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Graduate School

Graduate Council


Minutes of

November 13th, 2009

MEMBERS PRESENT: Marcus Agustin, Chair, Rakesh Bharati, Sohyung Cho for Jianpeng Zhou, Medha Gautam, Christa Johnson, Liz Lebron, Craig Miner, Mariana Solares, G. Stacey Staples, Erin Timpe

I. Announcements

Christa Johnson announced that despite the state's cash flow problem, the Graduate School will continue to fund internal STEP grants in all lines except for equipment. The Graduate School is not suspending its matching fund travel program. The other competitions are currently scheduled to take place as planned for this academic year.

II. Minutes of October 9th, 2009

Erin Timpe made a motion to approve the minutes as submitted; Rakesh Bharati seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

III. Continuing Business

A. National Science Foundation Responsible Conduct in Research (NSF RCR) Implementation

As of January 4th, 2010, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will require that all universities submitting grant proposals must have a plan in place to provide ethics training to NSF-supported students. ERP had discussed how SIUE would meet this new Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement. For 2010, students will continue to use online CITI training, and the PI for each project will certify that he or she has provided face-to-face mentoring on ethics training. The University will certify that these steps are being taken for each external proposal to NSF. NSF has signaled that online training is insufficient in the long run, thus ERP's proposal is considered to be a stopgap measure.

When ERP verbally took its proposal to the Graduate Council on November 6th, the Council requested a plan in writing. Johnson reiterated the need to provide broader RCR training, given the NSF's position that online only is insufficient. Discussion about possible feasible approaches ensued. One idea proposed was to have individual online training followed by a face to face workshop to test newly acquired skills. Other ideas discussed included a plan for the certification of all graduate students, and how to determine was level and scope of training is appropriate for each individual discipline Marcus Agustin suggested asking every department whether they are offering course content on ethical research. If a student takes such a course, (s)he could sign a certification. Alternately, since each school has a research committee, the Council could ask whether they have an ethical research plan in place.

Johnson clarified that NSF did not require that students participating in a research project be finished with training before they begin working. Lebron asked whether the Graduate Council should request plans from the department that ERP could review, which would give departments time to adjust to the new RCR requirement. Johnson remarked that if there is a lack of ethics training in any department, the Graduate School is responsible for ensuring that RCR training is delivered. NSF proposal reviewers will not look at the RCR plan; however, NSF can request the institution's plan at any time, so the he University needs to have an infrastructure in place.

Craig Miner made a motion to include the ERP's next step (gathering information on RCR) in the document to be sent to the Graduate Council; Liz Lebron seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

IV. New Business

There was no new business.

V. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 2:50 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

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

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