University Research Council

April 14, 2004

Meeting Summary

The University Research Council will meet in 3S56 Posvar Hall until renovations to 826 Cathedral are complete.


Approximately thirty members of the University’s faculty and four members of Duquesne University’s faculty attended the annual federal agencies’ briefing on March 22.  Representatives from NSF, NASA, DOD, and the Department of Energy, among others, spoke.  The speakers universally recommended that faculty members contact program officers prior to applying for grants.  They also recommended that faculty members maintain regular contact with program officers.  Overall funding is decreasing but projects in computer-related areas and at the nexus of information technology, biology, and nanotechnology are heavily funded.

Several other issues were discussed:

  • The Department of Energy wants to create approximately 10 sites that operate at speeds approaching 100 teraflops.
  • The National LambdaRail, an initiative of U.S. research universities and private sector technology companies, is a good resource for those who require high-performance computing.


The University will launch its Center for National Preparedness on April 15.  The launch will include a celebratory luncheon at which D.A. Henderson, Director of the University’s Center for Biosecurity, will speak.  Two panel presentations will follow.  The first panel will include government experts, and the second panel will include industry representatives.  The event will conclude with a poster session.

The Department of Homeland Security soon will request proposals for Centers of Excellence on the psychology of terrorism, the social impact of terrorism, and first responders.  Representatives from the Keystone Alliance’s member universities will meet in Philadelphia on April 19th to discuss the psychology and social impact of terrorism.  Representatives of the same universities will meet in Pittsburgh on April 28th to discuss first response to terrorism.


Proposals to the Chancellor’s Research and Development Fund were discussed.  The Social Science and Humanities and the Health Science subcommittees each recommended that six projects be funded.  The Council approved their recommendations.  The Science and Engineering subcommittee has not yet reviewed all proposals.


Several other issues were discussed:

  • The Council hold an evening retreat to discuss next year’s agenda.
  • Representatives of Info Ed will visit the University to discuss electronic research administration.
  • George Gopen of Duke University will deliver a writing seminar on April 16.
  • Speakers at Science 2004 will address extraterrestrial life and climate change.
  • Representatives of Sandia Labs will visit the University on May 3.