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Mary Lidstrom

Mary Lidstrom, Vice Provost for Research

Partnering for our Future

It has been a great year for research, with amazing world-changing discoveries and research advances. We have tripled our research funding over the last twenty years ($1.15B)! In this time of grim economic news worldwide, the success of our researchers and their importance in melding education with research is a source of pride for all of us.

Our current success builds on a long tradition of excellence.  In honor of the 150th anniversary of the University of Washington, the Office of Research built a research timeline and posted it on our research home page.  I was fascinated by the visual representation of our development as a top-tier research university, and viewing it underscored the importance of our strong foundation in supporting our current achievements.

In order to maintain this tradition of excellence, it is even more important than ever that we support collaborations. Throughout this newsletter you will see examples of how the Office of Research is partnering with our campus stakeholders, and the positive outcomes of this teamwork.  We have made a great deal of progress, and couldn’t have done it without your input, knowledge and participation. Clearly, we can reach important and lofty goals if we partner together. Thank you, for all of your help.

As many of you know, the landscape of federally-funded research is changing rapidly. New and burdensome requirements, such as those involving Financial Conflicts of Interest (see article below), are being instituted by federal agencies, with little time to respond. The Office of Research is committed to minimizing the campus burden from these new rules. We will proactively update our systems to automate processes whenever possible, communicate any changes or updates with campus on a regular basis, and provide the necessary trainings. We are dedicated to a culture of excellent customer service, and I invite you to keep us apprised of ideas, comments, and any other feedback that will help us help you.

We truly value your thoughts and ideas. Please feel free to communicate with us at any time at

Mary Lidstrom
Vice Provost for Research

 Research in the Community

New Financial Conflicts of Interest (FCOI) Regulations

The UW’s FCOI policy is being revised so that it complies with new Public Health Service (PHS) regulations which go into effect August 24, 2012.  Implementation processes to ensure compliance with the new regulations will be completed by August 24, 2012.

For all investigators:

  • The monetary threshold for disclosing a significant financial interest has been lowered.  For more information, please go to the FCOI website:
  • A new electronic reporting tool is currently under development.

For PHS-funded investigators:

  • Online FCOI training is available now and must be completed prior to the expenditure of funds on any newly-funded projects;
  • All significant financial interests related to institutional responsibilities must be disclosed;
  • The institution must make disclosures of financial conflicts of interest by PHS investigators  publicly available; and
  • All travel reimbursements that are either sponsored by (that is paid by an outside entity directly to the investigator) or reimbursed directly to the investigator from an outside entity for travel that occurs after August 24, 2012 must be disclosed, with some exceptions. Travel reimbursement from the following outside entities does not need to be reported:  an institution of higher education, a federal/state/local government, an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute affiliated with an institution of higher education. For more information on exceptions, please go to the FCOI website.

For more information and access to the FCOI training for PHS-funded investigators, visit our Web page.

Lynne Chronister

Lynne Chronister Accepts Position at University of South Alabama





It is with mixed emotions that we announce the resignation of Lynne Chronister, Assistant Vice Provost for Research and Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs. Lynne joined the University of Washington in January of 2008, and has been working tirelessly for the UW to build a strong, stable and knowledgeable staff, especially by enhancing the work environment within OSP. In addition, she has contributed greatly to improving communication with our campus stakeholders, developing training for research administration, and facilitating process improvement efforts.  Lynne has admirably served as the principal liaison to our research sponsors and as a key advocate for new initiatives, including industry relations.

Lynne has accepted the position of Vice President for Research at the University of South Alabama, where she will have oversight of sponsored programs, contract and grant accounting, research compliance, and technology transfer. This decision also has an exciting personal aspect as her grandchildren live nearby in Mobile.  While her departure is truly a loss for the UW, given how this opportunity provides a combination of professional advancement and being closer to family, we concur that this is the right time and the right place for Lynne’s career.   She will be leaving the UW in mid-July.

Carol Rhodes, currently the Associate Director for Operations and Compliance in OSP, will serve as the Interim Director for OSP effective July 16, 2012.  We have begun our preparations to conduct a national search for a permanent OSP Director.

Lynne has been an invaluable asset to the UW, and though we will greatly miss her, please join us in wishing her all the best in her new role.

Jeff Cheek
Associate Vice Provost for Research


Research Administration Data Consolidation Project (RADC)

The RADC is continuing to partner with UW Tech Information Management and the Office of Planning and Budgeting to migrate research data to the centrally located, campus-wide enterprise data warehouse solution. The project goal is to provide timely access to quality data.  Examples include:

  • full query access to SAGE data by any system on campus via the data warehouse
  • data improvements such as the latest effort to remediate budget numbers in SAGE to ensure SAGE can connect to our financial data and for the first time allow automated, cross-system award to expense reporting

Future improvements include:

  • moving our proposal and award reports to UW Tech reporting services
  • moving existing reports to enable the availability to access basic SAGE data anytime of the day, on demand, by all campus users while improving the reports themselves
  • improving the Office of Research Annual Report and the report to the Board of Regents
  • advancements to enable data visualization, trending, and inflation adjusted awards

Overall the efforts to make data accessible will provide access to data, and enable an analytical view of the research as it pertains to the University of Washington.

Closing out your Grant or Contract (Closeouts)

The new GIM 39 on Closeouts of Sponsored Programs is all about supporting faculty in fulfilling their sponsor’s closeout requirements. In response to communication from federal agencies that no new funding would be awarded from the agency unless delinquent final reports were submitted, OSP drafted and widely vetted GIM 39.  The results are a notification system, a guide, a dedicated email account for PIs to send copies of their submitted reports, and an escalation process for delinquent reports.  

 What is the process?

  • email reminders are sent to PIs prompting them to submit the required final technical reports and provide a copy to OSP
  • PIs must send a copy of their final technical report for their grant funding to,OR take steps to extend the project end-date through a no cost extension or supplemental funding
  • notifications include escalations to the department and dean’s office so that internal support can be provided when needed

The new reminder process has been a success. Over 99% of the final technical reports for grant funding due from UW PIs to federal sponsors since June 26, 2011, has been submitted on time!

If you have questions, email

Don’t Fear the RPPR (Research Performance Progress Report)

Do you receive funding from NIH? If so, you may have recently noticed an option to submit your progress report in NIH’s eRA Commons site, called RPPR. RPPR, which stands for “Research Performance Progress Report,” is a new federal-wide uniform progress report format mandated by the Office of Management and Budget. The UW, along with six other institutions, is currently piloting the use of the RPPR format within eRA Commons, which will ultimately replace the eSNAP process.

As a pilot institution, UW has the opportunity to get an advance look at, and to influence NIH’s implementation of, the RPPR process. However, to do so we need your input. By using RPPR and sending us your feedback, you will help influence an optimal progress reporting experience going forward for you and the University. Before you do, though, please be sure to check out the full details at the University of Washington RPPR web page.

We have NIH’s ear. Use RPPR for your next NIH progress report, be heard, and you will have no need to fear the RPPR!  To give your feedback, please contact Carol Rhodes, Associate Director, Office of Sponsored Programs ( or Kristina Hyman, Program Operations Specialist, Learning and Business Support Team, OSP ( All comments are welcomed and will be coordinated as a University response to NIH.

Research Roadmap: Tracking A Submitted Research Compliance Protocol

Managing the timely submission of a grant proposal can be challenging for researchers when they don’t know where their submitted compliance protocol is in the process. At this time, they must contact OSP or compliance offices to learn the status.

To simplify the process, the Research Roadmap Program is working on the Protocol Status Transparency project whose goal is to display the status of submitted Human Subject Division (HSD), Office of Animal Welfare (OAW), or Environment Health & Safety (EH&S) protocols on a website available to researchers and central offices. Currently, the Research Roadmap Program is compiling a list of available statuses within the systems. They are also investigating ways of linking the grant submission system data to the compliance systems data.

The project is in the early stages of the discovery phase; feasibility report out will be provided in 2013.

Research Roadmap Sets Course on Training

With training delivered by many units across campus, finding and tracking training requirements for each grant can be a challenging and complex maze for researchers to navigate. Tracking training requirements is complex because:

  • each of the compliance units has systems which work independently of each other, so researchers must locate and compile the required training information from several different sources
  • based upon compliance regulations, work location, and the subjects involved in the protocols, the required training often vary from grant to grant
  • different sponsors have different deadlines for completing required training

To streamline the process, the Research Roadmap Program has kicked off a project to build an online tool which will display the training that research team members have taken and the training they need to complete.

The Research Roadmap team is currently gathering information about the data requirements from each compliance organization and determining how the data can be consolidated. The next step will be to bring together and automate the required training rules and alert research teams about current required research training obligations. Look for the first version in 2013.

In the future, required training will become part of an enterprise solution. In the meantime, the Research Roadmap Program will continue to find ways to reduce the administrative burden to researchers.

The Complex Proposals Management Group (CPMG)

CPMG sponsored by the Office of Research supports the development and submission of high-quality and complex grant and contract proposals.  At this time the service is provided at no charge.

What we do

 Working with investigators we:

  • review Request For Proposal
  • create proposal development timeline
  • create accountability and action plan
  • follow-up on the completion of checklist items
  • review and advise on presentation of the
  • detailed budget and justification
  • review and advise on presentation of institutional commitments and cost-sharing

Led by Drs. Brooke Trinh and Kimberly Littlefield, the CPMG has supported individual and teams of investigators who have submitted complex proposals to a variety of sponsors including NSF, NIH and USAID.  For information or to request services, please contact CPMG.  Requests will be reviewed by the CPMG team and the Vice Provost for Research. Decisions will be based on the complexity of the proposal and staff availability.



iSTAR (Improving Service to Advance Research)

iSTAR is the strategic and organizational improvement effort in the Office of Research (OR).  Our top priority is to provide excellent customer service to our stakeholders. See our webpage for our metrics designed to help measure our effectiveness. Selected highlights include:

Customer Service

  • The Organizational Effectiveness Initiative (OEI) has been working with the Research Roadmap team to help organizations with needs assessment, strategic planning and process improvement
  • OEI is currently working with 12 organizations on campus to assist with strategic planning and implementation               
  • Turnaround time for human subjects minimal risk studies continued to improve, from 21 days to 17 days despite a continued rise in volume
  • New metrics are now available in Human Subjects Division Quarterly Performance Metrics report. They describe the turnaround time for review and approval of Modifications.  Also, the frequency distribution of turnaround time for initial applications is now provided, in addition to the already-provided medians and range.
  • Financial Conflicts of Interest website provides:
    • up-to-date information concerning UW compliance with the Public Health Service (PHS) revised financial conflicts of interest (FCOI) regulations
    • a one-stop-shop to the mandatory training, full policy documentation and essential details on processes that investigators must follow to meet the new requirements

Education and Outreach

  • Provided 36 class sessions to 655 campus participants
  • New courses created and delivered: SAGE Budget, and Grant Runner 102, Nuts and Bolts of Administering Outgoing Subcontracts, Post-Award Financial Administration: Processes, & Best Practices
  • Provide updated training to support UW research community in the use of ORIS programs
  • Six faculty brown bag sessions were held on topics related to compliance and building research programs

Resource Optimization

  • Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) and Animal Use Medical Screening  (AUMS) application/Phase I features include:
    • online application and submission eliminates postal delays and avoids problems related to lost applications 
    • efficiencies that eliminate the need for EH&S to rekey applications into the system therefore increasing accuracy and efficiency
    • electronic validations of required fields ease administrative workload and reduces incomplete or illegible applications 
  • Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR):
    • evaluated format changes in the upcoming NIH progress reports through participation in NIH RPPR pilot
    • collected and reviewed campus feedback on the new format to inform and improve NIH implementation of this change in NIH reporting
    • coordinated inter-institutional discussion of RPPR pilot results and feedback to identify common requests that could benefit from unified support from multiple institutions
  • OSP & GCA significantly reduced the lag time in processing award checks by revising the process to streamline the identification and posting of checks to the proper research budget. This effort moved $ 7.5 million from the generic suspense account to specific research budgets.
  • GIM 9 (Advanced Budget Numbers) was revised to include more information regarding eligibility, procedures and guidance. Within the GIM there is now a link to a new web tool for determining eligibility.
  • GIM 34 (Classification for External Support – i.e., Gifts vs. Sponsored Programs) was revised to clarify the classification determination process



150 Years of UW Research History

Did you know...

In honor of our 150th anniversary, we are pleased to present a timeline of education and research at the UW. Take a tour of our beginnings from a small university of 30 students in the territory of Washington to the premier university we are today.

Highlights include stories like the first open-heart surgery in the Pacific Northwest (1956) and the world's first genetically engineered vaccine against a human disease (1981).

Many thanks to the team who worked on the 150th timeline; our content gatherers and our great web group. Great job!!!