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Research Council

Research Council

Charge & Purpose

The Research Council is charged with the promotion and development of research and creative activity throughout the university community. The Council serves as adviser to the President, the Senior Vice President and Provost, the Vice President for Research and Partnerships, and the Faculty Senate in matters regarding research. The Council also makes recommendations to the Vice President for Research and Partnerships on the allocation of internal funds in support of the research and creative activity of the faculty.

The primary function of the Council is to evaluate internal proposals requesting university funds for the support of research and creative activities and to make recommendations concerning the awarding of research professorships.

The Research Council should undertake other activities it considers appropriate to foster and promote the research and creative functions of the faculty and students of The University of Oklahoma.


The Research Council (Norman) shall consist of 15 faculty members of which the Faculty Senate appoints 10 and the President appoints five. The term of the appointment is for three years with 1/3 of the membership retiring each year. The Vice President for Research and Partnerships holds an Ex-officio, non-voting position as does the Director of the Office of Research Services. Staff services are provided by the Vice President for Research and Partnerships.

Individuals recommended for Council membership should be tenured and currently active in either research, scholarship, or creative activities. Any unit that has its own tenure line is eligible to nominate someone whose discipline matches the call for a disciplinary area listed as having vacancies. If a member of the Council is nominated for a research professorship considered by the Research Council, the member must either have his/her name withdrawn from the nomination or resign from the Council for the remainder of his/her term. The representation will be reviewed by the Council every three years.


Appointments to the Council should provide a balanced representation across the university by including members in each of the following six areas:

  • Engineering, Energy, Mathematical and Physical Sciences (3 members): including the College of Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences, the College of Earth and Energy, the College of Engineering, as well as Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics, and Physics & Astronomy.
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences* (3 members): including Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Health & Exercise Science, Human Relations, International & Area Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, and Sociology.
  • Life Sciences (2 members): including Biology, Biological Station, Biological Survey, and Microbiology & Plant Biology.
  • Humanities* (3 members): including Classics & Letters, English, Film & Media Studies, History, History of Science, Modern Languages, Literatures & Linguistics, and Philosophy.
  • Education/Professional/Other (2 members): including the College of Architecture, the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Journalism, the College of Law, as well as Library & Information Studies, and University Libraries.
  • Fine Arts (2 members): including the College of Fine Arts.

* Tenured faculty from interdisciplinary programs such as African and African-American Studies, Environmental Studies, Native American Studies, Religious Studies, Women’s & Gender Studies, the Honors College, and any additional programs that serve as the academic home for tenure-line faculty are eligible to serve on the Research Council. However, their primary scholarly approach and/or research methodology will determine their appointment area; given the programs above, faculty will typically fit within the Social and Behavioral Sciences or the Humanities areas.

The Research Council was approved as a council by the President of the university upon recommendation of the Faculty Senate and The University of Oklahoma Student Association in December 1972 and revised May 10, 1974, June 28, 1978, and July 2, 1982. Restructured Spring 1991.

All written publications, whether in hard copy or electronic form, that have benefitted from Research Council funding must contain the following statement of acknowledgment: "This research was supported (in part if appropriate) by a grant from the Research Council of the University of Oklahoma Norman Campus."

Approved by the Research Council on 17 October 2011

The University of Oklahoma is a public institution committed to the mission of teaching; research and creative/scholarly activity; professional and University service; and public outreach. To these ends, the University strives to maintain an atmosphere that promotes free, open, and objective scholarly inquiry and compatible professional interactions while recognizing its obligations and limitations as a public institution. Integrity, ethical conduct, and mutual respect are uncompromising principles by which research and creative activity must be pursued. Any breach of these principles undermines the quality of scholarly work and harms the integrity of both the institution and individuals involved.

As a key component of the University’s research and creative activity enterprise, the Norman Campus Research Council strives to maintain the highest ethical standards in its evaluation of proposals and review of nominations for awards. One of the most important elements of ethical conduct is the effective disclosure and management of conflicts of interest (COI). A COI arises when financial, personal or professional considerations may compromise, or create the appearance of compromising, one’s objectivity in carrying out University responsibilities.

It shall be the policy of the Council to fully disclose and, to the extent possible, manage all conflicts of interest (COIs), real and apparent, in accord with the following:

  1. During their term of service, Research Council members may not serve as principal or co-principal investigator, or named collaborator, on proposals submitted to Research Council funding programs. They may, however, receive funding from a Research Council grant that was approved prior to the beginning of their term of service. 
  2. Research Council members must recuse themselves from participating (including by leaving the room), in any way, in the review of a proposal, nomination, or other activity before the Council if they:  
    • Are formally appointed within the department(s)/programs(s) in which the principal investigator or other listed investigators has a formal appointment;
    • Are named as an investigator with the submitting investigator(s) on projects pending before or currently funded by the Council, by other University entities, or by external sources including State and Federal agencies;
    • Have a financial interest or formal relationship with any company or other non-University organization involved in the proposal;
    • Are related to the proposal author or coauthor, nominee, or participant in the activity under review;
    • Believe that participating in the discussion will compromise the integrity of the process.
  3. A waiver of the recusal requirement may be requested from the Vice President for Research and Partnerships in advance of any formal Research Council proceeding. Such requests shall provide compelling reasons and/or evidence for approval of the waivers, which are expected to be rare.
  4. All formal Research Council deliberations and written materials involving proposals and nominations are strictly confidential, and the outcomes of those deliberations will not be shared without the prior written permission of the Research Council Chair or the Vice President for Research and Partnerships. Failure to adhere to this policy may result in expulsion from the Council.
  5. Because Research Council members formally vote, they should refrain from providing advice regarding specific proposals, nominations, or other actions that may come before the Council (for example editing or providing specific advice about how arguments should be made in a proposal). This is not meant, however, to prohibit Research Council members from providing general, non-confidential information about Research Council deliberations to those in their academic units.
  6. Members of the Research Council shall be subject to the Norman Campus Conflict of Interest Policy and if a conflict exists between the two policies, the Norman Campus Conflict of Interest Policy shall take precedence.

This form is signed by Norman Campus Research Council members, pledging to maintain the confidentiality of information contained in and/or related to Research Council applications.

Download Confidentiality Form (PDF)