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Graduate School

Graduate Council


Minutes of

April 15th , 2008


MEMBERS PRESENT: Marcus Agustin, Chair, David Duvernell, Christa Johnson, Nancy Lutz, Saiprakash Putti, Ena Rose-Green, Cindy Schmidt, G. Stacey Staples, Erin Timpe, Jianpeng Zhou


MEMBERS ABSENT: Melissa Bergstrom

I. Announcements

Marcus Agustin announced that he will be presenting what ERP has accomplished at the Valuing Service event. Christa Johnson announced that the Graduate School had made twenty FUR awards.

II. Minutes of March 25th, 2008

Nancy Lutz made a motion to approve the minutes; Cindy Schmidt seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

III. Proposal to Create a Research Seminar for Graduate Students

Christa Johnson reported that the faculty in the library are still working on the course proposal. This topic will be revisited next academic year.

IV. University Research Grant Proposal

The Graduate School proposed combining the Summer Research Fellowship (SRF) and the Funded University Research (FUR) programs into one University Research Grant (URG) program. Its purpose would be to provide "seed funding on a competitive basis to SIUE faculty and staff to support research and creative activities. Seed funding is intended to encourage faculty to initiate new research directions or new research projects. Seed grant funding is not intended to sustain or supplement current research programs… All full-time continuing members of the faculty may apply to the URG program. Staff members on continuing appointments who have served as an investigator or co-investigator on an externally sponsored grant are also eligible for the URG program."

The committee raised issues which included the definition of "new" when determining eligibility, since some faculty can conduct research in various stages over time. David Duvernell stated that, as he understood it, there exist two current problems with the existing programs: (1) faculty use the internal grants to supplement external funding and (2) faculty use the internal competitions as their sole source of funding. Christa Johnson pointed out that while the internal funding is meant to generate new research, it is very difficult for the review committee to separate out pieces of a larger project to determine the researcher's intention.

Erin Timpe asked whether there is a place on the application form where the researcher may identify external funding opportunities. There was discussion about how much to consider a researcher's record. Dave Duvernell felt that the guidelines need to be explicit that the URG is not to be used for continuation or supplementation of projects. Johnson reiterated that the URG is a seed program to stimulate research since the goal is to increase the percentage of faculty participation.

Duvernell requested that the committee consider using the weighted evaluation criteria that was created for the SRFs the previous year, with minor amendments to address the URG's purpose of seed funding and to encourage faculty members who have not been active in research recently. The evaluation criteria for the URG proposals is as follows:

1. The originality/creativity and significance of the proposed research (30%)

2. The clarity and appropriateness of the research design and procedure (30%)

3. The appropriateness of the budget and strength of the budget justification (25%)

4. The research proposal's potential for external funding & anticipated outcomes (15%)

Zhou wondered if perhaps the outcome should be publications instead of an external proposal. Agustin suggested the submission of external grant and/or eligible publication. Duvernell pointed out that the Graduate School can verify the submission of a grant proposal, however verification of publication in a peer-reviewed journal would be considerably more difficult. Additionally, Nancy Lutz pointed out that external funding brings in resources to fuel the internal funding programs. The committee decided that the submission of an external grant should remain the desired outcome.

The deadline for submission would be the first Friday in September with a funding period of May 1 to May 1 if possible - if not feasible, it would be from July 1 to June 30.

Dave Duvernell remarked that the SRFs and FURS have served different faculty needs. He felt that the proposed salary cap would hurt those on nine month contracts. The caps were left in.

All applicants must have completed final reports and fulfilled the terms and conditions of previously SIUE funded research before they are eligible for this program.

The committee considered the review panels and decided that a faculty member, if desired, could choose which panel would be appropriate to review his or her proposal.

The ERP committee resolved to discuss the URG proposal through e-mail and vote on it to facilitate its submission to the Graduate Council by May 2nd.

V. Restructuring the Review Committees

The committee wished for one of the research proposal review committees, either Research and Development (R&D) Committee, or the RPAB (Research and Projects Advisory Board) to review the URGs and the other to review the remaining competitions, including the Hoppe, Lindsey, and Simon awards. It was decided that R&D be made to represent life sciences, physical sciences, social science and Humanities and Fine Arts. Johnson said the RPAB Committee would stay the way it is and retain the assistance of the school/college review committees during the review process.

Cindy Schmidt made a motion to change the constitution of the Research and Development Committee to include two members from each of four disciplinary groups, all members to continue to be elected by the Graduate Council; Erin Timpe seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

VI. Internal Fund for External Matching Requirements

Jianpeng Zhou stated that there are opportunities available to researchers if they can provide matching funds. He suggested that the Graduate School set aside a pool of money to address this need. Applicants for these funds would be served on a first-come first-served basis. The committee did not have time to address this. Christa Johnson suggested that Zhou put together a proposal to review next year.

VII. Old Business

A. Nominees for RPAB Committee (2 At-large from CAS, Business, Engineering, or Nursing)

B. Nominees for R&D Committee (3 from CAS, 1 Engineering, 1 Library)

The committee did not address this.

VIII. New Business

There was no new business.

IX. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 12:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen L. Hansen
Associate Provost for Research and
Dean, Graduate School

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