MLSRB Frequently Asked Questions


What is the status of the Board? When do the Life Sciences Research Board (Board) and Life Sciences Research Trust Fund (Fund) begin operation?

HB 688 went into effect on August 28, 2003. Governor Holden appointed the seven members to the Board on June 1, 2004. The members have not been confirmed by the Missouri Senate as required by the Missouri Constitution.

The first board meeting was held August 18, 2004.

The "Life Sciences Research Trust Fund" (LSRTF) was created in section 196.1100 and requires the State Treasurer to: "deposit into the fund twenty-five percent of all moneys received from the master settlement agreement, as defined in section 196.1000, beginning in fiscal year 2007 and in perpetuity thereafter." The statute also permits the Board to accept other moneys and is not limited to the tobacco moneys.

What are the primary powers of the Board?

The Board has management, governance and control over the Life Sciences Research Trust Fund. The Board may issue rules, guidelines and decisions regarding: use of the moneys, research proposals, centers of excellence, conflicts of interest, peer reviews, intellectual property ownership rights, reimbursement of costs, staff, and other measures.

What are the Centers of Excellence?

The concept for the centers of excellence was contained in the life sciences initiative that was drafted in 2000. It is a concept that promotes collaboration and geographical equality for research funding. Pursuant to the statutes, Centers of Excellence may be established in four different areas which are: St. Louis area - City of St. Louis; Counties of St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson, Franklin. Kansas City area - Counties of Jackson, Clay, Andrew, Buchanan, Platte. Springfield area - Counties of Greene, Christian, Webster and Missouri Statewide area comprised of institutions, agricultural research centers dedicated to the development of plant-made pharmaceuticals, and campuses within the University of Missouri system and those regions of Missouri not within another center for excellence.

Centers of excellence shall be comprised of a consortium of public and private not-for-profit academic, research, or health care institutions or organizations that have collectively at least fifteen million dollars in annual research expenditures in the life sciences, including a collective minimum of two million dollars in basic research in life sciences.

Centers for excellence shall appoint a screening committee (qualifications and conflict of interest must be the same as LSRB members) which shall solicit, collect, prioritize, forward research initiatives for funding to Board. At least 80% of moneys appropriated to the Board in each fiscal year must be distributed to proposals and programs recommended by a center for excellence.

Collectively, a single center for excellence cannot receive in a fiscal year more than 50 percent of moneys appropriated in a fiscal year.

Single institution or organization cannot receive in consecutive three-fiscal-year periods more than 40 percent of moneys appropriated to Board in that period.

Where does the money in Life Sciences Research Trust Fund come from and how much money will be available annually for research?

Section 196.1100 requires that 25 percent of the tobacco master settlement agreement be deposited into LSRTF beginning in FY 2007 and in perpetuity thereafter. Section 196.1100 states that the LSRTF includes tobacco securitization money but is "not limited to" that amount. Section 196.1115 gives the LSRB the authority over awarding/spending the money in the LSRTF and states further that the LSRB may: "Receive, retain, hold, invest, disburse or administer any moneys that it receives from appropriations or from any other source."

The Division of Budget and Planning, Office of Administration estimates the Life Sciences Research Trust Fund should receive approximately $39.6 million FY 2007 from the tobacco settlement. The annual amount will depend upon the amount received by Missouri from the settlement. It should approximate the amount received in FY 2007.

Are there any other conditions on how the money may be spent?

"Moneys in the fund shall not be subject to appropriation for purposes other than those provided in sections 196.1100 to 196.1130 without a majority vote in each house of the general assembly. The moneys in the fund shall not revert to the credit of general revenue at the end of the biennium."

The Board can only allocate money to public and private not-for-profit institutions in the state of Missouri.

The Board's administrative costs are limited to 2% annually but the General Assembly may authorize more.

The Board may use funds for... "including but not limited to the costs of personnel, supplies, equipment, and renovation or construction of physical facilities." In any single fiscal year no more than 10 percent of the moneys appropriated shall be used for the construction of physical facilities and 80 percent of the moneys shall be appropriated to build research capacity, and 20 percent of the moneys used for grants to promote life science technology transfer and technology commercialization. 20 percent of the moneys in any FY must be used to promote the development of research of tobacco-related illnesses.