Well Dear Reader, the Powers-that-Be have finally made their plans known to those of us at the lower heights of the totem pole...we're moving to the Office of Research! I mean, we we're kind of already under the Office of Research, but as an independent Institution. That institute budget runs out on June 30th, and were being officially amalgamated into the Office of Research.
At my Uni we have the Office of Research as a major administrative grouping. It's divided into two sub-offices: Research Administration (grants, informatics/databasing etc.) and Research Compliance (IRB, IACUC etc). I'm not quite sure where we're going to fit in, but I gather we're under the Office of Research Administration. My group focuses on cinical and biomedical informatics support, but the Office of Research already has 'Research Informatics' (they maintain the funding and granting databases etc.), so we have to get a new name. Dunno what that is yet. And not sure who else is moving with us yet either. But! Me and my team are safe, albeit likely in stasis position-wise.
I just got to tour our new office space and look at the various floor plans and blue prints. Some walls are coming down and there's some general refurbishment to go on, but it's a nice big space. It's in the main admin building so we're in the middle of campus instead of the Chancellery on the edge of campus. The other branches of the Office of Research are either on our floor or the one above, so we're all in one place finally, and this part I am very excited about.
Like most old and rambling institutions there are many silos and fiefdoms and sometimes these inhibit cross-pollination between functional groups. I want to break down some of those silos and make it easier for our faculty to get the administrative support they need for their grants. I know a lot of the folks I'll be sharing space and time with over in the new building and I'm hoping, slowly but relentlessly, to open the Office up to the campus. Our outgoing Vice Chancellor of Research did a great job overhauling the IRB group and the IRB processes to make it easier to find information and get IRBs submitted. Similar actions have been taken with the IACUC too. Now we need to help our faculty locate other vital services: grant writers, editors, funding databases, biomedical and clinical informatics support (my group), mentoring for junior faculty and so on and so forth.
I am very cognizant that we can't be seen to move there and start empire building. We're kind of the young upstarts on campus, and *we* are moving into *their* space. But, with state funding cut across the board we have to get more money in via indirect costs recovered from grants. And for that we need a functional and accessible Office of Research for our faculty, of all ranks, to reach out to for support. And I am doubly keen on this because my next step is to get myself a faculty position so I can enjoy the financial fruits* of my labors as well!
I will keep you posted, Dear Reader, because now I can finally 'talk' about this stuff, I'll be able to post more frequently.
*research incentive bonus. if you cover 15%+ of your salary via funding you get a percentile payback bonus...I am covering 25% of my salary already...