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Office of the Vice Provost for Research

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New Policy

Download the new policy for Promotion within Research Ranks in OVPR centers, institutes, and museums.

These guidelines apply to centers and institutes on the IU Bloomington campus. These guidelines do not distinguish between "centers" and "institutes," recognizing that different disciplines, schools, and campuses use the terms in distinct ways.

Guidelines for establishing university-wide research centers and institutes can be found at http://www.iu.edu/~vpr/centers_home.shtml.

Introduction

  1. Rationale for IU Bloomington OVPR Centers and Institutes
    Centers and institutes (referred to hereafter as "centers") at Indiana University Bloomington are an important component of the campus's research culture. These centers range in size and scope from small disciplinary units focused on a particular research question to large and broad multidisciplinary centers. All contribute to the intellectual atmosphere at IU Bloomington.
  2. Types of Centers and Institutes at IU Bloomington
    1. School Centers and Institutes (see http://www.iu.edu/~vpr/centers_home.shtml )
      Some centers draw entirely or primarily upon the faculty of one IU Bloomington school. Applications for the establishment of school-based centers should demonstrate the benefits of forming such a center at the present time and, in particular, clarify that no existing school, campus, or university center is already an appropriate locus for the work proposed. Prior to approval from the Dean, applications for school-based research centers should be reviewed to ensure that the proposed center has the necessary academic, financial, organizational, and periodic review plans in place. In such cases, the establishment, administration, sustainability, and governance of these centers is the responsibility of the school, but should include:
      1. a plan for research or creative activity and a mission statement aligned with school mission statement;
      2. a financial plan addressing issues of immediate and long-term sustainability;
      3. an organizational structure that includes an advisory board whose members are not affiliated with the center and who are expected to help generate funds when appropriate to assure sustainability of the center;
      4. criteria and plans for periodic review and assessment of the contributions of the center to the school and the university.
      School centers report to the Dean of the sponsoring school or his/her delegates. Each school center is expected to produce an Annual Report of their activities and achievements to be reviewed by the Dean or his/her delegate.
    2. IU Bloomington OVPR Research Centers and Institutes (Proposal to Office of Vice Provost for Research is required)
      The establishment of IU Bloomington OVPR research centers and institutes requires a proposal to the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR). OVPR centers are approved by the IU Bloomington Provost and the IU Vice President for Research and report to the Vice Provost for Research. Bloomington OVPR research centers are established for two primary reasons:
      1. to allow the common pursuit of the highest quality multidisciplinary research that is focused on a research question to be considered by researchers from units across the campus
      2. to facilitate multidisciplinary research that will maximize the potential for attracting external funding to fully or partially support the work
      IU Bloomington OVPR research centers involve faculty from multiple schools and report to a higher level of administration within the university, not to the schools from which their faculty are drawn. Such centers are normally expected to be financially self-sufficient after a period of establishment, typically two to three years, during which one-time seed funding may be made available from OVPR or other sources. However, financial arrangements for centers such as the allocation of indirect cost recovery and the need for continued matching funds shall be determined on a case-by-case basis.
      IU Bloomington OVPR research centers are typically established for a period of up to five years and reviewed in the third year. The review committee report (see Section: Review Process) is considered by the OVPR Faculty Advisory Committee and the Vice Provost for Research, who advises the Provost and the Vice President for Research on whether the center should continue for a period of up to five years.
    3. IU Bloomington OVPR Infrastructure Centers and Institutes -- A proposal to OVPR is required.
      IU Bloomington OVPR infrastructure centers involve faculty from multiple schools and report to a higher level of administration within the university, not to the schools from which their faculty are drawn, although in some cases faculty may report to both. Infrastructure centers may be established around a particular facility, theme, or research service where such an administratively separate concentration is advantageous for research and education. Examples are the Center for Exploration of Energy and Matter (CEEM), the Kinsey Institute for Sex, Gender and Reproduction (KI), the Light Microscopy Imaging Center (LMIC), and the Center for Survey Research (CSR). Such centers may have a component of base funding.

Guidelines for Establishment of IU Bloomington OVPR Research Center or Institute

NOTE: In what follows, "centers and institutes" refers to both IU Bloomington OVPR Research Centers and Institutes and IU Bloomington OVPR Infrastructure Centers and Institutes, but not to School Centers and Institutes.

Proposal to Establish an OVPR Center or Institute at Indiana University Bloomington

      1. Establishing an OVPR Center
        Centers and institutes may be established by submitting a proposal to the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. The Vice Provost for Research will review and initiate the following:
        1. Review by the OVPR Faculty Advisory Committee
        2. Review by appropriate deans
        3. Based on the above reviews, the Vice Provost for Research will make a recommendation to the Provost and to the Vice President for Research for review. Such review, to be completed in a timely fashion, will ensure that the proposed center does not duplicate existing research centers. Proposals for the establishment of OVPR centers should address all of the following:
          • Multidisciplinary components, involving faculty from at least two or, preferably, three schools
          • A clear mission based on the identified theme, facility, or service of topicality and intellectual importance with high potential benefit for research and education on the campus
          • Internal and external testimony from informed individuals and organizations to support the claims of topicality, intellectual importance, and high potential academic benefit of the center as well as its potential to attract external funding
          • Recommendations and endorsements from principal faculty members from each participating school who will be members of the center’s Research Advisory Committee (see C)
          • Five-year budget plan that addresses issues of immediate and long-term sustainability. Centers should have the potential to attract adequate external funding so as to be financially self-sufficient within two years or, with extenuating circumstances, three years. Proposals must identify expected sources of internal and external funding. If self-sufficiency within two to three years is not possible, the proposal must include a rationale for why internal funding should be provided and details on the sources of internal funding available to and needed by the center
          • Endorsement by the deans of the units from which the faculty are drawn
      2. Selection of Director
        1. The director should be a researcher of seniority and standing, or a person with comparable qualifications, who has demonstrated administrative experience and the ability to obtain external funding.
        2. For all new and most continuing centers a screening committee made up of one member of the Center Advisory Committee, one member of the OVPR Faculty Advisory Committee, and two distinguished senior faculty in the field in which the center will focus, will review internal candidates and make recommendations to the Vice Provost for Research, who will select the director following consultation with the Provost and the Vice President for Research.
        3. The director will be appointed for a three to five-year term. During the year before the last year of appointment, the center will go through a review. In the last year of the appointment, progress from the review will be evaluated by OVPR to asses the potential of reappointment.
        4. A director’s term will generally be limited to two five-year consecutive terms but may be extended in the interest of the center and on the recommendation of the screening committee.
        5. Occasionally for some of the well-established centers OVPR, working with the appropriate deans, will conduct a national search for a director.
      3. OVPR Research Center Committees
        1. All OVPR research centers will have a Research Advisory Committee made up of area experts whose charge will be to provide advice and direction concerning the center’s mission and goals. The Vice Provost for Research will appoint the committee in consultation with the director, it will report to the associate vice provost for research responsible for the center. The committee will elect a chair and work with the director to develop a three- to five-year strategic plan to successfully achieve the stated mission and goals. The plan is subject to approval by the Vice Provost for Research. The committee may also choose to develop new, or revise existing, bylaws for the center. This is also subject to approval by the Vice Provost for Research. The center may recruit members from outside of IU or invite external advisors as consultants on the condition that the center has the necessary funds for such recruitment or consultation. The members of said committee will strive for appointment terms of 3 years for a new member and 2 years for a member who has been invited and agreed to a second term.
        2. All centers that are jointly funded by OVPR and IUB schools will have a financial oversight committee who represent schools and campus interests. This committee will be responsible for conducting an annual review of the centers goals and achievements vis-à-vis the center’s strategic plan and provide budget oversight. The Vice Provost for Research will appoint this committee in consultation with the Provost and the deans of the participating schools. Associate Vice Provost for Research responsible for the center will be chair of the financial oversight committee.
      4. Review Process
        Centers will be reviewed every five years if the director is continuing or in the third year of a new director's three year appointment. Such reviews are vital to ensuring that there is a continuing need for the center and for ensuring that the center’s research, facility, or service is of the highest quality. The charge to each review committee shall be based on the key principles for establishing an OVPR research center. The Vice Provost for Research can bring this review forward or delay it if there are good grounds for doing so.
      5. Appointment of review committee
        1. Reviews should be carried out by committees of three to five researchers of distinction and seniority with acknowledged substantive and relevant expertise and experience. The Vice Provost for Research is responsible for appointing review committees. The director of the center is encouraged to make recommendations for membership of review committee to the Vice Provost for Research.
        2. While the composition of the committee will vary depending on the size and mission of the center under review, membership will generally include the following:
          • One to three external (non-IU) members who have acknowledged expertise in the areas of focus within the center
          • One member of the OVPR Faculty Advisory Committee
          • One senior IUB faculty member nominated by the BFC Nominations Committee
          The Associate Vice Provost for Research responsible for the center under review will be an ex-officio member of the review committee and will serve as chair of the committee.
      6. Review materials
        Instructions regarding the creation and submission of review materials will be provided by OVPR well in advance of the review. OVPR will be responsible for ensuring that members of the review committee receive all materials associated with the review. The director of the center under review will provide OVPR with a dossier that addresses the following:
        1. justification for the continued existence of the center
        2. successes and challenges faced since the creation of the center or its last review
        3. funding history and budget of the center
        4. recommendations for the future of the center
      7. Survey of the center
        A survey will be developed and distributed to campus faculty by the Center for Survey Research to assess the reach and influence of the center as well as the need for its continuation.
      8. Evaluation of review
        The review committee report and its recommendations are considered by the Vice Provost for Research in consultation with the appropriate deans, Provost, and the Vice President for Research to decide if the center should continue for a further period of up to five years. If the determination is to close a center, the Vice Provost for Research may extend the center’s existence for up to two years to phase out the center gradually.

History

Modified December 2007
Modified April 2009
Modified June 2012
Modified August 2013
Modified July 2015