Research Initiative Hero with George Washington statue and GW Researcher Cynthia Dowd

Research Initiative

 

 

GW's mission is to improve the world with the discoveries and creative expressions of its faculty and students. This requires the university to invest in the areas of scholarship and research where it can have the greatest success and to ensure that its research ecosystem matches the aspirations of the university community. And it requires that the university facilitate research that crosses disciplinary and geographic boundaries. GW will build on the progress it has made, exploring ways to support research that continues to generate groundbreaking discoveries and innovative ideas.

 


 

Goals

 

  • Goal 1: Ensure that principal investigators have the support and flexibility they need to focus on their research.
     
  • Goal 2: Enhance GW's research and scholarly reputation and promote discoveries and innovations made by the university community. 
     
  • Goal 3: Align the research and academic enterprises.
     
  • Goal 4:  Enrich the educational experience of GW students by increasing opportunities to work and publish with faculty.

 


Initiative Accomplishments
 

 

  • Research ecosystem review phase II launched in fall 2019.

  • In partnership with the Student Experience initiative, the GW Student Research Commons, a centralized resource for students to locate research opportunities at GW, was launched.

  • Enhancements to PI Dashboard, a web-based award management portal, went live on September 1, 2019.

  • Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) Pre-Award Review Guide was published to clarify proposal review responsibilities.

  • The university automated administrative processes, workflows and status updates related to data use agreements, administrative establishments and extensions, and others.

  • GW reduced the administrative burden associated with proposal submission by eliminating the formal five-day waiver request.

  • GW participated in eMerge Americas, a global technology and entrepreneurship competition in Miami.

  • The university commenced a search for a new integrated electronic sponsored research lifecycle tool in spring 2019.

  • The university released the research ecosystem review phase I report. The executive summary (PDF) outlined high-priority themes for additional focus and prioritization.

  • The Office of the Vice President for Research has instituted panel reviews for University Facilitating Fund applications, at the request of faculty, to support enhanced equity in awarding internal funding.

  • A new electronic system for submission and review of research integrity and compliance processes has been implemented.

  • The Office of the Vice President for Research has instituted panel reviews for University Facilitating Fund applications, at the request of faculty, to support enhanced equity in awarding internal funding.

  • The vice president for research reports to the provost, in support of the initiative goal to better align the research and academic enterprises.

  • A new electronic system for submission and review of research integrity and compliance processes has been implemented.

  • Phase I of the faculty-led research ecosystem review launched in fall 2018.

  • University Increases Intramural Funding
    In late 2017, the university increased funding for internal research grants. This funding—for individual and multi-disciplinary projects—is especially important for faculty in fields in which research funding is scarce, such as the humanities.

 


 

Research Ecosystem Review Working Groups

GW faculty, staff and leadership continue to review the university’s research ecosystem. The review is a major goal of the research strategic initiative and aims to identify successes and areas for investment and to outline action plans for improvement.


The second phase of working groups will examine: workforce development, big data and high-performance computing infrastructure, resource allocation and the operation and utilization of shared facilities.


Objective: As part of the research ecosystem review, the Workforce Development Working Group will examine current workforce development efforts and cultivate a professional pipeline from undergraduate through postdoctoral student populations. In particular, the Workforce Development Working Group will focus on realigning post-doctorates (postdocs) as trainees and providing the appropriate level of support. The working group will evaluate current practices and explore best practices from peer institutions, considering: how GW recruits postdocs competitively; how GW supports faculty with postdocs in the lab; and how GW creates an environment that welcomes trainees and properly defines trainees, employees and students. 

In completing its review, the working group should consider: current workforce development practices, existing best practices within the GW community and peer institutions and opportunities for improvement. It is important to note that there is an established group currently working on the mechanics behind transitioning postdocs from employees to trainees at GW, including updates to employment status, hiring processes and benefits.

Participants:

  • Daisy Le (SON)
  • Alison Hall (SMHS)
  • Shaon Lahiri (GWSPH)
  • Trudy Mallinson (SMHS)
  • Evie Downey (CCAS)
  • Kate Applebaum (GWSPH)
  • Rohan Fernandes (SMHS)
  • Frank Baginski (CCAS)
  • Emilia Entcheva (SEAS)
  • Elizabeth Vaquera (CCAS)
  • Gina Lohr (OVPR)
  • Rachel Brown (Career Services)
  • Don Reagan (BMAG)
  • Leslie Roe (BMAG)
     

Objective: As part of the  research ecosystem review, the Big Data and High-Performance Computing Infrastructure Working Group will evaluate current computing infrastructure including Colonial One, Pegasus, high-performance computing within schools, ongoing research and scholarships that currently use big data and future needs at GW related to big data and high-performance computing infrastructure. The working group will consider necessary institutional capacity for maintaining big data-related infrastructure over the next five to 10 years. Finally, the working group will explore opportunities for greater growth, collaboration and efficiency. The scope includes the capture, analysis, storage and transfer of big data. 

In completing its review, the working group should consider: the current approach to big data and high-performance computing infrastructure, existing best practices within the GW community and opportunities for improvement.

Participants:

  • Tarek El-Ghazawi (SEAS)
  • Ryan Watkins (GSEHD)
  • Bill Briscoe (CCAS)
  • Maliha Aziz (GWSPH)
  • Maritza Dowling (SON/GWSPH)
  • Maroun Medlej (GWSB)
  • Raja Mazumder (SMHS)
  • William Borden (SMHS)
  • Andrei Alexandru (CCAS)
  • Chris Warshaw (CCAS)
  • Michael Driscoll (SMHS)
  • Marcos Perez-Losada (GWSPH)
  • Brian Ensor (GWIT)
  • Raoul Gabiam (SEAS IT)
  • Hiromi Sanders (OVPR)
  • Geneva Henry (LAI)
  • Megan Potterbusch (LAI)
  • Megan Dieleman (OVPR)
  • Don Reagan (BMAG)
  • Leslie Roe (BMAG)

Objective: As part of the  research ecosystem review, the Resource Allocation Working Group will solicit faculty perspectives and recommendations regarding fellowship support, institutional-funded research, grant/fellowship preparation, the cost of course buy-outs offset by externally funded sources and current allocations of research space. In completing its review, the working group should consider what is working well, what is not working, best practices that are applicable to GW and areas of improvement for resource allocation management.

Participants:

  • Maxine Freund (GSEHD)
  • Pearl Zhou (SON)
  • Jeanne Geiger-Brown (SON)
  • Matt Kay (SEAS)
  • Nicholas Vonortas (ESIA)
  • Tara Behrend (CCAS)
  • Rebecca Lynch (SMHS)
  • Nicole Ivy (CCAS)
  • Samer Hamdar (SEAS)
  • Brandon Bartels (CCAS)
  • Aleksandar Jeremic (CCAS)
  • Houston Miller (CCAS)
  • Megan Dieleman (OVPR)
  • Don Reagan (BMAG)
  • Leslie Roe (BMAG)

Objective: As part of the research ecosystem review, the Operation and Utilization of Shared Facilities Working Group will review GW’s current shared facilities and core facilities to provide insight on their operations and utilization. The working group will make recommendations regarding how to better utilize GW’s existing shared facilities; prioritize potential future shared facilities; review current processes and policies related to shared facilities; and recommend definitions and distinctions for core facilities, shared facilities and service centers. Considerations should include the financial and operational underpinnings of core facilities and the process for creating a new shared facility. 

In completing its review, the working group should consider: what is working well pertaining to shared facilities management at GW, areas for improvement and best practices for improving the operational efficiency and utilization of shared facilities.

Participants:

  • Shaista Khilji (GSEHD)
  • Vesna Zderic (SEAS)
  • Keith Crandall (GWSPH)
  • Nirbhay Kumar (GWSPH)
  • Linda Kusner (SMHS)
  • Victoria Shanmugam (SMHS)
  • Dale Lupu (SON)
  • Megan Leftwich (SEAS)
  • Mary Coughlin (CCAS)
  • Stephen Boyes (CCAS)
  • Hui Lu (SMHS)
  • Bob Miller (OVPR)
  • Gina Lohr (OVPR)
  • Sharon Heinle (Controller)
  • Sonia Singh (Controller)
  • Geneva Henry (LAI)
  • Brian Ensor (GWIT)
  • Megan Dieleman (OVPR)
  • Don Reagan (BMAG)
  • Leslie Roe (BMAG)

 

The first phase of working groups previously examined the following in the fall of 2018: research integrity and compliance, pre-award processes, post-award processes, and non-sponsored research and scholarship.

Objective: As part of the research ecosystem review, the Research Integrity and Compliance Working Group undertook a review of research integrity and compliance processes to recognize what is going well and to determine the critical questions/pain points/issues that need to be addressed to further improve research integrity and compliance processes. In addition, the group created a report identifying proposed solutions and operational metrics for evaluating the success of research integrity and compliance processes.

 

Research integrity and compliance provides training and oversight to promote ethical research and scholarly conduct and to ensure compliance with applicable laws and policies. Research integrity and compliance encompasses the following areas:

• Human research • Data use agreements

• Animal research • Export controls

• Laboratory safety • PHS conflicts of interest

• Responsible conduct of research/research misconduct

For each, the working group considered: how the process is working currently and the roles and responsibilities for each process component.

Participants:

  • Kim Acquaviva (SON)
  • Annamaria Lusardi (GWSB)
  • Kausik Sarkar (SEAS)
  • Robert Tuttle (GW LAW)
  • Rebecca Clifton (GWSPH)
  • Gina Lohr (OVPR)
  • Gregory Squires (CCAS)
  • Sheila Garrity (OVPR)
  • Delishia Pittman (GSEHD)
  • Hiromi Sanders (OVPR)
  • Ky Luu (ESIA)
  • Megan Dieleman (OVPR)
  • Karen McDonnell (GWSPH)
  • Don Reagan (BMAG)
  • Mary Ann Stepp (CCAS)

Objective: As part of the research ecosystem review, the Pre-Award Processes Working Group  undertook a review of pre-award processes to recognize what is going well and to determine the critical questions/pain points/issues that need to be addressed to further improve pre-award processes. In addition, the group created a report identifying proposed solutions and operational metrics for evaluating success of pre-award processes. 

Pre-award processes include but are not limited to: finding funding opportunities, identifying collaborators, developing proposals, developing proposal budget(s), establishing sub-recipients, completing necessary compliance checks (i.e., conflict of interest (COI), financial conflict of interest (FCOI), Institutional Review Board (IRB), export controls, etc.*), routing proposals for review/approval and submitting proposals. 

For each, the working group considered: how the process is working currently and the roles and responsibilities for each process component.

*Please note that research integrity is a separate working group and will include animal research, human research, export controls, etc.

Participants:

  • Melissa Perry (GWSPH)
  • Alejandro Villagra (SMHS) 
  • Yongwu Rong (CCAS)
  • Megan Leftwich (SEAS) 
  • Dana Hines (SON)
  • Gina Lohr (OVPR)
  • Susan Aaronson (ESIA)
  • Shandra White (OVPR)
  • Herman Aguinis (GWSB) 
  • Megan Dieleman (OVPR)
  • William Briscoe (CCAS) 
  • Don Reagan (BMAG) 
  • Kausik Sarkar (SEAS)

Objective: As part of the research ecosystem review, the Post-Award Processes Working Group undertook a review of post-award processes to recognize what is going well and to determine the critical questions/pain points/issues that need to be addressed to further improve post-award processes. In addition, the group created a report identifying proposed solutions and operational metrics for evaluating success of post-award processes. 

Post-award processes include but are not limited to: award acceptance and negotiation; setting up an award in GW systems; purchasing, hiring, graduate student assistantships and fellowships; establishing and monitoring sub-award activities; monitoring financial activity on the award; reporting; modifying the award; overseeing award personnel; monitoring award activity to ensure overall compliance with all applicable sponsor guidelines, GW policies, compliance with federal and local laws; and closing out the award. 

For each, the working group considered how the process is working currently and the roles and responsibilities for each process component.

Participants: 

  • Matt Kay (SEAS)
  • Rajiv Rimal (GWSPH)
  • Sharon Heinle (Controller)
  • Valentina Harizanov (CCAS)
  • Teresa Klock-Taube (GCAS)
  • Kathleen Griffith (SON)
  • Gina Lohr (OVPR) 
  • Chiara Manzini (SMHS)
  • Shandra White (OVPR)
  • Josh Glazer (GSEHD)
  • Megan Dieleman (OVPR)
  • John Forrer (GWSB)
  • Don Reagan (BMAG)

Objective: As part of the  research ecosystem review, the Non-Sponsored Research and Scholarship Working Group undertook a review of non-sponsored research and scholarship at GW to recognize what is going well and to determine the critical questions/pain points/issues that need to be addressed to further improve non-sponsored research and scholarship. In addition, the group created a report identifying proposed solutions and operational metrics for evaluating the success of non-sponsored research and scholarship. 
Non-sponsored research and scholarship includes research and scholarship activity not funded by a sponsored project, with a focus on disciplines where external funding is limited. Considerations included ideas for how to support these types of research/scholarly activities and how to identify and quantify outcomes such as fellowships, publications or other means of recognition.

Participants:

  • Jamie Cohen-Cole (CCAS)
  • Terry Murphy (Provost’s Office)
  • Mary Coughlin (CCAS)
  • Gina Lohr (OVPR)
  • Jennifer Spencer (GWSB)
  • Megan Dieleman (OVPR)
  • Karen McDonnell (GWSPH) 
  • Don Reagan (BMAG)
  • Raja Mazumder (SMHS)
 

 

Robert Miller

 

 

Initiative Sponsor

Robert H. Miller
Vice President for Research

 


 

 

Initiative Leadership

  • Sheila Garrity, Associate Vice President, Research Integrity
  • Gina Lohr, Associate Vice President for Research

 



 

Get in Touch

 

If you have a story of progress or suggestion related to this initiative, please submit it below. Your feedback is shared directly with the team charged with managing this initiative's progress. We look forward to hearing from you. 

 

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