University of Pittsburgh

University Research Council

2001-2002 Activities Report





Provost Maher asked the Council to continue to:


·         Enhance the research climate in fields not traditionally involved in funded research.

·         Facilitate the formation of multidisciplinary teams.

·         Update technology transfer policies.


He also requested that the Council:


·         Maintain the Small Grants Program.

·         Encourage new faculty to secure external funding.

·         Attend to policies on copyright.




Federal Agency Briefing Trip


The Council compiled a report based upon surveys of prior participants.  Many individuals desire more one-on-one interaction with federal program officers.  Twenty-seven people participated in the most recent trip (March 24-25, 2002).  Nanotechnology and bioterrorism were the issues most discussed.  Notes from this year’s briefings have been compiled and are now available.


Central Research Development Fund (Small Grants Program)


Sixty proposals were submitted for this year’s competition.  Three subcommittees, one each for the Health Sciences, the Sciences and Engineering, and the Social Sciences and Humanities, reviewed the proposals.  The Health Sciences Subcommittee recommended that seven of 18 proposals be funded; the Sciences and Engineering Subcommittee recommended that 11 of 17 proposals be funded; and the Social Sciences and Humanities Subcommittee recommended that 16 of 25 proposals be funded.  Twenty-eight proposals eventually were funded from a budget of $362,397.




·         Videotapes entitled “Writing Successful Research Proposals,” “Writing Proposals for Foundations,” and “Successful University Researchers” were distributed at the most recent new faculty orientation.

·         Dr. George Klinzing distributed a brochure publicizing the Technology Commercialization Alliance (TCA). TCA will help faculty develop and commercialize novel technology.

·         Dr. Klinzing distributed copies of a DARPA Nanotechnology RFP.  He wishes to form working-groups to evaluate the announcement.




The following policies have been revised and will be submitted to the Senate.  The Senate should review them in September.


Commercialization Policy


The policy has been revised and sent to Senate President, Dr. James Cassing.


Copyright Policy


The Subcommittee and legal counsel currently are reviewing the proposed changes.


Patent Policy


The Patent policy was modified to reflect current university operations.  Fifteen percent of post-patent-expense income will go to the Office of Technology Management.  This policy has also been sent to Dr. Cassing.




Mike Crouch, Director of the Office of Research, reported on the activities of the Office in each meeting.  The following are the highlights:




·         A limited number of copies of the Office of Research Annual Report for FY 2000 are available. A summary of the report is posted on the Office of Research Website.

·         The Office is currently completing its preliminary FY 2001 awards report.  The total awards amount increased approximately 10 percent over the previous year.

·         Two grants officers were hired.  Their responsibilities include the School of Medicine and the Health Sciences.




·         Numerous researchers utilized the training certification modules.  By the end of February, almost 7900 people had completed Module 1 (Research Integrity), approximately 6000 people had completed Module 2 (IRB), and around 4300 people had completed Module 3 (Animal Care).  Module 4 (Radiation Safety) was not yet operational.

·         The Faculty and Staff Research Administration Viewbook (a grant assembly handbook) was updated and is available on the Office of Research Website.

·         Two teleconferences were held to educate research and administrative staff in the areas of compliance with research requirements and responsible conduct of research.




Global Studies Program


Dr. Wolfgang Schlör discussed the new Global Studies Program.  The University Center for International Studies (UCIS) established a Global Academic Partnership Program to facilitate interdisciplinary research and encourage research links between the University and foreign institutions. The Program will award four grants (up to $25,000 each) that support interdisciplinary workshops and conferences.


Graduate Student Recruitment


The Council discussed whether any centralized procedures could enhance graduate student recruitment.  Dr. Klinzing suggested that Council work with the University Council on Graduate Study to evaluate this issue.


NIH Graduate Student Support


Dr. Edward Stricker from the Department of Neuroscience discussed a 1999 National Academy of Sciences report.  Results indicate that a surplus of bioscience Ph.D.s has developed.  The National Institutes of Health are expected to respond according to one of several scenarios:


·         Standardize student stipends and raise the graduate student stipend to $25,000 and the postdoctoral student stipend to $45,000;

·         Limit both the number of students on research grants and the number of years that research grants can support students.


Either change would affect how the University functions. Dr. Klinzing will contact the Governmental Relations office about this matter.


Post-Doctoral Fellows


Research associates receive benefits, but post-doctoral fellows do not.  Dr. Elizabeth Baranger wishes to propose a policy that limits the post-doctoral classification to those individuals for whom the federal government does not provide benefits. Council members were asked to speak with their colleagues regarding this matter.


2001-2002 MEMBERSHIP



Dr. George Klinzing, Vice Provost for Research



Representing the


School of Dental Medicine

Dr. Mary Marazita

School of Education

Dr. Suzanne Lane

School of Engineering

Dr. Eric Beckman


Dr. Anne M. Robertson

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Dr. German Barrionuevo


Dr. Irving J. Lowe


Dr. Frank Tabakin

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

Dr. Phyllis Coontz

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Dr. David M. Brienza

School of Information Sciences

Dr. David W. Tipper

School of Medicine

Dr. Steven H. Graham


Dr. Richard A. Steinman


Dr. Jack C. Yalowich

School of Nursing

Dr. Mary E. Kerr

School of Pharmacy

Dr. Raman Venkataramanan

Graduate School of Public Health

Dr. Roberta Ness

Office of the Provost

Dr. Kevin Ashley, School of Law


Dr. Steven Husted, FAS/Economics


Dr. John Prescott, KGSB


Dr. Evelyn Rawski, FAS/History

University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

Dr. Assad A. Panah, Earth & Planetary Sciences

University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Dr. John D. Beuthin, Geology & Planetary Sciences

University Senate

Dr. Patricia W. Dowling, Medicine/Molecular Genetics & Biochemistry


Dr. Gene W. Gruver, FAS/Economics