University Research Council

October 13, 2006

Meeting Summary


The Provost’s Charge

Provost Jim Maher delivered the Council charge.  He asked the Council to:

The Provost also asked the Council to consider how the University can best harness its research resources, human and otherwise, so that it can define research questions for the nation.  He wishes to create a process through which the University can identify future, cutting-edge research questions and the individuals at the University who are best equipped to address them.  The Council should explore the research-promotion strategies that industry uses and determine if these models can be applied at the University.

Undergraduate Research

Sheila Rathke, Assistant Provost for Strategic and Program Development, discussed undergraduate research at the University.  The University is coordinating and publicizing undergraduate research to a greater degree than it has in the past.  Ms. Rathke is developing an informational campaign to highlight the quality of the University’s undergraduate academic programs and to define these programs vis-ŕ-vis the University’s peers.  Target audiences include current and potential students, students’ parents, faculty, and alumni.

The University possesses several advantages compared to other schools: the University is relatively small in size for a comprehensive research university; it offers undergraduate students access to medical school researchers; it possesses a low student-teacher ratio; and it is located in an urban environment.  Undergraduate research will be a priority in Institutional Advancement’s next campaign.  Additional information is located at www.pitt.edu/~ugr.

Council members discussed several aspects of the University’s undergraduate research programs.  Topics of discussion included:

Report from the Office of Research

Allen DiPalma, Director of the Office of Research, discussed the transition to the federal government’s Internet-based, grant-application site, Grants.gov.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is implementing the Grants.gov system more quickly than other federal agencies.  NIH R01 grant proposals will be submitted via the site by February 1, 2007, and NIH P01 grant proposals will be submitted via the site by September 1, 2007.  Mr. DiPalma also mentioned:

Other topics of discussion included:

Miscellaneous

Members of the Council also discussed: