Minutes - Apr 23, 2009

Date of Meeting: 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

1:00-3:00 pm - 201 GILH

Council members present:

Jordan Cohen, John Doershuk, Michael Flatt, Carin Green, Simon Holoubeck, Erin Irish, Bob Kirby, Cheryl Reardon, Catherine Ringen, Michael Wichman


Erin Brothers, Program Associate, Division of Sponsored Programs; Richard Hichwa, Associate Vice President; Twila Reighley, Assistant Vice President; Greg Schwartz, Director, Research Information Systems; Jay Semel, Associate Vice President; Tom Sharpe, Associate Vice President; Jim Walker, Associate Vice President; Pam York, Executive Director, UI Research Foundation

Chair Michael Flatt called the meeting to order at 1:00 pm.

Approval of minutes: The revised minutes from the December meeting and the minutes from the January meeting were approved unanimously.

Agenda Item 1: Economic Development  Pam York

UI Research Foundation Executive Director Pam York spoke to the Council about the UIRF's role in technology commercialization, including intellectual property rights, licensing, and startups. She encouraged investigators to contact the UIRF to discuss what they've created, if they have been contacted by companies, and if there is a possibility for patents, licensing, etc.

Pam York reported that the UIRF is putting effort into outreach in order to increase the rate of innovation, the degree to which ideas are translated into inventions.  Increased technology innovation has the potential to draw positive attention and new sources of funding for research to the University.  Jordan Cohen mentioned that the revenue produced at the UI is high when compared nationally. Some inventions developed at the UI have been of very high value.

York also emphasized the importance of protecting intellectual property. Things that are freely given away are often perceived as having no value.

Agenda Item 2: Feedback on the Routing form/Shared credit  Greg Schwartz

Research Information Systems Director Greg Schwartz and Erin Brothers presented a demo of the updated routing form. The features of the new routing form include electronic review, approval, and routing through HR Workflow, an option for shared intellectual credit, and a redesign of the interface.

Richard Hichwa reported that the new option to "share" intellectual credit for a project is important because the percent effort committed to a project by a PI or Co-PI (i.e. 5%) may not be in line with his/her actual responsibility in leading the project (50%). This allows Deans/DEOs to view this at the proposal stage and to review it during the tenure promotion process.

Cohen added that codifying shared intellectual credit is especially beneficial for young investigators who are looking to distinguish themselves independently. An investigator who may not have a lab, and thus may not be receiving 50% of the funds on a project, could still potentially be credited with 50% of the intellectual credit.

Agenda Item 3:  VPR updates  - Jordan Cohen

Cohen noted that despite the budget situation, the federal stimulus (American Reinvestment and Recovery Act) funding is very large. The National Institutes of Health have committed an additional $10 million to fund research.

The new ARRA funding opportunities have created enormous interest on the part of faculty. Twila Reighley mentioned that the Division of Sponsored Programs has seen a much higher than normal volume of proposals being submitted. Awarded ARRA grants are expected to last for two years and have stringent financial reporting requirements.

The Clinical Trials Office and the Division of Sponsored Programs will be consolidated effective July 1. Charlotte Talman, the current Director of the Clinical Trials Office, will transition to spend all of her time working in the growing area of conflicts of interest in research.

Cohen also emphasized that the OVPR and the University as a whole is focused on doing a better job of telling our story, communicating the positive ways that research impacts Iowans, and effectively communicating to faculty what the processes are.

Agenda Item 4: Research Council update and issues Flatte et al

Michael Flatt. suggested that the Council should put together a year-end report that details what has been accomplished and what remains undone.

Suggested agenda items for next year include: block grants for graduate students, bridging support, impacts of an economic downturn on grants.

Meeting adjourned at 2:59 p.m.