About the HCR

Rules of Procedure

The Higher Center for Research (HCR) is a structure within the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), whose role is to define and promote the University research policy in all the Faculties and Institutes.


Objectives of the HCR
The HCR, in collaboration with USEK Faculties and Institutes, seeks to promote research in various fields of knowledge. It focuses on both basic and applied research.

It aims to:
  • encourage lecturers to consider research as an integral part of their teaching;
  • develop research in fields wherein it can solve or answer identified problems in our society.
The role of the HCR consists of involving lecturers in research, defining research strategies and providing the necessary means to achieve this. To this end, the HCR creates research opportunities regarding research, develops thematic axes, sets up a general policy for research, which advocates and supports interdisciplinary projects, and establishes partnerships with public and private research institutes.

The HCR manages a research fund put at its disposal by USEK.

The HCR organizes meetings for researchers, during which the latter discuss the themes, objectives, difficulties and challenges of their researches. These meetings aim to favor exchanges among researchers.

The HCR also organizes colloquiums and seminars to discuss and deepen themes, which are always of utmost topicality and are part of its research strategy.
Administrative Regulations

A. The Governing Body


1. The President:

The President of the HCR is the Vice-President for Research.

The President:
  • presides over and conducts all HCR meetings;
  • ratifies and validates the national and international documents related to the general policy of the Center;
  • defines, together with the coordinator, and after consultation with representatives from each Faculty or Institute, the HCR action plan over one or more years (document published annually).

2. The Vice-President:

  • Assumes the responsibilities of the President in his absence.

3. The Coordinator (s):

  • closely monitors the progress of work at the HCR;
  • evaluates the submitted files and research topics put forth by the Faculties and Institutes. It is up to the coordinator to judge primarily the relevance and, possibly, the priority of a research project according to the outline of the HCR general policy and options in the action plan in process. The coordinator has to inform the Vice-President and stakeholders of the decision reached;
  • meets with the Vice-President on a regular basis. Exceptional meetings may be held if need be;
  • establishes the detailed annual schedule of the scheduled HCR activities and meetings;
  • organizes and conducts, along with the members of the HCR Scientific Committee, annual seminars aimed at defining research, its academic requirements and the major methodological outlines, whether generally or specifically related to each discipline, in terms of construction and initiation of a research project;
  • is involved in the pre-selection of projects and the mid-term evaluation of selected projects.
  • It is up to the President to sign and validate the documents previously mentioned in 2-A and any other document, whose content or importance requires his personal signature (national or international conventions).

4. The Secretary:

  • initiates contacts with the parties concerned, within and, potentially, outside USEK;
  • handles e-mails, archives and draft meeting reports;
  • holds an ordinary weekly meeting and, if need be, extraordinary meetings with the coordinator;
  • suggests, where appropriate, academic or administrative measures to be submitted to the coordinator and the President.

B. The Scientific Body


The scientific body consists of three groups: the Scientific Council (SC), the Scientific Committee (SCo) and the ad hoc committees.

1. The Scientific Council (SC)

The Scientific Council is the means for necessary coherence within a university that encompasses highly diversified specializations. It also represents the place for discussing research policy and organization.

Chaired by the Vice-President for Research, the SC is a body whose role is to intervene in the general scientific policies related to USEK priorities.

The SC is composed of the HCR Vice-President, coordinators, and appointed, high-caliber members (scientific, literary and economic figures) from within or outside USEK.

The SC may occasionally seek the assistance of other experts and the President may invite anyone whose opinion is deemed necessary.

The SC meets at least once a year.

Decisions made by the SC are based on a consensual agreement.
The mandate of the SC is 3 years.

The Scientific Council:
  • Is an advisory body for discussion and proposals. It advises on major HCR policies, on research contracts and on the distribution of financial means among Institutes and Faculties;
  • Advises on all issues submitted by the Vice-President for Research;
  • May express wishes concerning issues related to the scientific policy of the University;
  • May submit proposals, notably with regard to the progress of research problems in every Faculty and Institute;
  • adopts decisions regarding issues falling in its field of competence, and forwards proposals and notices concerning research issues;
  • Ensures, according to the rules and regulations in force, compliance with the scientific deontology within the context of the University research policy.

2. The Scientific Committee (SCo):

The Scientific Committee, chaired by the Vice-President for Research, consists of the HCR Vice-President and coordinators. It contributes to the structuring of research and coordinates all related activities.

The Scientific Committee:
  • Undertakes coordination with the University and other partner research bodies;
  • Prepares the work of the Scientific Council;
  • Proposes the members of the ad hoc committee;
  • Selects projects according to the University priorities and the research lines of each Faculty and Institute;
  • Intervenes in assessing the administrative and scientific quality of projects, and conducts mid-term pre-selection and evaluation;
  • Issues decisions on the scientific results of projects. It may attach to its project evaluation adjustment propositions, if necessary, and practical recommendations;
  • Makes the final decision on whether to retain the projects selected by the ad hoc committees and on budget allocation;
  • Controls the proper flow of research and the use of the material and financial resources involved;
  • Deliberates on any request to extend the period of research and the continuation of financing;
  • Makes a proposition on the continuation or interruption of research to the Vice-President for Research;
  • May decide to terminate a project if the mid-term report does not meet the required conditions;
  • Follows up on ongoing research in order to monitor their progress at the end of each semester based on detailed reports submitted by the researchers.
Decisions of the Committee are made consensually and are communicated, in writing, to the interested people within two months following the file deposit date. Nevertheless, there is an ethical obligation to preserve the experts’ anonymity and scientific judgment, as well as the information mentioned in the assessed files. The researcher may, however, contact the Scientific Committee, which provides him/her with explanations related to the decision of the Committee concerning his/her file.
The executive secretary of the HCR is responsible for drafting the report related to the decisions of the Scientific Committee.


3. The Ad Hoc Committees

  • The ad hoc committees consist of experts with renowned national and international skills.
  • The ad hoc committees are appointed by the President of the HCR upon the proposition of the Scientific Committee.
  • The ad hoc committees are responsible for:
    - Selecting projects submitted to the HCR and preselected by the Scientific Committee;
    - Evaluating submitted research projects for possible publication;
    - Attributing their scientific guarantee to the projects.
Presentation of a Research Project to the HCR and Case Processing by the HCR

A. Presentation of a Research Project to the HCR

Every lecturer who is the holder of a Ph.D. and tenured at USEK is entitled, if s/he wishes, to submit a research project to the HCR (1). To this end, s/he should fill in an online application form.

N.B. Incomplete applications, or those which do not strictly respect the criteria set by the HCR, as well as applications submitted following the deadline (2), will not be accepted.

B. Case Processing by the HCR

Applications received by the HCR are subject to a pre-selection assessment followed by a selection assessment. The experts, chosen and consulted, by the HCR are not usually recruited from among the USEK lecturers. The same project can be subject to several assessments. The HCR decision of admissibility or non-admissibility of an application is based on the selection assessment results (duly filled chart and appraisal report).
The researcher is not informed of the name of the expert.
The expert is not informed of the name of the researcher.
The HCR communicates its decision to the concerned lecturer.

C. Contract

The lecturer entitled to a project selected by the HCR, signs a research contract with the latter. A typical contract defines and deals with the following points:

 

  • concerned parties of the project;
  • title of the project;
  • financing of the project: allocated amount, conditions, installments and terms of payment;
  • time allotted to complete the research;
  • collective nature of the project;
  • intellectual and commercial property of the project;
  • insurance;
  • termination.

Two copies of the contract are signed by the President of the HCR and the owner of the project. The first is handed to the researcher and the second is filed in the archives of the HCR. The main researcher, or the owner of the project, is the signatory of the contract. S/he reports to the HCR regarding the progress of the project and the management of the team that s/he leads.

D. Management of Projects

  • All the projects, the general budget as well as budgetary details related to each project are then submitted to the University President for approval. The President’s approval is communicated to the HCR, which in turn communicates it to the University’s Financial Administration. The financing procedure can now be activated.
  • The HCR presents the Financial Administrator of the University a letter detailing the needs of each project (transfers, equipment purchases, bibliographical references, subscription to databases, etc.), with supporting evidence. Following approval, the Financial Administrator forwards the requests to the Purchasing Department.
  • Close collaboration between the HCR, the University’s Financial Administration, the Purchasing Department and the Main Library is necessary for the successful management of current projects.
  • Follow-up of the procedure and coordination with researchers is maintained by the HCR.
  • A semestrial (or annual) report is submitted to the HCR by the owner of the project, in order to report on the progress of the research.
  • A request of extension may be presented in exceptional cases. It will be considered by the President of the HCR for approval.
  • All records of the research projects are filed at the HCR.

E. Publication of Research

  • The HCR publishes the lecturers’ research work. Research submitted to the HCR is subject to assessment, in order to take the decision of publication or non-publication. Terms of publication assessment are the same as the terms of selection assessment.
  • The HCR publishes research in the form of books and/or articles in its collections or in its digital magazine.
  • Results of any research initiated and sponsored by the HCR represent the exclusive intellectual property of USEK.

(1) The team of researchers can include researchers from USEK or from Lebanese and/or foreign other universities and institutes. Nevertheless, the main researcher or project owner who reports to the HCR should, by obligation, be a tenured lecturer at USEK.
Ph.D. students can be involved in a project of their Professor in order to complete field work or a survey. The obtained results can represent an element of their thesis or an annex document to which the student refers. In this case, the Ph.D. student should, by obligation, mention their sources; particularly the research funded by the HCR in which s/he took part, under penalty and/or suspension of the project. The main researcher should inform the Ph.D. student, from the beginning of work, of the conditions of collaboration in the project.

(2) A deadline is set for each call for applications. It is communicated by e-mail to parties in charge of research, within Faculties and Institutes, and uploaded on the University’s website. Theoretically, two calls for applications are scheduled every year; the first in October-November and the second in April-May.

Research Funding
USEK dedicates a sum amounting to about 3% of its annual budget to research, allocated to the HCR.

National or international institutions are also invited to sponsor research projects that concern them directly, or contribute to the development of the sector in which they operate (humanitarian, banking, industrial, etc.).

The HCR publishes, on the USEK website, all the research topics it adopts. It also proposes topics related to the Lebanese Diaspora and approaches the Lebanese embassies in concerned countries, in order to ensure contact with researchers and academics of Lebanese origin, who are interested in projects related to their countries of origin, and also to contribute in securing funds for research.

In a similar manner, the HCR approaches the embassies of these countries, situated in Lebanon, to initiate direct contacts with their universities.
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