To:          Collegiate Deans

From:      David Skorton and Doug True

CC:          Research council Chair Professor Lisa Troyer, President Mary Sue Coleman,

               Provost Jon Whitmore, Vice Presidents' Group


Date:       September 4, 2001


Re:          Research Incentive Program, FY 2002



We are continuing our program to reallocate General Fund monies to colleges in proportion to facilities and administrative (F&A or indirect) cost recoveries.  There are three enclosures with this memo.  The first enclosure shows FY02 F&A Recoveries and the FY02 Distribution to Colleges.  General Fund reallocations for FY02 total $1,188,000.  This is an increase of 9.5% over the total allocation for the last year (FY2001), equal to the actual net increase in F&A recoveries.  Although we continue to be under considerable financial constraints related to the overall budget appropriation, we have decided to again increase this allocation to the colleges in recognition of the successful efforts by the faculty and research staff that have resulted in substantial growth in F&A cost recoveries.


The second enclosure is a listing of individual departments in your college showing F&A cost recoveries per department.  We thought this information might be useful to you in your decisions as to the use of these allocated funds.  In this regard, we remind you that in October 2000, the Research Council (the Faculty Senate charter committee that is the chief faculty/staff advisory body to the Office of the Vice President for Research) presented a resolution to President Coleman.  This resolution indicated the Council's recommendation regarding the distribution of these funds within each college.  We have enclosed a copy of this resolution as the third enclosure and urge you to take the resolution into consideration as you distribute the funds within your college.


As we have each year, we are writing to ask that you submit a report on the use of the F&A cost recovery-indexed funds allocated to you in FY01.  As we discussed with you when introducing this program, we wish to examine the uses to which the funds have been put and their effectiveness in research enhancement.


We ask that you submit to David Skorton, by October 15, 2001, the following information concerning funds allocated to you under this program in FY01.


1.   What principles were used in decisions related to spending these funds?

2.   How were the funds utilized (faculty, staff and/or student salaries/stipends; equipment; supplies; travel and other)?

3.   Please indicate the level within your unit at which decisions were made.  In other words were the funds allocated directly through the Dean's office?  Were funds further distributed in a "block" form to department executive officers or to individual investigators?

4.   What positive effects have occurred related to the program so far?

5.   Should the program be continued?  If so, what suggestions do you have?


We thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this request.  We look forward to continuing to work with you toward the success of this research enhancement program.

















Liberal Arts and Sciences






















































Public Health


















[For general information on F&A Costs, see:]

October 30, 2000




President Mary Sue Coleman

Office of the President

101 Jessup Hall

The University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa  52242-1316



President Coleman,


Attached is a recommendation regarding the distribution of funds from the University's Research Incentive Plan.  The recommendation reflects discussions in the Research Council in both the present and prior academic years regarding the Research Incentive Plan.  In the course of these discussions, concern was raised that researchers whose grants and contracts recovered indirect costs have not always participated in decisions regarding how funds from the Research Incentive Plan were distributed (although this varies across units).  Thus, the spirit of the recommendation is to ensure that these scholars, artists, and researchers have a channel through which they may participate in such decision making.


We hope that you will support the Research Council's recommendation.  We would be happy to address any questions or concerns you might have regarding the recommendation.








Lisa Troyer, Chair

Research Council

(319) 335-2484

Research Incentive Plan:  Guideline for Distribution of Funds


The University returns general funds in proportion to indirect costs recovered by external grants and contracts to each of the colleges in the Research Incentive Plan.  These funds must be spent on research, creative works, and scholarship and should be distributed in such a way as to enhance such programs throughout the colleges.  To ensure that these funds are distributed in a fair and appropriate manner to enhance research, creative works, and scholarship, the majority of the funds should be returned to departments with faculty and staff whose grants have recovered indirect costs.  The funds should be provided after the College Dean receives a plan for the use of funds from departmental/unit/program committees.  There may be a range of different plans for distributing the funds that will facilitate research, creative works, and scholarship (examples of such plans may be requested from the Research Council).  Wherever and whenever possible, department executive officers, unit leaders, and program directors should appoint faculty and staff with external grants recovering indirect costs to the committees to develop the plans. 











1. What principles were used in decisions related to spending these funds?

2.  How were the funds used?

3.  Please indicate the level within your unit at which decisions were made.

4.  What positive effects have occurred related to the program so far?

5.  Should the program be continued?  If so, what suggestions do you have?


Support faculty research in departments generating the cost recoveries allocation

Helped fund small summer research grants to new faculty

Funding decisions and allocations made through the dean's office

Provided funding for faculty to pursue research projects and encouraged them to initiate seed money projects that may lead to external funding

Yes, has given a very positive signal to faculty


Support faculty research; Collegiate Research Committee makes funding decisions on the basis of competitive application

Purchased and upgraded joint-use equipment with matching funds from the College

Funding decisions made by the Collegiate Research Committee on the basis of competitive application

Supplemented very limited resources available for equipment purchases

Yes; provides only flexible research funding available; continue and expand the program


Support faculty research in concert with three themes under Goal 3 of the College's strategic plan

Supported (1) research-related travel of newly-hired faculty (2) faculty travel related to research (3) research of those faculty without external grants who needed small amounts to complete research projects

Allocated directly through dean's office

Helped faculty begin or complete projects that have long-term potential

No response


All funds allocated to departments in proportion to indirect costs generated; DEOs submitted for dean's approval plans for use of funds*

Purchased equipment to facilitate research; provided funds for travel to conference and to arrange for conduct of research

At DEO and collegiate levels (See response to 1. above)

Facilitated numerous research projects; helped new faculty get started on their research projects

Yes; funds have clearly had a positive effect on research in the College


Support faculty research

Defray costs of faculty research (copying, printing, etc.)

Allocated directly through dean's office

provided reinforcement for important faculty research efforts

No response





1. What principles were used in decisions related to spending these funds?

2.  How were the funds used?

3.  Please indicate the level within your unit at which decisions were made.

4.  What positive effects have occurred related to the program so far?

5.  SHould the program be continued?  If so, what suggestions do you have?

Liberal Arts

Support research activities; return 85% of funds to departments that generated them

Dept: Provide incentives for funded research projects; offset existing departmental budgets in support of funded research projects; and support efforts to prepare and submit proposals

College: matching funds to support proposals from departments and faculty

DEO level: 85%**

Collegiate level: 15%

Helped junior faculty start up their research; permitted College to respond rapidly to time-sensitive opportunities

Strongly support expanding the program


Use based on individual faculty needs and College-wide research needs; use in most productive way possible to continue growth of collegiate research enterprise

Because of budget uncertainties, all funds went to Core Research Facilities; will try to identify other funding source for past support of faculty research

Dean's office allocated all funds as indicated above

Allowed for significant updates in Core Research Facilities equipment

Strongly support continuing the program; respectfully request that program continue to reflect increases in F&A awarded and generated


Support research activities leading to high likelihood of external funding; support acquisition of resources benefiting all faculty

50% of funds allocated to the four areas of study within College, proportionate to the amount of external funding received by each area; remaining funds provided research assistants to faculty and support to collegiate statistician

Dean's office allocated all funds, with input from area chairs and collegiate fiscal officer

Helped foster faculty research and improve quality of data analysis in existing projects

Yes; amount of funding to College should be increased


Support research and infrastructure of college

Repair and maintain sophisticated research equipment

Dean's office allocated all funds

Maintenance of laboratory instrumentation

Yes; program should be continued and expanded

Public Health

Support collegiate mission statement and strategic plan; advance scientific basis for the practice of public health

50% for competitive awards for new faculty; 50% returned directly to faculty who generated RIP funds

Dean's office allocated all funds

Advancement of faculty research careers

Yes, program should be continued and funds increased

*Before disbursing the funds, we requested from the DEOs specific plans for use of the funds.  Our request included a reference to and copy of the Research Council's resolution to President Coleman regarding the recommended distribution of funds.

**Departments are encouraged to consult colleagues who actually bring in the grant support that generates the funds in the Research Incentive Program; however, we do not dictate to departments a particular process for allocation.