Research and Scholarship at UND
The faculty at the University of North Dakota are committed to the advancement of knowledge through research and creative scholarship. High quality creative efforts are evidenced by a number of indicators including, but not limited to, publications, presentations, books, performances, exhibitions, and peer reviewed grants and contracts.
In addition to providing stipends and tuition waivers to qualified degree seeking students, the School of Graduate Studies supports research with Summer Doctoral Fellowships, which allow Ph.D. candidates to spend full time on their research, and supports doctoral student conference travel and dissertation research.
The annual School of Graduate Studies Gradaute Research Achievement Day (GRAD) features the research and creative scholarship of students and faculty. GRAD is the largest single research event on the UND campus. Detailed information on these and other programs can be found on the School of Graduate Studies website.
The School of Graduate Studies works closely with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development to provide opportunities for graduate students. The mission of the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development is to serve the broad research community of the University of North Dakota, a community that is instrumental in meeting the strategic aims of the University which are described in the University of North Dakota’s Exceptional UND plan. The aim is to expand and strengthen the University’s commitment to research, scholarship, and creative activity as a means of sustaining and extending the knowledge base, enriching the teaching and learning environment, and enhancing economic development in the community, region, state, nation, and across the world. The hallmark of a major research university is its ability to link faculty across all of the institution’s disciplines toward the creation of new ideas and the generation of new technologies. The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, along with the four research administrative units described below, take a variety of steps designed to create and sustain an environment where faculty and students representing varying disciplines can collaborate in the search for solutions to the world’s major problems. To this end, UND research administration develops resources, both human and technical, to enhance research and creative productivity; disseminates information about research and research opportunities; funds research and creative activities by faculty and graduate students; formulates and administers various policies concerning research to ensure that projects conform both to federal and state guidelines and to the intellectual and academic objectives of the University; stimulates private sector relationships leading to commercial development of the products of the university research enterprise; and manages the intellectual property of the University. The following units report directly to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.
Office of Sponsored Programs
The Office of Sponsored Programs provides information and assistance on funding sources and guidelines; UND policies on sponsored programs, forms and applications; regulatory policies, such as those for the Institutional Review Board, Animal Use and Care Committee, Institutional Biosafety Committee, and Conflict of Interest; agreements and contracts; and representations and certifications for proposals to Federal programs. Its roles and responsibilities are to assist faculty/staff in locating potential funding sources; to provide information regarding sponsor requirements and proposal preparation; to conduct administrative reviews of proposals; to assure compliance with University and sponsor regulations concerning conflict of interest, export controls, research involving animals, research involving human subjects and misconduct in science or creative activities. The following compliance areas report to the Office of Sponsored Programs.
Grants and Contracts Administration
The mission of Grants & Contracts Administration is to assist faculty and staff with proposal budget preparation, proposal review, award negotiation and financial administration of extramural support according to sponsor regulations. The financial administration of extramural support received by the University for research, service and instructional programs is the responsibility of the Grants and Contracts Administration office. As early as possible in the grant/proposal cycle, a specific grant officer from the Grants & Contracts Administration office staff is assigned to be involved in all aspects of the funding cycle for a particular award, including proposal preparation, award negotiation, monitoring, and reporting. The assignment of a grants officer is made based on the identity of the potential sponsor, i.e., federal, commercial, foundation, and the type of agreement cost reimbursable or fixed price, etc.
Research on Human Subjects
The University of North Dakota Policy and Principles on the Use of Human Subjects requires that any biomedical or behavioral research which involves the use of humans as subjects be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to initiation of the project or activity. This policy applies to both faculty and student research. Forms and directions for submission of a project to the Institutional Review Board can be obtained from the Office of Research Development and Compliance. Note: Topic proposals involving human subjects will not be approved without notification of IRB approval. Collection of data may not begin until the topic proposal is approved.
Research Involving Animals
The University of North Dakota requires that any research involving vertebrate animals be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) prior to initiation of the project or activity. This policy applies to both faculty and student research. Forms and directions for submission of a project to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee can be obtained from the Office of Research Development and Compliance. Note: Topic proposals involving vertebrate animals will not be approved without notification of IACUC approval. Collection of data may not begin until the topic proposal is approved.
Research Involving Radiation and Hazardous Materials
The University of North Dakota Radiation Safety and Hazardous Materials Committee functions to ensure compliance with all federal, state, and University regulations and policies for radioactive materials, radiation producing machines, lasers, and hazardous, materials and substances. Research involving such materials must be approved prior to the initiation of the research. Students working with these agents must receive training through the Safety Office or be able to document prior training. Additional information is available through the Office of Research Development and Compliance. Note: Topic proposals involving radioactive and/or hazardous materials will not be approved without notification of Radiation Safety and Hazardous Materials Committee approval. Collection of data may not begin until the topic proposal is approved.
Research Involving Biohazardous Materials
The University of North Dakota Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) requires that any research, teaching, or other activities which utilize DNA, recombinant DNA, or involve the use of biohazardous research material be subject to a University Review Process and that these activities must be approved by the IBC prior to their initiation. The IBC is the only authorized University committee which can give approval to projects and activities involving recombinant DNA and biohazardous research material. The IBC will follow the NIH guidelines for recombinant DNA and biohazardous material research in determining the suitability of projects and activities and will provide an explanation of any decision not to approve a project or activity. Any project or activity not approved can be revised and resubmitted to the IBC for consideration. Additional information is available through the Office of Research Development and Compliance. Note: Topic proposals involving recombinant DNA and biohazardous material reserach will not be approved without notification that the topic has IBC approval. Collection of data may not begin until the topic proposal is approved.
Office of Corporate Engagement and Commercialization
The Corporate Engagement and Commercialization unit is responsible for developing and managing UND research and intellectual property relationships with the commercial sector and supporting the University’s economic development priorities. This includes protection and commercialization of University research innovations including: aerospace sciences including Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS); computer sciences; medicine and health sciences; and engineering and physical sciences. Corporate Engagement and Commercialization, along with UND General Counsel’s office, will provide services to draft, file and prosecute patent applications for UND inventions. Corporate Engagement and Commercialization will define and market technology portfolios of inventions to promote new business ventures and build business alliances to accelerate commercialization of valuable UND research output including transition of inventions to the marketplace. Services include fostering research relationships with commercial partners, performing analysis of patentability, value and marketability to identify strategic direction as a licensing, joint venture or spin-off company opportunity. Corporate Engagement and Commercialization is also a resource for drafting and negotiating legal agreements, such as confidentiality, material transfer, and licensing agreements, with business partners.
Corporate Engagement and Commercialization also works closely with the Technology Accelerator, a facility for growing technology companies on the west edge of campus. This facility is poised to nurture significant research relationships with UND.
The University of North Dakota has detailed policies, derived from the State Board of Higher Education Intellectual Property policy, regarding intellectual property, patents, and copyrights. Students wishing more information about intellectual property rights are referred to the Office of Corporate Engagement and Commercialization and the UND Intellectual Property policy.