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Solutions to Overcoming Barriers: Strategic Partnerships for Economies of Scale STRATEGIC APPROACHES The second half of the workshop presented potential solutions for the problems already described; namely, lack of time for faculty to do research, lack of institutional resources, and an inadequate reward sys- tem. The solutions shared several commonalities, or strategic intents. One was the willingness to embrace dynamism at the university; to change structures, systems, and processes so that these could evolve in a manner required to promote a culture of research. A second strategic intent was the dogged pursuit of resources. In the case of services that needed to be provided (sponsored research office, business services, technology transfer, grants management), the solu- tion often meant partnering with an organization that already had the necessary functions at a significant scale, and then using the partnerâs economies of scale to achieve the needed functions at a reduced price. In the case of cash needs (e.g., startup packages, salary improvements, new equipment), resources often had to be found via grant applications to state and federal agencies, internal reallocations, or more intensive fundrais- ing from private sources. The process of first identifying a need and then tenaciously pursuing external resources was a powerful method of initi- ating everything from technology transfer offices to faculty âreassignedâ time. (Refer to the recommendations of Marcus Shute, Tennessee State University, in Box 1). The converseâpursuing resources without regard to the specific needs they were required fillâwas not recommended by any of the presenters at the workshop. Instead, most participants agreed 17
18 PARTNERSHIPS FOR EMERGING RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS BOX 1 Recommendations for ERIs to Expand and Strengthen Research Resources â¢ Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) and State of Tennessee must offer competitive compensation at all levels to attract and retain researchers, faculty, and staff. â¢ Implement interdisciplinary proposal development groups centered around various research themes to stimulate collaboration and assist junior faculty. â¢ Develop a strategy to increase the number of new faculty and researchers annually and provide competitive start-up funding in targeted areas. â¢ Include the Division of Research on the committee for faculty recruitment; ensure there is a research orientation in the faculty hiring process. â¢ Nurture new research faculty and provide some support during summer for at least two summers; provide mentoring opportunities with senior faculty that are research-active. â¢ State of Tennessee should invest in research infrastructure (buildings, labs, equipment, etc.) at institutions that have demonstrated expertise and research proficiency. â¢ Incorporate research metrics, i.e., funding and publications, into tenure award and promotion process. â¢ Develop and revise guidelines (University and TBR) for faculty teaching load requirement; i.e., build some release time into full load requirement for research program development. â¢ Enhance TBR strategies to promote collaboration, expertise, and capacity building (human, technological, facilities, etc.), and adequacy of resources for re- search at TBR institutions. This includes recruitment, retention, and sustainability of current research infrastructure. â¢ Actively promote multi-state and international research collaboration and exposure of TBR research capability. Presented by Marcus Shute, vice president for research, Tennessee State University. that ERIs should develop a road map, including metrics to gauge progress for evolving to some desired state of research productivity, and target resources to enable the accomplishment of that goal (see Appendix E). The presentations by Benjamin Flores (UTEPâUniversity of Texas, El Paso) and Mario Diaz (UTBâUniversity of Texas, Brownsville) articu- lated another strategy common among those institutions that had achieved steep growth rates in their research portfolios, including UTEP, UTB, and Alabama A&M. This was, that growth was possible but required targeted investments in a few faculty within a subset of departments. UTEP was an exemplar in this respect, having grown from a research funding base
SOLUTIONS 19 50 45 40 35 30 $ Millions 25 20 15 10 5 0 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Years Figure 3â University of Texas at El Paso, history of research expenditures. NOTE: Total research expenditures and expenditures on research infrastructure. SOURCE: College of of Engineering, UTEP. of about $4 million in 1989 to more than $45 million in 2006, largely through the activities of the Colleges of Education, Science, and Engineer- ing (Figure 3). Flores noted that 50 percent of UTEPâs research funding was the result of just 17 people, and so supporting those 17 individuals with effective administrative procedures, âreassigned time,â and tan- gible rewards was critical to the growth of the university in its research e Â ndeavors. Those individualsâ ability to raise funds then paved the way for the next generation of incoming researchers, in the same college, to enter a more research-intensive environment with more robust resources. This strategy allows emerging research institutions to focus on areas in which they are particularly well-suited by virtue of geography, access to special populations, prominent alumni, or unusual faculty expertise; thus making success more likely. These three approachesâembracing dynamism, finding or sharing other resources, and targeted investment of the resources at handâare illustrated by the solutions that follow.
20 PARTNERSHIPS FOR EMERGING RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS Faculty Time â¢ Consolidate Many Small Classes into Fewer Large Ones One solution to the lack of faculty research time identified at the workshop is to have faculty teach fewer classes. While many ERIs pride themselves on a small student-to-teacher ratio, this strategy necessitates having one professor teach multiple small sections of the same course. However, this practice significantly increases faculty teaching load. Dorothy Zinsmeister, assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University System of Georgia, explained what happened when, as a department chair at Kennesaw State University, she increased class sizes. Her plan had been to consolidate three classes with 30 students into one class with 90 to 120 students, thereby decreasing the teaching load for the professor from 15 to 18 hours per week to 4 to 7 hours per week. As she described it, there was substantial hesitation from the faculty with regard to the proposed plan: Part of that reluctance had to do with their perception that we were going to change student performance, that grades were going to go down be- cause you were in this one . . . cozy little classroom of 21 students where you knew everybodyâs name and could give students more attention. You were now in a big lecture room and classroom, and students were not going to do as well as they did. And then they were also concerned about the effects on faculty evaluations. To deal with this skepticism, Zinsmeister created four sections of different sizes for one of the introductory courses in Fall 2000. After the semester was over, she gathered data on student performance as a func- tion of class size. The sections with 21, 60, 99, and 110 students yielded class GPAs of 2.47, 2.91, 2.47, and 2.81, respectively. In other words, there was no systematic impact of class size on student performance as mea- sured by GPA. This was confirmed by an analysis of trends at the same institution over a period of time. Over the course of seven years, the ability to teach more students in fewer large classes increased the credit hours earned from the department from 2,856 to 5,956 for the course in question. This provided additional revenue to the department. Faculty research activities with students increased dramatically from one to about seven projects per year. Faculty publications increased by about 50 percent in the same time period, as did sponsored research awards.
SOLUTIONS 21 â¢ Make Research an Undergraduate Class For institutions in which it is not easy to trade teaching time directly for research time, Zinsmeister showed that it is sometimes possible to achieve the same end by formulating oneâs research project as a small project-oriented undergraduate class. The professorâs research activity then is labeled âteachingâ by the system and substitutes for one of the classes the professor is otherwise required to teach. University resources allocated to classroom teaching also then become accessible to the profes- sor for research. The undergraduate research class is also a very direct way to encourage undergraduate engagement in research. â¢ Consolidate Teaching Schedules As previously mentioned (and as originally noted by Terrance J Â ohnson), the indiscriminate distribution of teaching obligations between day and evenings, throughout the Monday-Wednesday-Friday cycle and the Tuesday-Thursday cycle can leave faculty with no blocks of time large enough to pursue research. Better thought-out consolidation of faculty schedules is therefore one tool for opening up time for research. â¢ Provide âReassigned Timeâ (Release Time) The practice of using research funding to pay for a teaching substitute is usually termed ârelease time.â It is a direct means of creating time for research. Dorothy Zinsmeister used the alternative term âreassigned timeâ to reflect the fact that the time is not free but is reallocated from teaching to research. While this is common in research institutions, thereby making their relatively low teaching loads even lower, it is harder to implement in ERIs. In addition to Zinsmeister, presenters Diaz (UTB), Flores (UTEP), Johnson (TSU), and Cole-Rhodes (Morgan State) each mentioned the need to implement some form of reassigned time to enable research. Two of the presenters, Johnson and Diaz, mentioned the need repeatedly. Ben Flores pointed out that reassigned time for new facultyâthose who most need the time to launch research, but do not yet have the research funding to support teaching reliefâwas painfully difficult for the institution to absorb. No funding models other than the use of the universityâs own funds were presented for solving the problem of how to support reassigned time for faculty who did not yet have research grants. Several participants expressed their inability to arrange for reassigned time even when money was plentiful. Alan Gabrielli, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Southern Polytechnic State University, said, â. . . for colleagues at other universities around the state, a constant complaint
22 PARTNERSHIPS FOR EMERGING RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS was that no matter how much money the system gave them to find replacement faculty, they just couldnât do it.â Existing faculty were often so thinly spread as not to have a duplicate content expert on campus who could teach the researcherâs class. Substitute instructors from nearby institutions also were hard to find, either because of geographic isolation or a lack of relationships among peer institutions. Partnerships that aggre- gated potential teaching replacements among multiple institutions were a potential solution, but one not elucidated further at the workshop. â¢ Implement Faculty Sabbaticals at Research Universities The problem of finding time to do research is greatly minimized if the ERI researcher can spend a semester or year in a research university, teaching only one course and gaining access to the many extant support structures for research: research-active colleagues, technical libraries, IT support, technicians, grant-processing offices, state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, post-doctoral students, etc. This experience is particularly valuable for ERI faculty who wish to launch research programs at their home institutions on return, because they are better positioned to compete for grant awards that may support additional reassigned and release time for research. Jim Muyskens (former senior vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University System of Georgia and currently president of Queens College, CUNY) described how the University System of Georgia, using state funding, launched a program to provide ERI researchers a semester or year at the Georgia Institute of Technology. This faculty development program operated for several years until state budgets were dramati- cally reduced in the aftermath of post-dot.com budget shortages in 2000 and 2001 when hundreds of start-up businesses on the Internet crashed. Muyskens presented several anecdotes about successful, long-term research collaborations and continuing publication streams generated by the programâs early participants. Kent Barefield (associate dean, College of Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology), who managed this program at Georgia Tech, mentioned that the programâs attractiveness to both ERI researchers and their Geor- gia Tech hosts could be attributed partly to the programâs funding para- digm. The sending institution, the receiving institution, and the program participants all benefitted as follows: â¢ Funds were given to the ERI to assist in hiring a replacement instructor. â¢ Housing allowances were given to ERI participants to allow them to move to Atlanta.
SOLUTIONS 23 â¢ Funds were given to Georgia Tech for the ERI researcher to use while conducting research at Georgia Tech. â¢ Start-up funds (small) were given to the ERI researcher to use in launching a research program on return to his or her home institution. Muyskens and Barefield concluded by pointing out that Georgiaâs Faculty Development Program yielded lasting benefits to Georgia Tech, as well as to the ERIs, including: â¢ Better preparation of ERI students transferring to Georgia Tech. The returning ERI faculty member brought a clearer understanding of the subject matter mastered by Georgia Tech students and could redesign courses at the ERI accordingly. â¢ Improved teaching in some Georgia Tech classes. Many of the ERI faculty had extensive teaching experience and were able to imple- ment lasting pedagogical innovations at Georgia Tech. One ERI program participantâs students won campus writing awards. â¢ Use Faculty Development to Optimize Use of the Limited Time Available for Research Given the time pressures on ERI faculty, research efficiency is a must. Increased efficiency can be achieved through faculty development pro- grams, either formal or informal. The Georgia Faculty Development Program described above is an example of a formal program. Maria Thompson also described the Proposal Development Groups that were launched at Tennessee State University (see Box 2). Small groups of senior faculty meet in groups with junior faculty in the same or similar fields and engage in a number of research support activities. Each group has a facilitator who, in return for their service to the university, receives support staff and funds for activities such as external reviews of large institutional proposals. The program is relatively new, but the Tennessee State Division of Research and Sponsored Programs intends to expand it further by bring- ing speakers to the campus and offering other enrichment events. Morgan State also has a faculty mentoring program, according to Arlene Cole- Rhodes. Lunchtime discussions revealed that, in some institutions, the group mentoring concept has been extended to include learning communities of peer mentors as well. For example, the National Science Foundation (NSF), represented at the workshop by Janice Cuny, has been able to extend the faculty development concept across institutions with its STARS Alliance. Here, faculty from multiple institutions regularly share best
24 PARTNERSHIPS FOR EMERGING RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS BOX 2 Functions of Proposal Development Groupsâ Tenessee State University â¢ Research mentoring which is an acceptable activity in each participantâs faculty development plan â¢ A forum to discuss research ideas and review proposals prior to deadlines â¢ Guidance on selection of funding announcements â¢ Uniform and meaningful analysis of relevant institutional data required for proposals â¢ Advice on the development of internal and external partnerships â¢ Coordination of student researchers â¢ Support in peripheral requirements for successful proposals such as as- sistance with budget development â¢ Professional formatting and layout of documents practices in curriculum development, research, and mentoring in meet- ings. In addition, the STARS program provides support for students for service learning projects in computer science, thereby engaging students directly in applying their knowledge. Workshop participants suggested that professional expertise also can be gained rapidly by volunteering to serve on proposal review panels at federal agencies. The NSF, in particular, allows individuals to self-nomi- nate to serve on review panels in their field. Institutional Resources As mentioned earlier, the lack of support services at ERIs can all but cripple the ability to conduct research and a universityâs ability to man- age federal programs. Below are some of the solutions proposed at the workshop to deliver services in key areas. Office of Sponsored Research For those institutions that have no sponsored research office, it is sometimes possible to partner with a research institution to provide pre- and post-award services. The partnership can be improved if there are mutual rewards. Susan Ross, director of the Office for Sponsored Research at Northwestern University, Evanston Campus, and Adam Kessel, edu- cation developer at the American Indian Center of Chicago, described the case of a successful partnership among Northwestern, the East-West University, and the American Indian Center on an NSF project to build
SOLUTIONS 25 capacity to do cutting-edge research in a Native American community. The project was designed to examine the cultural context of Native Ameri- can science education. To obtain the grant, the Northwestern provost had to commit his sponsored research office to assisting the partner institutions, which had never processed a proposal for a federal grant. What followed was a hands-on approach, with Northwestern walking its ERI colleagues through new awardee forms, cash management processes, FastLane sub- missions, report writing, regulatory policies and procedures, and more. In turn, the ERI colleagues educated Northwestern officials about influential cultural norms; for example, the fact that the entire tribe had to approve a project before it could be implemented. Each partner received a separate NSF grant award. The principal investigator at Northwestern reported that âthis kind of collaboration does a lot to move the university toward its goal of increas- ing diversity.â Another benefit to Northwestern of the administrative collaboration is the ability to promote its relationship with indigenous communities. The benefit to the ERIs includes cross-generational commu- nity involvement around issues of STEM education. The most powerful outcome has been greater interest by tribe members in research and edu- cation, with many deciding to pursue baccalaureate or advanced degrees as a result of the project, including high school drop-outs who are now returning to school. Of course, the Native American institutions now have the capability to begin managing some of their own federal grants and have received new grants in turn. In one of the final presentations of the day, the workshop participants learned of the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP), a membership organization dedicated to streamlining the administrative burden related to research. Because the FDP counts federal agency representatives among its members, its meeting agendas offer very timely insights into upcoming changes in federal grant requirements and procedures. The organization recently launched an Emerging Research Institutions group, and was described as an excellent environment for ERI research administrators to learn the latest news and state-of-the-art practices from both federal pro- gram officers and peer administrators in research and emerging research institutions. Office of Technology Transfer Emerging Research Institutions may have few researchers, but some of these are highly entrepreneurial. As the research administration infra- structure evolves, principal investigators will begin to ask about secur- ing patents and copyrights. Technology transfer, however, is viewed as
26 PARTNERSHIPS FOR EMERGING RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS an unaffordable luxury and is one of the last bastions of resistance to research. In addition, because a technology transfer office is not a profit center in many institutions, it is doubly hard for ERIs to justify this internal expenditure. Several extrinsic solutions were discussed at the workshop. One option is to partner with an institution that already has a robust tech transfer operation. This was the approach taken by the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP), whose researchers were active in phar- macology and needed to patent their drug discoveries and drug delivery inventions. Karen Mitchell, director of the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research, described how USP first obtained a state grant to establish its own tech transfer office, but found there was no post-grant funding mechanism that would make it possible to hire permanent, qualified personnel to staff the office. When the first grant expired, the university was reduced once again to using expensive outside attorneys for their occasional but growing tech transfer needs. A breakthrough came with the second grant, which was used to form a partnership with Thomas Jefferson University (TJU). USP would establish an Office of Intellec- tual Property using existing personnel, while TJU would actively mentor those personnel until they became experts, and would provide technical assistance to USP in technology transfer processing matters. Moreover, all licensing activity would be handled by TJU in exchange for a portion of the licensing revenue. USP now has an Office of Intellectual Property and is able to actively provide a full suite of technology transfer services to the faculty. A second approach to the dilemma of how to provide tech transfer services to ERI faculty is outsourcing. As an example, Tanaga Boozer described the capabilities of Intellectual Property Solutions, a small com- pany that provides a virtual tech transfer office to universities that may not be in a position to establish their own. She commented that because intellectual property is an intangible asset, it is particularly well suited to virtual solutions. Business Services Business services, particularly human resource and procurement f Â unctions, were clearly a frustration for many ERI researchers. ERI cam- puses failed to have such systems robust enough to handle the demands and timetables associated with managing a research enterprise. A few individuals such as Marcus Shute of Tennessee State mentioned their universityâs progress in streamlining these processes internally. However, an attractive option for researchers in less nimble institutions might be to outsource the post-award functions entirely. Daryush Ila of Alabama
SOLUTIONS 27 A&M stressed the benefits of setting up a research institute, inside of which all procurement and personnel functions could be handled sepa- rately from the university-based processes in these categories, and more efficiently as well. Janet Polli, an associate at the Research Foundation of the City Uni- versity of New York (CUNY), described the GrantsPlus program at the Foundation as a viable alternative to establishing a post-award admin- istrative office. The creation of GrantsPlus was inspired by the Research Foundationâs success in distributing 9/11 funds to more than 10,000 indi- vidual recipients. Confident that they had the capacity and automation to serve institutions beyond their 23 CUNY campuses, the Research Foun- dation established GrantsPlus as a separate, non-profit organization that could provide post-award processing to other non-profits throughout the nation. The web-based systems facilitate fiscal management and report- ing, sponsor liaison and compliance management, payroll, fringe benefit administration, vendor payments, time and leave tracking, and more. The fee for the service is a small percentage of grant expenditures and can be written into a grant as a valid direct or indirect cost. Expenses are monitored against the grant terms and conditions, as well as against the approved budget. Financial reports are updated several times daily, in near real-time. The Research Foundation currently processes more than $360 million in government grants for the CUNY schools. For participat- ing institutions, obviating the need to operate their own post-award pro- cessing system can enable them to realize significant cost-savings. Centrally Supported Information Resources In the first half of the workshop, participants discussed two needs in the area of information resources: robust IT networks and more extensive journal access. No solutions to the first problem were identified in the workshop, but the GALILEO project, described by Merryll Penson, execu- tive director of library services, University System of Georgia, was offered as a model for solving the problem of access to journal subscriptions. GALILEO (Georgia Library Learning Online) is a statewide virtual library and an initiative of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. GALILEO is currently accessible to over 2,000 institutionsâ public schools, public and private universities, technical colleges, public libraries, and private K-12 schools in Georgia. Seventy-eight of these institutions are academic libraries, 35 public and 43 private. GALILEO therefore provides access to its 8,000 journal subscriptions to virtually every library in the state. The GALILEO staff negotiates contracts for databases, maintains and improves the web interface that delivers them, provides a universal cata-
28 PARTNERSHIPS FOR EMERGING RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS logue and universal borrowing system (for USG libraries), offers 24-hour helpdesk support, and coordinates special purchases between and among libraries in Georgia. Bulk buying power and centralized support make GALILEO extremely cost competitive compared to maintaining electronic subscriptions at individual libraries. Albany State University (an HBCU), for example, nearly halved the number of its journal subscriptions after the introduction of GALILEO. The funding for GALILEO originally came from state lottery money, but over time the funding has shifted to state funds. Private academic libraries and schools pay fees to participate. GALILEO also facilitates group purchases to secure holdings not currently covered in the core set of 8,000 journals. At present, Georgia is one of several states providing universal library access through state funding. The culture of the state determines the particular participants and holdings. Others states with similar pro- grams include Ohio (OhioLink), North Carolina (NC LIVE) and Virginia (VIVA). Faculty Reward System Given the hurdles facing ERI researchers, several audience members as well as presenters stressed the importance of ensuring there were ade- quate rewards. Four reward types were discussed: flexible tenure policy, start-up funds, returned overhead/research incentives, and reassigned time. Reassigned time was discussed earlier, but the suggested solutions for the remaining three items are discussed here. Flexible Tenure Policy Fortunately, because tenure is primarily a policy issue more than a financial issue, it can be one of the easier changes to implement on an ERI campus to encourage research. Ben Flores of UTEP stressed the importance of revisiting tenure and promotion guidelines so that research is emphasized more in tenure decisions, saying. âTenure and promo- tion decisions play a crucial role in retaining outstanding faculty.â Jim Muyskens mentioned that the University System of Georgia (where he had been a senior vice chancellor) had, in addition, implemented post- tenure review with criteria specific to research, and that this practice had in fact been what motivated some of the ERI faculty in the University System of Georgia to begin to look at retooling themselves through fac- ulty development programs. Dorothy Zinsmeister (University System of Georgia) confirmed the systemâs insistence on post-tenure review in some form and referred audience members to their web site for the state-wide
SOLUTIONS 29 policy. For example, at USG, the reviews are performed at the level of the individual and the chair, meaning each department or school can set its own criteria for success in teaching and research. Start-Up Funds If an emerging research institution finds itself in the position of Âhaving an excellent department that is poised to be a premier ÂdepartmentâÂcompeting on an equal footing with departments at the research Âuniversitiesâthe abil- ity to create attractive start-up packages for star junior faculty becomes a pressing issue. Mario Diaz (UTB) pointed out that the physics department at the University of Texas, Brownsville, now finds itself in this position and has no mechanisms by which to provide the financing for such packages. Unattractive though it may be, it appeared that the only real solution was to reroute internal university funds from other areas. Terrance Johnson (TSU) commented on the complete inadequacy of start-up packages in the $10,000 range. For universities not used to the cost of research, $10,000 might seem like substantial funding, but it is about an order of magnitude below the cost of a single piece of equipment: âWe need administrators who realize that science is expensive.â Returned Overhead and Research Incentives Terrance Johnson (TSU) first brought up the topic of returned over- head, or other research incentive awards. Common in research universi- ties, this practice takes a small portion of the grant-generated overhead dollars and returns it to the researcher for use in furthering his or her research. According to Vijaya Melnick (director of the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs at the University of the District of Columbia), the practice is not so common in ERIs. She said, âMany universities donât make use of the indirect cost allocation as research incentives.â This kind of incentive system requires a small sacrifice by the university, but is dis- proportionately appreciated by researchers, who are given more flexibility in managing their research as a result. funding and other resources The need to find resources was an imperative for most of the innova- tions presented at the workshop. Resources were not easily found, but did exist. The workshop featured four sources of support as examples of programs available through federal agencies: the Armyâs Mentor-ÂProtÃ©gÃ© program, NIHâs Extramural Associates Research and Development Award (EARDA) at the Child Health and Human Development Institute, the NSF
30 PARTNERSHIPS FOR EMERGING RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS STARS Alliance, and the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research program (EPSCoR). The last of these is offered across multiple agencies. U.S. Army Mentor-ProtÃ©gÃ© Program Tracey Pinson, director of the Office of Small Business Programs, Department of the Army, presented numerous options for ERIs to become involved in Army procurements. She described the suite of research and development programs offered by the Army command centers and the Corps of Engineers, and she mentioned that the primary vehicle for doing business is contracts, which is an impediment for many ERIs. She referenced the Department of Defense (DoD) small business goal of awarding 5 percent of the total contracts awarded to all higher education institutions to HBCUs and other minority institutions (MIs). DoD includes HBCUs and MIs in its definition of small disadvantaged businesses for the purpose of reporting progress toward achieving the 5 percent goal. She reported, however, that the Army exceeds that goal annually by awarding 20 percent of its procurements to those institutions, excluding awards to federally funded research centers or Â university- a Â ffiliated research centers. Pinson discussed three programs that she thought are relevant for ERIs: the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR), Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR), and Mentor-ProtÃ©gÃ© Program. The Mentor-ProtÃ©gÃ© Program particularly resonated with the work- shop participants. In describing the program, Pinson mentioned that the Army provides funding for large companies to mentor small disadvan- taged businesses (includes HBCUs and MIs) in the area of government contracting. Successful mentoring companies not only have all mentoring expenses reimbursed, but are eligible for awards and for extra points in competition for DOD contracts. For many ERIs, government contracting is a specialty skill whose absence on campus precludes ERI researchers from accepting large DOD contracts, or contracts from other agencies. The ability to obtain contract- ing expertise through mentoring would present a significant opportunity for ERIsâ ability to secure research funding and to develop long-term col- laborations for future joint efforts. Unfortunately, the Mentor-ProtÃ©gÃ© Program is legislatively con- strained from having universities serve as mentors. Pinson stated it was ânumber one on my listâ to recommend changes in the legislation to permit universities to participate as mentors as well as protÃ©gÃ©s. She men-
SOLUTIONS 31 tioned that DOD had some technical assistance programs to assist institu- tions with contracting basics, and that these were already in place. Some workshop participants noted that the Department of Energy (DOE) also has a mentor-protÃ©gÃ© program with similar eligibility require- ments. The difference is that DOE does not fund the partnerships directly. Instead, âthey expect the research dollars that go to their facilities, particu- larly research labs, to create these mentorâprotÃ©gÃ© agreements and part- nerships as part of their research programs. This arrangement provides great opportunities for the schools, and it is a true partnership.â NIH Extramural Associates Program The Program Director of NIHâs Extramural Associates Program, Regina James, was not available to give a presentation about the program, and Jean Flagg Newton, the cognizant program officer, substituted in this capacity. She described the mission of the office as follows: [to] increase research capacity, training and outreach at minority serving institutions and womenâs colleges and expand global research infrastruc- ture that will lead to diverse contributions to biomedical and behavioral research. She then described the programâs primary award, the Extramural Associ- ates Research and Development Award (EARDA) as, â[a] comprehensive approach to establishing research infrastructure and providing the appro- priate training that will allow institutions to contribute to research.â The domestic EARDA award targets womenâs colleges and institu- tions serving minorities. The award provides $70,000 a year for five years, primarily allocated to strengthening research administration infrastruc- ture. The award provides staff training that focuses on NIH policies and procedures, grants management, and knowledge of federal and non- f Â ederal funding opportunities. In addition, it supports staff and training in research administration, the creation of databases, collaborative oppor- tunities with other institutions, and workshops on research ethics. The EARDA program sponsors the creation of pilot research projects (up to $40,000 in the fourth and fifth years of the grant) and profes- sional development activities, including technical assistance workshops in grantsmanship and research methodologies. These activities are designed to enhance knowledge related to the development of competitive research grant applications, as well as provide networking opportunities among colleagues.
32 PARTNERSHIPS FOR EMERGING RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS NSF STAR Alliance and the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research STAR Alliance is one of three categories of awards under the NSF Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) program. Janice Cuny, BPC program director, described the types of alliances that are enabled by the STAR Alliance projects. She highlighted the fact that the projects have created partnerships across institutional types that aim to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in the computing disci- plines. They also have enhanced the research and educational capacity at the research institutions and ERI members of the alliance. The Alliances stimulate curricular reform, research experiences for undergraduates, and peer team research for partnering institutions. However, in order to com- pete successfully for a grant award, the proposers must have a strong organization and management plan. Denise Barnes of the Office of Integrative Activities presented infor- mation about the NSF Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). EPSCoR funds are dedicated to the advancement of research and education in jurisdictions receiving lesser amounts of NSF research funding. The program currently encompasses 25 states as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Because the program is congressionally mandated across a number of agencies, the NSF presentation was but one example of the types of assis- tance offered under the program. EPSCoR offers research infrastructure improvement grants (up to $3 million annually), joint support of propos- als submitted through other NSF channels, and a variety of outreach and workshop events to familiarize EPSCoR researchers with NSF programs, priorities, and policies. The Funding Models The Mentor-ProtÃ©gÃ©, EARDA, STAR Alliance, and EPSCoR programs are but four examples of federal resources available to ERIs wishing to enhance their research capacity and infrastructure. But these four exam- ples also illustrate a more general fact: the resources available to ERIs are highly targeted to specific populations, regions, or entities. Unfortunately, the lack of research infrastructure is a universal condi- tion of many ERIs. While scientific equipment may be obtained by a sole researcher with a terrific grant proposal and luck on his or her side, the systemic upgrading of facilities and processes remains a universal prob- lem without universal support. The fact that capacity-building programs, particularly at the federal level, are not correspondingly universal makes them difficult even to locate. Only three of the workshop attendees indi- cated they had heard of the Army or NIH programs. The most powerful
SOLUTIONS 33 argument for retaining the restrictions on eligibility was that the funding levelsâat least for the programs presented in the workshopâwere not large enough to support a fully open, nationwide set of programs. On the other hand, not all of the restrictions are rational. One partici- pant noted that Dartmouth, a research university, is eligible for EPSCoR funding now that New Hampshire has been declared an EPSCoR state. The lack of universal access does mean that these programs are unavail- able to a large percentage of the 70 percent or so of the nationâs students who are not in doctorate-granting universities. Despite the dearth of widely available opportunities through federal agencies, other approaches to enhancing the administrative infrastructure were mentioned throughout the workshop as well. These strategies are summarized in Table 3 below, along with the federal programs described above. TABLE 3â Resources for Research-Enhancing Initiatives Source Sample ERI Strategy State legislature Galileo project (USG) University system Faculty Development Program (USG) Private foundations and organizations Office of Intellectual Property (USP) Federal agencies â NSF STAR Alliance Partnerships across institutional types â NSF EPSCoR Faculty and student research collaboration â NSF PREM Research training and professional â NSF MSP and LSAMP development â NIH MORE Programs Mentoring â NIH EARDA Technical assistance â Army and DOE Mentor-ProtÃ©gÃ© Grantsmanship workshops â SBIR and STTR Outsourcing Grants Plus Intellectual Property Solutions Partnerships Sponsored programs administration Technology transfer functions Regulatory compliance support Staff training Research capacity building Internal funding Start-up funds Research awards Return of overhead receipts Research incentives for new research projects