MINES’ POLICY LIBRARY

Procedures for Creating, Maintaining, and Terminating Centers

POLICY PROFILE

Responsible Administrative Unit: Office of Research & Technology Transfer

Policy Contact: Director of Research Development, Lisa Kinzel (lkinzel@mines.edu)

1.0 PROCEDURE PURPOSE

The purpose of the following procedures is to outline the actions for creating, maintaining and operating Departmental Research Centers and Interdisciplinary Research Centers at Mines.

2.0 PROCEDURES

A. Departmental Research Center

Departmental Research Centers are administrative units, within a department, that bring together groups of faculty to do research on complex problems. These Centers report to the Department Head.

1. Formation of a Departmental Research Center

In order to become a Departmental Research Center, the faculty must submit a formal proposal for establishing the center to their Department Head who will share the proposal with the Dean and the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer (VPRTT) along with a recommendation to support the center. The proposal must contain the following as a minimum:

  • The proposed name of the center, which may include “Center” or some other term appropriate to the mission and goals specific to the center.
  • A description of the mission and research agenda for the proposed Center.
  • A detailed budget outlining what the Center needs to be financially sustainable in three years.
  • A detailed business plan for the Center to become intellectually sustainable.
  • A clear management plan in terms of Center Director, Co-Director, faculty involvement, support staff, etc.
  • Bylaws for the operation of the Center.
  • One and five-year goals including plans to achieve the goals and milestones (with dates) along the way.
  • Request for any space needs.

The Department Head (DH) will work with the Dean to determine whether or not the proposed center is likely to meet the expectations put forth in their proposal. They will collectively determine whether to approve the center; if not approved, they will provide feedback as to why. If approved, the DH and Dean will be responsible for allocating any space to the center, appointing/approving the director, and, with the director’s input, approving any non-student staff hires for the center.

2. Departmental Research Center Requirements

  • Research proposals coming out of Departmental Research Centers must be consistent with the institutions mission, goals and priorities and must be approved by the Center Director.
  • Intellectual Property developed under any Departmental Research Center belongs to the University.
  • Sponsors must bear the full cost of research unless institutional policy or state/federal guidelines dictate otherwise.

3. Management of a Departmental Research Center

  • The Center Director can return a maximum of 50% of the Centers ICR to the PIs who wrote the proposal. The remainder is used by the Center Director to support the Center’s growth towards its mission and goals. Please see the Indirect Cost Return Policy for additional details.
  • The Center Director will have sole authority to approve which proposals are submitted through the Center.
  • At the end of each fiscal year, the Center Director will deliver a report to the DH and Dean outlining the year’s activities. The DH will provide a template report along with a timeline for delivery of the report the Center Director.
  • Each Spring Semester the Departmental Research Center will participate in an annual “Center Conference” and will provide an overview of the Center to the other Center Directors and the leadership team.

4. Termination of a Departmental Center

  • Following the annual review, the DH and Dean, along with input from the VPRTT, will determine whether the center should be continued or terminated.
  • Criteria for a center to be terminated include but are not limited to:
    • Mission of the center has changed
    • Center funding and activity can no longer maintain its mission
    • Faculty participation has decreased substantially
  • If the center is terminated, the DH must notify the VPRTT and ORA within 30 days.

B. Interdisciplinary Research Center

Interdisciplinary Research Centers address national and global grand challenges that are identified by the Mines administration as being a high priority related to one or more of the central strategic areas of the institution. Interdisciplinary Research Centers report to the Vice President of Research and Technology Transfer.

1. Formation of an Interdisciplinary Research Center

Creation of an Interdisciplinary Research Center typically requires one or more years of developing strategies, planning and laying groundwork with potential government and industry sponsors. Because each Interdisciplinary Research Center is unique, there is no formal process for creating one. The VPRTT may propose formation of an Interdisciplinary Research Center in conjunction with or as a result of strategic planning and may consult with faculty as necessary to refine the concept. Faculty that are interested in proposing an Interdisciplinary Research Center should prepare a formal proposal containing the following as a minimum:

  • The proposed name of the Center, which may include “center or institute” or some other term appropriate to the mission and goals.
  • A description of the mission and research agenda for the proposed Center.
  • Evidence that the center will become financially sustainable with a requirement of 1.5 M in annual research funding.
  • Evidence that the center will become intellectually sustainable and that the community is aware of the technical focus of the center. If not currently known externally, a clear plan for marketing the center to the external world.
  • A clear management plan in terms of center director, co-director, faculty involvement, support staff, and how center will report to department head, etc.
  • Bylaws for the operation of the center.
  • Five and ten-year goals including plans to achieve the goals and milestones (with dates) along the way.
  • Evidence that there is clear interest from the external community for a technical center of the type proposed. This could include letters of interest from companies/agencies.
  • Request for any space needs.

The VPRTT will determine whether or not the proposed center is likely to meet the expectations put forth in their proposal and if the center is approved. If not approved, the VPRTT will provide feedback as to why. If approved, the VPRTT will be responsible for allocating any space to the center, appointing/approving the director, and, with the director’s input, approving any non-student staff hires for the center. Approval of an Interdisciplinary Research Center will include granting ICR status.

2. Interdisciplinary Research Center Requirements

  • Research proposals coming out of Institutional Research Centers must be consistent with the institutions mission, goals and priorities and must be approved by the Center Director.
  • Intellectual Property developed under any Institutional Research Center belongs to the University.
  • Sponsors must bear the full cost of research unless institutional policy or state/federal guidelines dictate otherwise.

3. Management of Interdisciplinary Research Center

  • The Center Director can return a maximum of 50% of the Centers ICR to the PIs who wrote the proposal. The remainder is used by the Center Director to support the center’s growth towards its mission and goals. Please see the Indirect Cost Return Policy for additional details.
  • The Center Director will have sole authority to approve which proposals are submitted through the center.
  • The Center Director will promote, and market Center activities.  The Center Director will supervise center staff.
  • At the end of each fiscal year, the Center Director will deliver a report to the VPRTT outlining the year’s activities. The VPRTT provides the template and timeline for the delivery of the report.
  • Each Spring Semester the Interdisciplinary Research Center will participate in an annual “Center Conference” and will provide an overview of the Center to the other Center Directors and leadership team.
  • Interdisciplinary Research Centers may receive institutional support for planning, proposal preparation and early-phase operations that is above and beyond standard F&A return.

4. Termination of an Interdisciplinary Research Center:

  • Following the annual review, if, at any time, the VPRTT concludes that an Interdisciplinary Research Center will no longer receive university support and no longer is identified as a high priority for the university, the Interdisciplinary Research Center will be terminated.
  • With the concurrence of the reporting Department Head, it may be converted to a Departmental Research Center, in which case the VPRTT will transfer management responsibility to the that Department Head.
  • The Interdisciplinary Research Center’s IDC Return status will be terminated, and it must re-apply as an Interdisciplinary Research Center and have IDC Return status approved through the standard process.
  • The VPRTT will notify the ORA of termination and any subsequent action within 30 days.
3.0 HISTORY AND REVIEW CYCLE

The procedures within this document will be reviewed at least every 2 years, or as needed by the Responsible Administrative Unit.

Issued: October 14, 2015
Updated/Amended: January 29, 2019. Changed name from Creating Centers: Policy and Procedures to Procedures for Creating, Maintaining, and Terminating Centers and updated content.