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Graduate School

Graduate Council


Minutes of

December 11th, 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

Associate Dean Christa Johnson said that the winners for the STEP program will be announced soon. The Graduate School was able to fund 31 of 67 proposals. The projects will begin on July 1st, 2010. Johnson was pleased with the participation, adding that 50% percent of assistant professors who applied for a STEP received one, as did 13% of associate professors and 17% of professors. The Distinguished Research Professor competition is underway. Johnson asked those present to mark their calendars: The annual Spring Symposium will be held on March 31st, 2010. The Graduate School is planning to sponsor a technology exposition with a focus on research and industry on March 30th.

II. Minutes of November 13th, 2009

Erin Timpe made a motion to approve the minutes as submitted; G. Stacey Staples seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

III. Committees of the Graduate Council

Christa Johnson reminded the committee that the Research and Development (R&D) Committee reviews the STEP proposals, and the Research and Projects Advisory Board (RPAB) reviews all the other internal faculty competitions. There are eight members of the R&D Committee. STEP entails the largest work load because the SRFs and FURs were combined into STEP. Johnson felt that the panel system was working well for the STEP competition. The committee did not feel that any adjustments need to be made at this time.

IV. Research Infrastructure Capacity and Competitiveness (RICC)

The committee felt that this was not the right time to discuss this topic, given current budgetary constraints. They will re-visit it in the future.

V. 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 continued refining its plan on how SIUE will meet this new Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement.

One-year certification of RCR training

The committee reviewed a certification document and refined it to read:

Certification of

Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RCR)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) requires that all universities submitting grant proposals after January 4, 2010, must provide appropriate ethics training, including face-to-face education, to NSF-supported students.


SIUE requires individual faculty to assist in providing appropriate Federally-mandated RCR education.

I _________________________________ as Principal Investigator on the NSF grant award number ____________________, titled ________________________________ ___________________________do hereby certify that I, and/or senior research staff, have provided or will provide discipline-specific mentoring during the course of the project to all undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-doctoral students supported by this grant. I also certify that these students have successfully completed the core modules in the RCR Program sponsored by the CITI Program. I agree to complete the approved "RCR Mentoring Plan" before the end of the grant period. I also agree to submit required reports to the Graduate School (see "Graduate School Guidelines for RCR Mentoring on NSF Awards").


Signature of Principal Investigator Date

*The Graduate School guidelines, recommended materials, and sample curricula are provided on the Graduate School website and upon request.

These amendments include adding the January date, and adding a paragraph at the beginning to clarify the reasons for requiring certification. The committee also clarified that the training needed to be completed before the end of the grant. Johnson said that she would amend the text and post it on BlackBoard, providing three days for comment and/or objection.

Graduate School Guidelines for RCR Mentoring on NSF Awards

ERP also discussed the "Graduate School Guidelines for RCR Mentoring on NSF Awards." It amended #3 as indicated below. The committee also recommended emphasizing several "face to face" meetings between the students and their mentors.

In addition to the lists of resources, the Graduate School's Guidelines were amended to read:

Graduate School Guidelines for RCR Mentoring on NSF Awards

1. Create "RCR Mentoring Plan" that includes scheduled face-to-face meetings and appropriate discipline-specific RCR topics for students involved in the NSF-supported project. The Associate Dean for Research is available to assist in the development of the "RCR Mentoring Plan" and sample plans are available upon request.

2. Include in the "RCR Mentoring Plan" at least one case study per topic.

3. Submit "RCR Mentoring Plan" to the Graduate School for approval and record-keeping.

4. Encourage attendance at Graduate School presentations and speaker series on RCR topics.

5. Ensure CITI RCR Training has been completed by all students working on NSF funded project.

6. Submit RCR Training progress reports to the Graduate School at the time of regular NSF-mandated technical progress reports and at the conclusion of the NSF award.

Development of Full-Scale SIUE RCR Training Program

ERP discussed long range plans for SIUE RCR Training, beyond the certification process that will be in effect until January 2011. The committee agreed that ideally, all students engaged in research projects, internally or externally funded, as well as students conducting thesis research, should be required, before graduation, to complete "SIUE RCR Training," which might consist of:

1. CITI certification;

2. Departmental coursework approved by the Graduate School; OR appropriate required workshop modules.

However, before any such policy can be considered, ERP agreed that the Graduate Council should survey the departments to learn what courses and other activities related to ethical conduct of research currently exist. Since RCR education may consist of a combination of for-credit and not-for-credit courses, workshops, speaker series, or other events/activities such as publications/newsletters, website information and an advisory group or RCR committee, ERP suggests first taking stock of current courses and other offerings, before drafting an SIUE RCR training program and policy.

One idea discussed was to potentially put out a request for proposals and offer $250-$500 to develop and/or teach RCR courses, which would be different for undergraduates (basic) and graduate (advanced) students. The graduate modules would involve more tough choices and more complex case studies. One suggestion was to have all students take all modules, each module consisting of a three day intensive workshop on each of the nine topics to be covered.

Johnson plans to conduct the survey in January 2010 and hopes to have the results by the end of the month. Those results could be discussed on BlackBoard. Next semester, ERP will look at what comprises RCR training, and whether the policy should cover all or some subset of students.

VI. New Business

Marcus Agustin reminded the committee members to return their schedules for spring.

VII. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 3:09 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

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

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