University Research Council

October 13, 2005

Meeting Summary

NSF Graduate Fellowships

Amy Eckhardt, from the University’s Honors College, discussed graduate-student funding, with a focus upon NSF graduate fellowships.  The NSF awards approximately 900 fellowships to graduate students each year.  Almost 8000 individuals applied for the fellowships last year.  Thirty-nine percent of last year’s awards went to incoming graduate students, and fifty-five percent of the awards went to first or second year graduate students.

The University is developing a program to support students who apply for these fellowships.  The program involves input from faculty and previous fellowship holders as well as participation in working sessions.  Forty-two students participated in last year’s program.  For additional information about fellowships or the aforementioned program, please contact Ms. Eckhardt at or (412) 624-6881 or view her powerpoint presentation.

Report from the Office of Research

Allen DiPalma, Director of the Office of Research, discussed Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), electronic submission processes, and electronic databases:

  • The Office of Research developed standard procedures for dealing with MTAs due to the increasing number of MTAs that it must negotiate.
  • The NIH announced that it eventually will require individuals to submit proposals via
  • The Office of Research will sponsor seminars at a number of the University’s schools on the use of


Other topics of discussion included:

  • Interdisciplinary research program
  • Postdoctoral support in the humanities
  • Proposal-writing series
  • New faculty seminar series