UCGIS Research Committee

Purpose (as stated in the Bylaws)

The Research Committee articulates ongoing research priorities for advancing theories and methods in geographic information science; assesses the current and potential contributions of geographic information science to national scientific and public policy issues; tracks federal and state programs, accomplishments, and needs; fosters multidisciplinary research in geographic information science, particularly in support of national needs; and engages in other related activities such as appropriate recognition of outstanding research by faculty and students at its member institutions.  (from the Bylaws). 

History & Context

The Research Committee is one of the three Standing (continuous) Committees identified in the Bylaws. Its roles and activities have been key, central ones since the founding of UCGIS in 1995. 


The following activities fall under the auspices of the Research Committee: 

  1. Overseeing the annual cycle of tasks associated with the UCGIS Research Award, in coordination with the Executive Director.  Tasks will include creation and oversight of the Award Selection Committee. 
  2. Partnering with researchers and educators on sponsored research grant proposals to federal agencies, foundations, and other funding organizations. Further details are available at the “How to Work with UCGIS on Research Proposals” document. 
  3. Working with the UCGIS Executive Director to track the list of current proposals in which the UCGIS is a partner.
  4. Developing research initiatives and organizing working groups among the UCGIS research committee members to pursue important and timely research topics. For example, currently in 2020 these initiatives include the following themes:
    1. CyberGIS and Decision Support Systems
    2. Developing Open and Reusable GEOAI Tools for GIScience Research and Education
    3. Convergence Research of GIScience, Humanities, and Social Sciences
  5. Engaging the UCGIS and broader GIS communities in the efforts of pursuing research initiatives and disseminating research progress through conferences, journals, and other proper outlets.


The Research Committee is an advisory committee to the Board and the Executive Director. All actions proposed by the Committee must be reviewed and acted upon by the Board and Executive Director, when approved. 

Composition of the Committee

  1. The Committee is led by a Chair who is appointed by the UCGIS Board of Directors for a period of three years. Volunteers for the Chair appointment are encouraged. The Vice-chair is selected annually by the Chair from among the committee members.
  2. Each year, the President invites Delegates to select a committee on which they would like to serve as a member. Other, non-Delegate individuals from UCGIS member institutions or units are invited to become active members of this Committee, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.

Meeting arrangements and Expectations

  1. The Committee should meet electronically as needed. The Chair will prepare and distribute a meeting agenda in advance of each meeting and work with the Executive Director and Executive Committee to follow up on any recommended actions. 
  2. The Chair is encouraged to organize a face-to-face meeting of the Committee at the annual Symposium. 
  3. All meetings of this Committee will be organized to be agenda-driven, focused, and efficient in their time.


  1. The Chair or Vice Chair of this Committee is expected to attend monthly meetings of the Board of Directors. He or she will be provided with an opportunity to make a brief oral report on activities (5 minutes or less). If the Chair knows that she or he will want more time to discuss an idea with the Board or seek their input, at least 10 days prior to the meeting the Chair can request of the President and Executive Director that their item be added to the Agenda.
  2. Twice annually, the Chair will produce a brief written report (2-3 pages) prior to each Symposium and December Council Meeting that will be shared with the Delegates for review and discussion. 

Resources and budget

  1. GoToMeeting can be used to host any meetings of the Committee.
  2. Work space for the Committee is available in TeamWorkPM and on the UCGIS website. 
  3. Money (up to $100) is available to a Committee Chair to defray costs incurred during an in-person Committee meeting while at the Symposium (a breakfast/lunch meeting, a happy hour, etc.)
  4. The Chair of the Committee is eligible for reimbursement to defray personal expenses incurred to attend the annual Symposium. The amount/year is determined by the Treasurer and the Executive Director and the Treasurer, and has been $500/person in recent years. 


  1. As needed, contributions to organizational documents such as white papers and reports may be requested of this Committee