1 These lines reflect funds available (not incremental funds) from non-state sources in any given year.
2 Existing state resources in each successive year are equal to the sum of the previous year’s existing state resources (line 4); plus resources made available through internal reallocation (line 5); plus new state resources (line 6). If state resources allocated to a program in any given year (line 4) exceed state resource requirements needed to support the program in the following year, state resource requirements should be reduced with a negative dollar adjustment on line 5. The sum of lines 2 through 6 will always equal line 1.
3 Numbers can be either positive (allocated to the program) or negative (allocated away from the program).
4 Reflects the level of state funding requested in the referenced year. Dollars reported are incremental.
5 Reflects the number of FTE staff to be supported with requested funds. Not a dollar entry.
6 Other dollars directly assigned to the program. Do not include allocated support services.
BUDGET NARRATIVE In the above table, line 2 represents anticipated support from Federal grants awarded to STRC affiliated units and allocated to STRC in support of staff and other direct costs. For example, STRC leads international collaborations as part of the NSF-funded International Research Network Connections project, TransLight/StarLight. TransLight/StarLight provides advanced networking cyberinfrastructure between the US and Europe that supports global middleware and applications development. This award totals $5,000,000, for the period February 2005 – January 2010, with nearly $300,000 in direct support to STRC. Another NSF project, Towards Life-like Computer Interfaces that Learn, provides an additional $100,000 in direct costs annually (through January 2010) for the investigation, development and evaluation of life-like, natural-looking computer avatars, who serve as portals to intelligent systems. This research brings together a multi-disciplinary team of STRC researchers from UIC’s Electronic Visualization Laboratory, Department of Communication, and School of Art & Design, working with University of Central Florida. Future grant support is anticipated through current and future proposals submitted to Federal agencies.
Line 3 represents support acquired through self-support, gift and ICR funds. STRC self-supporting activities, work-for-hire and technology transfer to outside businesses, museums and other institutions consist of technology training, consultation, and demonstrations and tours of STRC affiliated laboratories. Current work with the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Adler Planetarium are expected to continue. Additional revenue-generating agreements are anticipated. STRC has received generous support in the form of gifts from companies, such as Pacific Interface/NTT, Sharp, Cisco, Nortel and Stone Aerospace. These funds are/will be used to offset shortfalls in anticipated Federal grants, contracts and self-supporting agreements.
Line 4 includes State funds already budgeted to STRC (Org 717000) through the UIC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research on an annual basis. No additional State funds are requested to sustain STRC, other than the current budgeted amount.
STRC is co-located with the UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) in the Engineering Research Facility at 842 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL. Office space for approximately five staff, presentation technologies and laboratory space are made available to STRC as needed. Facilities include substantial computing clusters, advanced visualization displays, and optical networking fiber that runs directly from EVL to the UIC Computer Center where it connects to the State of Illinois’ I-WIRE network and the StarLight optical exchange (where high-speed connections are made to National LambdaRail and international networks that are part of GLIF). No additional space or facilities beyond what is currently used or being developed is required.
Thomas A. DeFanti, STRC Director and UIC Distinguished Professor (Computer Science), serves as an advisor on overall direction/focus to research and administrative staff. No salary support is requested.
Jason Leigh, STRC Co-Director and Associate Professor (Computer Science), directly supervises STRC staff and all research projects. An annual administrative supplement of $10,000 (existing State funds) is used to offset Dr. Leigh’s salary as a UIC faculty member.
Dana M. Plepys, STRC Associate Director, is responsible for the unit’s fiscal administration, operations and development efforts. This is a 12-month academic professional appointment with 100% support budgeted against existing State funds.
Daniel J. Sandin, STRC Senior Research Scientist and UIC Professor Emeritus, serves in an advisory capacity to STRC management, and consults with graduate-student research assistants engaged in STRC research and outreach activities. An annual amount of $10,000 in non-Federal funding is budgeted for this position.
Steven Sander, STRC Assistant Director of Budgets and Contracts, organizes and manages Center finances (grants, contracts and gifts), and prepares and processes budgets for all Center activities. The salary for this position is apportioned against State funding, Federal grants and non-Federal sources under which the Assistant Director’s efforts are applied.
The STRC Manager of Systems Services provides technical support and services for hardware, software and systems resources for the Center, its affiliated laboratories, collaborators and industry partners. Non-Federal funds are included in the proposed annual budget for this position, which is currently vacant.
Patrick Hallihan, STRC Research Programmer, is responsible for systems administration and technical support of STRC resources. The salary for this position is apportioned against State funding, Federal grants and non-Federal sources under which the Research Programmer’s efforts are applied.
Laura K. Wolf, STRC Project Coordinator, is the liaison to business/institution clients, ensuring deliverables are accomplished, documented and publicized. She also assists with STRC’s development efforts. The salary for this position is apportioned against State funding, Federal grants and non-Federal sources under which the Project Coordinator’s efforts are applied.
Note: A 5% increase is budgeted annually for senior personnel salaries. Other Personnel
STRC anticipates supporting 14 graduate-student Research Assistants (pre and post-qualifier) at 50% during the academic year (9 months), 100% for 2 summer months, under Federal grants, contracts and other non-Federal sources. The Research Assistant pre-qualifier stipend for the current academic year at 100% is $31,834 for a 9 month period; post-qualifier $32,734.
Note: A 3.5% increase is budgeted for Research Assistant salaries in subsequent years. Fringe Benefits
The following rates are used for staff Fringe Benefits during the current and future years. Fringe Benefits are not calculated on salaries budgeted to State funds, but are calculated on salaries paid with Federal and non-Federal funds, based on anticipated support.
FY08 FY09 FY10 FY11
34.19% 33.60% 36.10% 37.34%
Note: The Fringe Benefit rate used for Research Assistants is 0.03% during the academic year and 7.68% during the summer session. Travel
Travel is estimated at $3,500 currently, with an annual increase of 5%. Travel is anticipated for meetings with collaborators and partners, as well as conference participation to report on Center research activities and findings. Travel support is requested as part of grant proposals.
General-purpose Materials/Supplies is budgeted at $6,000 for the current year with a 5% increase in subsequent years. Materials/Supplies support is anticipated through non-Federal funds, primarily STRC self-supporting accounts.
STRC’s Services budget includes courier/shipping expenses, software licenses, maintenance contracts, printing, and conference registrations. $3,000 is budgeted for the current year, with a 5% annual budget increase. Services support is requested as part of Federal grant proposals.
Quality Assurance Processes
Briefly describe the processes that will yield evidence to demonstrate the quality of the unit. Address the following elements:
Evidence that the unit supports the university’s mission and statewide goals;
On an annual basis, STRC programs and projects will be evaluated for concordance with UIC’s mission and focus statements. The STRC strategic plan will be reviewed every two to three years, and modified as necessary.
The STRC Planning and Steering Committee consists of the directors and senior staff members, who meet on a monthly basis to discuss Center activities. An STRC Advisory Board consists of representatives from academia (collaborating UIC units and affiliated institutions), industry partners and professionals from related technology companies, such as video game technologists, display system integrators, software developers and electronic artists; quarterly meetings are planned.
Evidence that the unit’s product or outcomes achieve stated objectives;
For each STRC goal, quantitative metrics will be determined. On an annual basis, the STRC Planning and Steering Committee will evaluate STRC’s progress to determine whether its goals and objectives are being met. Center activities and research projects are documented electronically (on the web) as well as in printed publications, and are presented at seminars, professional conferences and meetings, and research exhibitions.
Determination of organizational effectiveness;
The STRC Planning and Steering Committee and Advisory Board annually review the Center’s effectiveness with regard to internal and external partners and collaborators.
Faculty and staff qualifications and reward structures;
On an annual basis, STRC staff qualifications and accomplishments are reviewed and evaluated. STRC directors and staff supervisors conduct performance reviews and evaluations, and develop a plan for continued professional development. Rewards within the Center include raises and administrative support for Center-based education and research activities, including items such as conference travel, research and technical support, and equipment purchases.
Determination of adequate support staff, equipment, and other resources;
On an annual basis, STRC resources are evaluated, with input from the Planning and Steering Committee, Advisory Board, staff and collaborators. The effectiveness of the STRC activities and productivity are also assessed.
Use of results from evaluations to improve the unit’s effectiveness.
On an annual basis, evaluation results are compared to proposed outcomes from the strategic plan as an ongoing strategy to improve the unit’s effectiveness. This is accomplished at multiple levels, including: ongoing review of operations by the STRC Planning and Steering Committee; review and input by the UIC Vice Chancellor for Research; and, input from affiliated units and collaborating institutions.
STRC Prior Federal and Non-Federal Funding Federal Funding Proposal: Towards Lifelike Computer Interfaces that Learn
PIs: J. Leigh, A.E. Johnson, L. Renambot, M.D. Brown, T.A. DeFanti
STRC Scholarly Publications (Selected Publications) For additional relevant publication citations, see <www.evl.uic.edu/core.php?mod=3&type=3>. J. Leigh, M.D. Brown, “Cyber-Commons: Merging Real and Virtual Worlds,” Communications of the ACM, 51, 1, Jan. 2008, pp. 82-85