The central goal of the Administrative Core is to break down conceptual, disciplinary, logistical, and physical barriers to empower Project and Core Leaders to pursue their specific aims and to address NIEHS' strategic goals and SRP mandates. To accomplish this goal, the Administrative Core provides fiscal and administrative support for the projects and cores, coordinates research activities, integrates research objectives, maintains a dialogue with the national SRP and other government agencies, and tracks metrics of program outcomes. The Core is structured to meet three primary objectives: 1) promote integration and cohesion of activities so that a given project or core can follow a rigorous and logical path while simultaneously responding to the mandates of the national SRP, 2) reduce administrative burdens on investigators to the extent consistent with investigator responsibilities for accountability and productive science, and 3) track program outcomes and use those outcomes for continual improvement. Goals and objectives will be met through the fulfillment of three Specific Aims:
Specific Aim 1 : Provide an effective and flexible management structure for administration and project /core support. The Core is led by Dr. Sherr (Director) and Dr. Ozonoff (Deputy Director) who bring complementary expertise in molecular toxicology, epidemiology, and program administration. Leadership is supported by a full time, highly-skilled Administrative Staff Director, Dr. Jessica Ehinger, and two part-time administrators. The Core is supported by an active and dedicated Executive Committee and an outstanding External Advisory Committee with complementing expertise in molecular toxicology, ecology, early life chemical exposure, and community engagement/research translation.
Specific Aim 2 : Encourage and support interdisciplinary approaches to the SRP mission.
This aim will be accomplished using principles of team science employed successfully in previous years and now augmented by proven strategies presented in the literature. These principles for inter- and transdisciplinary work include: 1) building collaborative and adaptive teams of investigators with overlapping but non-identical interests and expertise, 2) providing an effective communications infrastructure, and 3) maintaining strong program leadership committed to expanding interdisciplinary work thorough communication, integration, and supportive initiatives.
Specific Aim 3 : Enhance systems for evaluating BUSRP outcomes and for continuous improvement. The Administrative Core will augment use of the NIEHS Data Collection Form and CareerTrac with customized analytics tools to provide quantitative and qualitative feedback in real-time with relative ease and increased granularity. These analytics tools will enable the Program to expeditiously build on its strengths and address any emerging weaknesses. This evaluation and continuous improvement plan will continue to be refined, leveraging the resources of the Institutional Research and Evaluation Office on the Boston University Medical Campus.
The BUSRP Administrative Core provides the central structure that supports five science projects and five cores in addressing the Center's theme of ?Long-term impacts of early life exposure to Superfund chemicals?. The Core, together with the Community Engagement and Research Translation Cores, provides linkages between the BUSRP and communities affected by Superfund chemical contamination and agencies trying to asses risk and to effect remediation. The chemicals under study are of significant concern to the National SRP, EPA, ATSDR and other governmental stakeholders, and the data generated thus far and the hypotheses to be tested over the next five years all have bearing on human health, particular as they relate to health problems that may occur as a consequence of exposure to hazardous waste during early life, a well-established window of vulnerability.
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