Research and Graduate Education: Fall 2009
After becoming acquainted with Ohio University’s research and graduate education endeavors during my first year at the institution, I remain excited about the endless opportunities for growth due to our talented faculty, staff and students engaged in research, scholarship and creative activity. I’d like to inform you about the progress made to date on initiatives in research and graduate education, as well as how we can meet our future challenges.
Interim Associate Dean Jennifer Hines and I have worked closely with the Graduate Council to realize the recommendations of the university task force that called for the creation of the Graduate College. Our top priorities have been to improve service and support to graduate students and faculty. We are reviewing and developing policies and procedures that will guide us in this endeavor.
I’m pleased to report our accomplishments to date:
• In consultation with the colleges, $100,000 in stipend enhancement funds was allocated to the colleges last year to assist with recruitment of the best and brightest prospective graduate students. We also are working closely with the graduate chairs on strategic recruitment of international students.
• A new user-friendly graduate application process has been developed, with an anticipated launch this year. The university’s OIT has prioritized the implementation of a totally electronic graduate admissions process. All applications, program progress, degree status and financial aid information now will be electronic and easily accessible to the colleges.
• A centralized online policy and procedure site for graduate chairs, as well as new online resources for student thesis and dissertation, debuted.
• More comprehensive data on student test scores are now available.
• In a new partnership with the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, graduate students now have additional help in pursuing external grants and fellowships.
With the help of the Graduate Council, this year we plan to finalize the formulation and implementation of Graduate College policies, assess the recommendations by the graduate program review task force, and make a realistic capacity assessment of all graduate programs. We also anticipate creating centralized domestic graduate student recruitment materials, offering new workshops on ethics and compliance during student orientation or intersession, and meeting with associate deans to identify college-specific issues with graduate affairs. In addition, Graduate Council and our staff will be hosting open forums this fall to discuss and field questions about the progress of the Graduate College. We are committed to delivering a fully realized Graduate College that serves students and faculty.
The Vice President for Research unit is focused on providing quality service to faculty, staff and students while helping them secure resources and support for their research, scholarship and creative activities. I’d like to highlight some recent examples of how we are accomplishing this:
• The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) helped faculty members submit 55 proposals for stimulus funding available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. We’re pleased to report that faculty have received more than $5 million in funding to date, for projects on topics such as kidney disease and the history of invasive species. Turnaround times on proposal submissions and award set ups have become more efficient.
• To better assist faculty inventors with moving ideas from the lab to the marketplace, we worked closely with the Council for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (CRSCA) to create the Technology Gap Fund. In the program’s first year, the fund provided $170,000 for the commercialization of engineering and medical inventions. In addition, the number of faculty members making invention disclosures to our Technology Transfer Office has doubled in the last year, and licensing income climbed to $6.9 million in FY09.
• The research office actively participated in the creation of centers of excellence, especially in two interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary areas, “Health and Wellness” and “Energy and the Environment,” that would serve society by engaging our students and renowned faculty from many units across the campus.
• We are working with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and CRSCA to develop and implement a plan to provide much-needed support for research infrastructure by using the new indirect cost distribution formula. The formula also provides greater incentives to conduct interdisciplinary work through our centers and institutes, which may allow us to leverage new external funding.
• The Office of Research Compliance has expanded its workshop offerings to better inform faculty about the conflict of interest policy and issues of responsible conduct in research.
• More than 135 Ohio University students were recognized for their scholarship and innovation at the 2009 Student Research and Creative Activity Expo, which attracted a record high of 600 participants.
In the next year, we look forward to providing the best service and support possible to ensure your success in research and graduate education.
Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College