University Research Council

April 14, 2005

Meeting Summary


Research Accounting

Caroline Correa and Mark Stofko from the Office of Research Accounting and John Elliott from the Internal Audit Department discussed accounting compliance issues.  Compliance is becoming increasingly important because the federal government is monitoring federally financed research expenditures more closely.  Recent events, such as NIH site visits and the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, have brought these issues to the fore.  Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, and Northwestern University were recently fined due to alleged accounting and other violations.

Compliance issues are intertwined with almost every area of research accounting.  These issues involve:

  • Grant objectives vs. grant performance
  • Actual effort vs. proposed effort
  • Direct recovery of expenses
  • Procurement
  • Bayh-Dole compliance
  • Cost transfers
  • Indirect cost attribution

The University is educating members of the faculty and staff about the potential pitfalls associated with these issues through training sessions, compliance testing, continual communication, etc.

Small Grant Program (CRDF)

Fifty individuals applied for funding from the Central Research Development Fund.  Nine of the 17 applications from health science fields were funded, nine of the 12 applications from the science and engineering fields were funded, and thirteen of the 21 applications from social science and humanities fields were funded.

Subcommittees

The Subcommittee on Electronic Research Administration continues to work with the Office of Research on the new electronic proposal tracking system.  The Subcommittee on Support for the Humanities is developing a proposal to the Mellon Foundation.  The Subcommittee on Interdisciplinary Small Grants will evaluate proposals beginning in May. 

Miscellaneous

Several other issues were discussed:

  • A brainstorming session on modeling and simulation
  • A Sloan foundation project on industry studies
  • A research administrators forum (to be held on May 4)