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Research Ethics

Center and Institute Guidelines

Establishing Centers: From Concept to Approval

Informal proposals to establish new centers and institutes may come from any group of faculty members within the university and may be discussed informally at all levels. Formal proposals to establish centers or institutes at Iowa State require an administrative approval process as well as either notification to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, or explicit approval by the Board.

The formal proposal must include a detailed description of the proposed unit, including information on who will be involved, the vision for the new unit, how it will be structured, and how it will be funded (see Board of Regents Form C).

Formal proposals are reviewed and approved by all involved department chairs and/or center/institute directors, all involved academic deans, the vice president for extension if outreach activities are proposed, the vice president for research if research activities are proposed, and the senior vice president and provost. Once the review process has been completed, the senior vice president and provost will forward a recommendation to the president.

If the president concurs that a center or institute be established, then the Office of the Vice President for Research will work with the respective unit to meet notification and/or approval requirements set forth by the Board of Regents.

See Establishing Centers and Institutes,  Iowa State University Policy Library.

See Establishing and Funding Research Initiatives, Centers, and Institutes for more guidance.


Reporting and Reviewing

The Office of the Vice President for Research maintains data and information on all centers and institutes and the reports from reviews.

The oversight of and frequency of reviews resides with either the office of a vice president or with a college dean, with copies of the review sent to the Office of the Vice President for Research and the provost’s office. The Board of Regents requires that centers/institutes with an annual institutional financial commitment in excess of $250,000 be reviewed by the university every seven years.

In undertaking reviews, consider the six criteria of success (from ISU Task Force on Centers and Institutes report in 2004) as a measure of the performance of the center/institute.

See Guidelines for Center/Institute Reviews for more guidance.


Dissolution of Centers

When a center or institute fails to achieve success in extramural funding or fails to meet the expectations or benchmarks provided, the center or institute will be dissolved.

Also, just as naturally as centers and institutes are formed, they also have a natural life span and must have sunset provisions to close when they have met their usefulness to the university and research faculty.

See Dissolution of Centers or Institutes for more guidance.


Related Board of Regents Forms

Request to Establish a Center or Institute, Form C, Board of Regents, State of Iowa

Annual Listing of Reviews of Centers and Institutes, Form D, Board of Regents, State of Iowa

Institutional Process to Request Elimination of Administrative Units, Form H, Board of Regents, State of Iowa



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