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Research Spotlight: Walter Leite


Q & A with Walter Leite, Professor in the School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education

What basic questions does your research seek to answer?

In education, researchers have available a large amount of secondary data. These include national educational surveys, data collected by state departments of education, and data collected by online learning environments. Although these data do not come from experimental studies, educational researchers frequently use them for evaluating educational programs. Therefore, my first basic research question is, How can we strengthen causal inference from research performed using large non-experimental datasets? In addition, large-scale educational data can be used in an exploratory way to identify students at risk or who have specific growth trajectories. Identifying clusters of students is important to target interventions and to understand contextual effects of educational systems. Based on this, my second question of interest is, How can we detect clusters of individuals in large datasets?
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OER Annual Report of Accomplishments for Fiscal Year 2016

The Office of Educational Research (OER) has completed a draft of its Annual Report outlining data on externally funded projects and grant activities in the College of Education (COE). Faculty productivity and efforts toward securing external funding remain high and have surpassed fiscal year (FY) 2015 in (a) number of proposal submissions, (b) number of currently funded projects, and (c) dollar amount of currently funded projects.

The following represents a summary of external funding activities for FY 2016: Read more

Summary of UF Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Indirect Cost Distributions

The FY 2016-2017 Indirect Cost distributions (excluding IFAS and Engineering) have been transferred to PI, Department, and Center overhead projects. The current distributions are at Project Manager (formerly Project PI) 10%; Department Chair 7.5%; and if a center was identified in UFIRST as supporting the project, then up to 7.5% to the Center Director.

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NSF Project Reporting Policies and Reminders

The Grant Oversight and New Efficiency (GONE) Act requires federal agencies to submit a report to Congress of all federal grant awards that expired on or before September 30, 2015 that are not closed. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is unable to close awards that have overdue project reports. Awards to institutions with project reports more than two years overdue will be reported to Congress on November 15, 2017, in accordance with the GONE Act. NSF will issue letters informing institutions of awards that fall into this category.

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Registration for 2017 Fall NSF Grants Conference Opens Sept. 7

Registration for the Fall 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Grants Conference opens September 7 at 12 PM EST on the conference website. The event will take place November 13-14, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel.

Semi-annual NSF Grants Conferences are essential learning opportunities for new faculty, researchers, and administrators who want to gain key insights into a wide range of current issues at NSF. NSF program officers representing each NSF directorate will be on hand to provide up-to-date information about specific funding opportunities and to answer attendee questions.

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NSF Moves to a New Location

Beginning October 2, 2017, the new National Science Foundation (NSF) mailing address will be as follows: National Science Foundation 2415 Eisenhower Avenue Alexandria, VA 22314.

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Newly Revised Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects

The Common Rule (45 CFR 690) for the Protection of Human Subjects is a 1981 law involving ethics for research with human subjects. In 2011, the 17 federal agencies covered by the Common Rule began the process of modernizing it. A new rule was published this year and most parts are scheduled to go into effect January 19, 2018. Common Rule agencies are in the process of developing guidance for researchers and Institutional Review Boards (IRBs).

Several important changes in the new regulation are as follows:

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Changing Policies Impact NIH-Funded Studies Involving Human Subjects

If you are conducting NIH-funded research that involves human subjects, or are considering applying to NIH for support of such research, the following important changes may affect how you address the following:

  • Select the right NIH funding opportunity announcement.
  • Write the research strategy and human subjects sections of your application.
  • Comply with appropriate policies and regulations.

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Awarded Projects for August 2017

Congratulations to Philip Poekert for his awards from Orange County Public Schools, Charleston County School District, School Board of Seminole County, and Alachua County School Board; Melissa Ralston for her award from the University of New Hampshire; and Joni Splett for her award from the Society for the Study of School Psychology.

For more details, see the Awarded Projects table.
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Submitted Projects for August 2017

Best wishes to Amber Benedict for her subcontract IES Flow Through from the University of Connecticut; Crystal Bishop, James Algina, and Brian Reichow for their proposal to the U.S. Department of Education/IES; Maureen Conroy and James Algina for their subcontract IES Flow Through from the Virginia Commonwealth University; Kara Dawson for her subcontract IES Flow Through from Pacific University; Joseph Gagnon for his subcontract IES Flow Through from Georgia State University; Cynthia Griffin, Nancy Dana, Walter Leite, and James Algina for their proposal to the U.S. Department of Education/IES; Timothy Jacobbe for his subcontract IES Flow Through from Florida State University; Herman Knopf for his subcontract DHHS Flow Through from the University of South Carolina; Holly Lane and Nicholas Gage for their subcontract IES Flow Through from the University of Washington; Anne Corinne Huggins-Manley and Amber Benedict for their proposal to the U.S. Department of Education/IES; Anne Corinne Huggins-Manley and Ren Liu for their proposal to the National Science Foundation; Donald Pemberton for his Helios Education Foundation Flow Through proposals to the University of Florida Foundation; Donald Pemberton and Philip Poekert for their proposal to Florida’s Office of Early Learning; Philip Poekert for his proposal to the Alachua County School Board; Brian Reichow, Patricia Snyder, and James Algina for their proposal to the U.S. Department of Education/IES; Stephen Smith, Ann Daunic, and Joni Splett for their proposal to the U.S. Department of Education/IES; Patricia Snyder, Maureen Conroy, Brian Reichow, and Mary McLean for their subcontract OSEP Flow Through from the University of North Carolina; Patricia Snyder and Mary McLean for their proposal to the Santa Clara County Superintendent; and Patricia Snyder for her subcontract IES Flow Through from Temple University.

For more details, see the Submitted Projects table.

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The Cost of Doing Research: Importance of F&A

Reprinted from UF Explore
Research at UF, Updates from UF Vice President for Research David Norton

The research enterprise at the University of Florida has a rich history of contributing to the well-being of people across the state, the nation, and the world.  Every day, UF research faculty, staff, and students are working to solve prevalent challenges facing society, seeking cures for diseases, developing defenses to cybersecurity threats, and uncovering the mysteries of our physical world.  The research enterprise at the University of Florida is intent on making a difference, creating the future, making the world a better place. Read more

Dear Colleague Letter: Announcement of an Effort to Expand the NSF INCLUDES National Network

NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) is an effort to enhance U.S. leadership in STEM and is one of the 10 “Big Ideas” for Future NSF Investment.

NSF is focused on ways new and currently funded projects can engage with the INCLUDES National Network and is encouraging the submission of funding requests in the following areas:

  • Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER)
  • Conferences and Workshops
  • Supplements to Existing NSF-funded Grants

There are two submission deadlines for funding requests in response to this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL).

  • November 13, 2017
  • April 16, 2018

Before submitting EAGER or Conference proposals, eligible Principal Investigator(s) should email nsfincludes@nsf.gov with a one-page description of their project to determine suitability for this NSF INCLUDES DCL and the appropriate deadline for the proposals.

To ensure proper processing, please begin the proposal title with: DCL: NSF INCLUDES. Read more

NSF Faculty Salary Policy: Two-Month Rule

The National Science Foundation (NSF) policy on faculty salary compensation states that compensation for senior project personnel is generally limited to “no more than two months of their regular salary in any one year. This limit includes salary compensation received from all NSF-funded grants… If anticipated, any compensation for such personnel in excess of two months must be disclosed in the proposal budget, justified in the budget justification, and must be specifically approved by NSF in the award notice budget.”

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Save the Date: The Fall 2017 NSF Grants Conference

The Fall 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Grants Conference will take place on November 13-14, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The two-day event will be held at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel. Registration will open on Thursday, September 7 at 12:00 PM EST. Read more

IES Invites Public Comment on Two Research Goals

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is seeking input on its education and special education research programs, specifically around two of its five research goals—Efficacy and Replication (Goal 3) and Effectiveness (Goal 4).

IES is requesting feedback on whether these goals, as currently configured, are meeting the needs of the field, or whether changes should be considered to incentivize and support more replication and effectiveness studies.

Those wishing to respond may send comments by email to Comments.Research@ed.gov by Monday, October 2, 2017. Read more