August 2018


NEW -  Important Information for Investigators with International Collaborations

Adding an Inert Polymer to Plastic Solar Cells Enables High Efficiency and Easy Production

Polymer plastic solar cells remain an industry priority because of their light weight, flexibility and cost-effectiveness. Now scientists from Stony Brook University and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) have demonstrated that these types of solar cells can be more efficient and have more stability based on new research findings.

Led by Miriam Rafailovich, PhD, a Distinguished Professor at Stony Brook University, and Chang-Yong Nam, PhD, a scientist at BNL and Adjunct Professor at Stony Brook, the research team discovered that by adding a common inert polymer, called polystyrene, these solar cells undergo an optimized internal morphology, resulting in a higher device performance.

The discovery solves a problem with polymer plastic solar cells. Most of these cells require an additive included for high device performance – a non-active small chain molecule to control internal morphology. But the additive is known to cause stability problems under light and heat, thus compromising performance and efficiency.

The new study, published in Advanced Materials Interfaces, demonstrates that replacing the additive with the inert polymer potentially solves this problem. In a previously published paper in Nanoscale, the researchers used a similar approach, but, with a different polymer.

This earlier work illustrated that a newly engineered polymer plastic solar cell increases optimal thickness – a quality that is better suited for industrial production by low-cost coating methods. The significance of this result was featured on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) website.

The ongoing investigation of these polymer plastic solar cells is taking place at Stony Brook’s Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center and BNL’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials, a DOE Office of Science User Facility. The work is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the DOE.

Read original post on Stony Brook Newsroom.

'Write Winning Grant Proposals' Grant Writing Workshop, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm, Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

Please Register HERE.

ResearchMatch Now Available in Spanish!

ResearchMatch (RM) is the national online recruitment tool that matches people interested in research with investigators throughout the U.S. ResearchMatch has just launched a Spanish version of the website inviting Spanish speakers to sign-up in Spanish, while Researchers from Stony brook University are now able to connect with and recruit Spanish-speaking volunteers for their studies.

RM is a not-for-profit activity and is funded through the NIH’s CTSA program. With more than 131,000 registered volunteers and over 6,100 investigators at 154 participating institutions, ResearchMatch hopes to increase the pool of Spanish-speaking volunteers and to increase the recruitment of underrepresented groups in research.

Are you a Stony Brook University Researcher interested in learning more about ResearchMatch? Register now or attend an online training!

If a Researcher would like to use ResearchMatch for recruitment, simply follow the easy step by step template available in the forms and templates library in IRBNet.

Every initial submission to the IRB should include for approval:

  1. The use of ResearchMatch as a recruitment strategy*
  2. Your ResearchMatch contact message**
  3. Your REDCap prescreening (eligibility) survey - if desired

* If not included on an initial submission, ResearchMatch should be added as a recruitment strategy in an amendment submission.

**Your RM contact message cannot contain study team contact information or survey links and must be less than 2,000 characters.

Already registered with ResearchMatch and wanting to recruit Spanish-speaking volunteers? Submit any Spanish contact messages to your IRB for approval (including any other participant-facing materials, such as consent forms) and ensure you are prepared for inquiries from Spanish-speaking volunteers.

Share ResearchMatch with people you know that are interested in finding out about research studies, and help us grow the number of volunteers in the Long Island area!

It’s Official: The New Common Rule will become Effective January 21, 2019

What does it mean to you as an investigator conducting human research? It means:

  • A new definition of research; specifically a new section that speaks to activities that are specifically not deemed research
  • New exemption criteria, including one involving ‘benign behavioral interventions’
  • Removal of a continuing review requirement for certain research (with the caveat that a progress report will still need to be submitted for administrative reasons)
  • New consent process and consent form template (beginning with a ‘concise and focused presentation of the key information that is most likely to assist a prospective subject or LAR in understanding the reasons why one might or might not want to participate in the research’.  A ‘reasonable person’ standard is required for the consent process.

We will be sending you educational updates to explain these, and other, changes so that you are set to go on 1/21/19. We will also be working to ensure that our SOPs, our applications and other documents are also updated to comply with the new rule.

If you have any questions or comments about any aspect of our HRPP, please feel free to contact Margaret McNurlan, Interim AVP for Research Compliance, 2-9036,

Outcome of the AAHRPP Accreditation Site Visit in June

SBU has completed the five year re-accreditation process of our HRPP, conducted by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP).   This extensive review included a substantive application process as well as a two-day site visit.   We want to thank all of you who participated in interviews with the site visitors, who were impressed by your clear dedication to the safe and compliant conduct of research at our University. The report from the site visitors was extremely complimentary, with only minor issues noted.

 At the close-out visit, the site-visitors identified 4 major strengths:

1) The initiation of scientific review committees in some departments prior to the submission of studies to CORIHS.  These committees can improve the science of studies and quality of submissions which will stream-lining the timing to IRB approval.

2)  The Office of Research Compliance staff was complimented regarding the respect with which they are held by the research community. 

3)  The site visitors were impressed with the broad range of quality improvement programs within the Office of Research Compliance including the innovative program of monitoring consent conducted by Mary O’Neill.

4)  The commitment of the institution to resourcing the HRPP including the recruitment of a new Assistant VP for Research Compliance and two additional staff despite a university hiring freeze.

Again, thanks to everyone who works so hard to maintain our great program for our research subjects, our investigators, CORIHS members and the staff of the Office of Research Compliance.

myResearch Grants Update

As of July 1, 2018, myResearch Grants has been the sole active research proposal routing system. 

COEUS ceased operation on June 30th and is no longer accessible to the campus.


Please join the Office of Sponsored Programs training team as they guide you through the myResearch Grants proposal creation process and more!

Training sessions located in Melville Library


·         08/21/2018; 8/23/2018 (9-11 am OR 1-3 pm)

·         9/4/2018; 9/11/2018; 9/18/2018; 9/25/2018 (9-11 am)

·         9/6/2018; 9/13/2018; 9/20/2018; 9/27/2018 (1-3 pm)

Where: Melville Library C1640B

To sign up for these training classes, or any other we offer, click here

Training sessions located in HSC


·         8/22/2018; 9/20/2018 (9:30 – 11:30 am OR 1-3 pm)

Where: HSC Computer Lab (HST 3-149)

To sign up for these training classes, or any other we offer, click here.


Livestream Sessions

In addition to the in-person training, the Office of Sponsored Programs offered during the month of May, two livestream sessions of the myResearch Grants training. The link to the presentation can be accessed here.

Helpful reference training guides are posted here.


Selected Enhancement

  • A matrix outlining the intended uses for myResearch now and in the future is posted here.  If you are expecting a modification to an award, such as a continuation, supplement, etc, please contact your OSP grant or contracts specialist to learn if and how it can be processed through myResearch.

  • In myResearch Grants, the Facilities Statement for clinical trial submissions is no longer mandatory.  

  • For all proposals, Co-Investigators will no longer certify or approve an application. Instead, they will receive a notification once the proposal is submitted by the Principal Investigator which they can review. Chairs and Deans will approve for all investigators and key personnel listed on an application.  

  • The Researchers web page has been modified to include up to date information regarding the system status. If you would like to subscribe to email notifications on future system statuses, please visit:

  • Designated members of a proposal team have the authority to submit applications on behalf of principal investigators. On the Certifications and Representations page, one of two options must be selected. Once proposals are routed, the principal investigators will receive an email notifying them of a submission on their behalf. If they feel that the submission was done in error or if they do not authorize the submission, they must notify OSP within 24 hours.

  • Additional changes and enhancements can be found in the monthly OSP Bulletin.



Important Reminders from the Office of International Academic Programs and Services for H-1B Employees and J-1 Exchange Visitors


  • It’s imperative that H-1B employees and J-1 Exchange Visitors are engaged only in approved employment/activities.
    • H-1B employees must remain employed in the job title and at the required wage rate for the period of time and under conditions noted in the Labor Condition Application. Any material changes to terms of employment MUST be reported to the university’s Visa and Immigration Services (VIS) in advance. This includes changes to title, work locations, FTE adjustments, etc.
    • Likewise, please notify VIS in advance of any changes intended to the terms or conditions of J-1 Exchange Visitors’ programs. This includes materials changes to activity, sites of activity, and employment or payment not clearly listed on the Form DS-2019.
  • If a J Exchange Visitor or J-2 dependent family member is the victim or perpetrator of a serious crime, is seriously injured, suffers sexual abuse, or dies, contact VIS promptly, as such occurrences are required to be reported to U.S. Department of State. In addition, if the university, RF or Exchange Visitor have the potential to be named in litigation related to the Exchange Visitor Program, VIS and University Counsel should be notified immediately.
  • USCIS and Department of State may conduct site visits at any time, requesting details and documentation related to H-1B employment or J-1 Exchange Visitor programs.  These government agents should be directed to Visa and Immigration Services or the Office of General Counsel.
  • When employment is terminated prior to expiration of the H-1B petition, return transportation must be offered to the worker's home country.  Contact VIS and the university’s Department of Labor Relations for instruction and assistance.  The cessation of a J Exchange Visitor’s activities is to be reported to VIS promptly, but does not require an offer of return transportation.
  • J-1 Exchange Visitors are mandated by Department of State to have health insurance & medical evacuation insurance for the full duration of the J-1 program. Effective August 15, 2018, SUNY is under contract for Health Insurance with United Healthcare.  All Exchange Visitors must obtain coverage under the new company and will receive communication from Visa and Immigration Services.  J-1 Exchange Visitors should have no gap in health insurance coverage at any point.
    If you have any questions, please contact Visa and Immigration Services at 631-632-4385.

Applications Now Being Accepted for Fall 2018 Professional Development Programs

Research Administrators Virtual Academy – Designed by research administrators for research administrators, this new opportunity expands and replaces the Leadership Academy bringing core research administration curriculum to the masses. The 12-month program, which was developed in partnership with the SUNY SAIL Institute, offers ten two-hour virtual sessions with an in-person learning and networking opportunity at the RF Symposium in Albany on April 3 and 4, 2019. Virtual kick-off is September 17.  Apply here if you are interested in this program.

Mentoring Program – Now in its 8th iteration, the 10-month program focuses on increasing business acumen as well as discovering and leveraging personal strengths. Protégés select, and are supported by, a mentor and participate in a series of interactive workshops. Kick-off is September 14, in Albany. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, apply here.

For more information contact the Research Foundation for SUNY:

Laurel McAdoo, 518-434-7060

Kathleen Caggiano-Siino, 518-434-7132

New Leave Benefit- Cancer Screening

Effective July 1, 2018, the Research Foundation allows employees to take up to a maximum of four hours of paid leave, including travel time, per calendar year, to undertake screening for any type of cancer without charging any other leave time (e.g., sick, personal or vacation). For further leave information contact HRS RF Appointments and Payroll at 632-6162.

Tuition Assistance Benefit

The State University of New York has a tuition assistance policy that supports employee initiatives to acquire and maintain career-related knowledge, skills and abilities. The following gives you eligibility information and instructions about the tuition waiver program. This waiver program is subject to the availability of State funding. You may choose to enroll in the course and submit this waiver to Student Accounts, however, please note if the program does not receive State funding, your waiver will be voided and you will be responsible for the full cost of the course.


  • You must be a full-time State or Research Foundation employee.
  • The course must be taken at a SUNY-operated campus (not applicable for Community Colleges).
  • The course must be credit-bearing (up to 3 credits per semester), cost may be waived at approximately 30-50%.
  •  The course must be career-related or working towards a degree.

Application Procedure

  • Return the completed application to Human Resource Services/Benefits, Z=0751 on or before Friday  August 24, 2018 for review. Applications received after this date will be placed on a waiting list.
  •  Once your waiver is reviewed and processed, you will receive an email indicating the approved waiver amount by Friday September 7, 2018.
  • HRS-Benefits will submit your approved waiver to Student Accounts if you are taking the course at Stony Brook University. If you are attending a different SUNY school you will receive the approved waiver via email and you must bring the B140W to the Student Accounts office of the SUNY school that you are attending.
  • According to IRS Regulations, you may be taxed on the amount of tuition assistance received.

Funds are limited, so it is very important that individuals not using approved waivers return them to HRS Benefits immediately. Employees who drop courses after the University’s “drop/add” period will be fully responsible for tuition liability incurred. You may print the Application for Tuition and Fee Assistance from the HRS website. If you have any questions please call HRS Benefits at 631- 632-6180.

Talent Management System Reminder

Offers of Employment

Human Resource Services has created Offer Guides to assist you when creating electronic offers of employment within the Talent Management System (TMS). An e-offer provides a quick and efficient way to reach your chosen candidate.

Please refer to the Research Foundation Offer Guide to ensure offers are accurate, contain all required information, and candidates receive offers of employment that are compliant with applicable employment policies and related laws. 

Extending E-Offers

The E-Offer enhancement allows candidates to accept the offers electronically, by logging into or (for internal applicants).

The requisition owners will receive an immediate notification once the candidate accepts or declines the e-offer.   This notification also prompts the recruiter to initiate the Criminal Background Check, when required.

Essential Pre-Employment Checks- a reminder

Candidates must pass a Criminal Background Check, Credentialing, and a Pre-Employment Physical Examination when applicable, before they can begin employment at Stony Brook University.

Post Doc Ad

Post Doc Hiring - Human Resource Services (HRS) receives a number of questions about the search and selection of post-doctoral associates and senior post-doctoral associates. These are unique positions and we recognize the need for a streamlined hiring process and the importance of providing options for PI's.

To accelerate the hiring process, assist in outreach and to provide an immediate applicant pool, Human Resource Services places a Post Doc Omnibus Ad twice a year. Scheduled to run in the Spring post doc edition of Science and Fall post doc editions of Science and Nature,  the omnibus ad promotes post doc opportunities while directing applicants to postings listed on the University's JOBS page. Cost free to departments, the ad eliminates delays in hiring by providing a mechanism to continuously collect resumes, ensuring a ready and immediate applicant pool.

The Fall ad in Science will appear in the August 31st print issue and for 8 weeks on the Science careers website, as well as the September 27th print issue of Nature, with 60 days on the careers website. All departments are encouraged to post their post-doctoral opportunities to the University website whether or not they have secured specific funding at this time. For immediate assistance contact Donna Kossack in HRS recruitment at (631) 632-1702 or


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