Campus Center Guidelines

A Campus Center provides a group of researchers with use of the "Center" title and a structure for its collaborative activities in support of research. The rationale for establishing a Campus Center may include attracting greater recognition and extramural support for a research program at UCI and/or providing an infrastructure that promotes synergistic interactions among researchers across schools.  Campus Centers must involve researchers from more than one school or program.  The research goals of the Campus Center should complement the academic goals of the University.

In accordance with the 2014 UC Compendium: Universitywide Review Processes for Academic Programs, Academic Units, & Research Units, the term "Center" may be used for research units other than Organized Research Centers (ORUs). Campus Centers are established by the Vice Chancellor for Research, based on recommendations by the Academic Senate Council on Research, Computing and Libraries (CORCL).

Establishment and Administrative Procedures

Campus Centers are established and administered similarly to School Centers (see guidelines for School Centers), in that procedures for establishment, administration and review are handled by the deans of the participating schools.  Agreement between the participating schools must be reached before submission of an application for a Campus Center.  Likewise, the schools will identify a mutually agreeable director for the center.  Financial support for Campus Centers is provided by the participating schools, not the Office of Research.

Appointment of Director

Directors of Campus Centers are required to be tenured faculty members. They are appointed for the five-year life of the Center by the Vice Chancellor for Research, and report to the Dean of their respective school. Under rare circumstances, a Campus Center Director may report to the Vice Chancellor for Research.

A Campus Center Director may not hold a concurrent appointment as Dean, Associate Dean, or Department Chair, unless exceptional approval is granted by the Vice Chancellor for Research.

Directors are responsible for the administrative functions of the unit and for guidance of the unit's activities in accordance with its academic goals.

Administration Operations

The "Center" title may be used in University correspondence, in the General Catalog, on UCI Web pages, and in extramural grant or contract proposals and gift solicitations.

Faculty affiliated with Campus Centers are expected to follow all University of California policies and the policies set forth by their respective academic departments related to academic responsibilities, including teaching workload, faculty commitment of effort, faculty compensation, honoraria, travel, and sabbatical leave.

All administrative, financial support and space are provided by the schools of the participating faculty. Prior to approval of a Campus Center, agreement regarding administrative support and facilities provided by the academic units involved must be established.

The director of a Campus Center reports directly to the Dean of his/her school, as well as to the Deans of other schools participating in the Center. The Deans’ responsibilities include:

  1. Evaluation of the Center's progress as outlined in an Annual Report from the Center's Director.
  2. Working with the Center Director to establish administrative processes.
  3. Financial support of the Center, and oversight of accounting and purchasing activities. Any financial deficits are the responsibility of the schools.

In those rare instances when a Campus Center Director reports directly to the Vice Chancellor for Research, the administrative systems will be determined by the Vice Chancellor for Research in consultation with the appropriate Deans.

Application and Review Procedures


A group of faculty members wishing to establish a Campus Center will work with the deans of their respective schools to develop a proposal, using the procedures and criteria in the schools for establishing School Centers. The proposal format may vary according to the procedures of the schools involved, and it should not exceed a total of 5 pages of narrative, (excluding curricula vitae, appendices and letters of commitment).  Points to be addressed include:

  1. Goals and objectives for the Campus Center, with attention to the creative value and significance of the proposed research.
  2. Proposed collaborations and how the proposed Center will integrate activities of the participating faculty to develop a synergy greater than their individual efforts.
  3. How designation as a Campus Center would help accomplish the goals of the group and why those goals are not attainable within the existing departmental structures.
  4. How the center will operate, including the activities to be undertaken and the nature of administrative support
  5. Identity of the proposed director.
  6. Appendices:
    1. Director's curriculum vitae
    2. List of the participating faculty
    3. Brief curricula vitae or biosketches (not to exceed two pages) for each participating faculty member
    4. Copies of letters or e-mails in which they have formally agreed to participate in the proposed Center

In addition to the proposal, letters of commitment from each of the participating deans are required, describing their support for the proposed Campus Center, the procedures employed in evaluating and approving the proposed Campus Center, commitments for financial, administrative and space support, and the procedures for review of the center once it is established.

The proposal and letters of commitment from the deans should be submitted to the Office of Research, which will forward the materials to CORCL for review.

Review Criteria

CORCL requires that all proposals for designation as a Campus Center provide evidence for meeting or addressing the following criteria:

  1. Evidence of Academic Standing. The collaborative research potential, timeliness and/or importance of the Center’s activities will be assessed by an ad hoc subcommittee of CORCL. Criteria would include an assessment of the ability to obtain major funding from national funding agencies such as NSF, NIH, etc. (or other metrics, as appropriate for the discipline), and the likelihood of publications or other activities from collaborative projects.
  2. Financial and Administrative Commitments. The proposed Center should have sufficient commitments from the participating schools to support the activities of the Center.
  3. Relationship to Existing Units. The proposed Campus Center should be distinct from other campus Centers, ORUs, Special Research Programs, and School Centers. Areas of potential overlap should be addressed.

CORCL will recommend to the Vice Chancellor for Research whether the proposed Campus Center should be approved.  If the recommendation is positive, the Vice Chancellor for Research will at his/her discretion establish the Campus Center and appoint the Center director for a five-year term.

Campus Centers will be initially established for 5-year terms.  In the fourth year, if they wish to continue their status, they should submit a proposal for continuation similar to the initial application, including new letters of commitment from the participating deans.  The materials will be reviewed by CORCL, and if positive the Vice Chancellor for Research will renew the Campus Center for an additional 5-year term, along with appointment (reappointment) of the director.  Renewals can be repeated, subject to continued support from the schools and positive reviews by CORCL.


Applications, Proposals for renewal, and reports should be submitted electronically to:

Vice Chancellor for Research
Office of Research

For general inquiries, please call (949) 824-5796.

Questions About Campus Centers?

Please contact:

Jill Yonago Kay
Director, Research Policy
(949) 824-1410

Hung Fan, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives
(949) 824-5796