March 2023


Research, Creativity and Strategic Initiatives Celebrates a Year of Progress


By Drs. Luis Cifuentes, Vice President for Research, Creativity, and Strategic Initiatives and Patricia Sullivan, Director, Strategic Initiatives


“Don’t make change too complicated, just begin.” Anonymous

What a difference a year makes! In February 2022 the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate School began a year of change with the evolving role to become the Office of Research, Creativity, and Strategic Initiatives (RCSI). With the joining of Research Administration Services (RAS), Research Integrity and Compliance (RIC), Research Cores Program (RCP), Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI), New Mexico Space Grant Consortium(NMSGC), New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI), and the Molecular Biology and Interdisciplinary Life Science graduate program (MBILS), RCSI has celebrated a robust year of system-wide collaboration and engagement. 

On the strategic front, this past year focused on bringing “life” to institutional global challenges in areas of STEM education, water and natural resources, economic development, healthy borders and sustainability.  With a focus on building institutional capacity, the RCSI team worked to mobilize partnerships, internal and external to NMSU, with a four-fold mission: (1) increase opportunities for societal impact; (2) enhance investment in research facilities and equipment; (3) increase research collaboration to pursue high-value federal funding opportunities; and (4) identify opportunities to elevate alignment of NMSU programs with the state’s H3 (high-wage, high demand, high skilled) workforce needs.

With a year under our belt, the RCSI team is currently managing an active portfolio of over 42 strategic initiatives, with an additional 9 having been transitioned at the college-level as integral parts of ongoing research programs.  These strategic initiatives engaged over 72 faculty and staff from across the NMSU system, and mobilized 51 external partners who are actively   engaged in creating new public-private partnerships, advancing workforce development, creating opportunities for experiential learning, or collaborating with faculty on emerging research opportunities.

Some notable outcomes of this year-long progression include continued support for the NMSUCCESS Climate Change Education Seminar Series, an interdisciplinary series that has attracted a range of experts to Las Cruces to promote informed discussion on the causes and consequences of climate change. Another is the advancement of a multi-disciplinary, transformational research focus on STEM teaching and learning, an effort that saw national exposure as a panel of faculty and staff were invited to present at the U.S. Department of Education Summit “You Belong in STEM.”  This multi-disciplinary effort is also advancing a new research center at NMSU that will be flanked by five new faculty hires with research interests and expertise in STEM education.

Other strategic initiatives are ongoing in the area of water and natural resource management with major efforts focused on identifying fit-for-purpose technologies for alternative water resources and leveraging the institution's vast faculty expertise to advance carbon sequestration technology development and adoption. And, on the economic development front, the new Center for Border Economic Development has gained a reputation for high-value economic data and impact studies being utilized to advance economic growth in southern NM.

Working together, RCSI has also focused efforts this past year on building coordinated and strategic partnerships with Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratories, and the Air Force Research Laboratory. These partnerships are beginning to realize aligned interests in research (cybersecurity, energy, water, hypersonics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics) and a shared interest in expanding in-state H3 employment opportunities for New Mexico’s youth, post-graduation.

As 2023 advances, the RCSI team is committed to identifying opportunities for collaboration and creating new partnerships that align with the tremendous assets across the NMSU system. 








Transition of IBC Forms into Streamlyne Begins Today (March 14)


By Dr. JoAnne Dupre, Director, Research Compliance Administration, RIC

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is accepting applications in Streamlyne. If your research involves the use of potentially infectious materials or recombinant nucleic acids, the IBC provides the institutional review and approval required by federal sponsors and state regulations. For more information about the IBC functions in Streamlyne and to schedule a tutorial using Zoom or Teams, send your request by email to Research Integrity and Compliance (RIC) at

Visit the IBC webpage at for the Biosafety Manual, policies and procedures, and training options.


Congratulations to the 2023 Arts and Humanities Seed Grant Awardees


By Dr. Allison Layfield, Senior Proposal Development Specialist, RAS

To support the work of faculty in the arts and humanities, the Office of Research, Creativity and Strategic Initiatives created the Arts and Humanities seed grant program. Currently in its second year, this multi-year commitment administered by Research Administration Services provides up to $10,000 to NMSU faculty for proposal development efforts that seek external funding in the arts and humanities. Awards will provide faculty with the time and resources to conduct preliminary research and creative activities necessary to develop external funding proposals.

2023 awardees come from a wide range of artistic and humanistic approaches. Congratulations to this year’s cohort of awardees:

  • Eric Magrane, Geography
  • Glen Fetzer, Linguistics
  • Margaret Malamud, History
  • Richard Greenfield, Creative Writing
  • Sabine Hirschauer, Government
  • Brita d’Agostino, Art
  • Joshua Clark, Art
  • Connie Voisine, Creative Writing
  • Justine Wells, English
  • Motoko Furuhashi, Art

The Arts and Humanities Seed Funding program is expected to continue in 2024. Information regarding the next cycle will be announced in Fall 2023. To learn more about this program, please contact me at







Recognizing Large Proposal Submitters (February 2023)


By Dr. Hamid Mansouri Rad, Senior Proposal Development Specialist, RAS 

Congratulations to Drs. Muhammad Dawood, Luis Rodolfo Garcia Carrillo, and Robert Young for each submitting a proposal exceeding a million dollars in the month of February.

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Muhammad Dawood in collaboration with Ms. Margaret Campos, the manager of the Telemetry and Missile Systems R&D group at Physical Science Laboratory (PSL), and PSL R&D engineers Shayan Abotalebi and Jacob Wilson submitted a $2.4 million proposal to the NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program to secure a spheric electromagnetic anechoic chamber. The chamber will advance NMSU’s teaching and research capabilities in several areas including the advancement of Internet of Things hardware security, low frequency and Ultra-Wide Band antennas, novel biological sensors, novel 3-D printed volumetric circuits/antennas, 5G and crowded spectrum control, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, broadband connectivity for rural regions, Earth and disaster preparedness monitoring, High-Altitude Platform Stations, satellite antennas, and hypersonic antennas. The chamber will also enable collaborative research opportunities with faculty at New Mexico Tech and the University of Texas at El Paso.

For more information, please contact Dr. Dawood at






Dr. Muhammad Dawood, NMSU

Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Luis Rodolfo Garcia Carrillo led a $1.2 million proposal to the NSF MRI program for acquisition of an autonomous vehicles research and research training studio.

The proposed state of the art equipment will enable NMSU researchers to conduct research and training in the area of autonomous systems and robotics. As Dr. Garcia Carrillo explains it, the studio will enable the development and evaluation of original strategies for the autonomous vehicles to execute complex missions when exposed to challenging operational conditions. The equipment will also enable Geographic Information Systems (GIS), precision agriculture, Kinesiology, and UAS pilot training activities. The broader impacts occurring from this acquisition include teaching and outreach to disadvantaged communities along the borderlands. The co-PIs on this proposal are Dr. Michaela Buenemann (Geography), Dr. Hilda Cecilia Contreras Aguirre (RCSI), Dr. Muhammad Dawood (Electrical and Computer Engineering),  and Dr. Wei Tang (Electrical and Computer Engineering). For mor information, please contact Dr. Garcia Carrillo at

For more information, please contact Dr. Garcia-Carrillo at


Dr. Luis Rodolfo Garcia Carrillo, NMSU

Dr. Robert Young, the director of NMSU’s Chemical Analysis and Instrumentation Laboratory (CAIL) submitted a $1.1 million proposal to the NSF MRI program to garner funding to acquire a Gas Chromatography – High Resolution Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry (GC-Orbitrap MS).

The proposed instrument will enhance NMSU’s ability to analyze complex chemical mixtures, particularly when volatile and semi-volatile compounds are present, supporting a diverse group of science and engineering research projects. It will also enhance NMSU’s ability to compete for funding, form collaborations, and attract researchers, and improve the quality of research training at NMSU, a source of job candidates for several national laboratories engaged in transformative research within the state (Los Alamos National Laboratories, Sandia National Laboratories, and the NASA-White Sands Test Facility).

For more information about this proposal, please contact Dr. Young at




Dr. Robert Young, NMSU

Save the Date! Principal Investigator Training on March 31


By Ms. Rita C. Parra, Director, Pre-award Administration, RAS

Research Administration Services (RAS) will be offering principal investigator (PI) training at 11:00am on March 31, 2023 via Zoom. The training is intended to provide a high-level overview to NMSU researchers and staff involved with proposal preparation and submission, as well as award negotiation/acceptance of externally-sponsored grants and contracts. The training is strongly encouraged for all prospective and current principal investigators who have yet to attend. The Zoom information will be provided on Training Central when you register for the training. To register click here. For questions, email Diana Sandoval at


NSF CAREER Workshop on April 11


By Dr. Hamid Mansouri Rad, Senior Proposal Development Specialist, RAS

The Office of the Vice President for Research, Creativity, and Strategic Initiatives will hold a one-day workshop on developing effective NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) proposals on Tuesday April 11 from 8:30am to 3:30pm (MT). To be eligible to apply for the NSF CAREER funding, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a doctoral degree in a field supported by NSF;
  • Be engaged in research in an area of science, engineering, or education supported by NSF;
  • Hold at least a 50% tenure-track (or tenure-track-equivalent) position as an assistant professor (or equivalent title);
  • Be untenured; and
  • Have not previously received a CAREER award (Prior or concurrent Federal support for other types of awards for non-duplicative research does not preclude eligibility).

Applicants may submit only one proposal in each cycle and only three proposals before obtaining tenure position.

This workshop is led by Ms. Lucy Deckard, the founder of Academic Research Funding Strategies (ARFC), LLC. Before leading the ARFC consulting, Ms. Deckard was an Associate Director of Research Development at Texas A&M University for 8 years and prior to that worked as a research engineer in industry for 16 years.

To register, please send email to





  CAREER (NSF 22-586)



McNair Scholars Program Now Seeking Sophomore Applicants


By Marko Mohlenhoff, Director, TRIO McNair Scholars Program 

YOU can change a student’s life. NMSU’s new McNair Scholars Program is now inviting talented first generation, low income students who have the potential to earn their PhDs to apply for the program. PLEASE - if you have a student you know would be a good candidate to pursue a Ph.D. and who would fully engage in this extremely valuable program, take a few minutes to tap them on the shoulder and encourage them to apply. YOURS may be the vote of confidence that inspires them to reach for a life in the academy!

Qualified applicants will also have a minimum 3.0 GPA, be planning to graduate in Spring 2025 or later, and be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents. But you don’t need to know all their eligibility details talking to your student; we can verify that, and even do so in advance if you’d like to contact us.

Students selected for the program will be immersed in premier, best-practice academic activities to prepare them for competitive application to graduate and PhD programs including, but not limited to:

  • Exclusive, free enrollment in the Engaged Scholars honors seminar each semester, resulting in an earned honors certificate after two years
  • A PAID Summer Immersive Research Internship with a faculty mentor after their first year in the program (faculty mentors will be compensated)
  • Funds and travel opportunities to attend and present at research conferences and visit doctoral and graduate programs in their chosen field
  • Assistance preparing for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and applying to graduate programs
  • Inclusion and the support of a cohort of their peers to navigate the Ph.D.-bound journey together.

The Priority Deadline for Applying is March 31

You and your students can learn more and apply here. If you have questions or are willing to invite a representative of the McNair Scholars Program to present at a department or team meeting, please reach out to Thank you!






Updates on NIH Data Management Plan


By Dr. Tanner Schaub, Assistant Vice President for Research 

As part of their ongoing effort to adapt to new federal guidelines that promote open science, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting feedback on the agency’s proposed plan to enhance public access to the results of NIH-funded research. This RFI and associated draft plan was released in response to the 2022 White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memorandum on Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research. This 2022 guidance from OSTP directed federal agencies to update their public access policies to make publications and research stemming from federally funded research publicly accessible, without an embargo or cost. Agencies must fully implement these updated policies by December 31, 2025.

The draft NIH Plan to Enhance Public Access to the Results of NIH-Supported Research (NIH’s Public Access Plan) outlines the proposed approach NIH will take to implement the 2022 OSTP guidance to enhance access to scholarly publications and scientific data resulting from NIH-funded research.

NIH now seeks information from its broad stakeholder community regarding the draft NIH Public Access Plan. Comments are invited on all aspects of the NIH Public Access Plan, but the agency notes that comments would be “most welcome” on Section III focused on Scholarly Publications (see the draft plan for more details at the link below) and the specific topics listed below:

1) “How to best ensure equity in publication opportunities for NIH-supported investigators.” Noting that NIH policy already allows researchers to charge publishing costs against their awards, the agency seeks information on how it might ensure that the proposed Public Access Plan does not inadvertently create new or exacerbate existing inequities in publishing opportunities.

2) “Steps for improving equity in access and accessibility of publications.” NIH seeks information on approaches that would improve equity in access to publications by a broad and diverse swath of users, including researchers, clinicians, public health professionals, students and educators, and the public.

3) “Methods for monitoring evolving costs and impacts on affected communities.” As NIH proposes to actively monitor changes in publication fees and policies, it seeks input on effective ways to accomplish such monitoring.

4) “Early input on considerations to increase findability and transparency of research.” NIH seeks information about the experiences investigators and research institutions have had with the adoption of different researcher identifiers.

Comments must be submitted at Responses will be accepted through April 24, 2023.

Sources and Additional Information:







Limited Submission Funding Opportunities


By Dr. Hamid Mansouri Rad, Senior Proposal Development Specialist, RAS

Research Administration Services maintains a list of limited submission funding opportunities for NMSU research community.  The list is accessible through a link on the Research website,  through the Research Administration tab. NMSU users can also access the list directly on SharePoint.  We encourage NMSU researchers to periodically visit the site and if they are interested in any of the opportunities to please inform us by sending email to 


Pivot Funding Opportunity Database


By Dr. Hamid Mansouri Rad, Senior Proposal Development Specialist, RAS

This is a reminder that in order to assist NMSU faculty and staff in locating external funding opportunities, the RCSI has purchased a subscription to ProQuest’s Pivot available at  

To create an account with Pivot for the first time

Click on the Sign up link.DO NOT CREATE A NEW ACCOUNT!
Choose New Mexico State University from the Institution drop down menu.
You will be prompted to log in using your NMSU username and password.
Follow the process for NMSU's 2-Factor Authentication (2FA).

 To request a one-on-one or group Pivot training, send email to



Graduate School

No significant news. For information about NMSU Graduate School visit:


Questions and comments regarding NMSU’s Research Digest should be directed to Hamid Mansouri Rad, Ph.D. at, (575) 646-6429.