Final Report from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Faculty Research and Grants Committee

for the academic year 2005-2006

 

Chair: Lisa Giddings

Members of the Committee: Kris Rolfhus, Ashley Burrowes, Galadriel Chilton, Curt Czerwinski, Jeanne Danneker, Gary Gilmore, Don Kuderer, Harunur Rasid and VJ Agarwal

 

The 2005-2006 academic year was a spirited one for the faculty Research and Grants committee in terms of its very engaged and committed members, the range and quality of proposals submitted, and the additional issues that the committee considered this year under the charge of the faculty senate.

 

The committee received 19 proposals and ultimately granted some monies to all 19, allocating $149,753.96.

 

The committee was charged by Faculty Senate Chair Wilson to report on the adequacy of the available financial resources to fund grants. In other words, how many grants received partial or no funding only because of a lack of resources? See the attached letter to the faculty senate dated 22 February.

 

In its discussion regarding the charge, the committee found itself unable to judge the value added of the grant awards on faculty scholarship or pedagogy. In response to this lack of information, the committee created a smaller subcommittee consisting of Drs. Rasid, Rolfhus and Gillmore to create a survey that will be given to existing grantwinners in order to track publications and other research products. The committee recommended that the survey be developed within the next two months.

 

In addition to this work, the committee also addressed several other issues. First, the committee recommends changing the existing question on the grant application that asks if an applicant is planning on submitting the grant to another funding source. Members of the committee agreed that the question does not result in much information. We suggest adding a question regarding what the applicant plans to do with the results of his/her research and include several ‘typical’ answers for an applicant to check such as: “seed money”, “publications”, “bridge money”, “it is a stand alone proposal”, “national presentations”, “regional presentations”, “local presentations”, “support for student research”, “exhibitions/performances/other” and “other”.

 

The committee also passed a motion changing the existing rules that faculty cannot apply for research grants in consecutive years. The new motion states that faculty can apply for grants for 2 years out of every 3 years. The committee did suggest, however that the Request for Proposals include language that requires the applicant to state whether or not the existing proposal is a new or continuing project and if it is a continuing project that they will need to document their progress.

 

The committee was faced with a somewhat unique situation this year in that its top awardee resigned from the university in the early part of the spring semester. The committee decided unanimously to reallocate those grant monies to the other applicants based on the algorithm developed in the course of awarding the grants this year. The committee recommends that if the opportunity to reallocate monies arises again that the committee will consider doing so when possible.