Research Policies Council

Role statement

The Research Policies Council advocates for discovery in the University by developing, reviewing, and recommending policies that support and enhance research and creative activities, which may be funded or unfunded, and may involve graduate or undergraduate students.

Council standing committees 

  1. Executive Subcommittee—prepares the agenda for council meetings and proposals for Council consideration.
  2. Research Screening Subcommittee—oversees the administration of the Faculty Research and Creative Activities Support Fund; evaluates all final reports from awardees; determines future eligibility of applicants; makes recommendations to RPC for changes in FRACASF policy to promote more efficient operation of the program and/or better encourage research at Western Michigan University; and assesses the outcomes of the FRACASF by determining research contributions in the form of publications, papers and seed money for external funding.

Charges 2018-19

In addition to its specific responsibilities listed in the Research Policies Council’s role statement and the work of subcommittees if such exist, the Faculty Senate Executive Board charges the RPC to consider, as a committee of the whole or through the appropriate subcommittee or task force, the following issues:

  1. Review the scope and description of the council’s role and assess the effectiveness of the council's practices. Address any continuing or outstanding issues or initiatives as directed by the Faculty Senate Executive Board.
  2. Continue the review and promotion of the Faculty Research and Creative Activities Award (FRACAA) program with the goal of increasing its utilization by faculty, including investigating strategies to increase the number of quality proposals submitted across all disciplines.
  3. Review Support for Faculty Scholar Award (SFSA) proposals and promote the program to encourage faculty from all disciplines to submit quality proposals.
  4. Research and recommend a mechanism to advance interdisciplinary/collaborative research and creative activities partnerships between faculty at WMU and evaluate obstacles that might respond to mitigation. Some suggested examples of areas of interest related to interdisciplinary partnerships and collaboration as defined: Examine and articulate how diverse campus groups define what is meant by interdisciplinary; Is there a common understanding and if not, how can it be best defined; Continue to collaborate with the Office of the Vice President for Research in the inventory of major research and creative activities; Assist in collectively understanding the utility of research inventory and the expectations from its completion; Develop strategies to support faculty to advance research and creative scholarship, including addressing diversity and inclusion as they relate to the role of RPC; Provide recommendations to strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration to build compelling research proposals; Explore best practices for cluster hires and provide recommendations for enhancing interdisciplinary research and creative collaborations at the college and department levels.
  5. Develop a procedure for the regular review of university policies related to research and creative activities by the RPC and a schedule for conducting these regular reviews on a five-year rotating basis.
  6. Recommend best practices to communicate research and creative activities and highlighting the accomplishments in research and creative activity by faculty and share them with University Relations.

Approved by the Faculty Senate Executive Board on Aug. 30, 2018

NOTE: The RPC will seek information from the office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board (HSIRB) to maintain communications with those offices on issues directly related to them. Council recommendations are to be submitted to the Executive Board in the form of a memorandum of action (MOA) on which the recommendation(s) is/are stated. Any draft MOAs requested by the Executive Board should be submitted using the DRAFT MOA template.

The RPC chairperson shall provide a written summary of the council’s progress for the year; list the above charges noting each items progress and current status; any other activities undertaken; and draft charges for the 2019-20 academic year, no later than June 30, 2019.

Click here for a printable version of the RPC 2018-19 Charges