Office of the Director

Staff

  • Dr. David Suleiman 
  • Director
  • directorcid@uprm.edu
  • (787) 832-4040 X 5213

  • Vacant
  • Associate Director
  • (787) 832-4040 X 5250

  • Carla Ferrari Lugo 
  • Legal Advisor
  • asesorialegalcid@uprm.edu
  • (787) 832-4040 X 5250

  • Jesenia Carrero
  • Administrative Assistant
  • jesenia.carrerolorenzo@upr.edu
  • (787) 832-4040 X 5250
  • Office Information

    Phones: 787-831-2065; 787-833-2975

    Fax: (787) 831-2060

    Email: directorcid@uprm.edu

    Office Hours: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm (Monday through Friday)

    Office Location: JD-2 R&D Center Administration Building


    What is the R&D Center?

    The Research and Development Center (R&DC) of the UPR-Mayagüez Campus (UPRM) was envisioned and organized in 1986.  By means of its Certification 56, the Council on Higher Education of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico established the Center on September 12, 1986. The R&DC coordinates and manages externally-funded research projects at UPRM.  It is also the umbrella for other centers in campus.

    The R&DC promotes and provides administrative support for research projects conducted by faculty members of UPRM’s four colleges— Agricultural Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration and Engineering. The funding partners include business and industry, public and private organizations, as well as government agencies, both federal and local.

     R&DC’s Main Clientele:

    • UPRM researchers and educators
    • UPRM administrators
    • UPRM graduate and undergraduate students
    • Federal and local agencies and private organizations that fund research and development
    • Employees of externally-funded projects
    • Researchers and personnel from Puerto Rico’s scientific, industrial and technological community

    The Center premises consist of a series of buildings, which used to house the former Puerto Rico Nuclear Center, and subsequently the Center for Energy and Environment Research, prior to becoming the UPRM Research and Development (R&D) Center.   See map. The R&D Center premises include an Administration Building (J), where the Office of the Director, Administrator and most pre-award and post-award services are provided, a Main Building (F) and several smaller buildings, which house important research program offices and laboratories. See R&DC map.


    Board of Directors

    The R&D Center Board of Directors is comprised of fourteen members, as defined in Certification #56 (1986-87) which created the Center.  It is chaired by the UPRM Chancellor, and includes the following members: the UPR President, the PR Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO) Executive Director, the Deans of Engineering, Arts & Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Business Administration, and Academic Affairs, a UPRM researcher and five representatives of the industrial community,  designated by the chancellor.

    R&DC Services

    The R&DC Services are divided into three main areas:  Pre-Award, Post-Award, Office of the Director 

    Pre-Award: The Proposal Submission Unit (PSU), Spanish acronym for Oficina de Recursos Externos revises all proposals submitted to external entities by UPRM on behalf of its faculty. It also offers training in proposal preparation and submission, helps researchers polish and submit proposals for internal funds, runs internal competitions, maintains the institutional record of proposals submitted, and coordinates requests for matching funds for proposals. The Proposal Development Unit (PDU) assists researchers in pre-submission proposal review, resubmission consultation/support, offers grant related trainings and workshops, offers custom funding information and searches, written institutional descriptions (boilerplate information for proposals) and other related services. This unit is sponsored by the NIH-EARDA program and promotes NIH funded research at UPRM.

    Post-Award:  Seven offices –Accounting and Finance, Budget, Human Resources, Information Technology, Operations and Maintenance, Purchasing, and Receiving and Dispatch– fall under the Administration and Services branch.  They have the responsibility of managing all R&DC grants and awards and of providing support services for projects and offices housed within the R&DC premises.  These offices also have direct interactions with sponsors, including financial reporting, billing and closeout of projects.

    The Office of the Director oversees and coordinates all pre- and post-award responsibilities, and other institutional efforts. It also deals with contracting and sub-award matters associated to research.

    Responsibilities of the Director:

    • Directs and supervises all procedures related to the pre- and post-award administration of external funds obtained through grants and contracts.
    • Is UPRM’s Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR), and as such, has signatory authority over assurances, budgets, and certifications of compliance for federal agencies.
    • Approves the University’s recommendations of proposals and acceptance of awards.
    • Authorizes personnel compensations obtained through grants and contracts.
    • Recommends to the Chancellor the approval of selection and appointments of personnel to be hired with funds derived from grants and contracts.

    Responsibilities of the Associate Director:

    • Represents the Director in his absence.

    Responsibilities of the Legal Advisor to the Director:

    • Provides support to the R&DC’s Director on legal issues related to Government Ethics, UPR rules and regulations, internal procedures, and others.
    • Reviews professional service contracts, agreements, memoranda of understanding (MOU’s), subcontracts, and any other document requiring the signature of the Director and UPRM Chancellor, related to research.
    • Keeps compliance information updated.
    • Monitors sub-awardee compliance information.

    New Award Negotiation & Acceptance

    All awards are made to the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez and can only be accepted by the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) at UPRM.  Call the R&D Center’s Office of the Director to facilitate the process.

    Notification of the Award

    The award document is considered an official agreement of the scope of work, the amount the sponsor will provide, and other terms and conditions that govern the project.  Sponsors usually send the R&D Center an official notification of an award. However, if award notification has been sent to the PI, the department or other college offices, the award notice and any agreements or contract materials must be forwarded immediately to the R&D Center.

    Award notices contain, typically:

    • title or description of the award
    • beginning and ending dates
    • dollar amount of award
    • terms of payment, e.g., letter of credit versus invoicing
    • programmatic deliverables
    • financial invoicing/reporting requirements
    • cost sharing or matching expectations (if applicable), and
    • approved budget, which may be different to the proposed budget

    Official acceptance of the the sponsored grant, contract, or agreement

    Once an agreement has been reviewed and the PI agrees upon the terms, it can be accepted and executed on behalf of the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez.  The awards are made to the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez and not to faculty, staff, or others, since these individuals cannot accept grants or sign contracts and agreements.

    Award Negotiation

    Negotiations with business and industry funders can take several weeks and may require final review by UPRM authorities. Contact the R&D Center prior to indicating a sponsor of acceptance of any changes in budget, work scope or intellectual property issues.  The Legal Advisor to the R&D Center Director will assist in any negotiations between the sponsor and the PI. A bilateral agreement is a legal document which requires overall concurrence with the technical terms, reporting and financial requirements, among other considerations.