Restate the Problem
Our effort began with a recognition that researchers on campus, while experts in their fields, may not have a full appreciation of either the IT problems posed by undertaking a research effort, or the solutions already offered by both the various service centers on campus and those freely available to all Stanford affiliates.
Tangible consequences of the problem – people coming to IT wanting to use services but not having funding allocated for that purpose. Unfunded needs/requests for research projects. University/dept./school has to supplement out of general funds/unrestricted gifts/etc.
Our output was intended as IT “boilerplate” for researchers to incorporate into their grant proposals. The existence of boilerplate would both inform faculty as to the services available to them, as well as have the potential to inform their thoughts regarding the role of technology in their research. As an additional bonus, it may make our proposals more competitive with the sponsors, informing them that Stanford has the resources needed to support research efforts.
Researcher thoughts/quotes here.
Thus far, we have compiled a list of services offered by ITS both generally (“for free”) and for-fee. We have opened communication with some research staff to gauge their interest. We are also working with the Office of Sponsored Research to determine what role our output will play in their process, and what form it should take to have the greatest impact. We are also working through them to contact sponsors and determine what, if any, impact this would have on proposal success. RMG feedback – excerptable portions to cherry-pick as appropriate
There are some obstacles that require us to work with other agencies on campus:
Direct vs. Indirect- Research compliance may dictate what services currently offered, as well as what services we would like to consider for the future, are direct-chargeable to research grants. We need research administrator input to ensure we are not crafting boilerplate which will violate research policies.
Existing Proposal Inspection – We are currently in the process of obtaining existing grant proposals from researchers to determine where they could have used this output in the past. Potentially redact salary information, potentially obtain copies of simply the non-salary budget components
Needs evaluation – We are contacting faculty to determine their interest in this product and what format would be most valuable to them.
Pending feedback, describe core services in the desired format and assemble examples of how this was or could have been incorporated into proposals in the past
Assemble IT outline component to assist RMG/OSR
Internally review draft boilerplate – will be generating over next ~1-2 weeks
Set up a review of the rough-draft with researchers/research administrators/sponsors prior to “release”(RMG/OSR)
Can separately talk to researchers re: providing up-front tools to assist with crafting initial thoughts for undertaking projects
Explore providing training to new investigators to assist with this type of planning
Will have a wiki up to share ongoing progress