EDUCATIONAL AND RESEARCH POLICIES COMMITTEE
October 25, 2011
MEMBERS PRESENT: Marcus Agustin, Rakesh Bharati, Darryl Coan, Robert Dixon for Leah O’Brien, David Duvernell (Chair), John Hunt, Christa Johnson for Jerry Weinberg, Joe Schober, Terry Yan
MEMBERS EXCUSED: Sarah Bailey
Christa Johnson announced that approximately fifty faculty applied for more than $600,000 in STEP funds. The Graduate School has $320,000 available. The funding rate will continue to be about 50%. She also announced that the Paul Simon deadline is on Friday, October 28th.
II. Minutes of September 20, 2011
Marcus Agustin made a motion to accept the minutes; Joe Schober seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
III. Competitive Applications Resubmission Incentive (CARI)
The Graduate School proposed a program to support the resubmission of competitive proposals by full-time continuing members of the faculty and staff members on continuing appointments who have served as PI or Co-PI on an externally-sponsored grant. Up to $6,000 per application is available for one year; all line items are allowable. Applicants must provide, (1) complete proposal draft, including copy of proposal approval Form; (2) approval form with signature from chair and dean (approving budget); (3) external reviewer comments and scores; (4) plan for revisions and addressing reviewer comments; (5) timeline to meet projected submission date; and (6) budget and budget Justification. The application will be evaluated by a faculty committee appointed by The Graduate School. The criteria considered are (1) strength of the proposal draft; (2) external reviewer scores and feedback; (3) feasibility of plan for revising and resubmitting the proposal; and (4) record of outcomes from previous internal funding. The Graduate School has set aside $60,000 per year for this project.
Johnson explained that the $6,000/$60,000 limits are a best estimate based on previous years’ data. There could be additional funding available if awards exceed $60,000. The committee discussed whether a faculty member could hold a STEP award and a CARI grant simultaneously. The committee felt that a grant that needs to be re-written and re-submitted would represent an different stage of the PI’s research. The STEP proposal could concern a later and “scientifically distinct” stage of the same ongoing project, or may be a different research project altogether.
Johnson brought up management issues involved with prohibiting researchers from being eligible for additional awards if they are still fulfilling requirements from an existing award. Some faculty who have STEP grants write their reports in time to apply for another STEP grant the following year. This practice may subvert the intention of the program. The general consensus is that the STEP program needs to be evaluated during the spring semester.
Issues discussed included how much work evaluating CARI proposals will be for the committee, what type of cycle these applications may follow, and whether or not the chairs and deans will have the opportunity to prioritize the proposals. Johnson said that the Research and Projects Advisory Board (RPAB) would evaluate the CARI proposals, and could use email or Blackboard. There were concerns about running out of funds.
One idea was to consider, at a later date, funneling more money to the CARI grant from the STEP award after the Graduate School begins collecting data on the efficacy of the CARI program.
The committee approved the removal of sentences from the eligibility section which would have introduced a conflict for those who had a concurrent STEP award. It eliminated the phrase “except in unusual circumstances” in the award section so that no applicant would be eligible for more than $6,000. It changed “Complete proposal draft” to “complete submitted proposal” in #1 under application procedures. Lastly it amended the review criteria to include outcomes from previous external funding as well as internal funding.
Marcus Agustin made a motion to approve the policy as amended; John Hunt seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
IV. Conferences and Workshops
The Graduate School proposed that it offer an incentive to faculty to bring regional and national meetings to the SIUE campus. The award would offer up to $6,000 per project; the Graduate School could fund about ten awards per year. Summer salary would not be allowed as a line item, although salary items such as a graduate assistant or student worker would be allowable, as would a course buyout and all other line items. It was suggested that getting the chairs and deans involved in signing off on the proposal and sharing expenses would be a good way to determine which conferences are highly regarded.
Discussion of this item will continue under “Continuing Business” at the next ERP meeting on Tuesday, November 15th.
V. Graduate Faculty Status Eligibility
The Graduate School proposed an amendment to the policy which would clarify that only tenured or tenure-track faculty are eligible for graduate faculty status. There is a mechanism in place to allow for exceptions.
Terry Yan made a motion to approve the policy ; Joe Schober seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
VI. Graduate Scholar Award (GSA) Eligibility
The Graduate School proposed that the guidelines be amended to clarify that awardees are limited to GSA assistance in only one graduate program. Instead of “The award may be renewed up to a maximum of four (4) semesters,” the guidelines would read “The award may be renewed up to a maximum of four (4) semesters in one program only; award recipients are not eligible to receive a subsequent award in another program.”
Rakesh Bharati made a motion to approve the policy; Marcus Agustin seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
VII. Continuing Business
There was no continuing business
VIII. New Business
There was no new business.
Rakesh Bharati made a motion to adjourn; Robert Dixon seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The meeting adjourned at 1:01 PM.
Jerry B. Weinberg
Acting Associate Provost for Research and
Dean, The Graduate School