Monthly Memo of Announcements – Feb. 15, 2018

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From the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, SF State

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
A digest of updates and announcements Feb 15, 2018


Professor refutes theory that perpetuates victim blaming in workplace

In a recent article that appears in the latest issue of the Industrial and Organizational Psychology journal, San Francisco State University Assistant Professor of Management Verónica Rabelo and two co-authors point out the troubling trend. Their essay traces the history of victim precipitation, lays out its flaws and discusses how those studying workplace relationships use the antiquated theory. It ends with a plea: “Victim precipitation is an archaic, regressive ideology. Criminologists have long abandoned it, and so should we." The authors also offer an alternative framework, “perpetrator predation,” which places agency on the attacker and looks at systemic causes for the aggressive behavior.

Click here to read more.


Biologists at SF State dig into ticks and Lyme disease

Lots of things probably come to mind when you think of Lyme disease, but California likely isn’t one of them. Most of the human cases of Lyme — and most research studies on it — happen in the northeastern U.S. But new work from San Francisco State University Biology Professor Andrea Swei and her former graduate student Jessica Kwan shows that the West Coast may have a thing or two to teach the East about the disease. For Swei, California’s lower prevalence of Lyme is an opportunity to probe how the bacteria that causes the disease spreads differently on the West Coast. One leading explanation has to do with the different hosts that Lyme-carrying ticks prefer.

Click here to read more.


Flowering plants owe their success to downsized DNA

“Flowering plants are the most important group of plants on Earth, and now we finally know why they’ve been so successful,” said Assistant Professor of Biology Kevin Simonin, one of two authors on the study published today in PLoS Biology. Simonin began his path to an answer from an odd direction. While he was teaching an introductory biology course at San Francisco State, a student asked: “Do whales have big genomes?” They don’t — but the student’s question got Simonin thinking about his research on plant physiology in a different way. “It sent me down this whole path of genome-size research,” he said. “It reinvented the research in my lab in many ways.”

Click here to read more.

Using active placebos would improve clinical studies

Professor of Health Education Erik Peper and Associate Professor of Health Education Richard Harvey present their findings in a new article in NeuroRegulation. In drug trials, an active placebo is usually something like a low dose of caffeine or vitamin B3, which causes some type of harmless side effect (such as increased heart rate or skin flushing). Study participants often interpret those effects as the drug working, according to Harvey and Peper. Using an active placebo offers a more honest test of whether the procedure or drug really works, the researchers contend. Currently, many studies use passive placebos, such as a low dose sugar pill, which cause no side effects and may thus skew study results in favor of the drug.

Click here to read more.

Grant Management Tip of the Week 
10 Common Grant-Writing Mistakes (The Chronicle,01/04/18)

If you are applying for a grant…

  • Review the funding opportunity announcement to confirm appropriateness and eligibility
  • Tell ORSP you want to apply by filling out our online PI CheckList
  • Consider contacting the Program Officer to discuss suitability of idea(s)

Stay on the Route to Successful Grant Submissions

Free Online Workshops

 Introduction to Finding Grants

• Introduction to Proposal Writing

• Introduction to Project Budget

ORSP provides campus-wide access to the powerful and flexible funding research tool “Pivot.”

With a few easy steps, you can sign up for a Pivot account, link it to a pre-populated profile (or create a new one), and instantly find funding opportunities. For step-by-step instructions on getting started with pivot follow the steps here.  

For how to get the most from Pivot check out their YouTube channel:

Still have questions please contact Jessica Mankus


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