Slide 1

Report
Realising Research Support
Potential in a Devolved
Environment
Kathy Brownridge & Jennifer Johnson
Overview
•
•
•
•
Leeds’ history of Research Support
Devolution
The Operations Team
Framework for Training &
Professionalisation
• Research Support Systems /
Processes Project
• The Future
Internal context (2003 – 2006)
• Split in cradle-to-grave support between FROs (pre) and RSU
(post)
• Volume of awards increased by one third in 3 years (£71m £117m)
• Implementation of fEC in September 2005 – complexities of
Leeds approach
• Development and implementation of a bespoke costing tool
• Implementation of grants administration system Oct 04 – new
to sector (SAP GM)
• Huge change management programme, escalating workload,
no add. resources
• Sound familiar?
Fall Out
• Huge data quality issues and backlog of data entry
• Demoralised staff – high turnover, loss of scarce skills, firefighting
• Backlog of claims – over 200 in arrears
• Research debtors £2.7m
• 600 accounts awaiting closure
• Customer dissatisfaction all time high ‘more important than
the RAE’
Pre Devolution – Central Research
Support Unit (RSU)
•
•
•
•
•
•
Policy and Performance
European / International
Data Management
Contracts
Post-Award
Finance and Systems
• TOTAL FTES
• TOTAL COST
3.8
5.6
3.0
4.0
5.6
2.0
24.0 (34%)
£826K (32%)
Pre Devolution – Faculty Research
Offices (FROs)
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Medicine and Health
16.8
Environment
8.4
Biological Sciences
6.0
Engineering
4.2
Maths / Physical Sciences
3.0
Business
2.0
Performance / Visual Arts / Comms 2.0
Social Sciences
2.0
Arts
2.0
TOTAL FTES
46.4 (66%)
TOTAL COST
£1743K (68%)
Pre Devolution – Faculty Research
Offices (FROs)
• Differentially resourced / portfolio of activities /
processes / reporting structures
• Skills shortages / internal market / poaching of staff
• No standardisation of role profiles / grading disparities –
no career pathway
• Lack of critical mass in smaller FROs
• Fragmentation of support within Medicine and Health
• Differing levels of customer experience for PIs
Benchmarking – Lessons Learned
• No ideal model – adapted ideas from each as appropriate to
Leeds
• Imperial: Fully devolved system of research support for
cradle to grave administration to Faculties with full
responsibility, accountability, resources
• Coupled with central team – strategy, systems, compliance,
support, QA
• Campus-based research support offices for medical schools
• Don’t rush devolution – careful planning, dedicated team,
training schedule
• Newcastle: Joint NHS / University research office
• Sheffield: Risk-based approach to review of awards / training
research admins
Research Support at the University of
Leeds: Recommendations for Change
• Recommended devolution of database & post-award
support to Faculties
• Centre – Policy & Performance, EU/International,
Contracts, Operations
• Faculties – cradle-to-grave support for research
applications and awards
• Medicine & Health to move towards 2 campus-based
offices / links to NHS
• Instigated project to improve research process and
systems (RSP)
September 2007
Devolution Process
• Phased implementation July – December 2008
• Comprehensive training package & materials designed
• 3 cohorts of trainees received a 2 month programme of
training based in RSU
• Detailed negotiations with FROs re who to be trained, in
what, when, etc.
• Comprehensive Research Support Handbook
developed
• Successfully completed by December 2008
Career Pathways & Grades
• Report recommended parity of grading, workloads and
responsibilities across Faculties
• Development of generic job descriptions for all Facultybased staff
• Consistency of job titles
• Central involvement in Faculty recruitment process
• Ensures parity, identifies training and induction needs
Resources Post Devolution
• Additional 15 FTEs involved research support
• Three quarters of staff engaged in research support
now in Faculties:
– Pre-award
32
– Post-award
34
– Other
19
– TOTAL FTES
85
– FACULTY
75%
– CENTRE
25%
Post Devolution – Central Research
Support (RS)
•
•
•
•
Policy and Performance
European / International
Contracts
Operations
• TOTAL FTES
4.8
6.6
5.0
4.0
20.4
Operations Team
• Key contact point
• Harmonisation of procedures
• Quality assurance & internal audit
• Key performance indicators
• Recruitment & training
• Systems & processes
• Ethics & Governance
Harmonisation of Procedures
• Nine faculties – ONE University
• Research Support Handbook
• Research Support Helpdesk
• Research Support Website
http://ResearchSupport.Leeds.ac.uk
Quality Assurance
• Quality Assurance Reports
• Cost sharing
• Ethical approval required?
• DAC Journals set up?
• QA Contacts Network
• QA Training
• Internal Audit
Key Performance Indicators
• Quarterly distribution
• Faculty checks:
–
–
–
–
Late starting certificates
Grants overdue for closure
Credit notes raised
Outstanding QA issues
• Central RS checks:
– Number of contracts completed
– Contract review turnaround times
– Number of staff trained / training feedback scores
Staff Training – The National
Picture
• ‘Professionalising Research Management’, March
2009, John Green & David Langley
• Gaps in provision of training across the spectrum of
research management
• Ad-hoc delivery of training with little co-ordination
between providers
• No accreditation
• No recognised career pathway for research support
• No agreement on who should now move this
agenda forwards – or how
Staff Training – The Leeds
Response
Research Support at the University of
Leeds: A Framework for Training and
Professionalisation of Research
Administrators and Managers
September 2008
Recommendations
• Generic job descriptions
• Training strands with named coordinators
• Training for pre-award, post-award
and FRM roles
• Training at 3 different levels
• Induction training for all new staff
• Train the trainer
Implementation
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
55 courses identified
Training needs analysis / prioritisation
Professionalisation Training Project Group
Identification of trainers
Development of materials
Training database / email networks
Online booking
Administration of courses
Training courses
• 25 courses so far, across 12 ‘strands’
• Examples include:
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Providing Professional Research Support
Research Performance Monitoring & Reporting
Good practice in costing research grants
Introductory Contracts
VAT for EU grants
Introduction to TRAC
Advanced MIS
Feedback
110 people attended training between Jan 09 and
March 10.
– Very useful, well structured, flexible delivery, all round
brilliant
– Constanze Vageler, FRM Helicopter training
– A very good course – covered a lot of things that will save
me time
– Keri Dunning, Advanced MIS
– Excellent, succinct, informative and well presented
– Rosie Corbin, The Research Application Process at Leeds
Mentoring
• Mentoring is a protected relationship where
learning and experimentation can occur, potential
skills can be developed and in which results can be
measured in terms of competencies rather than
curricular territory covered.” Collin (1979)
• ‘Offline help by one person to another making
significant transitions in knowledge, work of
thinking’
European Mentoring Centre (2001)
The Professionalisation
Mentoring Scheme
•
•
•
•
•
•
Coordinator – Operations Manager
Publicity/marketing of scheme
Process for matching mentor with mentee
Training for mentors & mentees
Written guidance for mentor/mentee
Monitor and review
• 9 pairs currently matched
• Recruitment underway for second round
Research Support
Conference
• Three successful conferences to date
– 2007 Professionalism in Research Support
– 2008 Redefining our partnership
– 2009 Excellence with impact
• Fourth conference December 2010
– Collaboration & Concentration
• Over 100 delegates
• External speakers
The Future of The
Professionalisation Framework
• Training courses
– Brainstorming
– Training Needs Analysis
– New courses & new contributors
• Networking events / sharing of best
practice
• Secondments
Future challenges for the devolved
model: Systems & Processes
• Poor integration of pre and post-award systems
• Plethora of local systems – especially costing and
scenario planning
• Duplication of data entry
• Requirement for staff commitments – financial and
time (for RCUK)
• Support For EU and EKT awards – single process
• Embed risk reviews – ethics, contracts, health &
safety
• Need for systems to support large, programme,
multi-collaborator awards
Research Support Systems /
Processes Project (RSP)
• RSP project due to deliver May 2011
• Aim to deliver a single process - seamless
integrated research environment
• Reviewed systems on the market - developing preaward in-house
• Vision – portal web-based system
• Move to risk-based approach to authorisation of
applications and awards
• Dashboard – RAG status of cost/benefit, contract
T&Cs, ethical & internal peer reviews
So, was it all worth it?
• Devolution of cradle-to-grave support to Faculties
great success
• Specialist support close to academic staff
• Operations Team also large part of that success –
supporting Faculties
• Medicine & Health – move to two site office / joint
NHS - on-going
• RSP project – rocky path but on course – ‘sector
leading’
• Great – we can sit back and reap the benefit of our
endeavours!
Just when you thought everything
was sorted – Think Again!
• The world does not stand still!
• Research and Innovation support currently
separate services
• Reviewing alignment
university-wide
• Balance between central
and local provision
• Likely that we will move
towards single integrated service
• Build upon lessons learned through research
review
Contact Details
Kathy Brownridge
Director of Research Support
0113 343 6050
Jennifer Johnson
Operations Manager
0113 343 1944
http://ResearchSupport.Leeds.ac.uk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VLYpKG
VBUg

similar documents