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Connecting Researchers in Sharing and Re-Use of Research Data and Software: University of California Office of the President

Sponsor: University of California, Office of the President, Oakland

Guenter Waibel

[email protected] (Principal Investigator)

ABSTRACT

Open science practices have gained widespread adoption, globally, with the help of federal funding and publisher policies, as well as the increasing visibility and growing awareness of the value of sharing work. This has been largely evident in light of the current COVID19 pandemic, with data sharing driving many areas of research, and open software resources must evolve to meet the needs of researchers. To meet the emerging demands and growing requirements of the research community who need support for both data and software sharing, Dryad and California Digital Library partnered in 2018 and Dryad and Zenodo partnered in 2019. These partnerships have allowed for the three organizations to re-think the data and publishing processes, explore ways for data curation, software preservation, and for output re-use to be tied together more seamlessly.

This project is a one-day, invitational workshop bringing together researchers and adjacent community members with diverse backgrounds to discuss needs, challenges, and priorities for re-using research data and software. The goal of the meeting is to develop pathways for consistent engagement with individuals and groups across the diverse scientific disciplines in order to be connected with and responsive to researchers’ needs and goals. Meeting topics include dataset re-use, deposition guidance, curation standards and requirements, integrations and relationships between data and code, and advocacy and adoption. The anticipated outputs are a set of requirements and needs to better enable data and software sharing and re-use.

InventXRLearn TechResearchXR

SusChEM: Design Principles Inspired by Symmetry for Controlling Singlet Fission in Structurally Well-Defined Covalent Dimers: University of Colorado at Boulder

Niels Damrauer

[email protected]

In this project funded by the Chemical Structure, Dynamic & Mechanism B Program of the Chemistry Division, Professors Niels H. Damrauer and Tarek Sammakia of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado Boulder are synthesizing new organic molecular systems that contain two chromophores (i.e., parts of the molecules that can absorb light) and using spectroscopy to explore their photophysics. The goal is to develop design rules for how the arrangement of the chromophores controls excited state reactivity following visible light photoexcitation. The particular reaction of interest is important in certain next-generation strategies to increase the efficiency of solar cells by limiting waste heat production that generally occurs when higher energy solar photons are absorbed. This proposal establishes a fundamental research program where students are exposed to a considerable breadth of ideas in synthesis, spectroscopy, and applications of electronic structure theory. A specific outreach effort in collaboration with local high school teachers is part of the funded work that aims to provide sophisticated but affordable spectroscopic tools and curriculum ideas to Colorado high school science programs. <br/><br/>Singlet fission is a photophysical phenomenon observed in certain organic materials wherein light absorption produces a spin-allowed singlet excited state that then non-radiatively converts to a pair of triplet excitations. If these triplets can be further transformed to charge carriers, it is possible to envision device scenarios where the solar spectrum is more efficiently utilized compared to devices in operation today. This research is predicated on the idea that molecular dimers are the fundamental unit for singlet fission and that they can provide a platform wherein synthetic manipulations that control the spatial juxtaposition and covalent interaction of chromophores are called upon to affect key photophysical rate constants. The most important design opportunity that is being tested relates to dimer point group symmetry and the idea that it can control the interference (constructive vs. destructive) of pathways in the quantum mechanical description of diabatic coupling for singlet fission. Other strategies will call on substituents to affect the relative energy of charge transfer states.

 

ResearchXR

Collaborative Research: A Bridge to Physics and Astronomy Doctorates for Students with Financial Need: Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, Inc.

Alexander Rudolph

[email protected]

With funding from the NSF's Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) program, this project at California State Polytechnic University Pomona (CalPoly Pomona) will support high-achieving, low-income students with demonstrated financial need. This project will fund 146 scholarships over five years for students who are pursuing bachelor's degrees in physics and astronomy. Participating scholars will join a cohort-based mentoring and undergraduate research program spanning a diverse network of more than 50 California higher education institutions. These institutions are dedicated to the goal of increasing the number of students pursuing PhDs in physics, astronomy, and associated STEM disciplines. Led by CalPoly Pomona and the University of California Irvine in Southern California, and by San Jose State University and the University of California Santa Cruz in Northern California, more than 140 physics and astronomy faculty at the 24 California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) campuses in the bridge network will serve as mentors to scholars supported by the project. In addition to receiving biweekly mentoring and progress monitoring by pairs of one UC and one CSU professor, these scholars will also receive full need-based scholarships during their junior and senior years, monthly professional development workshops, and supervised research opportunities via the successful NSF-funded CAMPARE program.<br/><br/>Given the size and diversity of the California secondary education system, the success of this S-STEM Track 3 project will likely significantly increase the number of PhDs nationwide earned by underrepresented minorities in the fields of physics and astronomy. All low-income students enrolled in a participating CSU campus are eligible for this California Bridge (Cal-Bridge) program, which searches for students with unusual potential, using holistic review and research-based criteria developed by successful bridge programs such as the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master's-to-PhD Bridge program. Unlike other existing bridge programs, Cal-Bridge begins with students during their formative undergraduate years, focusing on preparation rather than remediation. This multifaceted support will mitigate known barriers to graduate school entry for high-achieving, motivated students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and will thus greatly increase the probability they complete their undergraduate degree and gain entry to PhD programs. The project also involves multi-method social science research to understand the networks of scholars and institutions formed because of partnerships between Minority/Hispanic Serving Institutions and Research Universities, and the effect of those networks on recruitment and admissions to participating UC physics and astronomy departments. Over the five-years, social network analysis and qualitative case study methods will be used to capture patterns in Cal-Bridge Scholars' graduate school admissions and enrollment, as well as in impediments to these outcomes. These results, along with the project's growing connections with institutions beyond California, will have the potential to influence the national landscape of equitable participation by low-income students in STEM higher education.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

ResearchXR

Criminal Record Questions on Job Applications as a Self-Selection Mechanism for Applying for Employment: Ohio State University

Michael Vuolo

[email protected]

Individuals with criminal records fare worse at obtaining employment compared to those with clean records. Experimental evidence shows that employers prefer those with clean records, and that persons of color with records are particularly discriminated against. While much is known about employer hiring preferences, little is known about whether applicants with criminal records avoid or prefer particular employers. In other words, individuals with criminal records may not even apply to certain positions due to perceived low odds of getting the job or because they fear being stigmatized by employers in the application process. Employment is one of the most critical bonds for preventing a return to crime. If individuals elect not to apply for certain positions, such choices will decrease the odds of forming this important bond. Understanding under what conditions individuals with records choose to apply for jobs is therefore central to efforts to help individuals reintegrate into society and prevent crime. <br/><br/> This research project will interview 140 individuals with criminal records recruited from criminal reentry organizations and halfway houses in the Columbus, OH metropolitan area. An interview guide and brief survey were developed through a pilot study completed in 2017. In-depth interviews will provide nuanced information regarding job search experiences and choices. The interviews query topics such as experiences with job searches both before and after having a criminal record, whether criminal records questions or background check statements on job applications prevent individuals from applying for positions, how forthcoming individuals are about their record in the application process, and what types of industries they seek out. The survey gathers complementary information on socio-demographics, criminal history, employment history, and personal difficulties in applying for jobs. Respondents will be re-interviewed six months later in order to understand whether new experiences in the labor market alter choices among those with records, whether this differs by background factors related to labor market outcomes such as race, and the underlying reasons for any changes in choices such as those related to stigma. This project directly addresses ongoing public policy debates regarding how best to provide individuals with criminal records a fair assessment in the job application process so that they can experience the benefits of the important social bond of employment, best epitomized by the Ban the Box movement (which seeks to eliminate criminal record questions from job applications). By moving the discussion from decisions of employers to those of applicants, these results may fundamentally change the way we think about and evaluate these policies.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

ResearchXR

CSU Noyce Phase II: Empowering Scholars and STEM Teachers: Colorado State University

Meena Balgopal

[email protected]

There is an established need for well-qualified teachers in high-need school districts, which are often located in rural or urban communities, and those with significant populations of English language learners. Over the five-year duration of the project, the Colorado State University (CSU) Noyce Phase 2 Scholarship Program will prepare 24 new secondary science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) teachers educated in social justice. Each Noyce Scholarship recipient will be working toward or will have earned a bachelor's degree in a STEM discipline, and will be enrolled in the CSU secondary teacher education program. Four CSU STEM colleges will work in partnership with local school districts, CSU Extension, and the 21 Colorado Boards of Cooperative Educational Services. The project will address three research questions to better understand the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs: (1) What is the longitudinal impact on recipients' teaching self-efficacy, perceptions of STEM and STEM teaching, teaching ability, and self-efficacy as a teacher mentor? (2) What impacts do the Phase 1 and Phase 2 models have on secondary student perceptions of STEM and their STEM learning as well as recipients' perceptions of their students' learning? (3) What impacts does the Phase 2 model have on teacher mentor perceptions of STEM and STEM teaching, mentoring self-efficacy, and teaching ability?<br/><br/>The project will work toward three overarching objectives. (1) Recruitment: The project will recruit first and second year STEM undergraduates to work at an existing summer STEM camp for under-served students and provide them with mentorship from experienced in-service STEM classroom teachers. Undergraduates enrolled in a first year mathematics seminar led by a mathematics education expert will be engaged in outreach programs for under-served students and will be encouraged to apply for a Noyce Scholarship.(2) Support: Scholarships of $10,000 will be awarded to outstanding juniors and seniors committed to teaching in high need schools. The project will leverage a strong statewide partnership with high-need schools through the CSU Alliance School Program to place successful graduates where they are needed most. (3) Community building: The project will foster a cohesive community of practitioners among the Noyce Scholars, a Cadre of Mentor STEM teachers, and teacher educators at CSU. Support for Noyce graduates and mentor teachers will include induction mentoring and professional development on inquiry-based and design-based STEM instruction and social justice in STEM. Through these objectives and the research agenda, the project will develop, improve, and maintain a pipeline to recruit and prepare STEM teachers for underserved schools.

ResearchXR

CAREER: FAST methods for protein folding and design: Washington University

Gregory Bowman

[email protected]

Title: CAREER: FAST methods for protein folding and design<br/><br/>Proteins are molecular machines that are largely responsible for processes as varied as digestion of food to building new components of cells. Many proteins are capable of spontaneously folding from an extended chain into compact, functional machines. Once folded, proteins continue to undergo motions that are related to their stability and function. Understanding the functional relevance of these motions remains extremely challenging because it is difficult to observe movement on the atomic scale and provide the necessary structural detail to connect these motions with a protein's function. The objectives of this project are 1) to develop powerful algorithms for simulating these protein motions, 2) apply these algorithms to understand how proteins fold, and 3) to combine these algorithms with biochemical experiments to design proteins that are more stable than their natural counterparts. Completion of this research will lay the foundation for future efforts to understand the role of protein motions in processes like cellular communications and to design proteins for applications such as the synthesis of biofuels. In concert with these research objectives, the PI will develop a python programming boot camp to teach students in biology the basic programming skills required to analyze their own data, providing a starting point for more sophisticated integration of computation and experiments and opening new job opportunities in the STEM fields. <br/><br/>This project will identify general properties of free energy landscapes of proteins from simulation datasets created with specialized hardware and leverage them to empower similar studies with commodity hardware. This work will be guided by the hypothesis that leveraging ideas from optimization theory regarding exploration/exploitation tradeoffs will allow efficient conformational searches. Based on preliminary analyses, the PI's lab has already begun to prototype a new algorithm, referred to as fluctuation amplification of specific traits, or FAST. Further developing this algorithm, demonstrating its power, and disseminating it to the broader scientific community will lay a foundation for understanding and designing protein's conformational ensembles. Specific goals include: 1) develop the fluctuation amplification of specific traits (FAST) algorithm to efficiently explore a protein's conformational space, 2) test whether FAST can fold proteins, and 3) test whether FAST can reveal opportunities for designing stabilized proteins without perturbing their functions.<br/><br/>This project is jointly funded by the Molecular Biophysics Cluster in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences in the Directorate for Biological Sciences and the Physics of Living Systems Program in the Division of Physics in the Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

ResearchXR

Collaborative Learning in Cloud-based Virtual Computer Labs: Georgia State University Research Foundation, Inc.

Xiaolin Hu

[email protected]

Computer labs in which students work through assignments using specialized software and/or hardware play a critical role in computing education and in STEM education in general. Traditionally these computer labs have been carried out in computer centers on campus due to the need for specialized software and/or dedicated hardware. Collaborative labs help students to: (1) learn through experience, (2) leverage the perceptions of their learning partners, and (3) form their own opinions through social constructivism. The evidence to date is that collaborative labs consistently demonstrate positive effects on student achievement, self-esteem, and attitude toward learning. Advances in cloud computing and virtualization technologies enable students to complete labs on virtualized resources remotely through the Internet. However, while virtual computer labs provide anywhere, anytime, on-demand access to specialized software and hardware, the virtual workspaces to which students are assigned lack support for sharing, causing the collaborative aspect of learning to be lost. This project serves the national interest in producing a highly-qualified STEM workforce by developing and evaluating an environment that supports collaborative learning in cloud-based virtual computer labs.<br/><br/>The goal of this project is to integrate three models of virtual collaboration into a collaborative lab software tool: shared remote collaboration, virtual study rooms, and a virtual tutoring center. The environment will allow students to reserve virtual computers labs with multiple participants and will support remote real-time collaboration among the participants during a lab. The learning environment will be evaluated in computer science and other STEM discipline courses, and a virtual tutoring center for evaluation will be developed. The collaborative lab environment has the potential to significantly enhance students' collaborative learning in cloud-based virtual computer labs and benefit a wide range of universities and colleges that use virtual computer labs in education. It is expected to support collaborative learning in many STEM disciplines using virtual computer labs, benefitting traditional undergraduates as well as returning adult and distance learning students in both formal and informal settings. The collaborative lab software tool will be distributed as an open source project with all materials, designs, and source code available on a public web site for wide dissemination.

ResearchXR

Fort Peck Community College Eci Project: Fort Peck Community College

Wayne Two Bulls

[email protected]

A goal of the Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) is to expand the STEM instructional and research capacities of specific institutions of higher education that serve the Nation's indigenous students. Expanding the STEM curricula offerings at these institutions expands the opportunities of their students to pursue challenging, rewarding careers in STEM fields, provides for research studies in areas that may be culturally significant, and encourages a community and generational appreciation for science and mathematics education. This project aligns directly with that goal, and moreover will inform the body of knowledge about strategies that attract, retain and graduate American Indian students in engineering. The Fort Peck Community College (FPCC) will develop a Pre-Engineering Associate of Science (AS) degree program that is transferrable to a bachelor-degree program in Engineering or a related STEM field. The overall purpose of this work is to increase the number of American Indian students pursuing STEM career pathways and achieving STEM degrees at FPCC. The project addresses a growing need for engineers in the region, some of which can be attributed to region's fossil fuel and renewable energy activities. It is important to increase the number of STEM majors and graduates at FPCC as a means to assist Assiniboine and Sioux tribal members to enter these high-growth sectors of the workforce. The project expands FPCC's degree offerings to include a new AS degree in Pre-Engineering to meet the growing need for engineers in the region, use promising strategies from emerging research on community colleges to improve instruction and student achievement in mathematics, build innovative supports to help students complete STEM associate degrees at FPCC and matriculate to STEM bachelor degrees, and expand the college's undergraduate research capacity in STEM fields.<br/><br/>The project builds on and advances research on promising practices from emerging community college research to promote increased student math proficiency and success in STEM fields through early assessment, curriculum redesign and targeted tutoring, expanded access to learning supports, faculty development, transition support from two-year to four-year degrees, and authentic research experiences. The project will address research questions regarding the effect of these promising strategies with American Indian students pursuing STEM degrees. The project is evaluated using a multi-dimensional approach that utilizes both qualitative and quantitative methods for collecting data. The evaluation plan is based on the tenets of a model for return on investment specifically designed for TCUs and based on the work of Phillips and Phillips. These measures and data elements will be used to evaluate how well the project is meeting its objectives to help the project leadership make data-driven decisions regarding project implementation and to derive research-based understanding of the impact of the strategies proposed. Formative data will be collected each semester to inform ongoing activities of the project and summative data will be used to make determinations regarding project successes, strengths, challenges, and recommendations for next steps.

ResearchXR

Collaborative Research: RAPID: Coronavirus persistence, transmission, and circulation in the environment: Stanford University

Alexandria Boehm

[email protected]

The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak has rapidly spread from its beginning in Wuhan China. Currently, people have been infected on all continents except Antarctica. 2019-nCoV has some similarity to two other coronavirus outbreaks (SARS and MERS). Despite intensive study of SARS and MERS, we still lack a fundamental understanding of coronavirus behavior in the environment. Most importantly, we do not know how coronavirus spreads and how long it remains infective when exposed to sunlight. The goal of this RAPID research project is to address these questions to better predict transport. A secondary goal of this research project is to determine whether virus monitoring in wastewater treatment facilities can be used to catch outbreaks early. This will be achieved by monitoring coronavirus dynamics in wastewater treatment plants in the San Francisco Bay Area. The project team includes researchers with complimentary expertise on coronavirus transfer, inactivation, and detection. Successful completion of this research will better prepare scientists, engineers, and public health officials for future coronavirus outbreaks. Societal benefits include understanding coronavirus transmission in communities to decrease the time necessary to identify outbreaks to protect public health and national security.<br/><br/>A novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has recently emerged from Wuhan China and its spread is causing international concern. This outbreak follows two other coronavirus outbreaks SARS and MERS. The initial cases of the SARS coronavirus outbreak spread via aerosolized fecal particles through the air ducts of the apartment complex. Early reports of 2019-nCoV suggest it too is excreted in feces. Despite intensive study of these past outbreaks, we still lack a fundamental understanding of enveloped virus particle transport in air and water infrastructure and their inactivation potential from solar radiation exposure. This information is critical to control transmission and predict persistence. A second important question is whether monitoring of viruses in wastewater treatment facilities can be used to catch virus circulation early in community outbreaks. The specific objectives of this project are to characterize how enveloped viruses are transferred from surfaces to skin, how coronaviruses are inactivated by solar and UV radiation, and by monitoring coronavirus dynamics in wastewater treatment plants in the San Francisco Bay Area. The project team includes researchers with complimentary expertise on virus transfer from skin to surfaces, coronavirus detection methods, and viral photoinactivation. The work will be performed at the Codiga Water Resource Recovery Center in Santa Clara County where two of the initial 2019-nCoV cases have been observed in the USA. Results from this research will better prepare scientists, engineers, and public health officials for future coronavirus outbreaks. It will provide critical information on endemic coronavirus circulation and provide a framework for capturing the outbreak dynamics of a novel virus in a community. Further, the enveloped virus transfer study will help scientists understand if and how the transfer of enveloped viruses differs from non-enveloped viruses. Broader benefits to society include understanding when and how transmission may occur in communities; information that is critical to decreasing the time necessary to identify viral disease outbreaks to protect public health and national security.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

ResearchXR

Core Support for the Board on Environmental Change and Society (BECS) of the National Academies: National Academy of Sciences

Toby Warden

[email protected]

This award will continue support for core operations of the Board on Environmental Change and Society (BECS) of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. This board has functioned under its current and previous names since 1989 to advance science and environmental decision making by promoting integrated analysis of the human interactions with the natural environment. BECS will work with government agencies and other sponsors build understanding of human interactions with the biophysical environment; contribute to the development of a coherent field of scientific endeavor in this area; integrate social and behavioral science research into environmental science and policy; advance the behavioral, social, and decision sciences; and provide benefits to society through the application of these sciences to manage human-environment interactions. BECS will evaluate research simultaneously from the perspectives of the natural and social sciences with a focus on advancing generalizable knowledge to assist decision makers and improve the quality of practices at the federal, state, and local levels. BECS also will facilitate the development of an interdisciplinary research community in response to an increased realization that global environmental issues require enhanced knowledge based on social science research. Because it is responsive to and anticipatory in the advancement of cutting-edge science and application to policy to identifying innovative solutions to improve societal wellbeing, BECS serves as a national resource for the advancement of use-inspired science to inform decision makers, stakeholders, and communities addressing a myriad of environmental change challenges and opportunities.<br/><br/>The Board on Environmental Change and Society functions as the National Academies' primary unit for advancing research on the interactions between human activities and the environment by providing a forum for linking the social and natural sciences in research, planning, and decision making. BECS will strive to integrate social, behavioral, and natural science knowledge to address emerging scientific and governmental concerns through workshops, consensus studies, semi-annual meetings, symposia, and a variety of outreach mechanisms. Over the period to be supported with this award, BECS will develop and oversee activities, engage a greater breadth of stakeholders and serve as a focal point toward which federal agencies and other governmental and non-governmental decision makers look to for integrated, trans-disciplinary approaches to cross cutting environmental challenges and opportunities. BECS aims to advance new lines of interdisciplinary research on topics at the intersection of human and natural systems such as innovation in energy transitions and the social implications of such transitions; the nexus between food, energy, and water; building resilient and low-carbon cities; and shifts in migration under conditions of environmental change.

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