Rationale: One major hurdle faculty face in preparing grant proposals is in the drafting of the non-scientific components—that is, the Resource & Facilities, Resource Sharing Plan, biosketch personal statements, letters of support, and other regulatory sections (e.g., human subjects and vertebrate animals); this is especially true in the preparation of complex, multi-investigator and multi-institutional, Center-type grant proposals. Faculty may look at these sections as bothersome time-sinks, hardly worth time or effort, or as insurmountable challenges that prevent them from applying to a grant. In either case, the ability to procure the necessary funding to conduct of their research can be seriously affected by sub-par non-scientific components in their proposals.
The Research Development Office (RDO) supports the development of multi-component grant proposals and, since its inception in July 2012, has already amassed a collection of template/example language for the non-scientific components of large Center grant applications (e.g., P01, P30, P50, U19, and U54 mechanisms). Of particular importance, we have descriptions of many UCSF resources (general environment, schools, departments, core facilities, etc.); we also have collected Resource Sharing Plans, regulatory sections, letters of support, and biosketches. So far, we have deposited these documents on our office server and kept inventory on an Excel spreadsheet. This is not a viable, scalable, or sustainable way for us to accomplish our goal of creating, managing, and curating a database of template/example language and making it available to any UCSF faculty or staff member (Principal Investigators, Key Personnel, grant and research administrators, Research Management Services staff, Contracts & Grants staff, staff writers, etc.). This library will not replace any of our current functionality in the proposal development process—RDO personnel will continue to help draft personalized sections—but will instead allow us to expand our level of service and free up bandwidth. In particular, the templates/examples will be relevant for a large breadth of documents in addition to large Center grants, including R01s, training grants, and contracts. Sources for template/example language will include the internal RDO library, as well as RMS personnel, UCSF departments, and individual investigators willing to share their samples. The creation of such a library has been enthusiastically supported by many faculty members, RMS and C&G staff, and administrators, and we look forward to working with them to continually adapt the library to best serve the needs of the UCSF community.
- Consult with a system administrator or web developer to identify an appropriate solution based on the following criteria:
- Ease-of-use: possible for any RDO staff member to be a site administrator in order to upload documents and update/manage content, overseen by Dr. Erin Bank, Research Development Specialist
- Searchability: keyword optimized for intuitive and easy searching by section title, keyword, and type of document
- Accessibility: open to UCSF faculty and staff via the UCSF network at any UCSF workstation or through a UCSF VPN account
- Connectability: able to link from the OSR/RDO website, currently under development to be hosted by the UCSF Office of Research using Drupal
- Adaptability: able to adapt to different types of documents and files as need dictates
- Trackability: count number of visits and downloads
- Capacity: room for hundreds of small-format .doc, .pdf, and .xcl files
- Work with a system administrator or web developer to implement the system
- Train Dr. Bank to be the primary manager of the database once it is up and running. Dr. Bank will also curate templates/examples contributed from outside the RDO
Criteria and metrics for success: We will track the visitors to the site and the number of times each document is downloaded, in addition to the number of text sections offered and the number of edits made to the stored text sections in order to keep them accurate.
Approximate cost and very brief justification: We request a budget of $20,000 to cover consulting fees; site building, authentication, and implementation; software installation; CMS costs (licensing fees, add-ons, hosting); training; and the UCSF server recharge.
Collaborators: A system administrator/web developer with experience working with UCSF; RMS, other staff, and faculty members will be both partners in contributing to the content of the database and users of the database after it is established.
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