Since 2002, Stevenson University (SU) has been actively engaged in seeking extramural funding as part of an intentional effort to expand and strengthen faculty and undergraduate research and scholarship. In a single year, grant funding increased by a thousand percent from $344,000 (2005) to $3,025,088 (2006), which catalyzed remarkable academic initiatives (largely in the biomedical and health sciences) while at the same time straining the institution's research administration functionality to an alarming degree. The PD's EARDA project, funded in 2006, established an Office of Research Development (ORD) that has strengthened and supported faculty/student research activities, but as the research enterprise has grown, so too has the complexity of operations, which now far exceeds the original scope of the ORD. Recent experience has revealed that the single largest barrier to enhancing research capacity at Stevenson is the current organizational structure. It has become clear that in order to support and reward faculty scholarship, streamline efforts, and reduce duplication, miscommunication, and other failures, the University must establish a new infrastructure and implement staff training that improves research administration. BRAD funding will enable SU to transition the ORD, with largely pre-award functions, into an Office of Sponsored Research and Programs (OSRP), with much more comprehensive responsibility for research administration. The OSRP will sustain all current functions of the ORD and incorporate additional personnel and responsibilities, including fostering and facilitating new grant proposals;managing the development and submission of all proposals;monitoring spending, billing, effort reporting;website development;providing training and professional development;and numerous other pre-award and post-award functions related to enhancing and strengthening the University's research capacity. In addition to improving infrastructure and functionality, the BRAD project will strengthen the research-rich culture by removing barriers and supporting and rewarding faculty/student scholarship. The learning environment at SU is compelling because so many students come from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. In the fall of 2012, 38% of all students were from ethnic populations underrepresented in the sciences, 67% were female, 30% were first generation, and 37% received federal Pell grants. Further, 34% of enrolled students were pursuing majors in the biomedical, health, and behavioral sciences. SU is therefore well positioned to ensure that significant numbers of disadvantaged and/or underrepresented students will have access to research opportunities in disciplines that impact this nation's health and well-being.

Public Health Relevance

Stevenson University (SU) is an institution serving a substantial proportion of students coming from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds and/or from populations underrepresented in the sciences, and is characterized by large enrollments in undergraduate majors directly related to the biomedical, behavioral, and health sciences. As such, SU is well positioned to ensure that significant numbers of disadvantaged and/or underrepresented students will have access to research opportunities in these disciplines through implementation of the initiatives outlined in the BRAD project entitled, Expanding Research Capacity by Establishing an Office of Sponsored Research and Programs at SU. The project is designed to improve, strengthen, and expand services provided in support of the research enterprise.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Extramural Associate Research Development Award (EARDA) (G11)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1)
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Flagg-Newton, Jean
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Stevenson University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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