Minutes of Undergraduate Research Committee Meeting

6pm September 20th, 2006


Present: Ashley Burrowes, Jordan Coffey, Jon Davies,  Barbara Eide, Tim Gongaware, Bill Gresens, Don La Coss,  James Peirce, Keely Rees, Rick Rodrick, Seung-Ryul Shin.

Invited Guest: Vijendra Agarwal

The committee elected Ashley Burrowes as chair and James Peirce as secretary.

On Wednesday September 27th,  the Society for Undergraduate Research hosts Grant Writing: Tips and Tricks from 6:30 to 7:30.

Vijendra Agarwal mentioned that the Academic Initiative has money available for undergraduate and graduate training in grant writing.  The committee agreed that this is an important service that could be used before the Spring grant proposal deadline.  The topic was added to the agenda of the next meeting.

The committee discussed the upcoming meeting dates.  The November 1st meeting at 5p.m. will be used to discuss grant proposals (this meeting is usually the longest of the semester). Ballots will be given out at this meeting are due to the Provost’s office by noon on November 6th.  There will be a meeting on Novemeber 8th at 5p.m. to decide the awards.

Bill Gresens presented the budget report.  Undergraduate research has a budget of
$103, 000 to be used for grants, electronic journal, NCUR, spring celebration, UW symposium, and poster presentation in the routunda at Madison.  He recommends $80,000 to be used for grants (typically $35, 000 in the fall and $45, 000 in the spring).  The average award amount for both domestic and international grants is approximately $1, 100.   The funding source of the $103, 000 budget is itemized in the following way,

Bill Gresens then discussed the NCUR budget.  This year NCUR in 2007 will be held April 12-14th at Dominican University of California.  The anticipated cost per student is approximately $850. Students are eligible for NCUR if they have received undergraduate research grants during the 05-06 academic year or have received the SAH Dean’s Summer Fellowship award in the Summer 06.  Last year 28 students (29 applied) were 100% funded at a cost of more than $20,000.  This year 12-13 thousand dollars are allocated to fund approximately 15 students.  One suggested approach to determine funding is to fund 15 accepted students based upon how early they submitted their abstracts. Abstracts are accepted from Oct. 1 to Dec. 1.  Another suggested allocation approach is to spread the allocation over a greater number of students but only partially fund the budgeted $850.

The committee then discussed the date of the UW-L Celebration for Undergraduate Research and Creativity. Bill Gresens has reserved the necessary rooms in the Cartwright Center for Friday, March 23.  The early date was due to other reservations of the Vahalla room.  The Health Science Center was suggested as an alternative site because of the larger number of technology equipped rooms.  Members of the committee are looking into the viability of this space for posters and talks.  If it looks acceptable, the committee discussed setting the date for the UW-L celebration for Friday April 20th.

Barbara Eide and Tim Gongaware agreed to examine the wording on the grant guidelines and report their finding at the next meeting.  The committee agreed to an immediate change of :-

"Funding: As early as one week following notification of the awards. All funding must be expended by the end of the spring semester, one year after the award date."

The recommended change is:

"Funding: Funding will be available as early as one week following notification of the awards. All funding must be expended by one year after the award date."

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 18th from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.  The proposed agenda for the next (short) meeting should include a primer on evaluating proposals, a review of the URC homepage,  plans for the 10th Anniversary celebration, and academic initiative funding opportunities for a grant writing seminar in the Spring.

Meeting ended at 7:45 p.m.


Submitted Thursday,  September 25, 2006 by James Peirce.