New initiatives designed to assist Notre Dame researchers

Author: William G. Gilroy


Faculty researchers at the University of Notre Dame are receiving a boost from two new Office of Research initiatives designed to advance the Universitys progress into the ranks ofAmericas leading research universities. The initiatives include improved services to faculty and a Web-based software suite that assists researchers with proposal preparation and award management.

This project is a key part of the foundation required to make Notre Dame an outstanding research university,said Ed Maginn, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering.These additional services are a major step in the right direction toward helping us increase our research profile.

The mission of the Office of Research is to assist faculty members in obtaining and managing funds to support their research and scholarly activities. The additional services offered by the office and the decision leading to the acquisition of the InfoEd software suite were made with participation from the faculty.

We feel a responsibility to provide the support and tools our faculty need to take Notre Dame to the next level in becoming the worlds leading Catholic research institution,said Donald Pope-Davis, dean of the Graduate School.Were doing all we can to help our researchers achieve that goal.

Since December, all University researchers have been assigned a team to support their proposal work and award management. The team consists of a pre-award research administrator, a post-award administrator, and a research accountant.

This allows us to develop a partnership to understand the unique needs of the faculty with whom we work,said Terri Hall, associate director of pre-award.

InfoEd is the leading provider of software solutions for university research administration and is used by leading research universities such asColumbia, Northwestern, Duke and UCLA.

The new system addresses a long-standing problem with the federal system which researchers must now use to apply for grants. is not a Web-based system and was created with only PC-users in mind. InfoEd is a Web-based system that works with and can be used by both PC and Mac users wherever Internet access is available.

Due to more stringent and complex compliance regulations, new proposal submission systems, and an increase in the administrative burden to submit proposals and manage awards, weve made significant changes in how we serve our researchers,said Michael Edwards, assistant vice president and director of the Office of Research.

Others features of InfoEd include electronic routing for approvals and reporting capabilities which will further ease the administrative burden on researchers and staff.

The new services being developed for faculty will allow them to build upon our strategic plan to build pre-eminent research programs and provide the kind of administrative support necessary to enable the creativity and efforts of the faculty to be used to their full potential,said Christine Maziar, associate provost.One of the biggest issues at the forefront of university research administration is compliance with federal regulations. The new software system will enable expanded oversight and tracking of conflict of interest and improved time and effort reportingtwo key areas of compliance concern for university research, in addition to the use of animal subjects in research.

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