University Research Council

March 20, 2007

Meeting Summary

Technology Transfer and Academic Research

Carey Balaban, Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, discussed issues related to technology transfer and academic research.  He contrasted the traditional role of scientist as scholar with the developing role of scientist as entrepreneur.  The Bayh-Dole Act (1980) facilitated this change.  The Act altered the status quo from presumed government ownership to presumed university ownership of intellectual property produced as a result of government funded research.  Scientists also are more involved in entrepreneurial activities because they now conduct more translational (as opposed to pure) research.  Marketable goods often are the outcome of this research.  Traditional academic norms, which are expressed via unrestricted information dissemination and scientific collaboration, now frequently conflict with business-oriented norms, which are expressed via “collegial” nondisclosure agreements, conflict-of-interest guidelines, and intellectual property policies.

Central Research Development Fund

Fifty-nine faculty members submitted proposals to the Central Research Development Fund. Sixteen proposals were from health science disciplines, twenty proposals were from engineering and science disciplines, and twenty-three proposals were from humanities and social science disciplines.  Mike Lovell, Ravi Madhavan, and Stephen Wisniewski will coordinate evaluation of the CRDF proposals.


Council members discussed several additional topics:

  • Nine groups submitted white papers to the Multidisciplinary Small Grant Program.  Nicole Constable, Mike Lovell, and Mary Marazita will evaluate the white papers and determine which groups will prepare proposals. 
  • In FY 2008, NSF will highlight several programmatic areas, such as cyberinfrastructure, climate change, and human and social dynamics.  Additional information is located on the NSF Website.