(a) The Science and Research Council is hereby established. For the purposes of this article only, "council" means the Science and Research Council established herein.
(b) The purposes of the council include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Increasing the capacity of the state and state institutions of higher education to attract, implement and use cutting-edge, competitive research funds and infrastructure;
(2) Providing expertise and policy guidance in science and research to the state, its agencies and state institutions of higher education regarding federal programs such as the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research ("EPSCoR") and similar state programs such as the West Virginia Research Trust Fund established in article eighteen-a of this chapter and the Research Challenge Fund established in section twelve, article one-b of this chapter;
(3) Encouraging research collaboration among public and private institutions of higher education and the private sector, both within and outside the state;
(4) Promoting education at all levels in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and
(5) Providing recommendations to the Commission and state policymakers, including the Governor and Legislature, regarding science and research initiatives and effective programmatic activities, budgets and investments to implement those initiatives.
(c) The council replaces the EPSCoR State Advisory Council and consists of fifteen members as follows:
(1) The vice presidents in charge of research at Marshall University and West Virginia University;
(2) A representative of health sciences at Marshall University and a representative of health sciences at West Virginia University, appointed by the deans of the respective schools of medicine;
(3) The Secretary of Education and the Arts or designee;
(4) The State Superintendent of Schools or designee;
(5) The Secretary of Commerce or designee;
(6) The Vice Chancellor for Science and Research of the Commission;
(7) The Chancellor of the Commission who chairs the council;
(8) One member engaged in applied research at Marshall University and one member engaged in applied research at West Virginia University, appointed by the provosts of the respective universities; and
(9) Four members, appointed by the Governor, who have demonstrated interest, knowledge, skill and experience in academic research and scientific innovation and who possess recognized credentials and expertise in one or more of the following areas:
(A) Science, technology, engineering or mathematics ("STEM") fields;
(B) Cyberinfrastructure, information technology or computer science;
(C) Research and development;
(D) Technology based economic development or industry; or
(E) Undergraduate research or science education.
At least two of the members appointed by the Governor shall be representatives of business or industry.
(d) Of the initial appointments made by the Governor, one member shall be appointed to a one-year term; one member shall be appointed to a two-year term; one member shall be appointed to a three-year term; and one member shall be appointed to a four-year term. Of the initial appointments made by the deans of schools of medicine, the member appointed by the dean of the Marshall University School of Medicine shall be appointed to a two-year term, and the member appointed by the dean of the West Virginia University School of Medicine shall be appointed to a three-year term. Of the initial appointments made by the provosts, the member appointed by the West Virginia University provost shall be appointed to a two-year term, and the member appointed by the Marshall University provost shall be appointed to a four-year term.
(e) After the initial appointments, all members serve terms of four years. Each appointed member who qualifies under the provisions of this section may serve for no more than two successive terms. An appointment to fill a vacancy on the council or reappointment of a member who is eligible to serve an additional term is made in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(f) Members of the council serve without compensation, but are entitled to reimbursement by the commission for expenses, including travel expenses, actually incurred by the member in the official conduct of the business of the council.