August 9, 2012
The study, "The Current Health and Future Well-Being of the American University," found that U.S. research universities are facing limited resources and growing competitive pressures at a time when scientific research is expected to solve increasingly complex technological and societal problems.
University of Tennessee professor and former vice chancellor for research Brad Fenwick was lead principal investigator on the study, and Greg Reed, UT associate vice chancellor for research, was co-PI. The study was conducted for the Research Universities Futures Consortium, an organization of 25 U.S. public and private universities supported by Elsevier B.V., a Netherlands-based publishing and educational services company.
"American universities are at a crossroads," Fenwick said. "They are facing a combination of pressures, such as a decrease in funding, an increase in competition, intensifying compliance requirements, and a loss of political and public confidence in the value of academic research. At the same time, the expectations for scientific research to solve today's global challenges have never been higher."
The study's conclusions:
Staff members from the UT Office of Research made significant contributions to the report, including Miriam Campo, Linnea Minnema, Elizabeth Neilson, David Smelser, and Jennifer Webster.
View the Report A new report from the National Research Council establishes three broad goals for ensuring that research universities in the United States continue to have a significant economic and security impact on the nation and identifies 10 steps toward achieving those goals.
Titled Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation's Prosperity and Security, the report is the National Academies' response to a congressional request for an assessment of the competitive position of America's research institutions.
The goals include revitalizing the partnership among universities, federal and state governments, philanthropy, and the business community; strengthening the productivity of research institutions; and building a pool of talent that keeps the best students and scholars in the world engaged in U.S. research.
The report identifies factors that challenge the future success of university research, including unstable and declining federal funding, eroding state higher-ed funding, the demise of large corporate research labs without corresponding new partnerships in academia, management and administration issues, and underinvestment in campus infrastructure, among others.
The ten recommendations:
More Information The Office of Research has received several notices from the National Science Foundation in recent weeks regarding overdue reports and how those reports are creating delays in issuing new awards and releasing incremental funding for active projects. We want to encourage you to ensure all reports are filed on time in order to ensure that your funding as well as colleagues' funding does not experience delays. As NSF and other federal agencies near the end of their fiscal year, their issuing of funds is very time-sensitive and we want to ensure our researchers get their funding as quickly as possible.
The NSF guidelines are specific and detailed in their requirements for submission of annual project reports, continuing grants, final project reports, and other unique reports or items. Sponsored Programs staff can provide further information and assistance with reporting requirements.
Contact: David Smelser (firstname.lastname@example.org, 865-974-1840) Tennessee ranked 44th in research expenditures made directly by state agencies in 2009, the latest year for which data are available.
A National Science Foundation report counted some $1.2 billion in research-and-development expenditures made directly by state agencies in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. That total is up 7 percent from the 2007 total of $1.1 billion.
Tennessee expended $3.88 million, between Massachusetts at $4.36 million and New Hampshire at $2.19 million. While ranking 44th in state R&D spending, Tennessee ranks 17th in population, according to the 2010 Census.
Five states accounted for almost 50 percent of state R&D expenditures: California (12.1%), New York (10.4), Ohio (10.1), Pensylvania (8.5, and Florida (5.5). All others totaled 53.4 percent.
More Information The UT Office of Environmental Health and Safety has published a map locating the 80-plus automated external defibrillators in buildings on the Agriculture and main campuses.
Contact: Mark D. Smith (865-974-5084), director for environmental health and safety
Map (PDF) The Office of Research is offering workshops in grant-writing, proposal development, compliance, and other topics related to research and sponsored programs. All workshops are free of charge for current UT Knoxville faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students.
The office also offers the UT Certificate in Grant-Writing and Proposal Develpment, a curriculum of eight workshops and online mini-courses that provides specific training for working within the UT proposal development system.
Workshop Schedule and Registration | Certificate Program Information
Contact: email@example.com The Office of Research administers funds used to provide matching dollars for external proposals. If cost-sharing is required by a sponsor or if a project is considered strategically important to the university's research agenda, the Office of Research will provide 60 percent of the cost-share if any combination of other units provides 40 percent of the cost-share.
Requests for cost-sharing shoiuld be directed to Greg Reed (firstname.lastname@example.org), associate vice chancellor for research.
More Information UT's Lock & Key Services has been renamed Access Systems, and its offices have been moved to Room G015 on the ground floor of Greve Hall, 821 Volunteer Blvd.
Contact: 865-974-4371 or email@example.com The summer 2012 issue of Advance, published by the UT Graduate School of Medicine, is now available in paper and electronic formats. The magazine includes stories about research collaborations between the GSM and UT Knoxville.
Contact: Amanda Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org, 865-305-9190 Faculty in need of hands-on training on classroom technologies can sign up for a variety of fall-semester workshops sponsored by the Office of Information Technology.
Instructor-focused workshops are available for
NOTE: OIT's instructional support and research computing support groups will move within a few weeks from Hoskins Library to the fifth floor of Greve Hall.
OPPORTUNITIESThe Center for the Study of Social Justice is inviting exceptional faculty researchers to apply for participation in the center's Fall 2012 Proposal Development Initiative. The program is intended to support researchers in applying for external funding in the social and behavioral sciences, with the goal of providing structure and support to transform a research plan into a completed proposal for submission in spring 2013.
Applicants will be selected on the basis of readiness to submit or resubmit an NIH or NSF proposal as the principal investigator, as well as their record of publications and the potential for funding of their research proposal.
Program participants must be available to meet every other Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and must meeting program goals and writing deadlines.
Key Date: August 15, 2012 - submission of CV and a one-page description of research project to Diana Moyers, coordinator, CSSJ.
Contact: Diana Moyer (email@example.com, 865-974-5909) The Tennessee Department of Health is soliciting proposals to provide a statewide toll-free, dial-in, telephone-based assistance program known as the Tennessee Breastfeeding Hotline. The purpose of the hotline is to foster the healthy development of children by providing expert information about breastfeeding and lactation care to nursing mothers, their families and partners, expectant parents, and health care providers. Training and outreach for health educators and health care providers throughout the state will be part of the successful proposal.
Key Date: September 6, 2012 - submission of proposal
Contact: Sheila H. Stevens (firstname.lastname@example.org, 615-532-7774), contract analyst, Tennessee Department of Health