Minutes - May 11, 2006

Date of Meeting: 

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Scott Bounds, Michael Chibnik, Thomas W. Conway, Jeffrey Denburg, Ed Folsom, Vicki Grassian, Amit Kapoor, Boyd Knosp, Michael Mackey, George Malanson, Cheryl Reardon, Alan Sener and Michael Wichman.

Grassian called the meeting to order at 1:00 pm. 

Grassian asked Research Council members if they had any revisions to the minutes from the March 23, 2006 meeting.  Mackey made a motion to approve the minutes.  The motion was seconded by Wichman.  The minutes were approved.

First order of business

The first order of business was to review the report of the Internal Funding Initiatives programs.  In early Fall 2005, Vice President Meredith Hay asked the Research Council to review four of the Internal Funding Initiatives to determine if these programs are the most effective use of funds in promoting and supporting research on campus [Biological Sciences Funding Program (BSFP), Mathematical and Physical Sciences Funding Program (MPSFP), Social Sciences Funding Program (SSFP) and Iowa Research Experiences for Undergraduates (IREU)].   The subcommittee includes the following members of Research Council:  Vicki Grassian, Michael Chibnik, Jeffrey Denburg, Johna Leddy and Michael Mackey.

The subcommittee gathered input from faculty, staff and administrators and identified five areas to review.  These included the purpose of each program, program eligibility, budget and budget eligibility, review process and targeted programs.  Research Council reviewed the recommendations in the report.  These included:

  1. improved methods for tracking the success of IFIs in garnering external support (the stated main objective for three of the programs under review) through the internal routing forms as this may provide information that can be used to guide these program in future years;
  2. the need to better define program eligibility for BSFP, MPSFP and SSFP;
  3. better oversight of programs by faculty and staff researchers so that proposals are directed to the right program and that budget eligibility is not an issue during the review process;
  4. consideration of increasing the size of some awards;
  5. potential change in the conflict of interest policy and criteria so that each proposal can get a fair and informed review; and
  6. consideration of target areas that align with national initiatives and funding opportunities and ensure that target areas are reviewed each year before announcements are made to the University community of scholars and researchers.

Research Council unanimously endorses the report.  

Second order of business

The second order of business was to conduct a thirty minute interview with one of the two finalists for the Associate Vice President for Research: Economic Development.  Feedback was provided through evaluations forms that will be forwarded to the Vice President for Research. 

The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 pm.