The following boilerplate language has been developed by Research Development to assist with grant proposal development. Investigators are advised to tailor boilerplate language to reflect the specific aims of their research project. In addition, Research Development strongly recommends that investigators directly contact the department/institute/center in question when seeking a more in-depth resource description, particularly if a specific resource is integral to the research proposal.
See more proposal development resources from Research Development here.
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The Clinician-Scientist Faculty Mentoring (FaMe) Program at Penn State College of Medicine is designed to prepare, mentor and build community among physicians and other clinical health providers working to advance medical knowledge through clinical, translational or basic research.
The two-year program includes weekly protected time for research training, alternating between a lecture one week and scholarly advancement time the following week. Lectures include grant-writing workshops, emerging technology seminars, career development seminars and presentations by trainees.
Grants Academy is an eight-month, structured non-credit program designed to assist faculty members with the preparation and submission of an investigator-initiated grant proposal. Participation in Grants Academy requires approximately 10 percent release time. Meetings of Grants Academy are held once a month, generally from October through April. Participants are required to complete a considerable amount of out-of-class work and once enrolled, are expected to be active participants. Each Grants Academy meeting is accompanied by the required submission of a component of the final grant application. Class sizes are kept small (10 to 15 participants) to facilitate team-based learning.
Hanover Research provides consultation and proposal support services to faculty investigators and postdoctoral scholars at Penn State College of Medicine.
The Washington, D.C.-based grant development firm has more than 150 years of combined grantsmanship experience that cuts across a wide range of foundations and federal agencies, including National Institutes of Health (NIH). The primary goal of the Hanover partnership is to increase the quality and success rate of extramural research proposals submitted by faculty investigators.
Several different services are available through the Hanover partnership, including individual consultation sessions, proposal review and proposal revision. Consultation sessions benefit faculty investigators seeking guidance on how best to frame a research project (new submissions and resubmissions), to explore best fit with the funding mechanism and/or IC, and to implement best practices with regard to funding sponsor communications and proposal development. Proposal review and revision services benefit the faculty investigator with a targeted NIH submission deadline. These services pair a faculty investigator with a Hanover grants consultant who utilizes track changes and margin comments to identify opportunities throughout the proposal to achieve better narrative cohesion, alignment with funding sponsor requirements and scientific rigor.
In addition to direct proposal support, Hanover offers a webinar series that has a strong focus on effective grantsmithing skills for early-career investigators. Financial support for Hanover Research is provided by the Office of the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at Penn State College of Medicine. There is no cost to the individual principal investigator or their home department for utilizing Hanover Research. In addition, investigators are eligible for an expedited proposal revision with Hanover when they participate in the College of Medicine’s Institutional Mock Review of Grants (MoRe) program, a faculty-led program that provides peer review of research proposals prior to submission.
On July 23, 2013, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a notice (NOT-OD-13-093) regarding required components of annual progress reports, which are required of institutions that receive research grants or cooperative agreement awards. Annual progress reports, commonly referred to as RPPRs (Research Performance Progress Reports) are a federal mandate. The NIH uses RPPRs to document grantee accomplishments and compliance with the terms of their award. NOT-OD-13-093 modifies the RPPR by requesting a statement from the institution regarding Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for all graduate students and postdoctoral scholars supported by any NIH grant. IDPs are strongly recommended for all graduate students and postdoctoral researchers supported by NIH funding. This new NIH policy does not require IDPs be included within submitted RPPRs, but it does require that the RPPRs include a statement outlining current practices being used by the institution. Institutions were encouraged to begin reporting IDPs in all RPPRs submitted on or after October 1, 2014.
Since Fall 2013, the College of Medicine has implemented a policy that requires all graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to prepare IDPs – regardless of the source of their funding support.
To assist investigators with this new NIH reporting requirement, the Vice Dean for Research & Graduate Studies has made the following boilerplate language available for inclusion in RPPRs:
Each year, all College of Medicine doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars will prepare or update an Individual Development Plan (IDP). This Plan will include at least one activity to be undertaken over the upcoming academic year in support of the trainee’s career development. The trainee is expected to update the IDP and submit for review to his/her advisor prior to the start of the academic year. Thesis advisors and advisors of postdoctoral scholars are expected to review the IDP with the trainee and both parties are expected to agree on a set of career development activities.
The Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) offers a holistic curriculum that serves as a model for faculty professional development programs nationwide. Each year, the program runs from September to May, with two-hour sessions each Friday morning. Sessions are led by senior faculty members or experts from other institutions. The JFDP consists of two components:
- a comprehensive curriculum that includes topics on research, education, clinical practice, and academic/career development, and
- a scholarly project completed under the guidance of a senior faculty mentor assigned by the Program.
Through written agreement, Department chairs must approve the junior faculty member’s participation in the JFDP and must also approve their proposed project.
Participation in JFDP requires approximately four hours per week, including class time.
The Junior Faculty Research Scholar (JFRS) Award is unique to Penn State College of Medicine. Internal funds are used to support the JFRS Award – a competitive mechanism that receives, on average, 22 to 27 applications each year. The College of Medicine awards up to four investigators $200,000 over a two-year period for a research project and complementing career development plan.
Mentored career development awards (“K” awards) provide salary support and research funding to early stage investigators who need to undertake a sustained period (three to five years) of intensive, supervised career development experiences in order to transition to research independence.
Penn State College of Medicine is committed to supporting early career faculty members and trainees. To that end, the College of Medicine offers the K Grants Workshop Series – an annual four-week seminar series that provides participants the tools needed to craft a competitive mentored career development proposal. Key topics covered throughout the seminar series include:
- Types of mentored awards
- Determining when you are ready to apply for a mentored award
- Overview of the proposal development process
- Key ingredients to a competitive research plan
- Selecting the right mentoring team
- Integrating the career development plan and research strategy
- Research resources critical to proposal development and submission
- What to expect from the review and resubmission process
Several senior faculty members co-direct the workshop series, which is structured in the following format. Each session combines didactic training with group discussion. Each session focuses on a specific theme that builds upon the previous week’s session. Participants who attend all four sessions learn to develop a rigorous, well-defined mentored career development proposal.
Founded in 2007, the Penn State K Seminar Series is a monthly seminars open to KL2 scholars, individual K awardees and mentors.
Reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of K scholars and their mentor teams, the seminar series alternates between University Park and the College of Medicine in Hershey. Each session includes a networking lunch and a formal presentation by an internal or external speaker that is selected by the K awardees. These presentations provide an opportunity for K awardees to expand their professional networks by inviting experts in their fields from other universities to visit Penn State.
Seminar sessions are either a scientific talk or a professional development topic. Professional development topics have included strategies for effective time use, preparation of NIH resubmission applications, preparation of PCORI grants, promotion and tenure issues, and internal resources for pilot project funding and grant preparation.
The seminar series also provides an opportunity for K awardees to present their own research and to “workshop” draft manuscripts, posters, or grant applications. In workshop sessions, K awardees receive constructive feedback from their peers on works in progress. These workshop sessions have received overwhelmingly positive evaluations by K awardees due to the benefits of receiving feedback in a supportive, multidisciplinary context.
The Mock Review of Grants (MoRe) program is a faculty-led effort at Penn State College of Medicine that provides peer review of colleagues’ research proposals being prepared for submission to the NIH and other external funding sponsors.
By exposing colleagues to peer review at critical stages in the proposal development process, the Mock Review of Grants program aspires to positively impact both the quality and success rate of externally submitted grants.
Established in June 2018, the program is guided by an interdisciplinary committee comprising faculty members who hold a variety of leadership positions within the College of Medicine, and who also have a great deal of experience as successful applicants and reviewers for the NIH and other funding agencies.
In the interest of cultivating a peer-mentoring culture and cross-disciplinary collaboration at the College of Medicine, the program is open to faculty investigators at all career stages. Each mock review cycle runs concurrent with the NIH’s three annual submission cycles, initiating four months prior to an NIH deadline with the submission of a specific aims page to be given a preliminary review by two content experts (internal and/or external). Approximately two and a half months before each NIH deadline, the Mock Review Committee hosts an open forum for all participating principal investigators, which gives the assigned primary and secondary reviewers time to present their views on the project’s overall impact and alignment with the funding sponsor’s review criteria. Similar to an NIH study section, the open forum is a confidential meeting where principal investigators, in a collegial and supportive atmosphere, receive suggestions on how to strengthen their proposals and/or redirect their specific aims.
Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center are committed to becoming a destination for physician-scientists by cultivating a community and infrastructure that fosters a sustainable career development pipeline for physician-scientists at all career stages.
To that end, the College of Medicine launched the Penn State Physician-Scientist Training Program (PSTP) in fall 2017. The mission of the program is to break down departmental/divisional silos and create an institution-wide program with sustainable “on-ramps” at all levels of training – medical school, residency, fellowship and junior faculty levels.
The program features a monthly PSTP Scholar Series that allows trainees and junior faculty to gain the necessary tools to sustain a research career and to engage physician-scientist mentors. During these monthly meetings, time is set aside for PSTP scholars to receive real-time feedback of their specific aims, abstract submissions and/or oral presentations.
The program encourages scholars to form an interdisciplinary mentoring team of three faculty members, one of which is from their own discipline, that meets three to four times a year. Furthermore, PSTP scholars are encouraged to develop SMART goals and Individual Development Plans with input from their mentors.
Research Concierge Service (RCS) functions as the outreach arm for Research Development at Penn State College of Medicine.
The goal of RCS is to function as a one-stop shop for investigators pursuing extramural funding for research. The overarching goal is to help investigators strengthen grant writing skills, form collaborative teams and develop competitive research proposals.
RCS has several key functions. First, it serves as a referral resource for investigators and research support staff – facilitating access to institutional infrastructure, making connections with potential mentors and collaborators, and matching research needs with faculty expertise. RCS is available for consultation sessions with faculty members and trainees to explore funding opportunities and/or to brainstorm how best to stage for a planned grant submission. In addition, RCS develops special topic workshops throughout the year that are designed to help researchers broaden their understanding of funding agencies and strengthen their grantsmithing skills. RCS maintains a proposal library – a secure collection of winning NIH and equivalent grant proposals (e.g., F series, K series, and R series) that were generously contributed by College of Medicine faculty members and trainees. Access to the proposal library is provided by request only. In addition to this reference resource, RCS manages Research Development’s public-facing website, which includes a wealth of self-help resources, including boilerplate language for grants, a guide to funding opportunities, and frequently asked questions. RCS also manages consulting partnerships that provide targeted support to PIs submitting external research grants and complex funding proposals with the potential for broad institutional impact.
A required section of all NIH mentored “K” proposals is a plan to acquire instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).
The RCR plan for a mentored “K” proposal may include career stage-appropriate individualized instruction or independent scholarly activities. Whatever approach is chosen, NIH guideline stipulate that “… the selected RCR plan should enhance the applicant’s understanding of ethical issues related to their specific research activities and the societal impact of that research.”
Because the plan for RCR training should be unique for each individual, prepared within the context of each PI’s plan for career development, boilerplate language is not provided here.
It is important to keep this point in mind: RCR plans will not be well-received by NIH reviewers if an applicant’s RCR plan is limited to a standalone, one-time experience. Applicants should explore opportunities to integrate RCR training throughout all aspects of their career development program. In addition, the role of the mentor in RCR training should be described with a mentored K proposal. When preparing this section of a mentored K proposal, remember that the RCR plan must address the five required instructional components outlined in the NIH Policy on RCR Instruction:
- Subject matter
- Faculty participation,
- Duration of instruction
- Frequency of instruction
Some of the formats available are:
CITI Course: The CITI course on RCR includes a basic course and a refresher course. The basic course consists of 11 modules covering: authorship, collaborative research, conflicts of interest, data management, financial responsibility, mentoring, peer review, plagiarism, research involving human subjects, research misconduct, and using animals in research. Supplemental modules are also available and include research, ethics and society. This course emphasizes the education of graduate students in RCR. The RCR refresher course reinforces concepts learned during the basic course and other training received from other sources. The same topics are included in the refresher course and the basic course. Students who conduct research with animal or human subjects must obtain additional training in these areas prior to commencing a research project.
Biomedical Research Ethics (BMS 591): The subjects covered by the 20-hour BMS 591 course Biomedical Research Ethics include the nine core instructional areas recognized as essential to RCR instruction: conflict of interest policies regarding human subjects; live vertebrate animal subjects in research and safe laboratory practices; mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships; collaborative research; peer review; data acquisition and laboratory tools, management, sharing and ownership; research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct; responsible authorship and publication; and the scientist as a responsible member of society. These face-to-face sessions complement the online CITI course to ensure that students have an in-depth understanding of RCR-related issues. BMS 591 utilizes team-based learning as the educational approach. The textbook “ORI Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research” (Nicholas H. Steneck) is required reading for the course.
Research Ethics for Clinical Investigators (PHS 500): This is a one credit course offered on the College of Medicine campus through the Department of Public Health Sciences (PHS). It is a required course for all graduate-level students in PHS and addresses the five required instructional components outlined in the NIH Policy on RCR Instruction.
If proposing courses in the RCR plan (e.g. BMS 591), applicants should verify when the course will be offered. In most cases, you can contact the Office of Graduate Student Affairs to obtain a course syllabus to determine if the course you are interested in meets the NIH criteria.
The postdoctoral program at Penn State College of Medicine is designed to support the training and education of postdoctoral scholars and fellows, to promote postdoctoral research accomplishments across the University, and to foster a sense of community among its scholars. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs helps meet all these goals through a variety of resources and programs, including Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs coordinates all postdoc RCR training, which incorporates new NIH requirements for formal instruction in rigorous experimental design and transparency to enhance reproducibility.
All postdocs are required to complete RCR training within the first two years of their training period and must repeat the training if their appointment extends beyond four years. The training curriculum consists of online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) coursework and real-time discussion groups led by trainees and faculty. The CITI training must be completed within three weeks from the first day of employment. Postdocs who have had no prior RCR training must complete CITI’s RCR Basic Course, which addresses the following topics: authorship, collaborative research, conflicts of interest, data management, financial responsibility, mentoring, peer review, plagiarism, human subjects research, research misconduct, and animal research. CITI’s RCR Refresher Course is available to postdocs who have previously completed the Basic Course. In addition to receiving a certificate of completion for one of these CITI modules, postdocs must attend a minimum of eight workshops in the College’s Professional Development Workshop Series: “Lab Management and Research Survival Skills.” This monthly workshop series is intended for a culturally diverse trainee group. Each one-hour workshop is designed to bring focus to the unique roles of postdocs as laboratory personnel. Trainees select and present case studies from laboratory settings; case study presentations are followed by small group discussion between trainees and faculty. Participating faculty include postdoctoral mentors and general research faculty at the College of Medicine. Attendance is recorded and a certificate provided upon completion.
For additional details about RCR training for postdocs, contact the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.
The vision of the Woodward Center for Excellence in Health Sciences Education is to be a community energized to grow together as educators and learners. The mission of the Woodward Center is to cultivate excellence in Health Sciences Education. The Woodward Center offers a variety of programs designed to promote educator development, including monthly lunch-and-learn sessions, workshops focused on educator development, and participation in the Harvard Macy Program for Educators.
Core Facilities and Services
Established in 2010, the Community Outreach and Engagement Core of Penn State Cancer Institute provides services, education and consultation to foster culturally sensitive research that measurably reduces cancer risk and burden, especially among medically underserved communities in the 28-county catchment area (population of 4 million) of the Cancer Institute. The core facilitates community-based, behavioral and health services/outcomes research. The primary offices are on the third floor of the Cancer Institute in Hershey, with an office on the fifth floor of the Ford Building at University Park.
- Analysis of population-based survey and registry data
- Mapping and visualization of health and healthcare data
- Linkage to established community and clinical research networks
- Development of research proposals and applications for human subject research
- Administration of research in English and Spanish languages
- Recruitment and retention of study participants
- Development and evaluation of patient navigation interventions
- Dissemination and implementation of evidence-based guidelines and strategies
- Repository of population-based, cancer-related data
- Esri, SAS, R and Stata software for geospatial data analysis and visualization
- Recruitment informatics through Studyfinder, TriNetX, ResearchMatch
- LionVu interactive geospatial data visualization and server for Pennsylvania
- The Story of Cancer in Central Pennsylvania story map of cancer, patient navigation and vulnerable populations in 28-county catchment area
The Genome Sciences Core is a full-service facility and provides consultation, instrumentation, and services to both Penn State and non-Penn State investigators in genomic, epigenomic and transcriptomic studies. The variety of instrumentation allows for capabilities ranging from highly focused analysis of candidate SNPs, and mRNAs to whole genome, exome, epigenome, and transcriptome sequencing.
Services are also available for a variety of study designs extending from a few laboratory samples to large (100s to 1,000s of samples) clinical projects. Full bioinformatics service is also available for data analysis.
The facility resides in 5,000 square feet of newly renovated space, encompassing separate “pre-amplification” and
“post-amplification” rooms to prevent any contamination of PCR-amplified materials to pre-processed input DNA/RNA samples. Four well-experienced staffs are available for assisting project operation. In addition, the lab space is available for investigators who need temporary room for sample preparation. The facility receives either tissue, DNA/RNA, or customer-generated NGS libraries. It processes samples according to prior consultation and agreement with the PI on experiment design.
The facility develops new applications to accommodate state-of-the-art NGS technologies. It also conducts sequencing reads alignment, secondary analysis (quantitation, variant calling, functional annotation, visualization, etc) and follow-up interpretation of results. The facility provides grant writing support and educates/trains students/post-docs with hands-on NGS processing.
The Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Core provides multiple separation, digestion, chemical derivatization, mass spec, and database searching services for proteomic, carbohydrate, oligonucleotide, lipidomics and small molecule analysis.
Analyses available including targeted methods for quantitation of pre-determined metabolites or proteins, data-dependent discovery methods to ID and quantitate hundreds to thousands of metabolites or proteins, and SWATH/Data-Independent Analyses (DIA) for simultaneous identification and quantitation.
Instrumentation includes an ABSciex TripleTOF 5600, an ABSciex MALDI TOF-TOF 5800; an MDS/Sciex 4000 QTrap (Hybrid Ion Trap); a Waters Synapt HDMS; and a Voyager DE-PRO MALDI-TOF; an ABI Tempo LC-MALDI Plate Spotter; Shimadzu, Eksigent, Agilent 1100, Waters Acquity and NanoAcquity HPLC and UPLC systems; and a Beckman- Coulter PF-2D system for whole protein level separations and quantitation.
The Microscopy Imaging Core provides services in ultra-high resolution imaging of cells and tissues in fixed or live states. The core also provides expert services in quantitative image analysis and consultations on microscopy-related research projects.
The core houses:
- a high-end inverted confocal microscope system (Leica SP8 AOBS White Light Laser) and a sophisticated inverted wide field microscope with optical sectioning and deconvolution capabilities (DeltaVision Elite) which are capable of high resolution 3D or 4D fluorescence imaging of histological tissue sections (5-100 microns thick sections) or live/fixed cells;
- a transmission electron microscope (JEOL 1400 TEM) capable of ultra-structural biological imaging;
- a cryo-transmission electron microscope (JEOL2100 Cryo-TEM) capable of single particle and single macromolecular complex imaging;
- image processing workstations (Bitplane Imaris and Huygens) for complex 3D or 4D fluorescence image processing and quantitative image analysis;
- image processing workstations (auto3dem and EMAN2) for cryo-TEM image processing and 3D reconstruction.
Established in 2019 at Penn State College of Medicine and housed under the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Core (QMMC) is dedicated to the performance of rigorous qualitative and mixed-methods research for Penn State University faculty and external researchers. The Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Core offers three service lines, including (1) study design/consultation, including choosing an appropriate research design and research question, developing analysis plans, and other faculty-led design considerations; (2) education/training, including workshops on interviewing, mixed methods matrix design, qualitative research methods, coding, theming and workshops for a specific research project; and (3) implementation services, including three full-time staff members who can assist with preparing grant applications, budgets, qualitative aspects of IRB preparation, interviewing processes, qualitative software training, and methods sections on manuscripts. The core is co-founded and co-directed by Lauren Jodi Van Scoy, MD, and Heather L. Stuckey, DEd.
Diversity, Equity and Belonging
Penn State College of Medicine is Penn State University’s medical school. It was established in 1963 when the Milton S. Hershey Foundation gave $50 million to the Pennsylvania State University to establish a medical school in Hershey. With this grant and $21.3 million from the U.S. Public Health Service, the University built a medical school, research center and teaching hospital — what is now known as the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Today, the College of Medicine shares an integrated strategic plan and operations with Penn State Health – a multi-hospital health system that includes several hospitals and more than 126 outpatient practices in 94 locations across central Pennsylvania.
The College of Medicine was the first medical school in the nation to have a dedicated Department of Humanities and a Department of Family and Community Medicine. The focus on humanities remains an essential component in training students to become compassionate physicians. The College of Medicine offers a four-year medical curriculum as well as several 3+ accelerated curriculum tracks for students seeking a concentration in certain medical specialties. Its MD/PhD program integrates the graduate and medical school curricula. Typically completed in eight years, MD/PhD program prepares students for a successful career in medical research, academic medicine or a related field. In addition to the core campus in Hershey, the University Park Regional Campus offers a 4-year curriculum that focuses on primary care and rural-based medicine. In 2022, the College of Medicine matriculated 151 first-year students – with 13 medical students enrolled in the University Park curriculum and 138 medical students enrolled in the Hershey curriculum.
Penn State College of Medicine strives to be a national leader in pursuing basic, clinical, translational and health services research; developing programs to advance medical and scientific knowledge; and promoting the development of physician scientists. The College employs 1,200 faculty members across 27 academic departments – 8 basic science departments and 19 clinical departments. Physicians employed at the medical center hold academic appointments at the College of Medicine and many faculty members have close working relationships with clinicians at the medical center.
The College of Medicine boasts a diverse research portfolio that includes industry-sponsored research and investigator-initiated research supported by grants from nonprofits, state agencies, and the federal government. In FY2022, the College of Medicine received 683 research awards totaling $142.5 million dollars, securing its position as the top-funded college at Penn State for the second consecutive year. By far, federal agencies are the largest source of research support at the College of Medicine. Last fiscal year, federal funding sponsors accounted for nearly 65 percent of all research awards – $77.9 million from the NIH and $14 million from other federal agencies. The second largest contributor was the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ($16.7 million), followed by industry ($15.4 million), sub-awards ($10.3 million), and non-profits ($8.2 million).
Founded in 1963 through a gift from The Milton S. Hershey Foundation, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is one of the country’s leading teaching and research hospitals. Since 2007, the medical center has maintained a Magnet designation – the gold standard for recognizing quality patient care and nursing excellence – a recognition achieved by only 8 percent of U.S. hospitals. The medical center shares its 550-acre campus in Hershey, Pennsylvania, with Penn State Children’s Hospital, the Penn State Cancer Institute and the Penn State College of Medicine – the medical school of Penn State. The Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is the only Level 1 Adult and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center in Pennsylvania. The trauma center features state-of-the-art resuscitation/trauma bays and a Pediatric Emergency Department and Observation Unit along with Life Lion Flight Critical Care and a Ground EMS Division.
The medical center has 637 licensed beds and draws patients from a 29-county catchment area that includes more than 1.9 million people. In addition, it is a quaternary care referral center for Pennsylvania and neighboring states, with a referral base of more than 2.5 million people. This large referral base provides an ideal platform for researchers to examine novel diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to treat a diverse range of acute and chronic diseases.
In 2020, the medical center celebrated completion of its Emergency Department expansion to support a long-term phased realignment of the entire Emergency Department to increase overall patient capacity and departmental efficiencies. The 24,000-square-foot expansion included additional care initiation areas, exam bays, treatment rooms, a dedicated sexual assault exam area, an expanded decontamination and infectious disease isolation area, a new ambulance entrance that provides advanced patient privacy and shell space to support a future operating suite expansion. In 2019, the Emergency Department opened a dedicated Pediatric Emergency Department, which is nested within the adult ER. The Pediatric Emergency Department features 12 private treatment rooms for children along with additional family-friendly space. Around 75,000 patients access the Emergency Department every year – and approximately 22,000 of those ED visits involve pediatric patients.
Penn State Children’s Hospital is a nationally ranked pediatric teaching hospital situated on the 550-acre Penn State Health campus in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It is the only Level 1 pediatric trauma center in the region and has more than 20 pediatric specialties and over 30 outpatient locations throughout Pennsylvania. Today, the Children’s Hospital is supported by more than 200 pediatric medical and surgical specialists renowned in disciplines such as cancer, cardiology, orthopedics, surgery and critical care.
The children’s hospital dates back to the 1980s. At that time, the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center had a dedicated floor specifically for the care of children. In 2009, the children’s hospital broke ground on a new facility. When completed in 2012, the Penn State Children’s Hospital became the only free-standing children’s hospital in the region. The five-floor, 263,000-square-foot building was designed so that three additional floors could be added in the future. In 2018, the Penn State Board of Trustees approved plans to add the three additional floors to the Children’s Hospital to accommodate growing demand across the region for specialty inpatient services. The $148 million Children’s Hospital expansion, completed in October 2020, added 126,000 square feet to the hospital. The expansion added a new Women and Babies Center, a 56-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and the state’s only Small Baby Unit, created specifically for growth and improved brain development in premature babies.
In addition, the Labor and Delivery Unit and the NICU were relocated from their current locations in the adult portion of the medical center, which allowed vacated space to be renovated and repurposed for adult inpatient needs. In addition, approximately 14,000 square feet of office space located on the fifth floor of the Children’s Hospital was renovated to provide additional pediatric patient rooms, team care stations and support spaces. The Children’s Hospital has been ranked among U.S. News and World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals for 10 consecutive years.
In 2018, Penn State Children’s Hospital earned special recognition from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) for providing excellent surgical care. The hospital is one of eight in the nation — and the only one in Pennsylvania — to be named a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center as part of the ACS’s Children’s Surgery Verification Program. To achieve Level 1 verification — the highest level awarded by ACS — hospitals must meet criteria related to staffing, training and facility infrastructure, as well as protocols for care. This includes the presence of children’s surgical and medical specialists, pediatric anesthesiologists and pediatric emergency physicians, all of whom are prepared to handle the specific needs of children. Such hospitals also must provide surgical care across multiple specialties, including procedures for complex diseases and major congenital anomalies.
Since its founding in 1855 as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania, Penn State has developed well beyond its agricultural roots into a robust enterprise with three missions: teaching, research, and public service. Today, Penn State is Pennsylvania’s largest public university and its teaching mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional and continuing education. Its 24-campus system comprises 19 Commonwealth campuses and five special-purpose campuses. Penn State’s extensive campus system places more than 75 percent of Pennsylvania residents within 15 miles of a Penn State campus, putting a world-class Penn State degree within driving distance for most Pennsylvanians.
Penn State’s total annual enrollment exceeds 90,000 students – of which 83 percent are undergraduates. Most Penn State campuses offer the first two years of baccalaureate instruction as well as a limited number of four-year degree programs. University Park is Penn State’s administrative hub and the largest campus in Penn State’s system, encompassing 16,000 acres, 14 colleges and 800 buildings. University Park offers more than 160 majors, 200 minors, 60 associate degree programs and 92 graduate programs. In the past five years, Penn State has conferred more than 21,000 graduate degrees, including more than 3,500 doctoral degrees.
Penn State is a Research I university, a category employed by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education to indicate universities in the United States that engage in the highest levels of research activity. Penn State has seven interdisciplinary institutes that promote collaboration across departmental boundaries to focus research strengths on vital scientific questions and pressing societal needs:
- Penn State Cancer Institute
- Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute
- Institute for Computational and Data Sciences
- Institutes of Energy and the Environment
- Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences
- Materials Research Institute
- Social Science Research Institute
Penn State’s research portfolio reached a significant milestone in FY2019-20, with research expenditures surpassing $1 billion – a $40 million increase from the previous year. Funding from federal agencies accounted for the entirety of the $40 million increase – namely, the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Energy. Penn State has a long-standing, strategic relationship with the DoD through its Defense-Related Research Units, which oversee $250 million to $300 million of contract research each year. As a DoD-designated, U.S. Navy University Affiliated Research Center, the Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State provides science, systems, and technology for national security, economic competitiveness, and quality of life through education, scientific discovery, technology demonstration, and transition to application.
In January 2021, the National Science Foundation released its latest rankings of Higher Education Research and Development, which rank universities by the breadth and depth of research expenditures by key fields and subfields in science and engineering. Penn State had 18 research areas ranked in the top 10 – up from 15 in fiscal year 2017. Penn State ranked first nationally (tied with Johns Hopkins University) in materials science; second in materials engineering, mechanical engineering, psychology, and mathematics and statistics; fourth in sociology, industrial/manufacturing engineering, and electrical engineering; fifth in total engineering; sixth in anthropology; seventh in computer and information sciences and aeronautical and astronautical engineering; eighth in chemical engineering and atmospheric sciences/meteorology; and ninth in geological and earth sciences and astronomy.
Penn State has long ranked among the nation’s top universities in industry-sponsored research, and typically partners with more than 400 companies each year. In FY2019-20, industry-sponsored research surpassed $100 million.
Penn State is a key driver of economic growth in the Commonwealth. The University has more than 33,000 employees, including 6,400 faculty members and 11,000 staff. In 2019, the University released a study that examined the direct and indirect impact of its spending activity. The study found that Penn State contributed more than $11.6 billion to the statewide economy and supported, both directly and indirectly, more than 105,000 jobs across Pennsylvania.
The University Technology Center (UTC) is a 46,000-square-foot state-of-the-art computer equipment facility that facilitates research discoveries involving the use of large datasets.
Located on the grounds of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the UTC is designed to be both energy efficient and expandable. Operated by Penn State Health, the UTC is monitored by a 24-7-365 operations staff.
Twenty-nine employees work at the facility to provide monitoring and support for the Penn State Health domain. The data center was designed to meet Tier III data center standards and houses data storage, computational servers, and a data backup system. The UTC data is backed up by, and is the data backup site for, University Park, Penn State’s main campus.
The UTC provides centralized administration, support, and security for medical, educational, and research data storage and computational processing. Located on site is a High Performance Computing Cluster, dedicated for research, that provides two Petabytes of storage and the processing power that is needed to solve complex problems. As Penn State University strives to improve education and research, and as the Medical Center strives to improve patient care, the demand for data capacity is increasing due to growth and novel state-of-the-art initiatives. The UTC continues to grow to handle increased data storage needs, computing capacity for research computing, increased resiliency, high-density computing loads, and disaster recovery capabilities.
Established in 2011, the University Park Curriculum trains medical students in State College, Pennsylvania, the home of Penn State University Park. The primary mission of this curriculum is to create an educational environment for training the next generation of healthcare providers and to improve access to patient-centered, high quality, cost-effective health care for local residents in State College. This location is being developed on 165 acres owned by Penn State and Mount Nittany Medical Center, a 260-bed acute-care facility offering medical, surgical, diagnostic, and community services to help patients reach their healthiest potential.
One of the region’s top places to work, Mount Nittany Medical Center employs about 2,200 skilled healthcare professionals and support staff and credentials hundreds of employed and non-employed physicians in more than 60 specialties and subspecialties.
On January 2011, the corporate structure of Mount Nittany Medical Center transitioned from a hospital-based entity into a system organization. It also announced a major renovation and expansion of the Emergency Department, the construction of a comprehensive Cancer Pavilion, and the addition of 51 physicians to its physician group. Today, Mount Nittany Health has emerged as a regional health system that includes a parent organization, Mount Nittany Health, along with Mount Nittany Medical Center and Mount Nittany Physician Group, a practice with more than 120 healthcare providers, across 20 specialties, located in 15 convenient locations throughout the region as well as its fundraising and development entity, The Foundation of Mount Nittany Medical Center.
In July 2012, University Park Curriculum welcomed its first group of 13 College of Medicine medical students to begin their third- and fourth-year core clinical training, in collaboration with local Penn State College of Medicine faculty, Mount Nittany Medical Center faculty and other medical providers in the community.
In 2017, the University Park Curriculum began admitting first-year students.
Institutes and Centers
Penn State Bone and Joint Institute is a leader in the care of patients with disorders of the bones, joints and spine, providing innovative care to adults and children with common to the most complex disorders. The institute embraces a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach with specialists in orthopedics, sports medicine, spinal disorders, hand surgery, metabolic bone disease and osteoporosis, rheumatology, radiology, chronic pain management and therapy services.
Penn State Cancer Institute (PSCI) was founded in 2001 and since that time has become a hub for cancer research, care, education, and outreach in Central Pennsylvania. PSCI is one of seven research institutes at Penn State University, with a cancer research portfolio of $14.1 million in annual direct peer-reviewed extramural research funding. Cross-campus and transdisciplinary collaboration are integral to PSCI research, whose investigator base includes more than 225 cancer scientists from nine Penn State Colleges, representing more than 40 academic disciplines on the Hershey, University Park and Harrisburg campuses. Innovative and impactful research is driven through the PSCI’s three cancer-focused scientific programs: Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis, Next Generation Therapies and Cancer Control. Research of PSCI members is supported by five shared research resources: Biostatistics & Bioinformatics, Flow Cytometry, Genome Sciences, Metabolomics and Organic Synthesis.
A dedicated PSCI facility opened in 2009 and occupies 178,000 square feet on the Hershey campus. The building encompasses space for both clinical and research operations, simplifying communication between basic and clinical researchers, and ultimately realizing the goal of efficient translation of findings from the lab to the clinic.
The PSCI catchment area is made up of 28 counties, contains more than 30 percent of Pennsylvania residents (4 million people) and is located within and adjacent to the disparate Appalachian region. Pennsylvania is the third largest state in the United States and is ranked 16th in cancer incidence. Factors that contribute to Pennsylvania’s high cancer incidence include racial, ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic, and geographic disparities present in the PSCI catchment area. Importantly, up to 75 percent of new cancer cases among Pennsylvanians are caused by preventable lifestyle factors, including tobacco use, diet, and exercise. This catchment area includes several distinct populations, (i.e., rural, medically underserved), 19 Appalachia counties and majority minority cities such as Harrisburg and Reading.
PSCI’s clinical mission is anchored at the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Each year, approximately 24,000 incident cancers arise among the 4 million people who reside in the 28-county PSCI catchment area. PSCI has accreditation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC). As a CoC-accredited cancer program, PSCI demonstrates an important commitment to providing all patients with access to services they need from diagnoses through treatment, rehabilitation, and survivorship care. In addition to care for cancer patients, PSCI has active partnerships with clinical specialties within Penn State Health, especially those that focus upon cancer prevention, early detection, and survivorship. While Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center serves as the hub of clinical care, Penn State Health has been rapidly expanding to include St. Joseph Regional Health Network in 2015 and Physicians’ Alliance LTD in 2017. Penn State Health now encompasses more than 2,000 physicians and direct care providers at more than 100 medical office locations.
The PSCI’s goals, strategies, and mission are to foster innovative cancer discovery, care, education, and outreach to reduce cancer risk and improve cancer outcomes in central Pennsylvania and beyond. PSCI’s scientists aim to:
- Discover new understandings and approaches to cancer;
- Translate the most impactful scientific findings into trials;
- Disseminate best practices in cancer prevention and care; and
- Train the next generation of cancer scientists and physicians.
PSCI is positioning itself for NCI designation with an upward trajectory of the number of NCI-funded investigators in a broad cross-section of expertise areas. Experienced senior leadership, breadth and depth of its scientific programs, outstanding facilities and strong institutional support, as well as its important focus on medically underserved rural populations provide an important foundation for Center Support Grant application for NCI designation.
The Center for NMR Research was founded in 1988 by the Department of Radiology with continuing extramural funding including a Bioengineering Research Partnership grant through the NIH/NIBIB. The Center for NMR Research (CNMRR) is a state-of-the-art research facility of the Department of Radiology at the College of Medicine.
The research activities in the CNMRR focus on two fronts:
- Methodology development of magnetic resonance imaging/spectroscopy, functional MRI and their clinical applications in human and animal models.
- Radiofrequency magnetic field engineering.
There are four full-time research faculty members in the CNMRR collaborating with and supporting research activities within the College of Medicine.
The Center for Pediatric Cardiovascular Research dates back to 2003, when the Department of Pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine brought together a new multi-disciplinary team focused on reducing the adverse effects of cardiovascular operations at the Pediatric Cardiac Research Laboratories. The center combines basic science, engineering, and clinical applications under the unified mission of pediatric cardiovascular research.
Its main objective is the development of novel technologies and methodologies aimed at minimizing the adverse effects of cardiovascular operations, mechanical circulatory support systems, and cardiopulmonary bypass procedures in neonates, infants, and children.
Particular attention is focused on reducing the associated morbidities of cerebral, myocardial, pulmonary, and renal injury. The Center for Pediatric Cardiovascular Research was formally recognized in 2009 and has more than 20 faculty members from Departments of Pediatrics, Surgery, Bioengineering, Public Health Sciences, Pharmacology, Comparative Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Microbiology and Immunology, and Anesthesiology, as well as several national and international faculty members from China, France, Germany, Korea, Italy, and Turkey.
Within the first nine years, the Center’s pediatric cardiac research group generated more than 360 publications, more than 250 national and international presentations and invited lectures, as well as more than $7 million in grants. The Center has trained dozens of medical students, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate biomedical engineering students.
Learn more about the Center for Pediatric Cardiovascular Research
The mission of Penn State Center for Women’s Health Research is to promote research on women’s health – and on sex/gender differences related to health – by supporting a network of faculty members in multiple disciplines who are interested in research collaborations to study various aspects of women’s health. The Center maintains information about active projects, datasets and funding opportunities; promotes the development of interdisciplinary research teams around specific topics; provides mentoring opportunities for junior faculty members; and facilitates preparation of grant applications. The goal is to advance the science and contribute to the development of health promotion, disease prevention, health services delivery, and health policy approaches to improving women’s health and well-being across the life span.
The Center was founded in 2004 as the Central Pennsylvania Center of Excellence for Research on Pregnancy Outcomes, with a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health (nonformula tobacco settlement funds). The Center was re-named Penn State Center for Women’s Health Research in 2011 to reflect the expanded research and training agenda in women’s health.
The Center coordinates with Penn State BIRCWH Program, a KL2 training program funded by NIH that provides mentored research career development for junior faculty members interested in women’s health or sex/gender differences related to health.
Administratively based in the Department of Public Health Sciences of Penn State College of Medicine, the Center welcomes participation by Penn State faculty members and students interested in research on women’s health and sex/gender issues related to health. The Center offers opportunities for research collaboration, mentoring, datasets and measures, and other resources for developing and conducting women’s health research projects.
Penn State Center for Women’s Health Research has developed boilerplate language that describes institutional resources in women’s health. This language could be used in any grant application on a women’s health topic.
On a fee-for-service basis (with discounted rates for NIH-funded studies and trainees), the College of Medicine Clinical Research Center provides expert nursing care, equipment, state-of-the-art facilities, physician oversight and consultations regarding study protocols. Having a dedicated center to conduct clinical research is central to promoting patient safety as well as providing high-quality equipment and trained staff to obtain data.
The site includes a reception and waiting area, outpatient testing rooms, a secure file room, a nursing station, a specimen processing room, and offices for clinical staff and administrators. Additionally, the suite includes 6,800 square feet of clinical research space, including five patient exam rooms, an interview/consult room, a dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scanner, two procedure rooms, three infusion/sleep rooms and an exercise facility. The center has extensive ultrasound capabilities with multiple portable devices for cardiovascular, abdominal and pelvic ultrasound exams.
The Clinical Research Center at Hershey has an observational study suite with two observation rooms. One room is 124 square feet and the other is 91 square feet. Each room includes one-way mirrored windows, reclining chair, desk and chair, special ventilation systems and audio/video capabilities. A blood draw area is also available directly outside room 2.
Ventilation capabilities include:
- Variable air volume supply and exhaust boxes that are programmed to create several environments
- Each observation room can be adjusted to simulate seven different air profiles using a wall dial
- The observer is in a neutral environment
- The overall airflow is isolated to create ideal testing environments for tobacco/smoking, vaping, aromatherapy and similar studies, and maintain the hospital non-smoking environment
Blood draw area includes:
- Running water/sink
- Curtain for privacy
- Available to use for blood draws when staff can’t enter the room (i.e., intervention such as smoking or vaping that would expose staff to any health risks)
Audio/visual capabilities include:
- Ceiling-mounted high-definition cameras with pan/tilt/zoom ability
- Ceiling-mounted microphone
- Observation room speaker
- Four-output headphone amplifiers
- Professional headphones
- Push-to-talk intercom
- Touchscreen operation
- Video recording via computer
Key physical resources for the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) are the Clinical Research Centers, the CTSI’s home for clinical research.
The CRCs host investigators funded by the NIH and other federal, state and local agencies, as well as investigators funded by the private sector.
The Clinical Simulation Center at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center centralizes clinical training resources for students, residents, and other health care personnel.
To advance the field of healthcare simulation, the Clinical Simulation Center conducts innovative research into simulation theory, practice and technology. In January 2010, the Clinical Simulation Center underwent a major renovation, nearly doubling its size and relocating to a more central location on the campus of Penn State Health – the second floor of the Harrell Health Sciences Library at Penn State College of Medicine.
A key feature of the 9,500 square-foot Clinical Simulation Center are the 10 small encounter rooms that support one-on-one or small group training with standardized patients (SPs), manikins or task trainers. Each room is equipped with two cameras and audio plus an auxiliary input for capturing signals from patient equipment or manikin monitors. Room layout is similar to a patient exam room with computers inside and outside the room that can be used for pretests, post encounter questionnaires or SP scoring. These rooms are ideal for the Standardized Patient Program, which uses actors and patient volunteers to help medical students develop and practice skills like history taking, physical examination, and patient communication, without risk to patients.
The Clinical Simulation Center also includes three larger bays that can accommodate a variety of layouts, such as an ICU or operating room with real equipment and monitoring or an ED trauma bay. Each bay can be used separately, or the partitions between the bays can be raised to create spaces large enough to house several manikins for triage scenarios or care team training. The bays can each be recorded and the largest bay is equipped with a large 54″ LCD display. Skills are practiced in one of two spaces: the virtual reality room is equipped with virtual reality trainers, phantoms and box trainers; the skills task training room has individual task trainers and non-anatomic models. There are several cameras set up in the skills room to record trainees performing procedures for competencies. The models can also be moved into the bays to create blended training sessions with manikins or SPs, or into the rooms to create multiple learning stations that students can rotate through.
Conference space and debriefing rooms are used for pretests, lectures in preparation for a hands-on session, debriefing videos of sessions, or post session questionnaires. Some of the rooms have smartboards and teleconference capabilities. All rooms can also be recorded for archiving lectures or for instructor quality improvement training. For large groups there is a lecture hall very close to the Center which holds approximately 150 students and a large classroom for approximately 80 students. Teleconferencing between the large classrooms and a debriefing space is possible. A computer lab located next to the Clinical Simulation Center is equipped with presentation equipment and computer stations for approximately 25 students. In addition, there are two small rooms adjacent to the Clinical Simulation Center that have audiovisual equipment, which supports an increase in the number of small encounter rooms from 10 to 12 when needed.
Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s website contains boilerplate language and specific guidance on how to credit the CTSA grant and the National Institutes of Health when reporting on publications, press releases or other documents that result from the utilization of any CTSI resources.
Penn State Eye Center consists of 19 full-time faculty members representing most ophthalmic specialty areas, including Ophthalmology, Physiology, Cellular and Molecular Biology and Neuroscience.
The Center’s interdisciplinary team of scientists seeks to characterize the cellular and molecular mechanisms that lead to vision impairment in diabetes and to generate novel treatments to cure diabetic retinopathy. The Center’s clinical studies are conducted through the Clinical Research Unit, which provides high-quality, personalized and confidential care for patients who participate in clinical research. The Retina Research Laboratories represents a collective group of research facilities and scientists studying degeneration of vascular and neural cells in diabetic retinopathy. The Center has an active medical student education program.
Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI) participates in both clinical trials and investigator-initiated physiology research experiments that seek to understand neurovascular mechanisms of circulatory control and to determine cause-and-effect pathways relating to heart disease and how exercise impacts the cardiovascular system.
HVI pioneered the total artificial heart in the late ’70s and early ’80s, and continues to be at the cutting edge of cardiovascular device development and implementation.
When Penn State College of Medicine launched Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute in 2005, it brought together specialists and researchers previously housed in the clinical departments of medicine, surgery and radiology. HVI is a national model for comprehensive cardiovascular care that includes a team of more than 40 specialists who treat patients with the most severe heart and vascular conditions. HVI faculty participate in both clinical trials and investigator-initiated physiology research experiments that seek to understand neurovascular mechanisms of circulatory control and to determine cause-and-effect pathways relating to heart disease and how exercise impacts the cardiovascular system.
HVI researchers use Penn State CTSI’s Clinical Research Center to conduct all human studies. Within the last five years, HVI has continued to expand its presence in State College, not only in terms of preventative care and surgical intervention, but also with clinical trials undertaken in collaboration with the Hershey location.
The Huck Institutes encompass a highly successful group of interdisciplinary institutes at Penn State.
Since inception, The Huck came to be regarded as a national model to share talent, resources and expertise, and to foster truly interdisciplinary collaborations. The Huck Institutes supports several intercollege graduate training experiences designed to provide future scientists from a variety of disciplines interdisciplinary and curricula and mentoring. The Huck encompasses a group of scientists from the Eberly College of Science, the College of Medicine, and the College of Information Sciences and Technology that use innovative tools to study and approach infectious diseases “from protein to pandemic.”
The history of The Huck exemplifies Penn State’s visionary commitment to interdisciplinary team science. The Huck is dedicated to strengthening research in the life sciences, preparing students for successful careers, and encouraging new perspectives across disciplinary boundaries. The institute co-funds many faculty members and graduate students, and provides administrative and technical support for research and teaching.
With completion of the Millennium Science Complex in 2011, the Pennsylvania State University gained an exciting interdisciplinary space inhabited by some of the best researchers in life and materials sciences. The 275,600 square foot facility, which was designed to LEED Gold standards, is shared between The Huck and the Materials Research Institute (MRI). At the Millennium Science Complex, researchers and students work side-by-side in a space designed to put everyone in constant contact with one another.
The Huck is recognized as a national model to share talent, resources and expertise, and to foster truly interdisciplinary collaborations. The Huck supports several intercollege graduate training experiences designed to provide future scientists from a variety of disciplines interdisciplinary and curricula and mentoring. The Huck co-funds many faculty and graduate students, and provides administrative and technical support for research and teaching. The Huck and the Materials Research Institute (MRI) are housed in the Millennium Science Complex, an exciting interdisciplinary space inhabited by some of the best researchers in life and materials sciences. The 275,600-square-foot facility, which was designed to LEED Gold standards and provides an infrastructure the supports interdisciplinary endeavors. The Huck coordinates many of the shared resources at other centers and institutes and supports the education and research missions of the University by serving as the umbrella for University-wide centers and institutes that support the life sciences. The history of The Huck exemplifies Penn State’s visionary commitment to interdisciplinary team science. Founded in 1996 as the Life Sciences Consortium to encourage greater coordination and interdisciplinary collaboration in the life sciences, the Consortium was renamed in 2002 in recognition of the generosity of support from Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck. The Huck Institutes are one of several interdisciplinary research units supported by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research at Penn State.
The Huck encompasses a highly successful group of interdisciplinary institutes comprised of faculty from colleges and departments across the University system. The four institutes that comprise The Huck are supported by numerous Centers of Excellence, which concentrate on building the institution’s competitive strength within a defined area of research and education. The Huck and corresponding Centers of Excellence are as follows:
Genome Sciences Institute: The Genome Sciences Institute seeks to understand the function and evolution of genomes, how they interact with each other and the environment and the consequences for health and fitness. This mission requires a combination of new high throughput experimental techniques and innovative approaches to handling, analyzing and integrating the massive amounts of data produced by these techniques. This institute brings together researchers from across Penn State in the areas of bioinformatics, computational genomics, evolutionary genomics, functional genomics, and proteomics. The primary aim is to catalyze collaborations between researchers in the fields of genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics.
Projects within the Institute belong to four broad thematic areas:
- computational tools and bioinformatics
- statistics and machine learning for high-throughput data analysis and integration
- functional, evolutionary and ecological genomics, translation and biomedical applications
The Institutes comprise the following Centers of Excellence: Center for Comparative Genomics and Bioinformatics; Center for Computational Proteomics; Center for Eukaryotic Gene Regulation; Center for Medical Genomics; Center for RNA Molecular Biology; Center for Statistical Genetics; Center for Systems Genomics; Center for Cellular Dynamics.
Infectious Disease Institute: The Infectious Disease Institutes brings together theoreticians and empirical scientists in a wide variety of disciplines to collaborate and innovate in the area of infectious disease research. Comprising the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics (CIDD) and the Center for Molecular Immunology and Infectious Disease, the Infectious Disease Institute and its faculty are at the leading edge of infectious disease research at Penn State. The Institute and its faculty also support the Huck Institutes’ Immunology and Infectious Diseases emphasis area in the Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Biosciences Program graduate program.
Institute of the Neurosciences: Facilitating collaboration and networking between scientists and students in the areas of neuroscience at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State University Park. The Institute also provides oversight and coordination for neuroscience-related activities in education, research, patient care and outreach, while promoting an intellectual environment that enhances the interdisciplinary neuroscience educational experience from the undergraduate to postdoctoral levels. The Institutes comprise the following Centers of Excellence: Center for Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease; Center for Brain, Behavior, and Cognition; Center for Language Science; Center for Molecular Investigation of Neurological Disorders; Center for Motor Control; Center for Neural Engineering; Spine Center; Stroke Center.
Ecology Institute: Building and promoting ecological science and its application through interdisciplinary research. The Institute comprises the following Centers of Excellence: Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics (CIDD); Center for Pollinator Research; Center for Chemical Ecology; Riparia; Center for Landscape Dynamics; The Polar Center; The Agriculture and Environment Center; Center for Climate Risk Management.
Penn State Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center (IBD Center) was established in 1998 to investigate the causes of IBD as a means toward identifying novel therapeutic targets and improving patient care.
This nationally recognized facility is dedicated solely to the diagnosis, treatment and eventual cure of patients suffering with inflammatory bowel diseases including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The IBC Center comprises medical experts from multiple specialties, all highly-trained and well experienced in the treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
In 1998, the IBD Center established the area’s first IBD-dedicated BioBank, which consisted of an IBD patient registry that characterizes the clinical factors used to define subcategories of IBD. Today, the BioBank includes two additional components: a DNA bank derived from the blood samples of IBD registry participants and an IBD tissue library (established in 2006) from samples harvested at the time of surgery. The BioBank fosters strong academic and clinical collaboration. The Center’s basic research programs seek to identify and characterize the genes and epigenetic changes involved in causing IBD and related conditions.
The Center also offers patients the opportunity to participate in clinical studies of new, investigational drug therapies for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The IBD Center currently treats more than 5,000 IBD patients.
The Institute for CyberScience (ICS) was created in 2007 with the specific objective of coupling computing and information sciences with the core disciplines and exploring how cyberscience could enable connections between disciplines and promote large-scale collaborations. The catalyst for developing the ICS was a major research instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), which positioned Penn State to purchase CyberSTAR, a shared system that has computing rates of 20 teraops (1012 operations/sec) and a half petabyte (1015) of storage.
CyberSTAR provides new capabilities, including hosting of the data-intensive Galaxy bioinformatics gateway and an observatory science gateway with real time sense-simulate-predict functions. CyberSTAR is used by more than 120 researchers across all institutes and colleges and in undergraduate and graduate courses throughout Penn State.
Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment is the central coordinating structure for energy and environmental research, education, and outreach at Penn State. It is a dynamic, tightly coupled, intercampus network of expertise and infrastructure organized under the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research. The mission of IEE, according to its 2012-2019 strategic plan, is “… to foster and facilitate interdisciplinary scholarship and collaboration to positively impact important energy and environmental challenges.”
IEE is organized around five working research themes:
- Smart energy systems
- Future energy supply
- Health and environment
- Climate and ecosystem change
- Water and biogeochemical cycles
Launched in early 2012, the Institute for Personalized Medicine brings together faculty, resources, and programs devoted to advancing personalized medicine. IPM uses a multifaceted approach to understand the correlation among a person’s biologic framework, the environment in which he or she lives, disease predisposition, and treatment options.
By pursuing translational research — the kind of research that directly applies the latest scientific technologies to a patient’s clinical condition – physicians and scientists can tailor health care to individual patients and help improve medical outcomes.
A major goal of IPM is to establish a large bank of genetic samples from patients and to use those samples for the conduct of research to develop more targeted treatments. IPM works in close collaboration with departments and institutes across the Hershey facilities to translate research into clinical applications.
Founded in 1966, Penn State’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities is one of the oldest and most distinctive interdisciplinary centers in the nation.
Over the past 50 years, major American universities have created dozens of advanced research institutes in the humanities and/or centers for the fine and performing arts, but because the arts and humanities are almost always housed in different colleges with different administrative structures, most universities have kept their arts and humanities centers separate.
Penn State, by contrast, is one of a handful of universities whose interdisciplinary institute was designed from the outset to bring together innovative work in the arts and humanities – under one roof, across two colleges.
The Materials Research Institute (MRI) was established in 1995 to promote, develop and integrate materials science across Penn State University.
A university-wide resource, the MRI is focused on facilitating interdisciplinary interaction and collaboration among faculty and researchers within and beyond Penn State through administration of core facilities for materials characterization and nanofabrication and pursuit of strategic research themes based on faculty expertise, grant challenges and funding opportunities, and partnerships with industry.
The MRI boasts extensive capabilities across broad areas of materials science that include:
- electronic materials, devices and systems;
- materials characterization and processing;
- optics, photonics and imaging;
- nanoscience, nanomaterials, nanostructures and nanofabrication; and
- biomedical materials and devices.
All of the STEM disciplines are represented in the MRI’s diverse and distinguished faculty. As a centrally administered major research institute, the MRI effectively supports the research of faculty across several departments and colleges while pursuing joint initiatives with other major Penn State institutes, including, the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences (co-located with the MRI in the Millennium Science Complex), Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment and the Institute for Cyberscience.
The MRI is located in the Millennium Science Complex, a 297,000 square foot research building located in the heart of the science corridor at the University Park campus. The LEED Gold-certified building features 16,000 square feet of materials characterization space, 16,000 square feet of cleanroom, and 2,800 square feet of collaboration spaces. The building is shared with the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.
Penn State Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center offers a multidisciplinary approach to developing new treatments for melanoma patients. The Melanoma Center convenes researchers and clinicians from surgery, dermatology, medical and radiation oncology, pharmacology, orthopedics and other areas with a goal of identifying and evaluating new agents and clinical interventions.
Discoveries developed in the research portion of the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center are tested through a portfolio of clinical trials offered to patients.
The Consortium of Pennsylvania Melanoma Centers was established on February 26, 2013 and includes melanoma centers/programs from Penn State, the University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson, The Wistar Institute, St Luke’s Hospital, Temple University/Fox Chase and the University of Pittsburgh. The consortium is the first of its kind in the melanoma arena and is significantly advancing efforts to prevent and treat melanoma. The consortium serves as a resource for researchers, clinicians and melanoma patients and provides its members with opportunities to collaborate, calling upon complementary expertise and resources to address many of the obstacles associated with this disease. Clinicians from the consortium have access to melanoma patients from all sites for accrual to personalized therapeutic trials. Patients can also easily access up-to-date information regarding the latest clinical trials at each institution. The Consortium also addresses legislative issues related to the disease and interacts with grassroots organizations/foundations.
Penn State Neuroscience Institute fosters collaboration among the neuroscience-related departments and divisions within Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine.
Penn State PRO Wellness is committed to helping Pennsylvania communities live healthier lives using evidence-based strategies for measurable and sustainable results.
With programs in nearly 1,000 schools across Pennsylvania, the center is highly visible in the health and wellness arena and has a solid history in obesity prevention and whole-child wellness solutions.
Since 2003, PRO Wellness has led statewide efforts to improve the health of children and their families. In 2013, a rebranding propelled the center to work more heavily in public health. The approach of prevention, research and outreach provides schools, communities and like-minded organizations with program development and implementation, assessment and evaluation services, capacity-building, technical assistance, collaborative partnerships and access to proven wellness interventions. The PRO Wellness team has expertise in project management, community health education, dietetics, public health, school and community-based organization environments, marketing and communications.
The center’s work has been supported by funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Boy Scouts of America, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Children’s Miracle Network, Faulkner Nissan Harrisburg and foundations such as Highmark Foundation and Kohl’s Cares.
Penn State PRO Wellness is housed within Penn State College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics.
The Rock Ethics Institute was established in 2001 and is focused on developing tools to identify and deal with ethical challenges.
The Institute sponsors a bioethics lecture series that addresses research ethics, including the impact of industry and government funding on biomedical research. The multiple intersecting, yet often incongruent interests of scientists, individuals, communities, and industry engaged in biomedical research create complex conflicts of interest that can cause physical, emotional and economical harm to individuals and society. Open-minded, prospective and sensible consideration of ethical concerns is critical to take full advantage of new discoveries and knowledge.
Penn State Center for Medical Innovation serves Penn State Health and the College of Medicine with a mission to deliver optimal economic and social value from Penn State medical innovations.
This mission is accomplished by positively influencing the research enterprise and moving innovative technologies along a development path through the commercialization pipeline.
CMI provides educational programming focused on entrepreneurship to support new ventures, fully engages the regional economic ecosystem, and has created strong partnerships within industry to encourage greater collaboration and licensing opportunities. Successful deployment of Penn State innovative technologies into the marketplace will ultimately improve human health and have a positive impact on economic development.
The Office of Research Affairs at Penn State College of Medicine works with investigators to promote, foster, and sustain excellence in basic and clinical research.
Major services include assisting researchers and staff with all pre and post-award activities, including budget and grant development, cost recovery, compliance, institutional reporting, and training mandates.
Research Development catalyzes excellence in the research mission at Penn State College of Medicine by undertaking strategic and capacity–building activities that increase institutional competitiveness. Research Development identifies and disseminates funding opportunities to faculty and research support staff and manages several internal award programs and research endowments, which are designed to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration, support the career development of early stage investigators, and sustain the research programs of productive investigators. Research Development also maintains a robust website that provides virtual grant-seeking support to investigators, including access to a proposal library of awarded research grants and recorded workshops on topics of importance to early career investigators. To further support the competitiveness of external grant submissions, Research Development maintains partnerships with external consulting partners who provide targeted proposal review and editing support to faculty investigators and post-doctoral scholars. Research Development also supports numerous strategic initiatives designed to facilitate interdisciplinary research throughout the Penn State System. These strategic initiatives include administration of internal grant programs that fund cross-college collaborative research and a quarterly Discover speaker series featuring invited speakers from other campuses/colleges.
The Department of Comparative Medicine prepared text that may be used in grant proposals to describe the resources and veterinary care provided at Penn State College of Medicine.
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Established in 2004, the Penn State Health Biorepository offers investigators a resource to enhance research into cancer and other disease processes.
Tissue, associated blood, urine, buccal cell swabs and epidemiological data are available to conduct clinical and translational research studies that include genetic studies.
All Penn State University researchers can request tissue from the Biorepository with an approved Institutional Review Board protocol. Informed consent from donors is obtained through the Penn State Health Biorepository, thereby freeing investigators from that process.
The Biorepository collects a wide variety of tumor tissue as well as adjacent normal tissue from surgical resections done at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Additionally, select normal control tissue is available.
The Biorepository is a member in good standing with the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories.
The Penn State College of Medicine considers cybersecurity and privacy a critical cross-cutting enterprise function that is foundational to the achievement of the College’s mission and research practices. The Penn State Health Office of Cybersecurity and Privacy (OCSP) mission is to safeguard the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information systems, medical devices, and data for the College of Medicine. The OCSP is administered by the Senior Vice President Chief Information Security and Privacy Officer (CISPO), who is empowered to establish and enforce policies, standards, and procedures to safeguard the organization from cybersecurity threats and privacy breaches.
The College of Medicine is committed to the protection of confidential information, including research health information (RHI), protected health information (PHI), that is created, accessed, used, disclosed, and transmitted by the College of Medicine. The OCSP has adopted the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) and NIST Privacy Framework as the governance foundation for its cybersecurity and privacy programs. The OCSP has developed and published policies, standards, baselines, and procedures that align to the NIST CSF and Privacy Framework functions, categories, and subcategories. The OCSP administers a cybersecurity risk management program that is built upon the NIST Risk Management Framework (RMF) approach of: Preparation, Categorization, Selection and Implementation of Controls, Assessment of Controls, Authorization to Operate, and Control Monitoring.
The OCSP has developed and implemented an integrated incident management program modeled after NIST Special Publication 800-61 Computer Security Incident Handling Guide. The OCSP maintains an Incident Response Plan that establishes how OCSP and the College of Medicine will respond through each phase of an incident. Annual mandatory cybersecurity and privacy awareness training includes reinforcing with the workforce how to detect and report suspected cybersecurity and privacy incidents. The OCSP conducts regular testing of the incident response plan procedures to reinforce the actions taken by incident responders as well as conducting post-incident and post-testing lessons learned to identify opportunities to improve the incident response capability.
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center utilizes the Cerner Corporation’s Millennium electronic medical record system.
This system is CCHITsm-certified and meets the inpatient electronic health record (EHR) criteria. PowerChart, the viewing window for Millennium, allows physicians to access full inpatient and outpatient data, complete orders, and check test results all within one computer program.
Electronic medical records help to improve efficiency, safety, and coordination of medical care while reducing costs and errors. Staff enters all orders electronically except for chemotherapy.
Physicians at the University Park location and those who practice in the joint venture with the Mount Nittany Cancer Center have access to Mount Nittany’s EMR, which is provided by MediTech.
Since May 2016, Penn State College of Medicine has contracted with Hanover Research to provide proposal support services to its faculty investigators. The Washington, D.C.-based grant development firm has more than 150 years of combined grantsmanship experience that cuts across a wide range of foundations and federal agencies, including the NIH.
The primary goal of the Hanover partnership is to increase the quality and success rate of extramural research proposals submitted by faculty investigators. Several different services are available through the Hanover partnership, including individual consultation sessions to help frame a research project (for new submissions and resubmissions) and proposal review services focused on achieving cohesion in the grant narrative and aligning the proposal with funder requirements.
In addition to direct proposal support, Hanover conducts on-campus workshops that have a strong focus on effective grantsmanship for early-career investigators. The Hanover partnership is coordinated by the College’s Research Concierge Service and is fully funded by the Office of the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies. There is no cost to the individual PI or their home department.
Harrell Health Sciences Library – Research and Learning Commons collections and services support the informational needs of Penn State users engaged in patient care, research and education, including interlibrary loan, search services and instruction. The library currently employs approximately 10 faculty librarians who hold, at minimum, a master’s degree from an American Library Association-accrediting library program. Full-time and part-time staff are also employed. Library faculty members teach literature searching, information literacy, basic database search skills, evidence-based medicine and bibliographic software programs (e.g., Endnote) in course-integrated instruction or workshops to all members of the Penn State community. A suite of services and training opportunities are available as requested or on a recurring basis. The library provides members with access to an audio and video recording studio, 3-D printing options and multimedia services.
Harrell Library is part of Penn State University Libraries, allowing member access to more than 6.8 million books and ebooks, approximately 180,000 online full-text journals and more than 850 databases. Penn State University Libraries are increasingly electronic, allowing 24-hour access from anywhere. Most digital platforms are compatible with mobile devices. Penn State provides access to many of the major scientific journals, highly used scholarly databases and point-of-care clinical tools.
The Investigational Drug Service (IDS) at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is charged with the control and management of investigational (research) drugs used in clinical (human) research trials throughout the institution. IDS currently controls the procurement, storage, blinding, and dispensing of study medications in over 250 studies.
Current practice areas for study involvement include, but are not limited to, pediatric and adult oncology, cardiology, asthma and allergy, neurology, rheumatology, dermatology, and biologics.
The IDS also provides pharmacy services for multiple national cooperative investigating groups including the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group-American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ECOG-ACRIN), Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), PrECOG, NRG-Oncology, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
The Penn State University Institutional Review Board reviews and approves protocols for use in the facility. Pharmacists serve on the IRB. The IDS only dispenses medications for protocols that have undergone IRB review and approval. The IDS can assist investigators with the development of drug blinding/dispensing plans for investigator-initiated trials within the institution.
The IDS pharmacy is a 1,008-square-foot pharmacy. Access is limited to pharmacy personnel via badge swipe access. The drug storage areas within the IDS pharmacy are locked with a key. Only investigational medications and study-related supplies are stored in the IDS pharmacy drug storage areas. The drug storage areas are comprised of both a non-hazardous drug storage workroom and a hazardous (USP800-compliant) negative pressure drug storage room. The IDS pharmacy maintains the following critical equipment: medication refrigerators (2 to 8 oC), -20oC freezer (-15 to -25oC), -80oC freezers (< 60oC), and controlled room temperature storage (20 to 25oC).
Access to laminar airflow hoods and biosafety cabinets is provided by the inpatient pharmacy and the chemotherapy pharmacy. Critical equipment is plugged into red outlets that are connected to the back-up generator.
Temperature monitoring of study medications is accomplished using a system called SensoScientific for continuous, wireless, electronic temperature monitoring. Each area (refrigerator, freezer or room temperature space) where investigational medications are stored has its own temperature probe. Temperature readings are monitored continuously, and a recording is made every 5 minutes. Monthly, IDS pharmacy prints a graph of the temperature readings from each temperature probe. If an excursion occurs, a detailed list report of the time of the incident is printed for review. Temperature probes are calibrated yearly. When temperatures reach a pre-alarm or alarm level, the system begins contacting pharmacy personnel via phone, email and pager, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Current staffing is provided by pharmacists, certified pharmacy technicians and a lead pharmacist.
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has approximately 1,150 laboratories in eight basic science departments and 16 clinical departments that total more than 371,000 square feet of assignable laboratory and research space.
At University Park, there is 1,303,240 square feet of assignable laboratory and research space.
Note: The following guidance is not boilerplate language and should not be used as such.
The Office of Cybersecurity and Privacy for Penn State Health and the Penn State College of Medicine no longer provides detailed technical information regarding the architecture of our computer networks.
If during grant proposal preparation, there is specific technical information needed, please coordinate with their office to request support by sending an email to Cyber Security Governance.
REDCap is a secure, web-based application that supports data capture and management for research studies. The system was developed by Vanderbilt University in collaboration with a multi-institutional consortium which includes Penn State University.
REDCap is maintained by a consortium composed of 1,875 active institutional partners in 100 countries who utilize and support REDCap in various ways. REDCap is made available to the Penn State community through Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
Penn State University’s license of REDCap is hosted at and validated within the data center of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine. REDCap allows real-time data entry, post data collection data entry, importing data from other sources, or the administration of web-based surveys or questionnaires to participants via manual or automated e-mail invitations.
REDCap incorporates all the features of a secure, web-based data entry system: data encryption on a secure server located behind an application firewall with reverse proxy; processes to eliminate breach attacks; HIPAA-compliant; user and password authentication; role-based access; logging of all user activities; and a data audit trail.
Any participant protected health information (PHI) that needs to be stored in REDCap can be protected using role-based permissions incorporated within REDCap that prevent the viewing or exporting of these identifiers. Source documents can be uploaded into REDCap for effective remote data monitoring. Performance reports can also be created and executed in REDCap to monitor study accrual, protocol implementation, protocol violations or deviations, participant safety, and data quality.
The Penn State CTSI website provides drop-in text for investigators to include in Institutional Review Board (IRB) submissions.
The REDCap Consortium maintains a website that provides a detailed discussion of the software and technical overview – both of which can be utilized as drop-in text for funding proposals.
Zoom is a secure, user-friendly, cloud-based enterprise videoconferencing service that Penn State implemented in July 2017. Zoom is accessible to faculty and staff at all Penn State campuses via psu.zoom.us.
This multifaceted video and audio conferencing system supports video and audio conferencing across multiple platforms, including room systems, mobile devices, desktops and telephones.
The Zoom platform at Penn State has two main features: Zoom meetings and Zoom webinars.
Designed to support collaboration, Zoom meetings support up to 500 video participants. By default, any participant in a meeting can share their video and audio and utilize the chat feature to exchange messages with participants. The meeting host controls all meeting features, which include mute/unmute participants, screen sharing, recording options, video sharing, remote screen control and participant annotation. Annotation allows participants to draw and highlight on the screenshare. Zoom webinar provides access for up to 500 view-only attendees and features live question-and-answer, polling, registration and post-webinar reporting.
Penn State Zoom offers both local recording and cloud recording and has a storage capacity of 0.5 GB per user. Cloud recording includes an option to produce an audio transcript for a meeting or webinar. The transcript is saved to the cloud as a separate .vtt text file, and the host can elect to display the transcript text within the video itself, similar to a closed-caption display.
Zoom is accessed via Penn State’s single sign-on solution, which provides an environment in which users can authenticate/log in at one time to a central server and connect with web-based services via Penn State WebAccess, which features two-factor authentication.
Effective Jan. 18, 2019, Penn State Health implemented a HIPAA-compliant Zoom platform at pshealth.zoom.us, which includes encryption and recording settings that are fully compliant with HIPAA regulations. The Penn State Health Zoom instance is the only approved video/web conferencing solution for all Penn State Health and College of Medicine faculty, staff and students.
Resources for NIH Research Grants
Note: The actual boilerplate language can be found under the heading “Boilerplate language,” below.
Applicants for NIH research grants must include a Multi-PD/PI Leadership Plan in any application that proposes a multiple PD/PI approach. The Multi-PD/PI model is most appropriate for complex research projects that require collaborative or multidisciplinary team approaches to address a scientific problem. Effective Multi-PD/PI plans have a clear scientific rationale. Each PI’s contribution is well defined, represents substantial percent effort, and calls upon unique expertise that does not overlap with other PIs named to the project. Multi-PD/PI plans document how the participating PIs will work collectively to provide project oversight, determine the scientific direction of the project, and ensure that systems are in place to manage institutional compliance and conflict resolution.
The Multi-PD/PI plan is an option available for most research grant applications. If you are considering a Multi-PD/PI model for your proposal, verify that this approach is permitted by referring to the specific Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). Multi-PD/PI plans have no page limit. The NIH website maintains a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). It is always appropriate to contact the NIH program official prior to planning your proposal to discuss the appropriateness of the Multi-PD/PI model for the research and funding mechanism in question.
The following boilerplate language is a representative EXAMPLE of a Multi-PD/PI plan. Please feel free to utilize this boilerplate language as a starting point for your own Multi-PD/PI plan.
The goal of this project is to determine [Insert Text]. The project will first, determine [Insert Text] and second, determine [Insert Text relevant to specific aims]
The PIs and the collaborators on this project have broad experience in all areas [list examples], necessary for successfully undertaking this project. Each PI will contribute unique expertise. Since the application proposes studies that transcend an individual PI’s expertise, their contributions are uniquely complementary and necessitates a multi-PI leadership approach.
Luke Skywalker, Ph.D., Professor of [Insert Text] will serve as the contact Principal Investigator. He is a nationally recognized expert in [Insert Text]. He is trained in [Insert Text]. For this project, he will be intimately involved in [refer to relevant aims], bringing unique and complementary expertise to the project. [Speak to the specific expertise the contact PI brings to the project]. He leads the [Insert Text] effort at Penn State University serving as [Insert Text]; thereby having access to the models and other essential material necessary to accomplish this project. He has [Insert Text] high quality peer reviewed publications focusing on this disease. Second, he brings the [Insert Text] biology research expertise involving [list aspects relevant to the project] to the team and has publications related to this [Insert Text]. Third, he brings [Insert Text] expertise to the project, with a substantial publication record documenting the [Insert Text]. For this project, he developed the [Insert Text]. He also has experience with all the [Insert Text/Example: animal/human subject models] required for this project. Thus, Dr. Skywalker is uniquely qualified to serve as the contact PI of this project based on his expertise as well as leadership in [Insert Text].
Lara Croft, Ph.D., Professor of [Insert Text] will serve as a Principal Investigator, and is a recognized leaders in [Insert Text]. She has extensive expertise in [Insert Text]. For this project, she will be intimately involved in [refer to relevant aims], bringing unique expertise to the project which is complementary to Dr. Skywalker’s expertise and important for the successful completion of this project. She is the [Insert Title] at Penn State University and has [reference years of experience in the field]. For this project she will provide the [Insert Text]. She will also provide the [Insert Text/Example: drug metabolism expertise]. Dr. Croft’s research program is recognized for [Insert Text]. She has authored/co-authored nearly [Insert Text] papers in this research space. She has a long-term, ongoing and successful collaboration with Dr. Skywalker, which has resulted in [Insert Text] co-authored publications, joint grants, and patents in this area of research. Thus, Dr. Croft is uniquely qualified to serve as a PI of this grant due to her extensive expertise in [Insert Text].
Unique Qualifications of the PIs Justifying Multi-PI Leadership of this Project: For this project Drs. Skywalker and Croft will work closely together to [speak to project goals]. The PIs will determine [reference specific aims of the proposed project]. Preliminary data developed by Drs. Croft and Skywalker show [Insert Text]. The PIs have contributed equally to these discoveries, combining Dr. Skywalker’s expertise in [Insert Text] with that of Dr. Croft’s expertise in [Insert Text].
(If applicable) Unique Team Assembled by the PIs to Accomplish the Proposed Project: Drs. Skywalker and Croft have assembled a unique multidisciplinary team to undertake this project, which demonstrates their leadership and also gives the project a high likelihood of success. Drs. Skywalker and Croft will convene monthly meetings with their multidisciplinary team to discuss the overall progress of the project and to actively incorporate the team’s expertise into project execution. In addition to the expertise of the PIs, which is key to the execution of the project as outlined above, the multidisciplinary team also brings significant additional expertise in [Insert Text/Example: animal models of XYZ, drug development, clinical surgical oncology, clinical medical oncology, patient-derived XYZ models and statistics].
Another significant contributor is Katniss Everdeen, M.D., Ph.D., who will provide [Insert Text] expertise for the project, ensuring the [Insert Text] relevance of the project for the treatment of [Insert Text].
Project Oversight: Drs. Skywalker and Croft will provide oversight for the entire program, the development and implementation of all policies, procedures and processes. They will co-lead the monthly multidisciplinary team meetings to discuss progress and to move the project forward to accomplish its overarching objectives. In these roles, Drs. Skywalker and Croft will be responsible for undertaking the research related to this project and to ensure that systems are in place to guarantee institutional compliance with U.S. laws and DHHS and NIH policies including biosafety, human and animal research, data and facilities. Dr. Skywalker will be responsible for all animal and biosafety research approvals. Dr. Croft will be responsible for all chemistry related aspects of the project. Dr. Skywalker will serve as contact PI and will assume fiscal as well as administrative management including maintaining communication among PIs and key personnel through weekly or monthly meetings, as deemed necessary by the PIs. He will also be responsible for communication with the NIH and submission of annual progress reports.
PI Communication: The PIs will communicate weekly, either by phone, email, or in person, to discuss experimental design, data analysis, and all administrative responsibilities. Monthly meetings, led by the PIs, will be held for the entire team to discuss the overall progress of the project and to incorporate the expertise of the team into project execution. The PIs will share their respective research results with other personnel working on the project. They will work together to discuss any changes in the direction of the research project and the reprogramming of funds, if necessary.
Authorship: Publication authorship will be based on the relative scientific contributions of the PIs and personnel from each laboratory. Joint first co-authorship will be held by scientists from each group who have contributed most to the study as decided by the PIs. Senior last authorship will be agreed upon by the PIs and they will decide whether a single PI or multiple PIs will serve as co-corresponding authors, depending on the contributions of each lab to the publication. Should disagreement arise regarding senior corresponding authorship, all PIs will be listed as equal co-corresponding authors.
Intellectual Property: The Technology Transfer Office at Penn State University will be responsible for protecting the intellectual property generated from this project. The PIs will share in the IP based on their respective contributions to its development. This will be decided upon by an “Intellectual Property Committee” comprised of the PIs and a member from the Penn State Technology Transfer Office. The committee will work to ensure that the intellectually property developed by the PIs is protected according to the policies established by the University.
Conflict Resolution: Based on the long term successful collaboration between the two PIs, no conflict is expected to arise during this study. However, if a potential conflict develops, the appropriate Departmental administrators representing the PIs shall meet and attempt in good faith to settle any dispute, claim or controversy arising out of or relating to the interpretation, performance, or breach of this disagreement. However, if the Departmental administrators fail to resolve the disagreement within thirty business days, then such disagreement shall be referred for arbitration to a designated senior executive who has authority to settle the disagreement, but who is not directly involved in the disagreement. [In the case of the Penn State College of Medicine, the senior executive with authority is the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies]
NIH has issued a new Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Policy, effective January 25, 2023. This new policy requires all grant applications or renewals that generate scientific data include a Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMSP) and budget requests for data management activities, when applicable. Additionally, the policy sets an expectation for researchers to share data to the maximum extent possible.
Penn State offers online tools for determining appropriate data storage options. In addition, University Libraries offers resources and tools for creating data management plans, including one-to-one consultations and DMSP reviews.
Learn more on the Office of the Senior Vice President’s website.
Wells Fargo Philanthropic Funding
Wells Fargo utilizes an online application process to accept grant proposals that are submitted for funding consideration to the private and family foundations administered by Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services. To facilitate application development and the review process undertaken by the Office of Research Affairs (ORA), all applicants are expected to utilize the Well Fargo Philanthropic Funding boilerplate language prepared by Research Development.
IMPORTANT NOTES TO COLLEGE OF MEDICINE APPLICANTS:
- To submit an application to the H. G. Barsumian, M.D. Memorial Fund, you must use the following link in Google Chrome. This link is specific to The Pennsylvania State University – College of Medicine: https://www.cybergrants.com/wfps/barsumian_application
Do not use any other link or website to apply.
- Applicants are encouraged to contact the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations to seek guidance on their proposal’s narrative elements and to answer other foundation related questions. Jess Kiely, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations is the relationship manager for Wells Fargo Philanthropic Funding. Jess can be reached at email@example.com.
- All applications must be reviewed by the Office of Research Affairs (ORA) PRIOR TO SUBMISSION and comply with standard operating procedures for institutional review.
Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN): 246000376
Tax Exemption Date: Date of most recent Internal Revenue Service determination letter recognizing the organization’s tax-exempt status: January 4, 2023.
Tax Exemption Comments:
The Pennsylvania State University is tax-exempt under Section 115 of the Internal Revenue Code. This tax-exempt status granted under Section 115 precludes any requirement of obtaining any additional specific exemption under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). (1000 characters max)
Please explain why the organization cannot be verified with IRS (e.g. organization is a church or other religious organization). The University is a State-related Institution of Higher Education and is tax-exempt under Section 115 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Organization Name: Pennsylvania State University – College of Medicine
Also Known As/Doing Business As: Leave this field blank
Organization Country: United States
Organization Address: The common application accommodates three lines of text. Please use the mailing address below:
Office of Research Affairs
Penn State College of Medicine
Mail Code H138 – 500 University Drive
Organization City: Hershey
Organization State: Pennsylvania
Organization ZIP/Postal Code: 17033-0850
Penn State College of Medicine
700 HMC Crescent Road
Hershey, PA 17033
Email Address for General Inquiries: E-Grants@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
Organization Type: Applicants at the College of Medicine are directed to choose “Health” as the organization type from the drop-down menu.
Mission Statement (1,000 character max.):
The Pennsylvania State University is a multi-campus, land-grant, public research University that educates students from around the world, and supports individuals and communities through integrated programs of teaching, research, and service. Its discovery-oriented, collaborative, and interdisciplinary research and scholarship promote human and economic development, global understanding, and advancement in professional practice through the expansion of knowledge and its applications in the natural and applied sciences, social and behavioral sciences, engineering, technology, arts and humanities, and myriad professions. As Pennsylvania’s land-grant university, Penn State provides unparalleled access to education and public service to support the citizens of the Commonwealth and beyond. Penn State engages in collaborative activities with private sector, educational, and governmental partners worldwide to generate, integrate, apply, and disseminate knowledge that is valuable to society.
The online application includes a drop-down menu of options for answering this question. Applicants from the College of Medicine should select the last option in the drop-down menu – “Not Applicable.”
Note to Applicants:
The Board of Trustees of the University is the corporate body established by the University’s Charter with overall responsibility for the governance and welfare of the University and all the interests pertaining thereto. In the exercise of its responsibilities, the Board of Trustees delegates day-to-day management and control of the University to the President, with certain reserved powers as set forth in the University’s Bylaws. Trustees are separated into three groups of substantially equal numbers so that the terms of one third of the Board of Trustees expires each year. The current composition of the Board of Trustees is listed below.
Number of Paid Staff, Full-Time: 20,858
Number of Paid Staff, Part-Time: 14,619
Number of Volunteers: 16,900
Staffing data was obtained from the Penn State University Data Digest for the Fall 2022 semester.
Regarding volunteers, each year, more than 16,500 Penn State student volunteers participate in fundraising efforts to support THON, whose sole beneficiary is Four Diamonds at Penn State Children’s Hospital. THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, both in terms of revenue and volunteer participation. In addition, there are approximately 400 adults who actively volunteer at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
Note to Applicants
The budget detail was obtained from the FY 2022-23 operating budget for The Pennsylvania State University, which was approved by the University’s full board of trustees on September 23, 2022. Budget information can be accessed online through the University’s Budget Office. The budget encompasses the entire Penn State system, including the main campus at University Park, the Commonwealth campuses, the Penn State Law School, The Pennsylvania College of Technology, the Penn State College of Medicine, and Penn State Health. The Penn State Health System is a subsidiary corporation within Penn State.
Total Annual Budget: $8,560,941,000 (enter the amount as shown)
Organizational Budget Detail:
Note to Applicants:
If you enter the budget amounts with a dollar sign ($), commas, or periods (.), you will get an error message when you attempt to ‘Add a New Row.’
Example of Correct Data Entry: 686609000
Summarize any significant changes in your current year budget since initially established (1,000 character max.)
The FY 2022-23 operating budget is the culmination of University-wide efforts to revise unit budgets that have been impacted by inflation, flat state funding, and ongoing pandemic-related enrollment and revenue pressures. Penn State leadership worked with budget executives and financial officers throughout the summer of 2022 on a 3 percent rescission and developed a fiscal plan that trimmed the University’s general funds deficit to approximately $149 million, which will be funded from reserve balances. The 3 percent rescission is expected to generate approximately $46.2 million in cost savings, and follows several years of budget rescissions and cost-cutting measures to reduce Penn State’s overall expenses. Including this year’s cuts, across-the-board budget rescissions over the last four years have saved Penn State $113.4 million in recurring costs.
Administrative expenses / Percent of Budget:
What percentage of your budget is allocated to administrative expenses? 7 percent
These data were obtained from Penn State University’s Right-to-Know Law Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, which was released on May 28, 2022.
Fiscal Year End Date: 07/30/2021
Tax Return Filed – Did your organization file a tax return for the prior fiscal year?
Select “No” as the answer from the drop-down menu
No Tax Return Explanation – Explain why your organization did not file a tax return for the prior fiscal year.
The IRS Form 990 is used by the University as a convenient instrument to report select information required by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. However, the University is not required to, and does not file a Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service.
Note to Applicants: Research Development found that data entry works best when submitters omit the dollar sign ($) and manually enter each amount. Based on our experience, when a user tries to copy/paste amounts from the boilerplate language into the online application, error messages may be generated.
Contributions and Grants: $431,375,000
Program Service Revenue: $6,492,760,166
Investment Income: $641,767,000
Other Revenue: $40,709,834
TOTAL REVENUE: $7,606,612,000 (this number gets auto-calculated)
Note to Applicants: Research Development found that data entry works best when submitters omit the dollar sign ($) and manually enter each amount. Based on our experience, when a user tries to copy/paste amounts from the boilerplate language into the online application, error messages may be generated.
Program Services: $3,548,659,833
Other Expenses: $2,342,960,878
TOTAL EXPENSES: $6,550,756,439 (this number gets auto-calculated)
Revenue Less Expenses: $1,055,855,561 (enter the amount as shown)
Note to Applicants: Research Development found that data entry works best when submitters omit the dollar sign ($) and manually enter each amount. Based on our experience, when a user tries to copy/paste amounts from the boilerplate language into the online application, error messages may be generated.
Total Assets: $19,878,734,000
Total Liabilities: $7,472,063,000
Net Assets or Fund Balances: $12,406,671,000
Endowment Net Assets: $1,322,117,236
Additional Finance-Related Comments: The aforementioned data reflects end-of-year numbers from the University’s Form 990 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.
This section is to be completed by the PI.
Requested Amount: Enter requested amount. Direct costs only. The H.G. Barsumian, M.D. Memorial Fund does NOT pay indirect costs.
Support Type: College of Medicine applicants should select “Project/Program Support” from the drop-down menu
Project Title: Enter project title
Project/Program Description: Describe specific purposes for which any grant funds awarded from this foundation will be used (e.g., specific equipment, overall project funding, etc.). (1,000 character maximum)
Common Goals: Describe how a grant to your organization would further the foundation’s mission and the priorities of the foundation. (1,000 character maximum)
This section is to be completed by the PI.
Primary Program Area Served: College of Medicine applicants should select “Health” from the drop-down menu
Primary Geographical Area Served: Select the primary geographic region served by this request from the drop-down menu.
Primary State Served: Select the primary stated served from the drop-down menu.
Primary County Served (optional): This field is optional
Primary Population Served: Select from drop-down menu
Primary Age Group Served Select from drop-down menu
Demographics Comments (optional): This field is optional (1,000 characters max.)
Contact Salutation: Mr.
Contact First Name: Thomas
Contact Middle Name/Initial: J.
Contact Last Name: Brydebell
Contact Suffix: Leave this field blank
Contact Title: Director of Grants Administration
Contact Phone Number: 717-531-8495
Contact Email Address: e-Grants@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
This section is to be completed by the PI.
Project/Program Objectives: Describe the objectives of the project or program to be funded.
(4,000 character maximum)
Implementation Plan: Describe the implementation plan for the project or program. Include at least three specific actions your organization will take in order to achieve results. (4,000 character maximum)
Measuring Success: What criteria does (or will) your organization use to measure the success of the project or program? (4,000 character maximum)
Collaboration: Briefly describe any formal or informal collaborative ventures your organization has established (or will establish) with other entities serving similar purposes that may be relevant to this grant request. (4,000 character maximum)
Project/Program Background: If this grant request relates to an ongoing project or program, how long has the project or program been operating? (4,000 character maximum)
Project/Program Start Date: If a grant is awarded, when does your organization anticipate being able to begin using the funds for the requested purpose? (Date format: MM/DD/YYYY)
College of Medicine applicants should identify 09/01/2023 as the Start Date
Project/Program End Date: If a grant is awarded, when would the requested funds likely be exhausted? (Date format: MM/DD/YYYY) College of Medicine applicants should identify 08/31/2024 as the End Date
Project/Program Timeline: Provide any other relevant dates relating to the project or program for which grant funds would be used (milestones, interim check-ins, etc.). (1,500-character maximum)
This section is to be completed by the PI. Project Budget should only include direct costs. The H.G. Barsumian, M.D. Memorial Fund does NOT pay indirect costs.
Total Project Budget: Provide a total project budget
Project Budget Detail Worksheet: Provide concise budget detail for the project listing major expense categories. This worksheet will auto-calculate a total, which should match the Total Project Budget entered in the previous field.
Other Project Funding: List other sources that may fund this project. Include other pending grant requests, providing entity name, amount requested, and current status of each. If these sources do not fully fund the project, what other sources of funding will your organization pursue? (3,500-character maximum)
- Penn State University’s Audited Financial Statements – Right-to-Know Law Report for Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2021 (released May 31, 2022)
- Penn State University 2022-23 Operating Budget (approved September 23, 2022)
- College of Medicine Office of Research Affairs (ORA)
- General Counsel’s letter of opinion regarding the University’s tax-exempt status
- The University’s Mission and Vision