University Research Council

September 8, 2004

Meeting Summary


The Provost will deliver the Council’s charge on November 5.  He will ask the Council to continue to work with the Office of Research on the small grants program and on the Office’s electronic research administration procedures.  He also will ask the Council to explore several potential research and grant initiatives and the feasibility of an interdisciplinary small grant program and an ongoing speaker series.


The Department of Homeland Security released an RFP for a Center for the Behavioral and Social Science of Terrorism.  Members of the Keystone Alliance, several non-Pennsylvania universities, and several non-academic partners are collaborating on a proposal for the Center.  Penn State is coordinating this effort.


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.  The Council is developing software that will permit this year’s applicants to submit their applications electronically.


The copyright policy has been reviewed and approved by the Provost Office’s senior staff. The Faculty Senate, Deans’ Council, and senior staff within the Chancellor’s Office, as well as the Chancellor, must now review the policy.


InfoEd is providing the software that the Office of Research is using to update its electronic administrative procedures (better known as electronic research administration, or eRA).  A proposal-tracking module will be created first followed by a proposal-processing module.  These modules then will be linked to Oracle and Prism.

The Office has hired several individuals to help process its growing workload.  A new Assistant Director for Education and Training will develop a research administration certificate program.  Two new corporate and clinical contracts officers will process contracts in their respective areas, and two new information technology specialists will develop the Office’s new electronic administration system.


Bianca Bernstein, Director of the NSF’s Division of Graduate Education, recently spoke to University faculty about NSF funding for graduate students.  Members of the University’s faculty now are encouraging undergraduate and graduate students to apply for graduate-level NSF awards.

Representatives of the NIH visited the University on July 14th and 15th and delivered a lecture entitled “A Culture of Compliance” to approximately 450 people.

Representatives of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care will visit the University in November to assess the care of laboratory animals.

Several other issues were discussed:

  • A writing seminar that George Gopen of Duke University delivered on April 16
  • The effect of ITARs and EARs on University research
  • This year’s Washington, D.C., faculty trip
  • An upcoming Innovator Brainstorming Workshop
  • The upcoming Science 2004 meetings
  • Issues related to material transfer agreements