University Research Council

October 13, 2009

Meeting Summary

Council Charge

James V. Maher, the University’s Provost, delivered the Council’s charge.  He asked Council members to continue to sponsor the Multidisciplinary Small Grant Program and the Central Research Development Fund.  He also asked the Council to maintain its support for the annual Federal Agencies Trip and to determine whether additional programs can enhance faculty members’ research portfolios.

Provost Maher also discussed the cumulative effect of federal regulation upon academic research.  Within the University, the Office of Research, the Research Conduct and Compliance Office, and the Office of Budget and Controller administer regulatory requirements.  Externally, universities often work through the Association of American Universities and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges to address regulatory policy.

Report from the Office of Research

Allen DiPalma, Director of the Office of Research, discussed research funded via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  The University received almost 250 awards, which sum to approximately $125 million.  The reporting requirements associated with ARRA grants are more complex than those for other federal grants, but his staff completed all reports by the October 10 deadline.

Mr. DiPalma also mentioned ongoing efforts to streamline the Office of Research’s operations.  His staff re-engineered the account-creation process so that account numbers are created more quickly.  His staff also now maintains an ongoing, electronic log for each proposal, through which they and the relevant department(s) can determine the status of individual proposals.

Mr. DiPalma also discussed:

  • The lead-time for submitting proposals to the Office of Research
  • A web portal for material transfer agreements

Science 2009

Science 2009 will be held on Thursday and Friday, October 14 and 15.  Drs. Victor Ambros, Michael Grätzel, Cori Bargmann, and Bruce Beutler will be the plenary speakers.  An undergraduate research poster reception, a Google sky-map demonstration, and a life-science supplier show are also planned.

Conflict of Interest Policy

The draft Conflict of Interest policy was slightly revised to address several, previously unforeseen issues.  The draft policy will be reviewed by the University Research Council, the University Senate, and the Deans’ Council before it is forwarded to the Provost and the Chancellor.


Council members also discussed:

  • Submitting articles to PubMed (and NIH funding)
  • Time management records on federal grants
  • Implementation of the Paperwork Reduction Act
  • Funding of political science research