University Research Council
April 12, 2006
Central Research Development Fund
Thirty-eight individuals applied
for funding from the Central Research Development Fund. Applications were evaluated by one of three
Council subcommittees, whose members specialize in the health sciences, the
sciences and engineering, and the humanities and the social sciences. Eight of the 19 applications from health
science fields were funded, seven of the eight applications from the science
and engineering fields were funded, and 10 of the 11 applications from social
science and humanities fields were funded.
Members of the Council discussed
procedures for evaluating CRDF proposals.
Two members of a subcommittee usually will evaluate each proposal, but a
third person may read a proposal if the initial reviewers disagree. Ad hoc
reviewers may be utilized if additional expertise is required to evaluate
proposals or if the subcommittee receives too many applications. The subcommittee meets to discuss the
proposals after the reviews are completed.
Proposals are then ranked numerically within three categories.
Members of the Council also
discussed how to simplify the proposal-evaluation process. They previously have suggested that CRDF
proposals be submitted, distributed, and reviewed electronically. Tony
a member of the CSSD staff, attended the meeting and discussed some of the
available options. The three
subcommittee chairs and staff in the Office of Research will work with Tony to
create electronic submission and review processes for the CRDF.
Tulane University and Hurricane Katrina
The effect of Hurricane Katrina
is an excellent case study of the problems associated with catastrophic
- Almost all records – both electronic and paper – were destroyed
because they were stored in the affected area.
- Post-Katrina communication among and between administration,
faculty, and students was virtually nonexistent.
- Clinical trials, animal-based
studies, and other experimental studies were affected due to the loss of human
test subjects, animal populations, and university infrastructure
Other universities offered space
and housing to affected researchers and students. The federal government relaxed many grant
reporting requirements. The University
Environmental Health and Safety Committee is examining how large-scale
disasters would affect the University.
Report from the Office of Research
Director of the Office of Research, discussed the NIH’s
and the federal government’s Grants.gov programs:
- The NIH will no longer require a principal investigator’s
signature as part of the application or reporting process. The NIH will require the investigator’s
organization to secure and retain the required written assurances at the
- Proposals submitted to the NIH will be delivered to the relevant officials
by default if all information on the proposal is correct. Previously, the principal investigator
had been required to verify electronically the information even when no
errors were found.
- The Office of Research offers
a training program that teaches faculty and staff how to utilize the
Grants.gov system. The Office sponsors an open forum on the system
each month. Departments and schools
can request more targeted training.
Other topics of discussion included:
- The multidisciplinary small
- The copyright policy