In April 2012 the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University hosted a symposium that gathered policy, aging, and nutrition experts to discuss population aging and urbanization. Jacob Kumaresan, executive director of the World Health Organization, welcomed attendees to this first ever World Health Day held at an academic institution. Topics included physiopathology of aging, economic consequences of aging in urban settings, diet and nutrition issues in older people, and health care access in urban settings. For more information, please see http://whd.hnrc.tufts.edu/index.html.
On June 7, 2012, Tufts University featured its first drug discovery and development seminar. Hosted by the Tufts Office for Technology Licensing and Industry Collaboration (OTL&IC), the interactive seminar featured talks by seven industry experts on development, regulatory, and commercial strategies. Participants learned about drug discovery and product development and had an opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the university and from industry. For more information, please see http://techtransfer.tufts.edu/news-events/drug-discovery-and-development-workshop.
The 2012 BIO International Convention took place June 18 to 21 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. It hosted a record 25,291 partnering meetings and drew 16,505 industry leaders. The Tufts Office for Technology Licensing and Industry Collaboration (OTL&IC) exhibited at the new BIO Academic Zone, which highlighted the role of academia in the advancement of biotechnology, served as a pavilion for industry partnering meetings, and gave convention attendees the opportunity to start conversations that could lead to technology partnerships. Governor Deval Patrick stopped by the Tufts exhibit and told Nina Green, director of the OTL&IC, that he thought Tufts was a great example of a collaborative institution with a global reach. For more information, please see http://convention.bio.org/academic.
In September 2012, two research-related panel discussions were held on the Boston campus.
Tufts Medical Center hosted a panel discussion titled Surviving the Budget Cuts at NIH on current opportunities and changes in direction at NIH, as well as strategies for securing nontraditional research funding. Topics included “Understanding New NIH Priorities,” “Making the Most of Non-R01 NIH Opportunities (SBIRs, STTRs, R03/R21s, P01s, Supplements),” “Industrial-Academic Partnerships,” “How to Attract Industrial Contract Work,” and “Wooing Philanthropy.” For more information on these topics or to view a video of the discussion, please contact Linden Hu, vice-chairman for faculty development, Department of Medicine, Tufts Medical Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The second panel discussion was a session of the Boston AAPLS (Applicants and Administrators Preaward Luncheon Series) titled NIH Reviewer Panel. The AAPLS is offered by the Tufts University offices of Proposal Development and Research Administration in coordination with the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging on the Boston campus and the schools of Arts & Sciences and Engineering on the Medford/Somerville campus. The panel consisted of five researchers from Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center with broad experience as reviewers of NIH grant applications. The discussion was moderated by Amy Gantt, director of the Office of Proposal Development. The panel offered insights into the review process as well as tips on preparing a competitive proposal. For more information, please see http://viceprovost.tufts.edu/researchadmin/training-and-seminars/aapls.
Tips offered by panelists and attendees of both panel discussions can be found on the Office of Proposal Development website under Additional Resources: General Grantsmanship Advice: Strategies for Securing Research Funding.
In March 2013, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and the Office of the Senior Vice President for University Relations welcomed Lewis-Burke Associates to the Tufts University campuses to discuss best practices for highlighting research and addressing concerns regarding extramural federal funding. Lewis-Burke Associates is a full-service government relations firm specializing in advocating for the public policy interests of institutions of higher education and other research and education organizations. They offer a comprehensive approach to managing the relationships between research institutions and the Federal government, including grant funding agencies, and they provide guidance towards current and future Federal research funding opportunities.
The visits featured introductions from four Lewis-Burke Associates staff members. Sessions focused on new faculty, neuroscience initiatives, translational research, patient-centered outcomes research, community health outreach, funding agency priorities, interdisciplinary research, center grants, economic development, infrastructure, and public-private partnerships.