University Research Council

May 13, 2004

Meeting Summary


COUNCIL RETREAT

Members of the Council met on April 29 to discuss the Council’s agenda for the upcoming academic year.  Attendees suggested that the Council

  • expand or supplement the small grant program so that it supports interdisciplinary research initiatives
  • exploit Department of Homeland Security funding opportunities at the University and within the Keystone Alliance
  • create a speaker series that focuses on research-related themes, such as federal funding opportunities, grant writing, and interdisciplinary cooperation
  • continue to evaluate new electronic research administration modules as they are released
  • advertise undergraduate, graduate, and faculty research “successes” to a broad audience

REPORT FROM THE OFFICE OF RESEARCH

InfoEd is providing the software that the Office of Research is using to update its electronic administrative procedures.  The University of Illinois, UCLA, the University of Pennsylvania, and Texas A&M are using InfoEd software for the same purpose, so staff in the Office of Research are exchanging information with their counterparts at these universities in order to maximize the effectiveness of the system.  Staff teams within the Office are coordinating input from throughout the University so that the new system can best serve the University’s researchers.

The schedule for the next series of NCURA professional development teleconferences is:

  • Project Management – June 15, 2004
  • Conflict of Interest Management – September 14, 2004

NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS

The Department of Homeland Security has released RFPs for Centers of Excellence on the psychology of terrorism and the social impact of terrorism.  Representatives from the Keystone Alliance’s member universities met in Philadelphia on April 19th to discuss the psychology and social impact of terrorism.  Representatives of the same universities met in Pittsburgh on April 28th to discuss an upcoming RFP for a Center of Excellence on first response to terrorism.

Other occasions of note were:

  • The University launched its Center for National Preparedness on April 15.
  • The Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority awarded funds to the Keystone Alliance.

SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM

The Council funded 28 of the 53 Central Research Development Fund applications.  Thirteen awards were in the social sciences and humanities, six awards were in the health sciences, and nine awards were in the sciences and engineering.

MISCELLANEOUS

Several other issues were discussed:

  • George Gopen of Duke University delivered a writing seminar on April 16.
  • Deadline extensions for research accounts will be limited in the future.
  • Work on the National Energy Technology Lab proposal continues.
  • The University will work more diligently to further undergraduate research.
  • Representatives of Sandia Labs visited the University on May 3.
  • Controls on ITARs and ETARs have increased since September 11, 2001.
  • The National Institutes of Health will conduct a compliance visit on July 14.
  • The Entrepreneurial Oversight and Conflict of Interest Committees were merged to create a Conflict of Interest Office.