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Research Spotlight: Brian Reichow

Q & A with Brian Reichow, Associate Professor in the School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies, Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies
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What basic questions does your research seek to answer?

Broadly speaking, my research is focused on discovering how young children with disabilities learn and the best ways to support them, their families, and individuals who support them and their families. To accomplish this, I have developed multiple lines of research. A primary line of research is examining ways to educate parents and caregivers of young children with disabilities to increase their ability to provide meaningful learning opportunities throughout their child’s day. I have conducted my research on parent education both in the United States, but also through a collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other non-governmental organizations throughout the world. A secondary line of research is developing methods to identify evidence-based practices for young children with disabilities and thinking of ways to help practitioners learn how to use these methods to improve the lives of young children and their families.

What makes your work interesting?

I have always found working with young children with disabilities to be very interesting, especially since each child has unique strengths and needs. While I find the differences in children to be one of the most interesting aspects of my work, these differences also create difficulties in that I often need to think outside of the box to solve the same problem in different ways. As my work has expanded internationally, I have had opportunities to meet and engage with people from different cultures and backgrounds, which has been fascinating. Finally, as a member of an interdisciplinary center, I find working with colleagues in different fields and disciplines to be interesting, especially learning varying approaches to similar research questions.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently an Investigator on two federally funded research grants from the US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (Goal 2 – Embedded Practices and Interventions for Caregivers, R324A120121, and Goal 3 – Impact of Professional Development on Preschool Teachers’ Use of Embedded Instruction Practices: An Efficacy Trial of Tools for Teachers, R324A150076). I was recently awarded an internal grant from the University of Florida, College of Education as PI to adapt and refine the WHO Parent Skills Training Programme in Zambia, where I will be visiting this month with a colleague to begin planning the adaptation and initial pilot testing of the program. I am currently Co-PI on a Doctoral Leadership Training Grant from the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (Preparing Leaders in Early Childhood Special Education and Implementation Science, H325D150079).

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Research Spotlight: Joni Williams Splett

Q & A with Joni Williams Splett, Assistant Professor in the School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies

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Joni Splett (right) presents research regarding interventions for cyber aggression with UF School Psychology doctoral students at the 21st Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health in San Diego, CA

What basic questions does your research seek to answer?

How do we improve the mental health and wellness of children and youth? Through my research, I seek to identify strategies that help all children, youth, and their families achieve and maintain positive mental health outcomes. On a systems level, my research is focused on meaningfully interconnecting child-serving systems, such as schools and community mental health agencies, so that resources are multiplicatively enhanced and the delivery of a continuum of evidence-based mental practices is improved. At the student level, my research focuses on preventing and reducing aggressive behaviors through the development and testing of intervention programs for children, families, and schools.

What makes your work interesting?

Children’s mental health is gaining more national and international attention. It is an area most people can agree is important. My research includes systems- and student-level questions with emphasis on the inclusion and integration of families, communities, and schools. In this way, I seek to use resources more effectively to improve access to mental health promotion, prevention and intervention, and associated outcomes. My research questions, thus, include intervention effectiveness, as well as resource allocation, access, and economic impact.

What are you currently working on?

My current systems-level work includes three grant-funded, national projects, while my student-level intervention research program is focused on revising and testing GIRLSS (Growing Interpersonal Relationships through Learning and Systemic Support), a group counseling intervention to reduce relational aggression.

Currently, my largest project is a four-year, multisite randomized control trial of the Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF) funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). I am co-principal investigator of the study and PI of the Florida site. The ISF is a structure and process for blending education and mental health systems through a multitiered structure of mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention. It interconnects the multitiered system features of School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) with the evidence-based mental health practices of community mental health agencies in the school setting. Specifically, key components of the ISF include interdisciplinary collaboration and teaming, data-based decision making, and evidence-based mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention practices. We are in the first of two implementation years for the NIJ-funded randomized control trial and have one year for follow up and sustainability tracking.

My second systems-level project is the development and validation of an action planning fidelity measurement tool for the ISF, called the ISF Implementation Inventory (ISF-II; Splett, Perales, Quell, Eber, Barrett, Putnam, & Weist, 2016). During phase one of this project, we piloted the ISF-II with three school districts in three states to examine the tool’s content and social validity. We revised the measure accordingly and are now testing its reliability, construct validity, and social validity in phase two. I am leading the phase two study in collaboration with the National PBIS Technical Assistance Center’s ISF workgroup, and it currently includes more than 10 school districts in seven states. We aim to include more than 100 schools in our phase two psychometric study of the ISF-II.

The third systems-level project that I am advancing examines the adoption considerations and implementation outcomes of universal mental health screening in schools. Mental health screening is a key data-based decision making component of the ISF, as it is hypothesized to improve identification and access to mental health services for children and youth. Currently, I have several papers under review or in preparation in this area. My major project includes examining the intervention receipt outcomes in schools using a mental health screener. Schools have limited intervention resources, and it is unlikely that every student identified as in need by a universal mental health screener will receive services. My research team is using real-life screening data from schools implementing the ISF, combined with service receipt, teacher survey, and extant student records data, to examine the characteristics of students who receive intervention versus those who do not but are identified by the screener as in need. Our findings will inform recommendations to schools and policy makers for improving the implementation strategies of these screening tools.

At the student level, I am excited to be revising and testing the referral and intervention protocol of GIRLSS. I developed GIRLSS during a practicum placement in graduate school and tested it for my dissertation, but was unable to advance the work during my internship or postdoctoral positions. At UF, I have developed a partnership with Stephen Smith, Ph.D., in the Special Education program, who has successfully developed and tested other interventions to prevent and reduce aggressive behaviors in the school setting. We lead a team of doctoral students who have revised the group counseling curriculum of GIRLSS and conducted a field trial of it with middle school girls attending a local summer camp. Currently, we are writing grant applications to fund further development and testing of our revised referral and intervention protocol.

Happy Holidays from Your OER Team!

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NSF Releases Revised Proposal and Award Policies Procedures Guide

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has published a revised version of the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG, NSF 17-1) effective for proposals due on or after January 30, 2017.

For a complete list of revisions, please see the NSF webpage Significant Changes and Clarifications to the PAPPG. For a pdf or html version of the entire guide, please see Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide NSF 17-1.

A summary of the significant changes follows:

Overall Document

  • The PAPPG has been modified in its entirety, to remove all references to the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) and Award & Administration Guide (AAG). The document will now be referred to solely as the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG). The document will be sequentially numbered from Chapter I-XII and all references throughout have been modified to reflect this change. Part I of the document covers NSF’s proposal preparation and submission guidelines, and Part II covers NSF’s award, administration and monitoring guidelines.
  • Editorial changes have been made to either clarify or enhance the intended meaning of a sentence or section or ensure consistency with data contained in NSF systems or other NSF policy documents.

Significant Changes to the PAPPG Part I

  • Chapter I.D.1, Letters of Intent (LOI), includes additional language regarding the submission of a LOI for collaborative proposals. Proposers that plan to submit a collaborative proposal from multiple organizations should submit a single LOI for the entire project, given that NSF considers a collaborative proposal to be a unified research project.
  • Chapter II.B, Format of the Proposal, has been updated to include two new types of proposals, RAISE and GOALI. These two types of proposals are described in greater detail in Chapter II.E. An additional resource has also been added to this section with information on NSF auto-compliance checks that are conducted during the proposal preparation and submission process.
  • Chapter II.C.1.e, Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information, includes additional instructions for proposers. Each section of the Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information should be listed alphabetically by last name. The text has also been revised to remove the requirement that proposers list postgraduate scholar sponsors in this section of the proposal. Postgraduate scholar sponsor is not a disqualifying relationship for a reviewer; therefore, it was determined that this information is not necessary.
  • Chapter II.C.2, Sections of the Proposal, has been revised to inform proposers that proposal preparation for RAPID, EAGER, RAISE, GOALI, Ideas Lab, FASED, Conference, Equipment, Travel, Center, Research Infrastructure and Fellowship projects may deviate from the content requirements of a full research proposal.
  • Chapter II.C.2.a, Cover Sheet, has been updated to provide instructions that more closely follow the proposal preparation screens in FastLane.
  • Chapter II.C.2.d(iii), Results from Prior NSF Support, includes revised language to clarify NSF’s purpose for collecting this information in the Project Description. The purpose of the Results from Prior NSF Support section is to assist reviewers in assessing the quality of prior work conducted with current or prior NSF support. Additional instructions have also been added regarding the type of information that should be included for projects that have been recently awarded, where no new results exist.
  • Chapter II.C.2.g(vi), Other Direct Costs, has been updated to include information on incentive payments, for example, payments to human subjects or incentives to promote completion of a survey. These costs should be included on line G6 of the NSF Budget and should be proposed in accordance with organizational policies and procedures. Indirect costs should be calculated on incentive payments in accordance with the organization’s approved US Federally negotiated indirect cost rate(s).
  • Chapter II.D, Special Processing Instructions, has been revised to address areas where special proposal processing may be required. Information on RAPID, EAGER, Ideas Lab, FASED, Equipment, Conference, and Travel Proposals has been moved to Chapter II.E.
  • Chapter II.D.5, Proposals Involving Human Subjects, has been updated to reflect the Foundation’s implementation of 45 CFR 690.118, applications and proposals lacking definite plans for involvement of human subjects. A hypertext link is provided to an NSF-approved format that may be used to submit such determinations by proposing institutions. Clarification has also been added regarding the IRB documentation that NSF must have in order to make an award when proposals involve human subjects.
  • Chapter II.E, Types of Proposals, has been added to describe, in one place, the various other types of proposals that can be submitted to NSF, including the two new types, RAISE and GOALI. This section includes proposal preparation instructions for each of the types of proposal that may supplement or deviate from the guidance provided elsewhere in Chapter II.
  • Chapter II.E.9, Travel Proposal, has been updated from “International Travel Proposals” to “Travel Proposal” to reflect that this type of proposal can be used for both domestic and international travel requests. Additional proposal preparation instructions have also been added to inform proposers of the required proposal elements, including the requirement that the Project Description contain Results from Prior NSF Support.

Clarifications and Other Changes to the PAPPG Part I

  • Chapter I.F, When to Submit Proposals, has been revised to include additional instructions on how to submit proposals under the Special Exception to NSF’s Deadline Date Policy. This section includes proposal preparation instructions for organizations impacted by a natural or anthropogenic disaster. Impacted proposers must check the “Special Exception to the Deadline Date Policy” box on the NSF Cover Sheet and upload the requisite Single Copy Document(s).
  • Chapter II.C.2, Sections of the Proposal, has been amended to include k. Single Copy Documents in the list of the required components of a full research proposal.
  • Chapter II.C.2.f(i), Biographical Sketch(es), Senior Personnel, has been revised to reflect that FastLane no longer accepts the Biographical Sketch inserted as text. The Biographical Sketch for each senior personnel must be uploaded as a single PDF file associated with that individual.
  • Chapter II.C.2.g(iv)(b) Domestic Travel, has been revised to inform proposers that travel, meal and hotel expenses of grantee employees who are not on travel status are unallowable. Additional language has also been added stating that costs of employees on travel status are limited to those specifically authorized by 2 CFR § 200.474.
  • Chapter II.C.2.g(viii), Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities and Administrative Costs (F&A) for Colleges and Universities) (Line I on the Proposal Budget), has been updated to clarify that the use of an indirect cost rate lower than the organization’s approved negotiated indirect cost rate is considered a violation of NSF’s cost sharing policy.
  • Chapter II.C.2.g(xii), Voluntary Committed and Uncommitted Cost Sharing, has been amended to include an additional reference to 2 CFR § 200.99, definition of voluntary committed cost sharing. Clarifying language has also been added to emphasize how voluntary committed and voluntary uncommitted cost sharing are treated differently by NSF. In accordance with the Uniform Guidance, in order to be considered voluntary committed cost sharing, the amount must appear on the NSF budget, and be specifically identified in the approved NSF budget. Voluntary uncommitted cost sharing, however, should not be included in the proposal budget or budget justification and these resources are not financially auditable by NSF.
  • Chapter II.C.2.j, Special Information and Supplementary Documentation:
    1. has been updated to clarify where the “Mentoring Plan” and “Data Management Plan” should be uploaded in the Supplementary Documentation section of FastLane.
    2. includes additional language to emphasize the importance of submitting letters of support only when specifically required by a program solicitation.
  • Chapter II.D.3.b, Submission of a collaborative proposal from multiple organizations, has been updated to include the Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information in the list of required sections for a collaborative proposal. The Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information should be separately provided by the lead and non-lead organization(s) in a separately submitted collaborative proposal.
  • Chapter II.D.7, Projects Requiring High-Performance Computing Resources, Large Amounts of Data Storage, or Advanced Visualization Resources, includes additional language that clarifies how submitters can address the locally available high-performance computing resources in their proposal. The description of available computing resources has also been updated.
  • Exhibit II-1, Proposal Preparation Checklist, has been clarified with an additional sentence letting proposers know that FastLane uses different rules for each type of proposal (e.g. Research, RAPID, EAGER, RAISE, GOALI, Ideas Lab, FASED, Conference, Equipment or Travel) to check for compliance prior to submission to NSF. Additional checklist components have also been added to assist proposers in the presubmission administrative review of proposals to NSF.
  • Exhibit II-2, Potentially Disqualifying Conflicts of Interest, has been updated to clarify the types of relationships that would prevent a reviewer from reviewing a proposal unless a waiver has been granted by NSF. Specifically, language relating to serving as a consultant at an organization, and involvement as a former Ph.D. student/ advisor has been added in this exhibit.
  • Exhibit II-6, Nondiscrimination Certification, has been revised to ensure that references to subrecipients, contractors and subawards are consistent with definitions in 2 CFR § 200, Subpart A, Acronyms and Definitions.
  • Exhibit II-7, Definitions of Categories of Personnel, has been updated to clarify that a Faculty Associate can be a faculty member or equivalent at the performing institution.
  • Chapter III.F.2(c)(3), Process to Appeal NSF’s Decision to Decline a Proposal for Financial or Administrative Reasons, Procedures, includes additional language to clarify that proposers may submit documentation to support their statements – even documentation that may not have been presented as part of the original review process – as long as it is not “new” information that would not have been available at the time the decision to decline was made.

Significant Changes to the PAPPG Part II

  • Chapter VI.D.3.c(ii), NSF-Approved Extension, has been updated to clarify that a request for an NSF-approved extension should be submitted at least 45 days prior to the end date of the grant and must be signed and submitted by the AOR via use of NSF’s electronic systems. Information has also been added to make grantees aware of the limited time period of availability of funds due to cancelation of appropriations.
  • Chapter VII.B.2.c, Addition of co-PI/co-PD, has been added to provide instructions to grantees desiring to add a new co-PI/co-PD. This section includes instructions on how an AOR can prepare and submit this request via use of NSF’s electronic systems. This section lists the required components of this type of grantee request.
  • Chapter VIII.C.2, Payment Policies, has been amended to remove the requirement that grantees must certify that all disbursements have been made, or will be made within three days of the receipt of the payment.
  • Chapter VIII.E.6, Award Financial Reporting Requirements and Final Disbursement, has been supplemented with a new subpart, E.6., to make grantees aware of how NSF awards with canceled appropriations will be treated and to include the regulatory citation related to expiration of appropriated funds. In accordance with 31 USC 1552(a), funds will no longer be available for expenditure for any purpose beyond September 30th of the fifth fiscal year after the expiration of a fixed appropriation’s period of availability for incurring new obligations.
  • Chapter XI.B.1, Human Subjects, has been updated to reflect the Foundation’s implementation of 45 CFR 690.118, applications and proposals lacking definite plans for involvement of human subjects. Clarification has also been added regarding the IRB documentation that NSF must have for projects that involve human subjects.

Clarifications and Other Changes to the PAPPG Part II

  • Chapter VII.B.2.e, Substitute (Change) PI/PD or co-PI/co-PD, includes additional instructions on how an AOR can prepare and submit the request via use of NSF’s electronic systems. This section now lists the required components of this type of grantee request.
  • Chapter VIII.E.5, Award Financial Reporting Requirements and Final Disbursement, has been updated to inform grantees of the time limits applicable to the upward or downward adjustments to the Federal share of costs for a financially closed award.
  • Chapter IX.A, Conflict of Interest Policies, has been amended to remove the term “contractors” from this section for greater consistency with 2 CFR § 200, Subpart A, Acronyms and Definitions.
  • Chapter X.A.2.b, Pre-Award (Pre-Start Date) Costs, includes an additional footnote reminding grantees that in the case of a renewal award, costs incurred under the old grant cannot be transferred to the new grant.
  • Chapter X.B.2, Administrative and Clerical Salaries & Wages, has been updated to reference 2 CFR § 200.413, Direct Costs. Language has also been added to clarify that an AOR should initiate the request for NSF approval to direct charge salaries of administrative or clerical staff after an award has been made.

NSF Provides Update on Proposal Submission Modernization

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has undertaken a multiyear proposal submission modernization (PSM) effort to modernize and transition grantee electronic capabilities from FastLane to Research.gov. Plans for next year include a pilot launch for a single solicitation in Research.gov.

PSM aims to reduce the administrative burden to the research community and NSF staff associated with preparation, submission, and management of proposals. In FY 2016, NSF has focused on establishing requirements, developing proposal section modernization concepts, and setting up the back-end application infrastructure.

In order to assist grantees, NSF has developed a matrix that lists NSF’s grantee electronic capabilities, and whether they can be found in FastLane, Research.gov, or both. This matrix will be updated as appropriate, independent of the PAPPG revision cycle. To view the matrix, please visit the NSF Electronic Capabilities Modernization Status webpage.

NIH: Final Research Performance Progress Report Effective January 1, 2017

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a Final Research Performance Progress Report (F-RPPR) replacing the Final Progress Report (FPR) for grants closeout, effective January 1, 2017.  The F-RPPR will be available for use in eRA Commons on January 1, 2017.

What This Means for You

If you have a final progress report due, and you wish to use the old FPR format of an uploaded document, you must submit the FPR before January 1, 2017. NIH will no longer accept any of the old format FPRs on or after January 1, 2017.

The Format

The format of the Final RPPR is very similar to that of the annual RPPR. The notable differences being the F-RPPR does not have sections D (Participants), F (Changes), and H (Budget). The F-RPPR does have a new section: Section I (Outcomes).

Project Outcomes (Section I) will be made publicly available, allowing recipients the opportunity to provide the general public with a concise summary of the public significance of the research.

Deadline Remains Unchanged

The deadlines for submitting a Final RPPR remain the same — no later than 120 days from the project end date.

The Effect on Delegation to Submit RPPR

NIH will maintain the business rule that allows the Signing Official (SO) to delegate the submission of the Final RPPR or Interim-RPPR to a Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI).

For More Information, see Guide Notice NOT-OD-17-022.  Visit the NIH RPPR web page, and check out November’s eRA Items of Interest article Please Call it “Final RPPR”

UF Office of Research Announces UFIRST Open Forum

The UF Office of Research would like to invite you to an open forum on Monday, December 12 in the Florida Gym Room 250 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The forum will help to identify opportunities for UFIRST improvements in the coming year.

In August 2013, the Office of Research kicked off the UFIRST program to redesign the proposal and awards process.  UFIRST is also a commitment to ongoing process improvement.  The implementation of the awards module is not an END to that commitment, but simply a change from implementation to evolution.  The conversation continues.

Awarded Projects for November 2016

College of Education
Awarded Projects
November 2016
Principal Investigator: Catherine Atria (P.K. Yonge)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: Florida Department of Education
Project Title: District Instructional Leadership and Faculty Development Grant
Project Period: 7/1/2016 – 6/30/2017
Award Amount: $7,780
Principal Investigator: Michael Bowie (Administration, Dean’s Area)
Co-PI: Nancy Waldron (Student Services)
Funding Agency: Florida Department of Education
Project Title: College Reach-Out Program (CROP)
Project Period: 8/1/2016 – 7/31/2017
Award Amount: $50,360
Principal Investigator: Maria Coady (STL)
Co-PI: Ester de Jong (STL)
Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Education/OELA
Project Title: Project STELLAR: Supporting Teachers of English Language Learners Across Rural Settings
Project Period: 9/1/2016 – 8/31/2021
Award Amount: $2,393,911
Principal Investigator: Ashley Pennypacker Hill (P.K. Yonge)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: Florida Department of Education
Project Title: IDEA Part B, Entitlement 2016 – 2017
Project Period: 7/1/2016 – 9/30/2017
Award Amount: $207,547

Submitted Projects for November 2016

College of Education
Submitted Projects
November 2016
Principal Investigator: Pasha Antonenko (STL)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: National Science Foundation
Proposal Title: Collaborative Research: i-Tracker: Enhancing Engineering Design Interpretation Skills in Construction Engineering and Management Education Through Deep Context Immersion
Requested Amount: $61,681
Principal Investigator: Masoud Gheisari (M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management)
Co-PI: Pasha Antonenko (STL), Raja Issa (M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction), Benjamin Lok (Computer & Information Science & Engineering)
Funding Agency: National Science Foundation
Proposal Title: iVisit: Using Conversational Virtual Humans within Spatiotemporal Contexts of Construction Sites to Improve the Development of Communication Skills of Construction Students
Requested Amount: $20,928
Principal Investigator: Philip Poekert (Lastinger Center for Learning)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: Lafayette Parish School System
Proposal Title: Lafayette Parish Believe and Prepare
Requested Amount: $16,000
Principal Investigator: Rose Pringle (STL)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: Georgia State University (Subcontract – NSF Flow Through)
Proposal Title: I AM STEM Innovation, Achievement, and Motivation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Requested Amount: $167,332
Principal Investigator: Patricia Snyder (AZCEECS/SSESPECS)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: University of North Carolina (Subcontract – IES Flow Through)
Proposal Title: ECTA: DEC Recommended Practices in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education
Requested Amount: $33,150