RESEARCH COORDINATING COUNCIL
October 16, 2003
Members Present: Curtis Anderson, Brian Attebery, Phil Blick, Maureen Brandon, Steve Byers, Bill Akersten for Linda Deck, Kathy Dilorenzo, Sandra Shropshire for Kay Flowers, Larry Ford, Dave Harris for Dianne Horrocks and Deb Easterly, Edwin House (presiding), Skip Lohse, Barbara Cunningham for Neill Piland, Rod Seeley, Susan Swetnam, Dan Wolfley
Members Absent/Excused: Alok Bhushan, Frank Harmon, Richard Inouye, Subbaram Naidu, Malcolm Shields, Al Strickland, Brian Williams, Thomas Windholz, Paul Zelus
Dr. House declared a quorum was present.
I. It was MSC (9y,0n) to approve Memorandum #150 with the following corrections: Add Maureen Brandon to members present, delete Steve Byers from members present.
A. Faculty Research Committee – Dr. Swetnam reported that the call for proposals is out. Elections have been completed. The graduate student for this committee just resigned yesterday because of a job offer, and as soon as another graduate student is assigned, the membership will be completed. The committee has another $5,000 to award because a faculty member who had a grant last year is not able to complete the research and is returning those funds.
B. Graduate Student Research and Scholarship Committee – Kathy DiLorenzo reported that the committee met and elected officers. She distributed a handout listing committee members, officers, and dates of meetings and pertinent deadlines. The next meeting date is October 24 to award the ASISU scholarships. Kathy reported that the call for proposals is out
C. Undergraduate Research Committee – Dr. Brandon reported that the call for proposals is out with a deadline of November 3. The committee will begin meeting around that time.
D. Humanities/Social Science Research Committee – Dr. House reported that the call for proposals is out with a November deadline. Dr. House is waiting for the names of replacements for at least four members whose terms have expired. As soon as those members have been replaced, a meeting will be scheduled. There will be two meetings in November after the proposal deadline to review those proposals and make the awards. This committee has about $70,000 to award.
E. University Research Committee – Dr. House reported on this committee at the last Council meeting. Since the committee only meets in the spring, there is nothing new to report.
G. Other – Dr. House asked Curtis Anderson to report on the Animal Facility. A new incinerator was installed about 1.5 years ago to dispose of biological waste. Some test burns were performed and everything seemed to function relatively well. A couple more burns were conducted to test the emissions, and these resulted in some large billows of smoke in the parking lot. This set off the fire alarms in the back of the building (new alarms had recently been installed), and the alarms continued to go off for about two hours. Dr. Anderson said in case anyone asks, human remains are not and will not be incinerated again at this University. They have obtained an outside contractor for this. They are still burning small quantities of biological material, none of which is caustic. Dr. Anderson is working with EPA and believes the Animal Facility is back to normal. Dr. House expressed his thanks to Dr. Anderson for his patience with this issue.
A. Time and Effort Report - Dr. House reported that the federal government requires that every individual who is paid out of a federal grant must fill out a form documenting that the individual actually spent the time on the work that the federal government paid for in an after-the-fact reporting system. Dr. House said in reviewing the procedures this summer, it became clear that there are two areas in which ISU was not meeting the federal standards for payment of personnel on a grant. One was faculty and the other was that of research assistants. The federal government requires that after an individual has been paid, that individual document the percentage of time put in on the grant and sign off on it and have a supervisor sign off on it as well. Personnel from Financial Services, Grants and Contracts Accounting, Sponsored Programs, and the Office of Research met to put together the time and effort reporting document. Only people who receive external grant funds will have to fill this form out. The report is to document the percentage of time an individual spends on a particular project. Dan Wolfley’s office will be sending out these forms with instructions at the appropriate time, so that we have the documents for fall semester, spring semester and summer. We will be starting this at the end of this semester, and hope to make this as streamlined and painless as possible. A Council member asked if this applied only to federal funds. Dr. House said it would apply to all external funds for consistency purposes. Some employees report via timesheet or timecard and this is adequate for the government. Faculty and graduate research assistants are paid biweekly from a Personnel Recommendation Form and there is currently no time and effort reporting for those categories. Dr. House reported that Northwestern University had to pay several million dollars back because auditors determined they had not met this requirement.
Dr. House asked Council members to let him know if they have any suggestions for improvement or clarification of the form.
B. Dr. House reported that there are various groups on campus working on the accreditation process. The Office of Research will handle much of this because of its functions. The Research Policies and Procedures Manual is on the web. Dr. House said he is working on Standard IV, Research and Scholarly Activity. The Office of Research may be contacting people for documents or examples to use.
Dr. House said Rosemary Smith and Mike Ellis have been notified by NSF that they will be awarded a significant grant for their GK-12 Fellowship program. This will pay graduate students to work with the high schools to stimulate interest in math and science education. Dr. Ford reported that Ralph Norton also worked very hard on this grant to make it successful.
Dr. House informed the Council that Ralph Norton, grant writer in the Office of Research, had helped several faculty win grants. Bob Hoover, from the College of Business, praised Mr. Norton for his efforts in helping him win a grant from the Department of Education.
Dr. Anderson said the NIH-COBRE proposal will be resubmitted within the month. This proposal is for about $11 million including indirect costs, if awarded.
Regarding the DOD EPSCoR competition, Dr. House said each of the Idaho universities is allowed to submit six preproposals and these would be sent to AAAS for peer review. The top ten according to the AAAS rating would be invited to submit full proposals. ISU submitted four preproposals, UI submitted eight, and Boise State submitted six. The outcome was that all four of ISU’s preproposals made it into the top ten, and two of the four were in the highest ranked proposals recommended by the peer review. Dr. House commended Deb Easterly for her work on this.
The meeting adjourned at 3:40 p.m.