Administrative Core Southcentral Foundation (SCF) is an Alaska Native non-profit health care organization that provides health services to over 65,000 Alaska Native and American Indian people in southcentral Alaska. SCF established a Research Department in 2006 to coordinate and conduct health research in alignment with SCF values and community wellness priorities. With the addition of research to the organization came the need to grow capacity for research administration. In the department's short lifespan, the Research Department has grown from one Principal Investigator (PI) to five and expanded from 10 to 16 staff members. S taff have cultivated productive partnerships with more than 35 experienced researchers from 19 universities and institutes and implemented 40 research projects in SCF clinical settings. This growth has resulted in a new set of administrative needs, challenges, and opportunities particularly as SCF infrastructure was developed to support the delivery of healthcare. As a key component of the proposed center grant, Population-based Interventions to Improve Behavioral Health in a Tribal Healthcare System, the Administrative Core will build upon research administration capacity established during the NARCH VII with incorporation of new technology and capacity-building activities to manage the funding pipeline, streamline processes, and measure ongoing effectiveness.
The Specific Aims of this project are to: 1) implement research administration software to enhance staff capacity to track pre- and post-award information and access project records for both day-to-day management and periodic reporting; 2) develop a model of standardized training and intradepartmental mentorship of administrative staff that promotes timely and effective administration of research grants, and 3) institute an evaluation framework and procedures to continuously monitor research grant administration processes, skills and outcomes; to develop strategies for improvement; and to support administrative staff. This effort will be led by Dr. Renee Robinson, Principal Investigator for three of the five SCF-NARCH VII components. Infrastructure and coordination provided by this Administrative Core will be integral to conducting community-driven research to ameliorate Alaska Native and American Indian behavioral health disparities such as the three research projects proposed in the Center.
Administrative Core Building research administrative capacity within a tribally-owned and operated Research Department will support health research projects prioritized by the Alaska Native and American Indian community.