University Research Council

September 11, 2006

Meeting Summary


Central Research Development Fund

As in the past, members of the Council will evaluate applications to the Central Research Development Fund.  Each application will be evaluated by one of three Council subcommittees, whose members specialize in the humanities and the social sciences, engineering and the sciences, or the health sciences.  CRDF proposals will be submitted, distributed, and reviewed electronically this year.

Multidisciplinary Research

The Council will continue to sponsor the Multidisciplinary Small Grant Program.  One proposal has been funded for each of the past two years.  The Council may be asked to assist with several University-wide multidisciplinary initiatives.  Current initiatives cover topics related to energy, national preparedness, computation and simulation, and economics.

Undergraduate Research

The University is coordinating undergraduate research to a greater degree than it has in the past.  Undergraduate research at the University of Pittsburgh is sponsored at the departmental, school, and University levels.  A series of research fairs was held last April, and a series of videos was developed during the summer.

Report from the Office of Research

Allen DiPalma, Director of the Office of Research, discussed the federal government’s new Internet-based, grant-application site, Grants.gov.  The Grants.gov initiative is designed to improve access to federal funding programs.  The Office of Research offers a training program that teaches faculty and staff how to utilize the site.  The Office sponsors computer-based training and a monthly open forum.  Departments and schools can request more targeted training.

Twenty-six federal agencies eventually will require investigators to submit grants via Grants.gov.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is implementing the Grants.gov system more quickly than most agencies.  NIH R01 grant proposals will be submitted via the site by February 1, 2007, and NIH P01 grant proposals will be submitted via the site by September 1, 2007.

Mr. DiPalma also discussed InfoEd, the University’s internal grants management software.  The Office of Research released InfoEd’s proposal-tracking module during the summer.  This module will capture all relevant pre-award and immediate post-award information.  Electronic reporting and tracking capabilities now will be developed.

Miscellaneous

Other topics of discussion included:

  • The University’s copyright policy
  • University-industry relations
  • September 29th NanoScience Center event
  • Science 2006