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Strategic goal:
Increase the competitiveness of the university in contracts and grants

Research Week 2013

USU’s annual Research Week is aimed at highlighting the university’s best faculty, graduate, and undergraduate researchers through symposia, exhibitions, lectures, receptions, and workshops. A total of 37 hours of programed events took place, with emphasis on highlighting research and scholarly activity.

  • Monday, April 8: Faculty Research Training & Research Gala
  • Tuesday, April 9: Research Development Day
  • Wednesday, April 10: Scholarship Day
  • Thursday, April 11: Undergraduate Research Day
  • Friday, April 12: Graduate Research Day

Each of the workshops had a great turnout, and some were filled to capacity. The D. Wynne Thorne lecture featured Dr. Lance Seefeldt from the College of Science (presentation recorded on YouTube). All together, 1,000 material participants were involved with excellent walk-through attendance as well. Photos were shared with each of the colleges for repurposing and recruitment. Details about Research Week, as well as a listing of planned events each year, can be viewed at: http://researchweek.usu.edu. Research Week 2014 (April 7-11) will feature a new partnership with the Merrill-Cazier Library.

Core facilities

A document outlining the management plan for USU core facilities was presented to Research Council and approved. Best practices from surrounding universities were also explored and implemented in the plan. The goal is to further develop core facilities for improved efficiency and research support at USU. Research Council accepted the document as the framework for Utah State University Core Facilities. The Council discussed the importance of core facility charges, both internal and external, and the College of Science graciously offered space in their college for creation of the first core facility, which will focus on microscopy. The final policy document approved by Council is appended to this report.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) site visit to USU

To enhance relationships with national labs, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) Deputy Director Ray Teller visited campus on October 11, 2012. The focus was to review opportunities for future partnerships. USU researchers participated in this visit, and both parties identified potential areas for collaboration, based on strengths of personnel, facilities, and experience. The RGS office agreed to pay all travel expenses for USU researchers to visit PNNL in Richland, Washington, to begin dialog regarding potential grants and projects. To date, several researchers from USU have been engaged with PNNL.

Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) training

Ethical and responsible conduct in research (RCR) is critical to public trust in science, technology, and engineering. Education in RCR is now considered a best practice in the professional development of future scientists and engineers. Three federal agencies now require all students (graduates, undergraduates, and postdocs) to complete RCR training if they are working on grants awarded through one or more of their programs (NSF: all awards; USDA: competitive awards beginning in 2013; NIH: trainee grants, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, or dissertation research grant). To satisfy these requirements and provide opportunity for RCR professional development to all USU graduate students, USU developed the Research Scholars Certification program. Based upon earlier discussions with the deans, it was determined if USDA added this as a requirement for their awards, then USU should require RCR training for all doctoral students. Implementation of this new requirement is expected to become effective in FY2014. To make the training as accessible as possible, the Research Scholars Certification program will offer more extensive online components.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)

USU is a partner with Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), which offers faculty and graduate students several opportunities for research collaboration or support each year. USU has many STEM-related strengths—including the Utah Water Research Laboratory, Center for Persons with Disabilities, Research Computing, and the Space Dynamics Laboratory—which align well with the priorities of ORAU.