On The Record’ Discusses Effects of Reproduction on Lifespan

Dr. John Hatle, biology professor, discusses his research with grasshoppers and the direct effects of reproduction on longevity on "UNF on the Record," a weekly radio show featuring campus life as well as faculty and student research. (*Funded by the National Institutes of Health) 


Medicare Rises as Prime Election Issue 

Dr. Matthew Corrigan, UNF chair of the Department of Political Science, discusses the impact of the senior population in Florida and voting in the presidential election with The New York Times.


Local Scientist Says Asteroid Hit Jacksonville Centuries Ago 

Dr. Jay Huebner, a retired UNF physics professor, believes a meteor hit our area and actually helped carve out a portion of one of Jacksonville's most famous parks.


Meteor Mystery 

Based on intriguing accounts by Spanish and French explorers in 1564, Dr. Jay Huebner, UNF physics professor emeritus, believes that a strike by a meteor, comet or asteroid could have formed Round Marsh in the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.


Papaya Packs in Some Surprising Benefits 

Named as the “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus, papaya is packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Dr. Nancy Correa-Matos, a faculty member in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program, discusses papaya, a heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting fruit in The Florida Times-Union’s monthly “Goods” column.


Fight the Freshman 15 

Dr. Catherine Christie, UNF associate dean of the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship program, discusses the truths and myths about the Freshman 15, as well as strategies and healthier food choices to help students avoid gaining weight in the first year of college.

Deadline 1
Research Reminders - Upcoming Proposal Deadlines


Unpcoming National Science Foundation Due Dates: 

Upcoming National Institutes of Health Due Dates: 

  • Program Project Grants and Center Grants (P Series) – Sept. 25
  • Research Demonstration Education Projects (R18/U18, R25) – Sept. 25
  • Institutional National Research Service Awards / Other Training Grants (T and D Series) – Sept. 25
  • Research Grants (R01) [New] – Oct. 6
  • Research Grants – Cooperative Agreements (U01) [New] – Oct. 5
  • Research Career Development Grants (K Series) – Oct. 12
  • Other Research Grants (R03, R21, R33, R21/R33, R34, R36) – Oct. 16
  • Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) (R15) [New] – Oct. 25

For all NIH standard deadlines, see NIH's web site.


If you would like more information on any of these opportunities, please contact Donna Gora at (904) 620-2456 or donna.gora@unf.edu.

Recent Awards

Congratulations to the following faculty and staff members receiving funding for their research projects!



James Gelsleichter, Biology, and Matthew Gilg, Biology,REU Site: Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Coastal Biology on Florida's First Coast, National Science Foundation, $122,865



Tammie Johnson, Public Health, and James Churilla, Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences, Brooks Professorship: Constructing Proxy Measures for Metabolic Syndrome Using Cross-Sectional, Population-Based Survey Data, UNF Foundation, $53,997



Harriet Stranahan, Center for Economic and GIS Research, Economic Analysis of JTA Operations, Jacksonville Transportation Authority, $28,290



James Fletcher, Mechanical Engineering, Vibration and Temperature Testing of a Gearbox for Riley Gear, Riley Gear Corporation, $3,500 



Janice Donaldson, Small Business Development Center, Turnaround Business Assistance Program - Supplement, University of West Florida / US Small Business Administration, $113,810



O. Patrick Kreidl, Electrical Engineering, Introduction Based Routing, BAE Systems, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, $91,000



Don Resio, Taylor Engineering Institute, Northeast Florida and Georgia Storm Surge Study, BakerAECOM / Federal Emergency Management Agency, $14,360

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