RESEARCH COORDINATING COUNCIL
Memorandum 122
October 21, 1999

Members Present: Phil Blick, Chris Daniels, Kay Flowers, Dianne Horrocks, Edwin House (presiding), Dave Kleist, Rudy Kovacs, Mark McBeth, Joe Morris, Subbaram Naidu, Ken Rodnick, Doug Wells, Dan Wolfley

Members Absent/Excused: Barbara Adamcik, Jonathan Blotter, Steve Byers, Will Hamlin, Frank Harmon, Richard Inouye, IRHS Director, Sue Jenkins, Skip Lohse, Keith Weber, Paul Zelus

Dr. House declared a quorum was present.

I. It was MSC (8y,0n) to approve Memorandum #121.

II. REPORTS

A. Dr. House reported that the Faculty Research Committee has put out the Call for Proposals.

B. Joe Morris reported that the next meeting of the Graduate Student Research and Scholarship Committee is scheduled for Friday, and the committee will be reviewing ASISU scholarship applications.

C. Dr. House reported that an ad hoc committee of the Undergraduate Research Committee has been formed and is currently working on Bylaws. About 50% of the Bylaws have been completed, reviewed and approved. This group is doing a fine job.

D. Dr. House described a variety of EPSCoR programs. Dr. House reported that he does not believe the EPSCoR program will disappear as there are 38 senators whose states would be affected. Dr. House will answer any questions anyone has about this program. EPSCoR is currently in the process of creating new programs and at least one web page is out of date.

1. NSF Programs
a. Cooperative Agreement - NSF has a cooperative agreement in which they negotiate with the state as a whole. Two years ago Idaho was asked to prepare a three-year grant proposal. This was awarded and is currently in its second year. ISU receives a subcontract of $146,000 annually and $120,000 from the State as match. The balance of the match comes from institutional funds. This is represented in the infrastructure allocation that Dr. House presents to the Council each year. Four individual faculty members were awarded--two at $60,000 each and two at $50,000 each. EPSCoR has also awarded ISU funds for major equipment, some of which was used to purchase a scanning electron microscope. These funds are available for very specific items. Currently, ISU has $1,400 in support of the Graduate Student Research and Scholarship Committee and $10,000 for the Undergraduate Research Initiative.

b. Two-year award - There is currently a call out for a two-year NSF award for $500,000 with a thrust toward economic development, applied research, working with industry and a national lab. We can submit one proposal as can BSU and UI. Only two proposals will be forwarded. Dr. House believes the Idaho Accelerator is the best fit for this call.

c. Co-Funding - After the faculty member writes a proposal, we get the form and sign off. It then goes to the State EPSCoR office and then on to NSF. Those proposals that score just below the payline go to the NSF EPSCoR office for possible funding. Dr. House and Keith Weber were co-PIs on a proposal that was funded for $120,000.

2. DOE Programs: DOE EPSCoR currently has two programs. Dr. House is the state project director for DOE EPSCoR. This agency has an implementation grant program and an individual grant program. The geosciences has been designated as the best area for the implementation grant program. BSU, UI, and ISU are working together on the Snake River Aquifer with INEEL and the chief scientist from DOE-Idaho participating. There is a call out on campus for the individual program awards. This requires a letter of support from Dr. House and a national lab. We submitted two from physics and one from engineering. UI submitted eight, BSU did not submit any. This award is for $75,000/year for three years. Dr. Watwood was previously awarded and will complete her grant in 2000.
3. The Department of Commerce has some funds available for small business development.

4. NIH has about $10 million available exclusively for co-funding.
 

5. NASA has two or three different programs. One is for small start-up grants similar to the FRC awards. One is for larger groups of researchers. Scott Hughes is the ISU contact for this program.
 

6. DOD awards about 15 proposals to each state. UI has designated its own institution eligible to submit 11 proposals each year; the balance is divided between BSU and ISU.

Some agencies are developing a trend toward awarding institutions rather than states in order to extricate themselves from state politics.

USDA allocates about 10% of their funds for EPSCoR. NSF EPSCoR occasionally has a competition for library funding.
 

E. Dr. House distributed a handout regarding lessons learned about Scientific Misconduct. ISU's policies on Conflict of Interest and Research Practices were set up to help avoid scientific misconduct allegations. These policies maintain the research effort and were set up to be responsible, not intrusive.
III. COUNCIL BUSINESS
A. Dr. House asked the Council for recommended wording revision to items 4 and 6 in the Suggested Guidelines for Promotion of Research Center/Institute Directors. Dr. House informed them that items 4 and 6 were contentious issues in Deans' Council. Members felt the guidelines were skewed toward research. The traditional criteria for promotion does not reward individuals for being a good administrator. Dr. Lawson tabled this in Dean's Council and said he would help rewrite this document.

B. Dr. Daniels distributed a draft of a survey that would be used to gather information on research equipment on campus. Dr. House said part of the criteria is that more than one person would use the equipment. Items that need to be added are: 1) Are user fees charged to use the equipment, how much, when is the fee charged, and when is the fee received? Some equipment requires significant training before a person can use it. Dr. Daniels will expand the survey to include all research resources.

C. Dr. House said ISU needs a consistent policy on how RA's are paid. Dan Wolfley informed the Council that an entity cannot charge the Federal Government more than they charge their best customer.

D. Dr. House said that an agenda item for the next meeting will be a review of where the 45% of that administration receives as their share of indirect cost/overhead is allocated. Dr. House said that one of the research goals is to have a block of funds available in order to seek major equipment. Also, some should go to the library. Other universities allocate a set percentage of the administration's share of overhead for library costs.

E. Dr. House asked Phil Blick to explain how the incubator building is managed. Mr. Blick is the director of the Research Park. He said the building houses research projects and incubator companies. It is currently mostly office space. There is a committee that decides how the building is used. The committee consists of Ray Bursted who looks at the economic development aspect, Paul Cox, and Phil Blick. A company which is interested in renting space in the incubator building must submit a proposal and the committee makes a decision as to whether or not to rent space to them. Following the committee decision, Ken Prolo also reviews the proposals and tells the committee whether or not he concurs with the decision. This is usually for three years, after which time it is anticipated that the company will move into the community. The Research Park provides lower rental than is normally found in the community and provides a receptionist that will handle about 10% of the secretarial work. Currently the Natural Heritage Project is occupying some space at a fixed rate and the Veterans Administration is an anchor tenant.

The meeting adjourned at 4:50 p.m.