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  • 1.  Preparing junior faculty

    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous
    Posted 04-25-2023 08:57
    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous

    Can anyone share their experience on how they ensure that their junior faculty and investigators are cognizant of their duties as primary investigators on a project? For instance, does your institution mandate workshops before project initiation, require they sign a form acknowledging they understand their responsibilities, etc.?

  • 2.  RE: Preparing junior faculty

    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous
    Posted 04-26-2023 07:04
    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous


    Unfortunately, my institution does not have required training for new or current PIs. I'm trying to start a pilot to provide the importance of training prior to IRB submission. I'm taking two departments and will show the time to approval difference between the pilot group receiving a training session vs. those not trained at all. Hopefully, I will generate some good data. 

  • 3.  RE: Preparing junior faculty

    Posted 04-26-2023 08:54

    I am curious to see the results of the pilot you are running and if there is a way we can create Customer Education materials to help onboard Junior Faculty and Investigators. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any suggestions or ideas that we could build out to help our customers who are struggling with the same issue. @Justin Von Euw

    Justin Von Euw
    Customer Education Manager

  • 4.  RE: Preparing junior faculty

    Posted 04-26-2023 09:01

    Hoo boy.  I can guess that there is a back-story here.  We all have tales to tell ;)

    My orientation to this is to create positive opportunities rather than mandates.  Yes, our internal notice of award delineates the PI's responsibilities.  On some level, they are held to that irrespective of whether or not they actually read it.  But, knowing that they don't read it, we have created some other opportunities for them to learn their responsibilities.  First-time-funded PIs are offered a kick-off meeting at the outset of the project with our post-award staff.  They usually accept with relief and gratitude.  Often the departmental Business Manager is involved, since those people are the engines that keep any university afloat.  Most financial transactions begin there,  so it's good for the new PI to understand the business practices involved.  We also offer (with a slight trend toward "require" but not fully that) a kick-off meeting even for experienced PIs when the award or project is unusually complex.

    I have a love-hate relationship with in-person trainings about grant management.  We are happy to put it out there, but it's almost impossible to offer it in such a way that a PI has it when it's essential for them to avoid some competely predictable pitfall.  The better choice is on-line training that they consult as needed.  But even there -at least some of the time- the PI can be in hot water long before he realizes it, right?  Why would he consult even on-line training if he doesn't think there's a problem?

    So, here's the fundamental thing.  Doing this work well depends on relationships.  Are we monitoring spending and helping the PIs to develop spending plans that match and support the science (and that keep them out of jail)?  Effort reports are another place that we can spot trouble.  Are we just plain talking to them for no reason at all other than an interest in their work?  Do they know us to be trustworthy resources?  Then.... maybe.... most of the time.... we can forestall the PI decisions that probably precipitated this email.

    But do we catch all of them in advance?  Oh, heck no.  Again with the stories I could tell......

    Andrea Buford
    Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
    Oakland University

  • 5.  RE: Preparing junior faculty

    Posted 04-27-2023 09:25

    Great input, Andrea! This is actually something we're trying to move towards on a sort of broad scale; on-demand training resources. The real issue or situation is just as you said: they often don't know they need the help resource until it's too late and now it's an urgent and messy matter. How do you get ahead of that? What are the outreach opportunities that we could take to increase visibility of those resources?

    Lyndal Arceneaux, MRA, CRA
    Sr. Proposal Administrator II, Team Lead
    Texas A&M University
    College Station, TX