Research Spotlight: Pavlo “Pasha” Antonenko

Q & A with Pavlo “Pasha” Antonenko, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the School of Teaching and Learning

What basic questions does your research seek to answer?

My work focuses on two essential questions: “How do people learn with technology?” and “How can we improve learning environments using technology?” I believe strongly that in order to deduce guidelines for effective teaching, we must have a solid understanding of the motivations, contexts, and mechanisms underlying learning. I am very interested in informal learning because informal, and often incidental, learning experiences precede formal education, and I think there is much to be learned about improving formal education in K-12 schools and colleges by examining how people learn individually and in groups outside the formal classroom environment.

What makes your work interesting?

When I study learning, I focus on both the outcomes (or products) of learning and the processes underlying learning within diverse groups of learners. Traditionally, educational researchers have focused primarily on learning outcomes. However, the problem with that is if we only focus on outcomes we have little understanding of why certain learners succeed in certain contexts and using certain tools, while others do not. What makes my work interesting and useful, I think, is I cross traditional disciplinary boundaries and try to use the research methods and tools used by cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, and computer and information scientists to study the mechanisms underlying learning. One example is my contribution regarding the use of Electroencephalography, or EEG, in educational research. I use EEG to study the dynamics of cognitive processing during learning. Tools like EEG allow us to record and study the rhythms of our brain waves and based on the analysis of brain wave synchronization we can infer the levels of working memory load, or the intensity of cognitive processing, at any point of time during the learning process.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a variety of research projects, funded by the National Science Foundation and University of Florida, to study optimal conditions for learning with technology. For example, Project LENS focuses on establishing an interdisciplinary collaborative network of scholars that use Electroencephalography, eye tracking, and functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy to understand multimedia learning within a diverse population of students that exhibit attentional and cognitive differences. iDigFossils is a project focused on improving K-12 education. Specifically, its goal is to expand and extend our understanding of integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) learning by designing and testing a model for student engagement using 3D scanning and printing technologies, as well as computational modeling with statistical language R within a highly relevant but unexplored educational pathway to K-12 STEM – paleontology. My other projects are described here:

Information to Assist Faculty in Securing Appointments to Federal Committees

The State University System of Florida has created a helpful guide to assist faculty in applying for federal agency advisory boards or committees. As explained in the guide, service on such committees and advisory boards is an excellent way to contribute to both the university at large and the agency served. Further, such service can enhance one’s own professional development and career trajectory via gains in knowledge about the grant making process as well as through networking and leadership opportunities. The guide below provides information about agencies with such positions and how to be selected for them.

State University System of Florida 

April 25, 2016

Resources to help in securing appointments to federal boards

We would like to pass along some information to help our State University System faculty and administrators when considering an application for service on federal agency advisory boards or committees.  In this increasingly competitive federal funding environment, such service may help your institution and the individual become even more successful in the grant application process.

There are over 1,000 agency committees across the government.  Service on them usually involves a 4 or 5 year term appointment. Travel and related expenses are covered by the sponsoring agency.

Such service contributes to:

  • the agency — by providing the government with needed outside expert advice
  • the university — by having its visibility raised in these settings
  • the appointed faculty member – by achieving prestigious agency service which can be a career enhancer

Serving on these committees can provide faculty with valuable knowledge and insight about an agency’s culture, budget and inner workings, as well as exposure to agency leaders and decision makers.

Central listing

The government maintains a centralized access point for all “Federal Advisory Committee Act” committees arranged by agency.  See: This database provides important information about the committees, including their decision-makers and general information. It contains a wealth of information for each committee.

The link to the complete list of agencies with advisory boards and committees is found at

Click on each agency of interest to see the latest list and links to each. For instance, to find NIH-related committees, click on the Department of Health and Human Services and then click on the committee of interest to see background information and the contact information for the relevant official.

Or, to search by name for committees at individual agencies, see

How to use the link

The link will take you to a complete list of government agencies sponsoring committees under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, a law that specifies certain procedures for open meetings, adequate meeting notice and chartering.

From there you can select an agency of interest.  For example, clicking on the Department of Health and Human Services link will provide a list of 267 committees operating under the agency. Selecting a particular committee will provide general information, members and the contact or decision maker relating to the committee. Committees range from the Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect to the World Trade Center Health Program Scientific Technical Advisory Committee –and everything in between!

Nomination letter

Once a committee has been identified, normally a letter of nomination is required to the appointing official, often the Department Secretary. These letters can be sent by other faculty, deans, school presidents, association leaders. Usually a local Member of Congress can also provide a letter of endorsement if the faculty member is known to the Member. Often for peer review groups, the process involves a self nomination. It also generally helps to have your professional association, university supervisors or some other third party who is familiar with your work write a letter of support.

Other agency resources

In addition to the main committee link provided above, your faculty may also want to explore the websites of individual agencies for more information on other committees, especially peer-review or study sections that review grants.

For example the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and Department of Energy each have great need for faculty, including early career reviewers, to serve on peer review committees to judge grant applications.

National Institute of Health Study Sections

For information on the expertise required and the nomination and selection criteria and process at NIH, see:  To find lists of all study sections, integrated review groups and special emphasis panels:

NIH lists the top ten reasons for serving in this way: We asked a number of reviewers why someone considering becoming a reviewer should do it, and here is what they told us:

Get a Front Row Seat to the Future: “It’s intense and cutting edge . . . and intellectually stimulating to see the wonderful ideas and approaches to major problems that come through.”

Become More Successful: “It really helps you to appreciate the difference between good grant writing and bad grant writing, more importantly between good science and bad science.”

Learn More: “It is the best way to stay up to date in your field, and to gain insights from other fields that can be applicable to your own work.”

Meet New Colleagues: “Getting together with colleagues to review grants is still one of the best mechanisms for building and maintaining professional contacts.”

Become a Better Mentor: “I got much better at counseling young people in how to think about their applications and what to do, and it’s paying off in their success.”

Give Back: “I feel it’s something I owe the scientific community . . . If you’re going to be a part of the system, you have to bear the responsibility.”

Shape the Future: “Helping to mold what direction science goes in is very satisfying.”

Reviewers with a substantial commitment to NIH review also can submit at anytime applications that would otherwise have a standard due date.

National Science Foundation

NSF has similar needs for merit reviewers. For information on how to become an external reviewer at the National Science Foundation, see:

Department of Energy

For information on advisory committees at the Department of Energy, Office of Science, please visit:

Prepared by Cavarocchi-Ruscio-Dennis Associates for the State University System of Florida.  For more information, contact Brent Jaquet at or 202 484-1100.

NCURA Departmental Research Administration Workshop

The UF Office of Research is considering offering a third 2.5 day National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) Departmental Research Administration workshop this fall.  The workshop was offered in February and May to full sessions and very high marks.  If there is sufficient interest, we will offer this same workshop for the third time this year — from November 30-December 2.  The cost of the workshop would be $600 per attendee.

If you are interested, please register your interest at:  This would not be an absolute commitment to attend, simply a way to gauge if UF could support filling the 60 slots required at minimum for NCURA to allow us to host such an event.

More information is available at:

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Stephanie Gray in the Office of Research’s Division of Sponsored Programs at Registration and Updates

If you have not yet done so, consider creating an ORCID identifier and profile to track your research publications and grant submissions. As described on the ORCID website, ORCID “provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized” (

ORCID has made some important changes to their functionality and user interface to better optimize their system. See below for important updates on changes to the ORCID system from the ORCID Team (


New: The ORCID Inbox
To help you manage how and when you receive notifications from ORCID, ORCID developed an ORCID Inbox system, ORCID users can choose which messages are delivered to their Inbox and how frequently they receive alerts. For more information and to reset the default weekly alert frequency, please see “About the ORCID Inbox.”

New: Permission requests for ORCID record auto-updates
To reduce the amount of time spent maintaining an ORCID record, the ORCID Team has been working with selected member organizations including CrossRef and DataCite – non-profits that work with publishers and data centers to provide digital object identifiers (DOIs) – to enable automatic updates to ORCID records. These organizations may post messages to a user’s Inbox requesting permission to update the user’s record when the user uses their ORCID iD during manuscript submission or dataset deposit. Users need grant permission only once, and may revoke permission at any time. To learn more about this feature, please see “About the ORCID Inbox.”

Privacy Policy Changes
To help identify and block spammers from creating fake ORCID iDs and records, ORCID now may associate a user’s IP address with their ORCID account. See updates to ORCID’s privacy policy here:

Sci-Hub Website and Library Information

You may be aware of a website called Sci-Hub, which is a potentially illegal repository of millions of academic journal articles stored online. Articles posted on this website routinely violate the original copyright agreements set forth by the articles’ authors and journal publishers. University of Florida-affiliated individuals are discouraged from accessing or participating in any Sci-Hub activities, including using this website to access research articles.

For more information about this controversy, see this article from Science Magazine:

The University of Florida subscribes to numerous academic journals, free access to which is provided for all University of Florida faculty, staff, and students (

The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries contains (retrieved from

  • Over 5 million print volumes
  • 1 million e-books
  • 170,522 full-text electronic journals
  • 1,000 electronic databases
  • Over eleven million pages from the libraries’ collections have been digitized for online public access. Each year 1.2 million pages of archival, photo and textual materials are added. There are over 85,000,000 unique material views annually to the digital collections’ web site.
  • 43,648 UF theses and dissertations are available through the libraries. Over 20,000 are available online.

Library-based information (e.g., academic journal articles) may be accessed off-campus by logging on to the Virtual Private Network (VPN). For instructions on how to use the VPN for library access, see:

If the University does not subscribe to a journal you wish to access, or if access to a particular article is restricted, the University facilitates an Interlibrary Loan service (ILL/ILLIAD) to assist patrons in retrieving information. This quick and convenient service results in the delivery of many previously inaccessible articles and book chapters directly to the user free of charge. For instructions on how to use the Interlibrary Loan service, see:

Additional tutorial videos for popular library topics (e.g., how to locate journals by title and subject, how to renew books online, how to access online journals from off campus) are available at:

A DSP Reminder: IPA Agreement Processing Guidance

The UF Division of Sponsored Programs (DSP) has updated its Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Agreement Processing Guidance. What is an IPA Agreement? The IPA Agreement is the contract between UF and a federal agency that allows a UF employee to go on assignment to the federal agency and provide research, administrative, or other services to the federal agency for a limited period of time.

The assignee remains a UF employee and continues to be paid by UF payroll for the duration of the assignment. The Federal agency may agree to pay all, some, or none of the costs associated with an assignment. Costs may include salary pay, supplemental pay, fringe benefits, and travel and relocation expenses.  Most IPAs do not allow reimbursement of indirect costs, but there are a few federal agencies that do allow a reduced indirect cost rate.

The updated guidance can be found on the DSP website: IPA Agreement Processing Guidance

UF IPA Agreement Processing Guidance

  • UF employees considering going on assignment need to first coordinate the activity with their Dept Chair and in some cases the Dean’s Office.
  • All IPA agreements must receive UF’s four levels of approval (PI, Dept, College and DSP) using UFIRST Proposal with a related UFIRST Agreement, prior to DSP signing the IPA Agreement.
  • Upon IPA full execution the funding is established in a project in Fund 201 using UFIRST Awards.
  • C&G Accounting will invoice the federal agency and collect the payments.

UFIRST Instructions

If the assignee is PI eligible,

  • In the Proposal and Award SmartForms the assignee is entered as the Principal Investigator.
  • The PI will be the Project Manager and their effort commitment will be entered into the Award commitment page.
  • No effort commitment is required of the immediate supervisor identified in the IPA agreement.

If the assignee is not PI eligible,

  • In the Proposal and Award SmartForms the assignee will be entered as the Principal Investigator, with the assignee’s supervisor, who is PI eligible, entered as the Responsible Faculty Mentor.
  • The Responsible Faculty Mentor will be the Project Manager and no effort commitment is required.
  • The assignee’s effort commitment is entered into the Award commitment page.
  • No effort commitment is required of the immediate supervisor identified in the IPA agreement.

Questions can be directed to or DSP-HSC.

Awarded Projects for August 2016

College of Education
Awarded Projects
August 2016
Principal Investigator: Alice Kaye Emery (SSESPECS)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: Florida Department of Education
Project Title: Working with the Experts 2016 – 2017
Project Period: 8/1/2016 – 7/31/2017
Award Amount: $240,000

Submitted Projects for August 2016

College of Education
Submitted Projects
August 2016
Principal Investigator: Herman Knopf (AZCEES/SSESPECS)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: University of South Carolina (Subcontract – DHHS Flow Through)
Proposal Title: Building a Statewide System for Inclusion
Requested Amount: $38,399
Principal Investigator: Walter Leite (SHDOSE)
Co-PI: Anne Corinne Manley (SHDOSE)
Funding Agency: National Science Foundation
Proposal Title: Detection and Control of Response Styles in Ordinal Survey Items
Requested Amount: $350,622
Principal Investigator: Walter Leite (SHDOSE)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: National Science Foundation
Proposal Title: Imputation of Missing Covariate Data Prior to Propensity Score Analysis
Requested Amount: $300,311
Principal Investigator: Anne Corinne Manley (SHDOSE)
Co-PI: Walter Leite (SHDOSE), James Algina (SSESPECS)
Funding Agency: National Science Foundation
Proposal Title: The Development of Two Statistical Models for Addressing Nonresponse Bias in Measurement
Requested Amount: $336,142
Principal Investigator: Donald Pemberton (Lastinger Center for Learning)
Co-PI: Philip Poekert (Lastinger Center for Learning)
Funding Agency: Florida Office of Early Learning
Proposal Title: Early Learning Florida Contract #SR972
Requested Amount: $3,000,000
Principal Investigator: Donald Pemberton (Lastinger Center for Learning)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: Lauren’s Kids
Proposal Title: Lauren’s Kids Courses Maintenance Agreement
Requested Amount: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Philip Poekert (Lastinger Center for Learning)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: Children’s Trust
Proposal Title: TCT Early Learning Coaching
Requested Amount: $24,000
Principal Investigator: Brian Reichow (AZCEES/SSESPECS)
Co-PI: Patricia Snyder (AZCEECS/SSESPECS)
Funding Agency: US Department of Education/IES
Proposal Title: Impact of Professional Development on Early Intervention Specialists’ Instructional Delivery of a Virtual Parent Skills Training Program for Parents of Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities
Requested Amount: $1,400,000
Principal Investigator: Michael Moorhouse (Public Health and Health Professions)
Co-PI: Jeanne Repetto (SSESPECS), Mark Hart (Epidemiology), Linda Cottler (Epidemiology), Jamie Pomeranz (Occupational Therapy)
Funding Agency: Florida Department of Health
Proposal Title: Transforming a Tobacco Cessation Program to an Integrated Online/Mobile Platform for People with Disabilities (PWD): From LIFT to eLIFT
Requested Amount: $92,945
Principal Investigator: Albert Ritzhaupt (STL)
Co-PI: N/A
Funding Agency: National Science Foundation
Proposal Title: Strategies: Using Cyber-Security Education as a Mechanism to Engage High School Teachers and Students in STEM-Related Careers and Content (CyberEd-to-STEM)
Requested Amount: $254,883


Federal Public Access Policy

As stated on the University of Florida’s Public Access Policies Website:
“The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a directive on February 22, 2013 requesting federal agencies with more than $100 million in research and development expenditures to develop plans to make the results of federally-funded research publicly available free of charge within 12 months after original publication.”

To this end, PIs are required to know the regulations regarding data management plans for each grant submitted as specific requirements may vary by granting agency. The University of Florida’s policies on public access to data and data management plans are available here:

Data management plans are an essential component of ensuring that federally-funded research will be made publicly available. As of early 2016, almost all federal funding agencies have begun requiring data management plans to be submitted in conjunction with large grant proposals (Grant Writers’ Seminars and Workshops, LLC). Data management plans outline how and for how long research data will be preserved as well as how it will be used.

Notably, a dedicated Data Management Librarian is available to address any questions PIs may have regarding the data management plan process. The George A. Smathers Library System has created a specific and highly recommended guide explaining how to develop a data management plan for grants based out of the University of Florida ( Additionally, the University’s Division of Sponsored Programs has grant analysts and compliance officers who can help with the details of compliance. Further, the Scholarly Communications Librarian or the library liaison assigned to your department can advise you on the many practical applications of compliance with a federal public access policy and can advise on such issues as choosing an appropriate repository where one is not specified.

Additional resources on how to construct a data management plan are also available through North Carolina State University ( with additional templates and examples available at (Grant Writers’ Seminars and Workshops, LLC).