University Research Council

December 11, 2002

Meeting Summary





The Office of Research completed its FY 2001 report of sponsored research at the University. Only a few copies of the report will be printed, but the document will be available on the web.

Individuals from Virginia Tech, the University of ChicagoPenn State University, and the University of North Carolina visited the University to assess the operations of the Office of Research.




Dr. William Brustein, Director of the University Center for International Studies, discussed sponsored research in the social sciences at the University.


Comparative Assessment

Faculty in the University’s social sciences programs often are not encouraged to seek external funding. Similar faculty at some universities (e.g., Big Ten schools) are expected not only to seek such funding but to have won a major research grant prior to the award of tenure. New faculty at these schools often are assigned a mentor, who helps the faculty member learn how to acquire external funding. External funding would help social science programs at the University, since they heighten the visibility of academic programs and attract and support graduate students. Benchmarking would help develop a comparative baseline between the University and other large research universities.


Potential Solutions

Seeking greater outside funding usually occurs in tandem with attempts to improve the ranking of departments. Members of the Council discussed the large investment of resources that is usually involved in the latter process. Several short-term solutions are available to increase external funding:

  • Increase awareness among the faculty of outside funding opportunities
  • Increase incentives in the social sciences to seek external funding
  • Create a proposal-writing workshop geared towards faculty in the social sciences
  • Create seed-money programs that require recipients to seek outside awards




A preliminary draft of the copyright policy will be distributed to the members of the Council for discussion. The patent and commercialization policies, which the Council has approved, are currently under review by the Chancellor.


George Klinzing also discussed the following items:

  • A nanotechnology conference to be held at the University
  • The research agenda of the faculty in the School of Social Work