Minutes of the Research/Creative Activity Grants Committee Meeting

September 27, 2010

Rawl Annex 142


Presiding: Carmine Scavo, Chair


Regular Members present: Scavo, Newhard, Lapicki, Lorenzo, Davis, Ratcliff, Froula, Arrigo

Ex-Officio Members present: Schreier,  Gallagher, Billingsley


Also Attending: VC Magaeen


Meeting Called to Order: 10:03 AM


The purpose of the meeting was to review and discuss the proposal to amend the RCAG Committee’s guidelines for the upcoming 2010-11 grant competition introduced by Chairman Scavo at the previous meeting, and to hear Dr. Magaeen’s position on such a change.


Dr. Scavo began the meeting by going over the proposed changes to the committee guidelines. He reminded the committee that the intent of the change is to identify this competition as a transition period toward funding preferences for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and also to make proposals from the BSOM eligible for this competition. The change regarding the preference for Arts, Humanties and Social Science is in response to Dr. Magaeen’s statements at the Faculty Senate last Spring that her office would like to see this preference. Dr. Scavo turned the floor to Dr. Magaeen to speak to the committee.


Dr. Magaeen discussed the history of internal grant programs in Research and Graduate Studies over her five year tenure. When she arrived, the RCAG committee was the only internal grant program on campus. In her time here, she has instituted:

·         the start up grants program, which are geared toward research program sustainability in the long term (i.e. external funding) and also

·         the Research Development Awards (RDA), which are geared toward faculty beginning a new project or idea that will yield an external proposal by grant’s end.

Dr. Magaeen discussed the fact that given these other programs, her main concern is that proposals that are better suited to these other new programs should not be funded through the RCAG, and instead the RCAG committee could fund more proposals that may not have alternate funding sources. She cautioned that her opinion is that the RCAG grants competition should be for projects that do not have access to other sources of funding, and that the designation is not always by department or school, but rather by individual disciplines or types of projects.


Dr. Scavo then presented data prepared by Dr. Brinkley (not present) on the previous 4 years of RCAG grant proposals. The data show an average success rate of 23.6% and success rates of 20 – 27% by discipline (Health, Natural Science, Humanities and Social Science). Data by department or school shows that the largest numbers of proposals come from English and HHP, which also have large numbers of faculty, but that the success rate for these proposals are not significantly high. The highest success rate over the past 4 years was biology. Additionally, the data show that approximately 41% of proposals are from repeat applicants.


Dr. Ratcliff asked that Dr. Magaeen give a statement that clarifies what she would deem eligible. Dr. Magaeen stated that it would be most humanities, but in some other departments/areas it may differ by faculty member or project, and that the deciding factor is the access to other sources of funding.


Dr. Gallagher suggested that one way to accomplish this may be for the committee to set priorities in its guidelines each year. Dr. Arrigo suggested including a preference for “historically underfunded” areas.


Dr. Davis made a motion that Dr. Scavo draft new guidelines that communicate that this year the competition will be focused on “arts, humanities and other traditionally underfunded areas”

·         Billingsly, Newhard Second the motion

·         Discussion: Lapicki asks for clarification on the time frame, discussion is held for next meeting after draft guidelines are produced

·         Motion carries with 1 nay vote.


Dr. Ratcliff asks for permission to draft new guidelines for the screening and evaluation of proposals. Dr. Scavo agrees.


Meeting adjourned: 10:57AM.