University Policy: 06-010 Establishment of Research Centers, Institutes and Core Facilities
Policy Category:
Research
Responsible Office:
Research
Responsible Executive:
Vice President for Research
Download the Policy:
Effective Date:
06/01/2018
1. Policy Statement

1.1. This policy articulates the authorities, processes, and procedures for establishing and disestablishing research centers, institutes, and core facilities at Oregon State University (“university”).

2. Reason for Policy

2.1. The mission of research centers, institutes, and core facilities at the university is to motivate, facilitate, and support OSU faculty, grow the university’s research and education enterprise across colleges and disciplines, and increase the impact and visibility of multidisciplinary research.

2.2. This university policy provides a standard process for creating, reviewing, and disestablishing university research centers, institutes, and core facilities.

3. Scope & Audience

3.1. This university policy applies any time a university research center, institute, or core facility is established or disestablished.

3.2. This policy applies to any organization within the university that meets the definition of “Center,” ”Institute,” or “Core Facility” under this policy.

3.3. This policy does not apply to centers or institutes that do not report to the Research Office. The establishment, merger, or disestablishment of such centers or institutes are governed by the policies established by their college or other unit.

4. Definitions

4.1. The Academic Strategies Committee (“ASC”):  A committee of the Oregon State University Board of Trustees established to assist the Board of Trustees in its oversight of the teaching, research, and public service missions of the university.

4.2. University Research Centers (“Centers”):  A research, public service, or teaching unit established on a continuing basis for the coordination, promotion, and funding of strategic university interests that transcend college or even university boundaries, and which report to the Research Office. A center provides an organizational base for the enhancement of interactions in a given academic area or closely related areas. Centers exist primarily to foster research, public service, and/or teaching activities that are focused around one topic, issue, or goal but typically require the efforts of faculty or other professionals from several departments, schools, or colleges throughout the university. A center may provide the infrastructure support functions needed by a group of faculty with shared education, research, or service interests and may occupy contiguous space. Funding may be provided intramurally or extramurally.

4.3. Centers and Institutes Review Team (“Review Team”):  A committee appointed by the Vice President for Research (“VPR”) and administered by the Research Office that evaluates existing centers and institutes and makes recommendations to the VPR.

4.4. University Research Institutes (“Institutes”):  An organized research unit established on a continuing basis primarily for the coordination and promotion of faculty research interests, which reports to the Research Office. Institutes are generally composed of multiple centers and staffed by individuals who are recognized authorities in a particular field or subject. The breadth of research projects conducted by institutes transcends department, school, college, or even the university’s boundaries. Public service activities and programs related to and arising from research conducted within an institute help advance institutional goals.  An institute focuses on research, provides opportunities for interdisciplinary activity, facilitates efforts to obtain extramural funding, and serves as a link between the academic and professional communities.

4.5. Major University Research Centers & Institutes (“MURCIs”):  A subset of university research centers or institutes that are designated by the Board of Trustees as a MURCI, are funded or report centrally, and which are established on a continuing basis for the coordination, promotion, and funding of strategic university interests that transcend college, or even university boundaries.

4.6. Research Council:  A standing body of the Oregon State University Faculty Senate that establishes faculty policies for matters pertaining to sponsored research activities.

4.7. University Core Facility (“Core Facility”):  A unit established on a continuing basis for the provision of strategically important research services that are significantly beyond the budget or skill of a single investigator, or that are significantly more efficient if provided centrally. Its services may be provided intramurally or extramurally. Core facilities are multidisciplinary in nature and report to the Research Office.

5. Responsibilities & Procedures     

5.1. General

5.1.1. A research organization will be designated a center, institute, or core facility only if it serves to bring together a group of people dedicated to addressing specific interdisciplinary research problems. A center, institute, or core facility may be virtual or physical.

5.1.2. The Research Office reviews proposals for centers, institutes, or core facilities and evaluates existing centers, institutes, and core facilities. The Research Office may establish review team(s) to assist in the review of existing centers, institutes, and core facilities. The Research Office consults, as appropriate, with relevant university units regarding funding and budgetary issues associated with establishing or disestablishing a center, institute, and core facility are addressed.

5.1.3. The Research Council provides recommendations to the VPR on the establishment of new institutes, centers, and core facilities.

5.2. Proposals to Create Centers, Institutes, and Core Facilities

5.2.1. Individuals seeking to create a new center, institute, or core facility must submit a formal written proposal to the VPR and the Deans of any colleges whose faculty are participating in the proposal. The proposal must include the following information:

a. The proposed name of the new center, institute, or core facility;

b. A mission statement and strategic plan, including a description of how the new center, institute, or core facility’s strategic plan aligns with the plans of any participating colleges or departments;

c. A list of principal faculty members involved, including the director and participating researchers;

d. A short summary of the center, institute, or core facility’s preliminary research agenda or function, including brief initial project descriptions, if available;

e. A description of the center, institute, or core facility’s organizational structure;

f. A description of the center, institute, or core facility’s initial and potential external funding sources;

g. A 5-year financial plan addressing all revenue sources and matching requirements;

h. A financial model for returned overhead;

i. A detailed description of the funds requested and a summary of the internal sources of support; and,

j. Identified or proposed space.

5.2.2. Special Procedures for Federal Awards. If a center, institute, or core facility is to be created in response to federal research solicitations or program announcements, the proposal submitted to the federal agency must be submitted to the VPR and the relevant Dean(s) when it is filed with the funding agency. Internal review by the Research Council will occur simultaneously with the federal agency review. If federal funds are awarded, the VPR shall create the center, institute, or core facility if Central Administration funds are committed. The Dean(s) shall create the center or institute if college funds are committed.

5.3. Establishment of University Research Centers, Institutes, and Core Facilities

5.3.1. Following review by the Research Office, the proposal will be submitted to the Research Council for review and comment. The Research Council will review the proposal and make recommendations based upon the information provided in the proposal of the following criteria:

a. Clarity of mission

b. Alignment of strategic plan with the OSU strategic plan and the plans of colleges whose faculty are participating

c. Level of faculty engagement

d. Soundness of the proposed research agenda

e. Sustainability of organizational structure and financial plan

5.3.2. The Research Council shall advise the VPR and the relevant Dean(s) whether the new center, institute, or core facility should be formed.

5.3.3. For university research centers, institutes, and core facilities that are not designated as MURCIs, the VPR, after consulting with the Provost shall make the final decision on creation of a new center, institute, or core facility.

5.4. Review Process

5.4.1. All centers, institutes, and core facilities shall be reviewed every 5 years, or at any time requested by the center or institute’s advisory board, the VPR, or the Provost, using the review procedures established by the Research Office.

5.4.2. If a center, institute, or core facility is subject to a formal external review by a funding agency, no separate university review shall be required if the external review addresses the elements required in by the Research Office. A copy of the funding agency’s review shall be provided to the VPR.

5.4.3. Following completion of the review and the recommendations of the review team, the VPR, after consultation with the Provost and appropriate Deans, may take any number of actions, which may include, but are not limited to: renaming the center, institute, or core facility to reflect its functions; changing reporting lines; disestablishing the center, institute, or core facility; or consolidating or reorganizing the center, institute, or core facility.

5.5. Disestablishment or Change in Reporting

5.5.1. In conjunction with the 5-year review of centers, institutes, and core facilities, the review team will make recommendations concerning changes in reporting lines or disestablishment of centers, institutes and core facilities.

5.5.2. Any decision to disestablish a center, institute, or core facility will be made by the VPR, after consultation with the Provost, with the exception of MURCIs.

5.5.3. If a center, institute, or core facility was created by a federal, state or private program designating the organization as a center, institute, or core facility, the center, institute, or core facility will be automatically disestablished at the completion of the funded program. If the faculty participating in the funded center, institute, or core facility wish to continue the center, institute, or core facility, prior to the termination of funding they shall submit a proposal as described in Section 5.2.

5.5.4. If a center, institute, or core facility no longer involves faculty and support from multiple colleges or no longer receives Central Administration support, it will be shifted to report to an individual college. Conversely, if a center, institute, or core facility which has reported solely to one college has grown to engage a significant number of faculty from other colleges, its reporting shall be shifted to the Research Office. Any changes in reporting will be made by the VPR, after consultation with the Provost.

5.6. Establishment, Merger, and Disestablishment of MURCIs

5.6.1. The Research Office, with input from the Research Council, will determine whether the center or institute meets the criteria for establishing a MURCI.

5.6.2. If the VPR recommends the creation, merger, or disestablishment of a MURCI, they shall submit a recommendation to the ASC. The ASC will review and provide recommendations to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will make the final decision on the creation, merger, or disestablishment of a MURCI.

6. Forms & Tools

6.1. None.

7. Frequently Asked Questions

7.1. None.

8. Related Information

8.1. Oregon State University Academic Strategies Committee Charter: https://leadership.oregonstate.edu/trustees/committees/academic-strategies-committee

9. History

9.1. Last review date: June 1, 2018

9.2. Next scheduled review date: June 1, 2021

10. Website

10.1. University Policy 06-010 Establishment of Research Centers, Institutes, and Core Facilities: http://policy.oregonstate.edu/UPSM/06-010_research_centers_institutes

11. Contacts

Research Office

541-737-3467

https://research.oregonstate.edu/