Onboarding and Beyond for Research Faculty: Taking the "They Don't Know What They Don't Know" Out of the Equation
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Publisher:Ohio State University. Office of Research
Series/Report no.:National Organization of Research Development Professionals. Great Lakes Regional Meeting. 2019. University of Michigan. Session 5C.
Faculty new to an institution typically go through an orientation process during which they learn about resources that may help them navigate their new environment. One topic faculty at a research institution must grasp is research administration. While awareness and understanding of available research administration resources can ease faculty's administrative burden and make the process more positive, research onboarding, particularly at a large research institution like the University of Michigan, may not be standard across the university or even within schools/units. We have developed a research administration onboarding program designed for faculty in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan that goes beyond the orientation basics to offer the tools and knowledge necessary for a smooth transition into the research enterprise. Topics covered at the onboarding event include overviews of the pre-and post-award processes, unfunded agreements, and compliance and reporting. We endeavor to make faculty feel protected rather than burdened by the various required levels of internal review and approval. Our goal is to alleviate the grant submission related administrative burden to allow faculty to focus their time and energy on the science. Among the positive outcomes from research administration onboarding are: stronger relationships and partnerships based on mutual trust; faculty and their research teams knowing who to contact when an issue arises; the department demonstrating its commitment to research; and, the onboarding team being unified as a team and equipped to handle the everyday challenges of research administration at a large research institution.
Rights:Copyright Alfreda Fleming, Kaitlyn Marshall, Jackie Torres, Nancy Vanderkuyl, and Becky Youmans
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