Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

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October 23, 2014

News Briefs

Calls for ProSEED Grant Proposals

Four ProSEED grant programs are currently accepting proposals:

  • ProSEED/Crosswalk Proposals (due Oct. 29);
  • ProSEED/EQT Energy Proposals (due Nov. 10);
  • ProSEED/Simon Initiative Proposals (due Nov. 14); and
  • ProSEED/BrainHub Proposals (due Nov.14). 

Grants are available to students, faculty and staff to fund new initiatives, pilot projects and preliminary work in a wide range of community building activities and research areas.

For more information on ProSEED, visit Email questions to

Special Staff Sale at the University Store

The University Store in the Cohon University Center is having a very limited special sale for staff while supplies last. Sale items are:

  • $10 short sleeve t-shirts are now $6;
  • $30 hoodies are now $20;
  • $25 crew neck sweatshirts are now $15; and
  • $15 long sleeve t-shirts are now $10.

Take the What's Your Financial IQ Challenge

Test your financial know-how and you could win a tablet computer! CMU HR/Benefits has teamed up with TIAA-CREF to bring you the What’s Your Financial IQ Challenge.

Beginning Nov. 5 at the Benefits and Fitness Fair and running until Dec. 5, you can take this educational challenge to have fun and learn about financial planning. Each day five new questions will be added to the challenge. Every time you play, you are automatically entered for a chance to win one of three tablet computers. The more you play, the better your chances of winning — so sign on every day! (All responses are confidential.)

Take the challenge. You don't have to invest with TIAA-CREF to play.

CMU Hosts Nationwide High School Computer Security Contest

Carnegie Mellon Professor David Brumley and two student teams — CyLab's Plaid Parliament of Pwning and the Entertainment Technology Center's Team Daedalus —  will host the second annual PicoCTF competition, a nationwide online computer security contest aimed to help high school students learn the basics of hacking in the context of a story-driven game.

The competition, which drew nearly 2,000 teams from 1,000 schools last year, will be held Oct. 27-Nov. 7 at

"The main goal of this competition is to excite young minds about computer security and inspire the next generation of computer scientists in our country," said Brumley, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and the technical director of Carnegie Mellon CyLab, a world leader in research and education in information assurance, security technology, business and policy, and security awareness.

Building on more than two decades of Carnegie Mellon leadership in information technology, CyLab is a university-wide initiative that involves over 50 faculty and 100 graduate students from more than six different departments and schools.

Learn more.

AED Training Classes Scheduled

The Environmental Health & Safety Department has scheduled two automated external defibrillator (AED) /CPR training sessions in the next few weeks. The schedule follows:

  • 10 a.m. - Noon, Oct. 30, Rangos 2, Cohon University Center;
  • 10 a.m. - Noon, Nov. 10, Rangos 1, Cohon University Center.

Class space is limited, so register early. To register go to You must login with your Andrew ID and password.

SURG Deadline is Oct. 29

The deadline for Small Undergraduate Research Grant (SURG) proposals is at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 29.  Grants are open to all undergraduates in any discipline.

Grants are available from up to $500 for single entries and up to $1,000 for group entries to cover the cost of supplies and materials, time on laboratory equipment, or travel to another city for archives. Applications are accepted online at

Your proposal can be reviewed. To have it reviewed please contact Undergraduate Research Office Director Stephanie Wallach ( or Assistant Director Jennifer Keating Miller ( no later than Oct. 27.

It is the quality of the proposal that determines who is selected. For more information, go to

New System To Support Research Administration - SPARCS

CMU is making significant progress toward the implementation of an enterprise-wide system that modernizes and supports the administrative aspects of the university’s research activities.  The Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance System (SPARCS) will replace existing electronic and paper processes.
The SPARCS project implementation schedule will deliver modules and functionality in phases through FY 2017. The system consists of four modules: conflict of interest (COI); human subject research (IRB); animal care and use (IACUC); and grants and contracts management. Once fully implemented, the system will streamline the process of submitting proposals, obtaining compliance approvals and processing awards. 
COI is the first module to "go live" as part of SPARCS. This new module replaces an electronic system that investigators with Public Health Service funding currently use as well as paper forms that others use. COI certifications and disclosures for investigators with external funding for research began transitioning to the new system on Oct. 21. Use of the system will be phased in, college by college, with all investigators using the new system by spring 2015. Training on use of the new system will be provided throughout the transition period and beyond. The points below show the schedule for roll-out.
Conflict of Interest Roll-out Dates

  • The first groups to be impacted are investigators with Public Health Service funding and investigators from the Dietrich College and Mellon College of Science.  They must complete annual certifications in SPARCS by Nov. 30.
  • Investigators from the Tepper School, Heinz College and College of Fine Arts will begin using SPARCS Dec. 1. They must complete annual certifications by Jan. 31, 2015.
  • School of Computer Science investigators will begin using SPARCS on Feb. 1, 2015. Annual certifications for them must be completed by Feb. 28, 2015.
  • College of Engineering investigators will begin using SPARCS March 1, 2015. They must complete their certification by March 31, 2015.
  • From April 1, 2015, on, all investigators will complete COI Certifications in SPARCS.

Detailed information about how to access and use the new COI system is being provided to investigators and business managers.  Training sessions and a variety of materials will be available to assist users with the new system. Additional information is available at the SPARCS website and COI website.

CMU's United Way Campaign is Underway

Carnegie Mellon’s 2014 United Way Campaign will run through Thursday, Dec. 11. This year’s theme is "Be the answer."

Employees are encouraged to live this year’s campaign theme by advocating for, or volunteering with, the United Way and by pledging or donating during the campaign. Please visit to make your pledge online and learn more about featured agencies that benefit from the United Way, including CMU's current featured agency, Oakland Planning and Development Corporation (United Way agency code #300). "Be the answer" to someone in need in Allegheny County. Pledge today!

ORIC Offers Responsible Research Conduct Seminar Series

CMU's Office of Research Integrity and Compliance (ORIC) is sponsoring the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Seminar Series to provide faculty, students and staff with an overview of topics typically covered in RCR curricula. All sessions are from 12 – 1 p.m. in the Cohon University Center. Upcoming sessions are as follows:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 29: Using the IRB and Ethical Issues Involving Human Subjects Research;
  • TUESDAY, Nov. 4: International Research Considerations: Shipping and Setting Up a New Lab;
  • Wednesday, Nov. 12: Data Security; and
  • Wednesday, Nov. 19: Lab Safety.

More information is available on the RCR website. Space is limited, so please register early.