Minutes - Sep 15, 2006

Date of Meeting: 

Friday, September 15, 2006


Scott Bounds, Michael Flatte, Ed Folsom, Vicki Grassian, Meredith Hay, Bob Kirby, Boyd Knosp, Johna Leddy, George Malanson, Linda Snetselaar, Jay Semel, Siddharth Singh and Sarah Vigmostad.

Johna Leddy, chair, called the meeting to order at 1:05 PM.  She welcomed members of research council to the first meeting of the year.  Council members introduced themselves and expressed their interest in serving on research council. 

Johna Leddy reviewed the research council charge with the council. 

2.8(19)b 2.8(19)b University Operations Manual

  1. The Council shall be governed by the terms of the General Charter.
  2. In addition, the Council shall:
    1. Advise in the formulation, review and application of policy and guidelines for University research and its funding both from within and without the University;
    2. Advise on questions concerning the compliance of research with University policies;
    3. Advise in developing methods for informing University members about research opportunities and for stimulating, evaluating and rewarding good research;
    4. Provide a forum to which faculty and students may refer questions and recommendations concerning University research policies and procedures.

Leddy reviewed a letter from Sheldon Kurtz, Faculty Senate President.  He has asked that research council answer a list of questions (regarding structure of the committee, composition, changes to the charge, etc.).  Johna Leddy asked for input so that she is able to respond by the October 15th deadline. 

  • Possibly add two additional representatives from the health sciences.
  • Hay mentioned that it is important to maintain the balance in membership.
  • Possibly communicate with the Faculty Senate and Staff Council Committee on Committees regarding the type of person/experience needed for research council. 

Leddy asked for volunteers for the Publications Waivers Subcommittee.  Leddy explained the background information on recent publication waiver requests.  Leddy, Flatte, Snetselear and Hichwa will serve as the search Publication Waivers Subcommittee.

Research Council Meetings will occur monthly.  Dates of fall meetings are scheduled for:

  • September 15, 2006 at 1:00 pm;
  • October 18, 2006 at 1:00 PM;
  • November 15, 2006 at 3:30 PM; and
  • December 13, 2006 at 3:30 pm.

Updates from the OVPR

Meredith Hay provided an update on recent events and accomplishments. 

  • Three New Associate VP’s for Research have been hired (Semel, Sharpe and Hichwa)
  • The National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) now reports to the college of Engineering.  The goal is to reconnect and integrate it back to the academic mission.
  • The University of Iowa has received full funding ($36M) for new hygienic lab that will be located at the Oakdale Campus.
  • This fall, Hay will host weekly lunches for arts and humanities faculty.  
  • Mississippi River Symposium (interdisciplinary seminar on water) will occur in Dubuque Iowa in October.
  • Semel reported on activities related to research development.  Over the past two months, they have been working on incorporating changes for the internal funding program, developing a systematic review of interdisciplinary centers and programs, incorporating recommendations from the shared credits task force report, coordinating visits from program officers (NEH and NSF) and meeting with key faculty and administrators to brainstorm ideas on how to enhance the research environment.
  • Under the direction of Vicki Grassian, the Nanotechnology and NanoScience Institute was established on July 1, 2006.  There is a large group of core faculty and an advisory committee has been established. 

Internal Funding Initiatives (IFI)

Last year, the Research Council subcommittee reviewed the Internal Funding programs and developed recommendations related to these funding initiatives.  Hichwa and Semel, in their role as Associate VPs for Research, are the key staff in charge of implementing these recommendations.  Semel summarized where they were to-date with the recommendations. 

  • All programs will be handled individually.
  • Increased External Grant Applications - The goal is that more of these projects will be positioned to apply for external grants, more attention to feasibility.  Within 3-6 months of the end of the project, the copy of the external grant proposal will be required.  They are also considering the possibility of contingency awards.
  • Improved methods for tracking success of seed grants in terms of external grants and publications.  An online reporting mechanism is being developed.   
  • Conflict of interest guidelines – The guidelines are being reviewed so that organization affiliation plays less of a role than actual working or personal connections.
  • Review Process – Hichwa and Semel will serve as the conveners and will ensure consistency and attention to stated criteria.  In addition, more reviewers will be assigned to each proposal.  For next year, an online review system will be implemented.  
  • Define program eligibility – Working with Colleges to determine appropriate eligibility.

Agenda Planning

Johna discussed upcoming agenda items and asked for input from the council.  The following topics were offered:

  • Discuss strategies to improve the research enterprise.
  • Discuss strategies to fund small amounts of discretionary funds.
  • Graduate Student Funding - changing in graduate student funding and faculty research (e.g. Grad College Block Allocation).
  • Develop a draft proposal to get graduate funding for arts and humanities. 
  • Bridging funds for graduate students.
  • Invite the following guests to present to Research Council (York, Sharpe, Hogan, Fethke).
  • Discuss working at Iowa survey results.
  • Communication strategies regarding research.
  • With national funding levels changing – what is coming over the horizon, what’s coming up?
  • Non-traditional research directions – how do we maintain the quality of research but move in different funding directions.

Meeting adjourned at 2:34 pm.