Guidelines for a URCs Operating Requirement
The URC’s Objectives
The Center’s objectives should be guided by the University’s mission statement and be able to clearly guide a Center in its subject matters and in the types of programs it conducts. The stated objectives should neither be so broad as to permit the Center to pursue virtually any type of activity, nor so narrow as to restrict its ability to adapt. The Center’s research and activities should follow from, and be designed to advance, its objectives. The objectives should make clear how the Center's activities cross schools and program boundaries. A URC should not replicate what is already being done through existing schools or program mechanisms. Hence, the Center should strive to enhance its;
a) Core Business. The Center should have an identifiable core set of activities (core business) which exhibits stability and appropriate growth and which are continually revitalized.
b) Project Funding. The Center should heavily rely on externally funded research, especially for large projects or training grants, and internally funded research for smaller projects or typically to seed new initiatives.
c) Community Engagement: The Center should build an industrial/external relations program through which Center members are brought into active contact with industry and other external organizations. It should aim at serving the local, national, regional and international communities. Ultimately, the Center should strive towards engagement of or engagement with a research park concept.
d) Educational Support: The Center must support master’s students and post graduate fellows through their participation in research, training grants and other sources of funding. It should also provide research opportunities and programs for undergraduate students; and organize symposia and colloquia delivered to internal and external (public) audiences.
e) Programs Leverage. The Center should be able to leverage successful programs. This can occur when research results are quickly integrated into education, training and practitioner programs, or industrial relations programs such as a Research Park used to generate discretionary funds for internally seeded projects.
f) Adaptive Ability. The Center should be able to adapt to its internal and external environments. It should also have the leadership and resources to capitalize on new research opportunities and to respond to critical technology needs of the nation and the economy.