September 18, 2015

Date of Meeting: 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Attendance – Ed Gillan, John Nelson, Faryle Nothwehr, Barbara Eckstein, Carolyn Colvin, Kate O’Brien, Lance Heady, Nicholas Borcherding, Elizabeth Constantine, Kevin Kelly, George Hospodarsky, Paul Soderdahl

Others – Bob Kirby, Rich Hichwa, Cheryl Reardon, Dan Reed

Item 1:  Introduction of Research Council Members (Ed Gillan)

  • Ed reviewed the Charge to the Research Council:
  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.
  • Ed referred the committee to the revisions of the Research Council Charter Committee membership.  This was major accomplishment for last year.
  • Ed highlighted the annual report from last year (add link the report-or include a copy of agenda as it had annual report and summary?)

Item 2:  Approval of May 2015 Meeting Minutes and Review of Prior Year RC Activities

  • Draft minutes from the May RC meeting were reviewed and approved

Item 3:  Challenges and Opportunities for the Year Ahead (Dan Reed)

Dan thanked the committee for agreeing to serve and provide advice and input into research initiatives.  He provided a sheet summarizing recent UI funding trends and highlighting research communication.

  • Overview of FY 15 external funding. 
    • Core research funding $443M plus $565.2M in external funding.
    • Trends - NIH is on a decline (6 year decline) with industry funding increasing over the last 6 years
    • All but 2 colleges were down in external funding in FY 15
  • APLU – Survey of Registered Voters asking them to rate the ROI Research and Scholarship
    • Results: Veterans Benefits (74%), National Defense (66%), Public Education (66%), Infrastructure (61%), Medical Research (56%), Programs for Poor/Low Income (51%), Unemployment Benefits (44%), Scientific Research (44%)
    • Categories such as national security, health and wellness, energy security, jobs and economic wellbeing were all rated higher than research
    • As researchers, we need to realign our  communication strategy and “do a better job explaining the benefits of research”
  • New Incubation Strategy
    • MERGE – Downtown business incubation space will be a partnership between ICAD and UI for early stage companies
    • Initiative to create a Biomedical Incubator on the medical campus
    • Barbara would like to see UI launch an initiative using the storefronts of downtown Iowa City to showcase and make visible the research and academic accomplishments of the University
  • Research Development Center
    • OVPR is in the process of creating a Research Development Center that will specialize in helping faculty with grant writing, editing, reviews, resubmissions, proposal support as well as faculty development
    • Focus will be on large scale, interdisciplinary proposals
  • Dan recently met with incoming president Bruce Harreld.  Themes were positive in support of the research enterprise:
    • Research investment on campus.
    • How do we catalyze large scale ideas into strategic investment?  Themes to be more competitive for federal dollars – jump start research with seed grants (targeting faculty hiring, building credibility, and building opportunities for them to pursue federal funding)
    • Increased applied R&D industry partnerships
    • High quality faculty hires
    • Physical infrastructure
    • State of Research – November 2nd – What do faculty want to hear about?
    • Core values of the institutions
    • Ideas and Intersections – Tuesday, November 3rd, Levitt Center: “Polls, Politics, and Paparazzi, Inside Iowa’s Caucus Season”
    • Creative Matters – Series is designed to “initiate a campus-wide conversation about the centrality of creativity to our intellectual community and institutional identity and to begin the celebration of the renewal of our arts campus”.  Research Council is encouraged to participate in remaining events held on Nov. 10 and Feb. 11;
    • Input on Health and Human Services – changing rules for informed consent.  Opportunity to comment by December 7, 2015 (Request for comment will be distributed to Research Council)

Item 4:  Discussion of Places where Research Council Can Provide Advice and Assistance

  • How is the Informatics clusters progressing (potentially invite Greg Carmichael to RC meeting)
  • Research Foundation Discussion (invite for David Conrad/Zev to present)
  • Research Awards –
  • General new ideas for awards
  • Create an Economic Development Charter Committee
  • Creative strategies to help faculty/researchers link to industry
  • Highlight of the Larger Cluster Hire Initiative ( invite Kevin Kregel to RC meeting)
  • Barb - Research Council retreat to generate new ideas and think creatively

Item 5:  Research Council Annual Activities

  • Publication Waiver Committee Volunteers – Johna Leddy, Kevin Kelly, George Hospodarsky
  • Awards Committee Volunteers –Liz Constantine, Bob Kirby, Carolyn Colvin and John Nelson
  • Bob Kirby to write a paragraph on his Undergraduate research recommendations from RC.   Discussion will move into ICRU advisory committee
  • Mobile Museum accepting applications for new exhibits;