Research proposal application
All proposals for new experimental/manipulative or otherwise complicated research at Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center will be reviewed by the Upham Woods Research Review Board, which will decide if the proposal is approved, denied, or must be modified for reconsideration. No research may be initiated until a proposal has been reviewed and approved.
To submit a research proposal, please be familiar with the guidelines for research as explained in the Upham Woods Research Policy. Your research proposal is to be submitted electronically to the Center Director via the Upham Woods Research Request Form. Please provide the following:
- An abstract consisting of (1) the title of project and names and titles of principal investigators and other researchers and (2) no more than 250 words detailing the goals, purpose, importance, and objectives of the research and summarizing its size and location, its design and methods, and its potential impacts.
- Principal Investigators: Name and address of home institution and department. Phone number/FAX number/E-mail address. If principal investigator is a graduate student, identify major advisor. If principal investigator is not affiliated with an academic or research institution, identify two persons who can testify as to the scientific capability and reliability of the applicant.
- Research Proposal (maximum total length 1000 words, covering all of the following topics):
- Description of research (design of experimental or observational study, methods, types of data to be collected, where data and voucher specimens will be archived).
- Size and location of study area. Indicate possible locations on map and show relation to any existing nearby studies and include GPS coordinates of a bounding area or a GIS shapefile WGS84 (projection).
- Environmental impact on Upham Woods and on any existing nearby field studies.
- Starting date and duration.
- Funding (agency, source and amount to be sought, include title of grants, proposed dates, etc.).
- Facilities needed (Upham Woods facilities needed to perform the research).
Research proposal review procedures
All proposals for new experimental/manipulative or otherwise complicated research at Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center will be reviewed by the Upham Woods Research Review Board, which will decide if the proposal is approved, denied, or must be modified for reconsideration. No research may be initiated until a proposal has been reviewed and approved. Ideally, any grant application seeking funding for experimental/manipulative research at Upham Woods should be submitted for approval to the Upham Woods Research Review Board before submission to any funding agency or organization. Such prior approval would eliminate uncertainties about the suitability of the planned research for Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center.
The policy articulated here is instituted to provide consistency and reliability in the review process. It is our goal to complete the review process within 30 days of electronic submission of a proposal. Exceptions to this 30-day interval may occur if complex questions or issues arise during the review process.
All proposals for new experiments at Upham Woods are to be electronically submitted to the Center Director via the Upham Woods Research Request Form. The online form will be automatically sent to the Center Director for review.
Upon receipt, the Center Director will examine and categorize each proposal according to whether it represents (A) Extensive destructive sampling, experimental manipulations, the potential for lasting impacts, or the potential to impact existing studies or areas zoned for protection; (B) Minor manipulation and/or observation without lasting effect on the habitat or on other existing studies; or (C) Work that is obviously outside the scope of what is permissible at Upham Woods or outside the scope of Upham Woods’s mission.
Those research proposals in Category C will be returned forthwith with an explanation from the Center Director to the author(s), with a copy of the proposal and correspondence sent to the Research Review Board.
The Center Director will immediately electronically send a copy of any proposal in Categories A or B to all current Upham Woods researchers, including Review Board members. Current Upham Woods researchers will have a chance to submit comments (especially any comments on potential conflicts with existing projects) to the Center Director during the next 10 days after proposal submission.
After consideration of any comments received on a proposal, those research proposals in Category B may be approved by the Center Director without further review.
Comments on those research proposals in Category A will be distributed to all members of the Research Review Board (except not to a member with significant conflict of interest, i.e., if the proposal was written by that member or that member’s student or post-doc, etc.) for consideration as part of the formal review process. Within ten days of the time of submission of a proposal, each member of the Board and the Center Director will write a brief review of the proposal, and will tentatively recommend approval, rejection, or modifications. A proposal receiving a majority of Board recommendations for its approval will be approved unless the Center Director feels that the review process has raised issues that should be addressed. The Center Director may request further discussion by the Board, or modifications to the proposal by its authors, and one or more additional rounds of voting after receiving modifications and/or after discussion.
If the Board has significant questions, suggestions, or objections that lead to a recommendation for modifications, copies of the reviews will be sent back to the researchers with a cover letter requesting clarification or revision. If modifications are requested, the review process may well exceed the original time goal. Modified proposals receiving a majority of Board recommendations for approval will be approved.
Anyone whose proposal was rejected has the right to request reconsideration by the Research Review Board after providing it with responses to review comments and a modified proposal. The Board will provide a decision that articulates the basis of its decision in relation to Upham Woods Land Use Policy. Anyone whose proposal is rejected after this process may petition the Director of Upham Woods for reconsideration, providing additional comments and/or modifications to the research plan.
Research and Land Use Policy
Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center is an educational facility first and foremost, but also supports experiments that further the understanding of the Wisconsin River Corridor ecosystem and forest community. All experiments that manipulate or otherwise destruct the landscape are subject to the Upham Woods research review process.
Guidelines may need to be re-evaluated by the Center Director of Upham Woods in response to specific requests for research. When deciding whether or not to grant requests for deviations from these guidelines, those making the decision will weigh the potential significance of scientific knowledge that would be gained by the research against the potential cost to future research because of such land use. The ultimate goal is the sustainable use of Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center as a place for educational, experimental, and observational ecological research. The final decision on any deviations from these guidelines, in all cases, rests with the Center Director, who will seek advice and guidance from the Research Review Board.
To improve security and safety and to provide Upham Woods with valuable information on site usage, personal are required to check in before going to any field site. Research personnel are required to check in at the Welcome Center before accessing the property.
If you are not a University of Wisconsin researcher, and are funded by a grant that does not pay overhead to the University of Wisconsin, there is a $500/year fee for experimental studies and a $300/year fee for observational studies. Office, lab, bench, and storage space is unavailable at Upham Woods. If your needs would interfere with on-going Upham Woods projects or educational clients, you may be asked to modify your on site timing. Whenever possible, visiting researchers are requested to incorporate a 30-45 minute talk with on-site staff and clients to explain the research they are conducting and take questions by the group.
Use of equipment and laboratory space is subject to the current day or half day use rates per researcher.
Food and lodging may be available for traveling researchers. Include possible dates that you would need lodging and food. Rates for researchers are billed as adult groups, which can be found at: Upham Woods Rates and Regulations.
All research at Upham Woods involving human subjects must conform to the policies laid out by the University of Wisconsin’s Institutional Review Board, available at https://research.wisc.edu/compliance-policy/human-research-protection-program/ Completion of IRB to be submitted with your application prior to consideration for approval at Upham Woods.
All research at Upham Woods involving animal subjects must conform to the policies laid out by the University of Wisconsin’s Institutional Review Board, available at https://www.rarc.wisc.edu/protocols.html Completion of IRB to be submitted with your application prior to consideration for approval at Upham Woods.
If research intends to use Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to collect data, researchers must follow the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s drone policy, available at https://research.wisc.edu/uw-madison-drone-use-policy/
Data Submission and Usage
Data from research conducted at Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center must be submitted to Upham Woods for archiving. Additionally, summaries from research conducted at Upham Woods will be incorporated into relevant natural resource lessons for educational purposes at the Center. Upham Woods reserves the right to use the news of research promotionally in digital and print formats.
Researchers are required to attribute the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center in the acknowledgements section of their digital and printed publications.
The above research request policy was based from the University of Minnesota Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. More information about Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve can be found at: https://www.cedarcreek.umn.edu/