The academic development of Wichita State University depends strongly on its ability to attract funding from external agencies, foundations, industries and individuals to support its research and educational programs, and the professional growth of its faculty and staff. The Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer is responsible for the development, management and support of the University's research and sponsored programs activities. The Office of Research and Technology Transfer (RTT) is the University office through which local, state and federal governmental units and other prospective funding agencies and organizations channel their requests for special assistance under grants and contracts, and through which most proposals for such support are processed by the University. In the development of research and other sponsored program proposals, faculty should use the office in making contacts with appropriate governmental, business and foundation officials. The office works to stimulate the interests of these agencies in appropriate University programs whenever possible, maintains communication between the faculty, University administration, and prospective funding agencies, provides information about grant programs to faculty, assists faculty in the preparation of proposals and budgets and maintains project records. Another important function of RTT is to coordinate requests to local entities such as school boards and the aviation industry to ensure maximum institutional support and the minimum of duplicated effort. This coordination typically involves a review of the project ideas and proposal by the appropriate dean or director of the unit involved.
RTT administers all grants and contracts prepared and awarded for research, training or other projects for which there are technical and/or fiscal reporting requirements, restrictions on the specific use of funds, and commitment of University facilities or personnel. Other grant requirements such as the review of the use of humans as subjects or oversight of animal care, and the retention and audit of financial records, are managed by RTT. Gifts that do not require institutional commitments as noted above for grants and contracts are received and accounted for by the WSU Foundation. Examples of such gifts include endowed chairs or professorships, endowed faculty development funds, student support, lectureships and program series.
Due to the varied and sometimes overlapping paths by which funding for sponsored projects and corporate and foundation giving are solicited and obtained, it can be unclear to those involved whether the awarded funds fall under the purview of the WSU Foundation or RTT. While advance communication and good-faith discussion will serve to avoid most problems, in those situations where the possibility of confusion reasonably exists and/or where there is initial disagreement, the CEO/President of the WSU Foundation or the CEO/President's designee and the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer or the Vice President's designee shall meet and concur on the appropriate handling of the awarded funds.
To obtain information from faculty and other administrators, the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer convenes and chairs the University Research Council, which exists for the general advocacy, support and development of research and sponsored programs throughout the University community. The council advises and makes recommendations to the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer on matters of policy that promote and support research, service and scholarly and creative activity within the University's mission. In addition to the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer, membership of the Research Council includes members of the graduate faculty representing each college, the doctoral-granting departments, the National Institute for Aviation Research, and other units deemed to be important to the growth and development of research and creative activity at WSU. Appointments to the council are made by the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer in consultation with the Provost and deans of the colleges. Members of the council are expected to represent their constituents and to report to them and their dean the activities of the council.