Research Policies


UMB Policy for the Establishment and Review of Centers, Institutes, and Organized Research Centers

Research   |   Approved November 23, 2013

Responsible VP/AVP

Roger Ward, EdD, JD, MSL, MPA

Revision History

This Policy replaces:
1.      UMB Policy for the Establishment and Review of Centers and Institutes in the University of Maryland System - IV-1.00(A), Approved, November 1989.

2.      UMB Policy on Organized Research Centers – IV – 1.00(B), Approved, November 1, 1994.

Policy Statement

A. Purpose and Scope

1.      This Policy describes how UMB complies with USM Policy for the Establishment and Review of Centers and Institutes in the University System of Maryland - IV-1.00.  
2.      This Policy applies to any program or unit operating in whole or part under the auspices of UMB which seeks designation as a Center or Institute, including designation as an Organized Research Center (collectively referred to in this Policy as “Center or Institute”).

3.      This policy does not apply to clinical centers or centers funded entirely by federal grants, state grants, or a combination of federal and state grants, or contracts received for the establishment of centers.  Such centers are not centers within the meaning of the Board of Regents policy, as they are established by healthcare organization affiliates or by the direction of federal agencies.

B.      Proposal for a Center or Institute

A proposal for a Center or Institute (including an ORC) must contain at least the following Required Information: 

  1. Title
  2. Purpose
  3. Contribution to UMB mission
  4. Membership
  5. Administration (including identification of C/I Dean and rationale for the choice)
  6. Sufficiency and source of resources, including personnel and space, for C/I administration and program work
  7.  Initial and prospective funding and budget
  8.  Roles and responsibilities in compliance with applicable law, regulations, policies and standards, including but not limited to, State and federal regulations, and UMB and USM policies on:  non-discrimination, the conduct of research, intellectual property rights, and UMB branding
  9. Proposed cycle of review (typically at least once every five years)
  10. Disposition plan in the event that support diminishes or is eliminated


C.      Review and Approval of Proposal

1.      A C/I proposal that is interprofessional and interdisciplinary, i.e., involving participation by more than one UMB School, must be submitted by a single C/I Dean but must include written statements from the Dean of each participating School indicating review and acceptance of the proposal, support of the choice of C/I Dean, commitment of School funds described in the proposal, and recommendation that the President approve the proposal.
2.      A proposal for a C/I that is multi-institutional or administratively separate from UMB must be approved in writing by the President or the Chief Executive Officer of each participating institution or entity, indicating the institution’s review and support of the proposal.   
3.      The President will decide on approval or other disposition of a proposal for a C/I and will convey the decision to the C/I Dean, with a copy to the Provost.

4.      If a proposal is approved by the President, the President will convey the approval to the C/I Dean, with a copy to the Provost. 

5.      A proposal for a Center or Institute that is multi-institutional must be approved by the Chancellor. 
6.      A proposal for a Center or Institute that is not administratively part of a USM constituent institution must be approved by the Board of Regents.

D. Proposal Revision and Amendment

The process for Review and Approval of a Proposal must be followed before any significant amendment or revision to an approved proposal can be initiated.  This includes revisions, amendments and changes which are made through, e.g., implementing agreements, memoranda of understanding, procurement contracts, employment agreements, and the procedures of the Center or Institute.

E.  Continuing Review
1.      The C/I Dean is responsible for assuring that a C/I complies with all aspects of its approved proposal, including approved revisions and amendments. 
2.      The C/I Dean is responsible for ensuring periodic reviews of a C/I are conducted timely.  The C/I Dean will provide a copy of each review to all appropriate governance and administration entities, including but not limited to, the Deans of each other participating School, if applicable, and the Provost and the President.

F. Pre-existing Center or Institute
1.      The C/I Dean is responsible for ensuring that the Center or Institute is or becomes compliant with this Policy. 
2.      If the C/I Dean cannot provide documentation that the C/I has written approval of the President, as required by this Policy (or one of the policies replaced by this Policy), the C/I Dean must submit a proposal or a proposal amendment by March 31, 2014. 
3.      If the C/I Dean cannot provide documentation that a periodic review of the C/I, as described in this Policy, has been conducted within the past five years (before the effective date of this Policy) and delivered to the appropriate governance and administration entities, the C/I Dean must ensure the process for continuing review is promptly undertaken and/or completed, and a report presented, as required by H.2, no later than June 30, 2014.


1.      Centers and Institutes (C/I) form useful devices for organizing faculty and staff from different disciplines to typically, focus on research, education, or service in an area of common interest.  A C/I may be multi-institutional or administratively separate from UMB.A C/I is considered administratively separate from UMB if it is located at UMB, but (a) its operating budget is not included in the UMB budget and its personnel are not UMB employees (in other words, the center is administratively part of another USM institution or a state or federal agency); or (b) the center location is a branch of a multi-site center structure operated by another agency that contracts with UMB for a physical location and support services, possibly including professional support.  Centers and Institutes should be justified on the basis of their relationship to research, educational, or clinical programs at UMB.  C/Is may grant membership but may not grant any type of faculty appointment.

2.      Although the primary focus of an ORC is research, it is anticipated that, particularly in interdisciplinary studies and rapidly emerging new areas, proposals for graduate programs will be developed by ORCs in conjunction with related departments or Schools. ORCs may grant membership but may not grant any type of faculty appointment.

Roles and Responsibilities

The UMB Dean who assumes leadership responsibility for organizing and administering a proposed Center or Institute (the C/I Dean) will develop a written proposal for review by the UMB President.

The President or his designee will carefully consider submitted proposals.

The C/I Dean will be responsible for assuring that the approved C/I is established and operating in accordance with the proposal and this Policy.
The Provost maintains UMB records documenting all approvals of UMB Centers and Institutes.

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