Research administration assessment: Survey response needed from all researchers and research administration

Dear Colleagues,

A key objective for the University of Utah is to provide an effective infrastructure to serve faculty and researchers engaged in seeking, applying for, receiving, and managing competitively awarded grant funding. Starting next month, the University of Utah will begin working with Huron Consulting Group to assess the university’s administration of externally funded proposals and awards. The broad goal of this assessment is to identify opportunities to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative processes at the U in order to optimize our resources to better support and advance our research mission.

As part of this assessment, Huron will be administering an online survey to a representative sample of faculty, researchers and administrators engaging with or supporting externally funded proposal and award administration. The objective is to solicit feedback focused on the following research administration functions: 1) proposal development, review, and submission, 2) award set up, and 3) non-financial award management.

You were identified by Utah’s research leadership as a stakeholder who can provide valuable information to the Huron team, and we would appreciate if you would agree to providing feedback and input via the survey. Your candid feedback will help us to identify successful operations as well as areas for further improvement to research administration for both researchers and administrators. Responses are strictly confidential and will not be identified with any specific individual. The summary feedback and findings from this survey will be shared with Utah research administration leadership.

Qualtrics Survey Link

The survey should not take more than 15 minutes of your time, and will be available through Friday, May 22nd.

Huron will also plan to meet with a number of key stakeholders from both central and departmental units to conduct interviews to collect additional feedback centered on the themes identified through the online survey. The purpose of these interviews is to gain insights into our proposal and award management processes in order to evaluate current-state opportunities, challenges, strengths, and weaknesses. You may receive a follow-up request to participant in a virtual interview.

Huron is a national leader in the field of research administration and has worked with 99 of the top 100 research universities in the country, including many of the U’s institutional peers. Huron will help us benchmark our existing practices and identify best in class models that can be successfully implemented across campus. Marisa Zuskar and Lianne Seyferth from Huron will be the primary contacts for the project. If you have any additional comments or specific details to share with them, you may email them directly.

If you have any questions, please feel free to let us know. We very much appreciate your participation in this effort.

Thank you,

Andrew S. Weyrich, Ph.D., Vice President for Research,

Diane E. Pataki, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Research