|Office of Research|
Looking Back at 2013
Research is foundational for the future of the UW. We are transforming the world by providing solutions to society's most pressing issues. We are committed to enabling excellence by investing in targeted initiatives and funding strategies that support our faculty, students and staff, guided by the principles of innovation, scholarship, and discovery.
Our top rankings have been consistent, including those published by the Institute of Higher Education at China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University where the UW placed 16 among the world’s top universities (a ranking held since 2007), and 14 nationally. We ranked in the top five in Life and Agricultural Sciences, and Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy. The Higher Education Evaluation & Accreditation Council of Taiwan (HEACT) ranked the UW at fourth overall and first in public universities worldwide for the quality and impact of research endeavors.
Our grant and contract awards for fiscal year 2013 were $1.238 billion - tripling our research funding over the last twenty years. The UW receives more federal research funding than any other U.S. public university, and since 1984 among the top five for all public and private universities in the country. Due to our talented faculty, as well as new research space and facilities that have come online, our federal market share has increased 35% from 2% to 2.7% in the past four years.
A significant indication of the UW intellectual community’s strength is the number of grants over $1 million-- currently 43% of total awards ($529,995 million).
Despite federal funding challenges, the UW continues to gain strength as we strategically focus our resources on supporting the research enterprise. The effect has been increased competitiveness and collaboration resulting in quality research with impact, and an investment in the future of the UW and our world.
IRBshare: A New Central IRB Model
The Human Subjects Division (HSD) has teamed up with the Institute of Translational Health Sciences (ITHS) to bring you IRBshare.
What is IRBshare?
IRBshare is a centralized, electronic joint IRB review model for federally-funded multi-site studies that accelerates the review process by enabling a temporary reliance between member IRBs for initial review while maintaining UW IRB oversight for all subsequent aspects of a study (such as Status Reports and modifications).
What are the benefits of IRBshare to researchers?
The expected advantage for researchers is that there will be quicker turnaround times and fewer clarifications or contingencies requested by the UW IRB.
How does IRBshare change my workload?
Not much. IRBshare is primarily an internal tool for IRBs and their staff. Researchers are still required to:
When will IRBhare be available at UW?
IRBshare is fully available now!
How do I obtain more information or submit a study?
When an Investigator's Outside Work for Compensation is Also a Significant Financial Interest Related to Research
The Office of Research is now responsible for two administrative processes that are sometimes related.
When an Investigator discloses a financial interest in the Financial Interest Disclosure System (FIDS), as required by the University’s GIM 10, a determination is made regarding whether or not the financial interest meets the definition and threshold to qualify as a Significant Financial Interest (SFI). If it does, then any associated research activity is considered in light of the SFI and it is then determined whether or not the SFI constitutes a Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) with the associated research. FCOIs are then managed with a case-specific Management Plan developed by OR for the Investigator. OR has always handled the SFI/FCOI review and management process, including the introduction of FIDS in August of 2012.
Earlier this year, OR also assumed responsibility for managing the faculty Outside Work for Compensation process (affectionately known as the “1460” process, for the form on which requests are made) under EO 57, the UW Outside Professional Work Policy.
Faculty who engage in Outside Work for Compensation for a sponsor of any of their UW research, such as paid consulting for a pharmaceutical firm sponsoring a clinical trial, without disclosing their financial interest (in this case, the paid consulting) in FIDS or without being approved for the Outside Work via the 1460 process are in violation of University policy and of the State of Washington’s Ethics in Public Service law.
However, by disclosing the paid outside work in FIDS for their related research projects and by requesting prior approval to do the outside work by filing a Form 1460, faculty enjoy the protection of the "safe harbor" afforded by University review.
The Office of Research is coordinating these two review processes in an effort to preserve the integrity of research at UW, comply with Washington State law and meet the stewardship expectations and regulatory requirements of federal and state research sponsors. Because OR is handling both processes, it is in a position to integrate them, with the aim of strengthening compliance while minimizing and, wherever possible, actually decreasing the attendant administrative burden to faculty Investigators.
Our databases are being used to cross-check Outside Work requests and FIDS disclosures by Investigators and, where necessary, OR will contact an Investigator if all necessary disclosures and requests have not been submitted. Investigators and their research staff may anticipate specific queries from OR about Outside Work and SFI Disclosures. These informational queries are intended to pave the way for all necessary approvals, reducing delays in research funding due to missing disclosures and helping prevent penalties for non-compliance.
We welcome any comments and suggestions from the UW research community for process improvement, especially as related to the integration of these two administrative procedures.
With flexibility and hard work the University of Washington navigated the Federal Shutdown and Restart with smooth success. The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) issued regular communication updates, the Research website now links to a matrix of sponsor and UW guidance, and campus administrators rose to the challenge to support their faculty and researchers. NIH was successful at rescheduling peer review sessions this fall, negating summer applications moving to a winter review schedule and possibly causing gaps in funding. This was good news to UW faculty, post docs and staff paid from sponsored project budgets. Our Federal sponsors, however are not yet back to business as usual. Federal awards were not issued in October after the shutdown and we have seen a significantly reduced number of awards in recent weeks. NIH is the slowest, while NASA seems to be issuing awards in standard fashion. An interim appropriations bill was signed into Federal law to fund the government until January 15, 2014 and suspending the debt limit until February 7, 2014. Our next hurdle will be navigating any disruption to Federal funding during this period. We will continue to keep campus informed and post updated information to the Federal Government Shutdown & Restart Guidance for Research Programs webpage.
Research Roadmap Update
The challenge of maintaining completion records for required research trainings is the most commonly-cited administrative burden for researchers. To address this, the Office of Research Information Services (ORIS) is coordinating with different central offices through the Research Roadmap Advisory Group to build a tool that aggregates the training completion records from various administrative offices. This tool will provide researchers and their teams a single place to view all research required training completion records, eliminating the need to check multiple places. The first tool release will only provide completion records; beta testing for this is planned for the summer of 2014. We are also planning subsequent releases to add the functionality that will allow researchers to determine which required trainings need to be completed and renewed.
Over the past two years, the Complex Proposals Management Group (CPMG) has supported a number of units on campus in the development of complex proposals to various federal sponsors. According to client feedback, the processes and tools CPMG brought to the table made the challenges of developing complex proposals much more achievable. CPMG's collection of resources will be available soon on the Complex Proposals page at the Fostering Research Collaboration website. The Complex Proposals page will contain tools and templates as well as a discussion of best practices identified during the staff-supported pilot phase of the Complex Proposals project. The new resources will allow the Office of Research to provide just-in-time assistance to groups beginning the process of proposal development.
Associate Vice Provosts Mani Soma and Carrie Harwood are available to meet with your team for a one-time, one-hour consultation on new collaborative proposals to help with strategy planning.
Husky SciVal Experts offers updated features. Researchers can now make the Funding Alerts more efficient by selecting specific publications from their profile for the tool to analyze instantly in order to generate the recommendations, allowing authors who have worked in multiple disciplines to get recommendations in a specific focus area. Check the announcements box on the Fostering Collaborations page (http://depts.washington.edu/research/fostering-collaboration/profiles.php) for information on how to manage your funding alerts. Another update in the newest iteration of Husky SciVal Experts is that users can print CV data as well as publication, grant and patent histories in a clean format. Finally, more comprehensive publication data is available with ALL Scopus abstracts and co-authors shown for an article.
New Training Grant Tool! Resources to Ease the Burden of Preparing a Training Grant Proposal
We have launched our new webpage for the pre-award process of Training Grant proposals! The new website features tips, tools and downloadables for administrators preparing NIH T32 training grants is up and running and already well reviewed. Over 1000 users have accessed the site and over 500 have utilized content from it. Administrators are appreciating the “one-stop shop” nature of the site which provides tips on all pre-award aspects of the training grant proposal process. One user provided the following feedback: "The website is easily navigable, well-organized and the content will be tremendously valuable going forward."
Office of Research and subject matter experts from around campus are working on developing the Post Award materials to add to the website.
Visit the website for help on your T32 training grant: http://www.washington.edu/research/topics/training-grants/
Collaborative Resources One-Pager Available for Download
Interested in knowing about collaborative resources offered by the Office of Research? Download this nifty one-pager that has almost everything we offer to serve the research community.
Best Practices for Coordination and Set-up of Cost Shares
The Office of Research has developed assistance for coordination and set-up of cost-share for collaborative proposals. This process was drafted in response to requests from principal investigators (PI) and Associate Deans for Research for clarification and increased efficiency with the grant process.