Main Nav

Good morning,

 

   We’re working on preparing for the merger of UTB and UTPA Universities in the Rio Grande Valley, and we’re looking at how other Universities do things to see if there are any areas we can improve on in the new merged University.

 

An issue we’ve identified is that we don’t currently have any central source of funding for research infrastructure, especially for items that benefit researchers in general but which span departments or colleges.  We have lots of small ways of getting relatively small funds on a somewhat ad hoc basis, but no specific central funding for research infrastructure per se – and by that I mean, for example, things that are directly usable by researchers such as shared research labs, site licences for expensive software packages such as Matlab or SPSS, training for researchers, supercomputer access, high speed networking etc.  If it isn’t something that an individual PI can acquire via their own grant, or one department can afford from their own funds, it tends to slip through the cracks.

 

So, do other universities support central funding for this kind of research infrastructure?

 

One possible area we’re looking into as a source of such funding is IDC. (IDC = “Indirect Costs”, ie a percentage that the University takes from most grants - http://tinyurl.com/ls645y3).

 

Currently at UTPA, our IDC is distributed as follows:

 

a.      50% to Business Affairs to invest into the University infrastructure to support research

b.      15% to the Dean; or to the Center if proposals were developed and submitted by a Center

c.      12.5% to the Department that the PI belongs to

d.      10% to the PI

e.      7.5% to the Office of Research

f.       5% to the Office of the Provost

 

(If you have a publicly documented table akin to the above, could you post it please?)

 

However it should be noted that the infrastructure that’s supported by the 50% that goes to Business Affairs is more bricks and mortar style infrastructure.  It may support some facilities that are used by researchers such as the upkeep of the library, but it’s not for what’s commonly understood by research infrastructure or cyberinfrastructure.  You wouldn’t ask for money from that pool to buy a $30K site licence for example.

 

So what we’re interested in knowing is whether this sort of distribution is considered best practice, or if there is any precedent from other universities, especial those already classified as research universities, to earmark funding for more directly research-related infrastructure expenditures out of IDC monies?  Or if you have some other mechanism for funding research infrastructure, what is it?

 

best regards, and thanks in advance for any replies.

 

Graham Toal

Office of Faculty & Research Support

UTPA. 956 665 7161 gtoal@utpa.edu

 

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

Hello Graham, We're still working on the funding of research infrastructure in a consistent fashion. For the last few years the Library and central IT have been getting a share of the indirect costs. We've been using those to support Identity & Access Management, which has research components but also benefits other applications. I believe that 70% of the indirect costs are held centrally and 30% go to the PI's school/college. From there the costs are further subdivided to the PI, the PI's department and the school/college itself. - David David Stack, PhD Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CIO University IT Services University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 414-229-5371 david@uwm.edu
Close
Close


Annual Conference
September 29–October 2
Register Now!

Events for all Levels and Interests

Whether you're looking for a conference to attend face-to-face to connect with peers, or for an online event for team professional development, see what's upcoming.

Close

Digital Badges
Member recognition effort
Earn yours >

Career Center


Leadership and Management Programs

EDUCAUSE Institute
Project Management

 

 

Jump Start Your Career Growth

Explore EDUCAUSE professional development opportunities that match your career aspirations and desired level of time investment through our interactive online guide.

 

Close
EDUCAUSE organizes its efforts around three IT Focus Areas

 

 

Join These Programs If Your Focus Is

Close

Get on the Higher Ed IT Map

Employees of EDUCAUSE member institutions and organizations are invited to create individual profiles.
 

 

Close

2014 Strategic Priorities

  • Building the Profession
  • IT as a Game Changer
  • Foundations


Learn More >

Uncommon Thinking for the Common Good™

EDUCAUSE is the foremost community of higher education IT leaders and professionals.