UI Research Council Charter Committee met with Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Research Development Office (RDO) representatives to learn about their services and the resources their offices offer to the research community
Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Hello from the Research Council! I am writing this quarterly update to share with you what the council has been involved with these past few months. In an effort to understand the challenges and opportunities for improving the UI’s research enterprise, the council members agreed to meet with a whole host of supporting offices within and outside the Office of the Vice President for Research’s perview.

At our February 2023 council meeting we hosted Kelly O’Berry, assistant director, IRB education and outreach, to share with us policies and procedures basics and the resources the IRB team would like share with the research community. We learned about the various resources made available to the research community via the IRB website of which I highlight a few below:

  • Research Navigation Tool for New Faculty and Research Scientists, which is a Qualtrics survey that a new faculty or research scientist, new either to IRB or to UI, can fill out to be connected to the correct resource for getting support on a research related concern.
  • There is also an extensive investigator guide available on the IRB website: UI Investigator’s Guide\IRB Standard Operating Procedures | Human Subjects Office (uiowa.edu) for researchers to learn the specifics of the IRB application and approval processes.
  • For those who like numbers and metrics, like me, the IRB office publishes the metrics for time to approval for IRB-01, IRB-02, and IRB-03 VA  per quarter that the UI community members can access by loging into the UI HRPP/IRB Metrics page.  
  • Finally, the IRB team invites deans and chairs of various colleges, departments, and institutes on-campus to designate a representative to the IRB Liaison Program. This college or department representative establishes connections with the IRB team and expands IRB education and outreach services within their units. Tippie already has an IRB Liaison and has seen the fruits of participating in the program college-wide.

I invite colleagues reading this update to explore the resources linked and discussed here, and feel free to reach out to the IRB office at irb@uiowa.edu with questions and feedback.

During the March 2023 meeting, the council met with Aaron Kline, director of the Research Development Office. Kline presented an overview of the Research Development Office with responsibilities to: orchestrate campus wide initiatives that spark collaboration, such as Innovation Labs and Ideas Labs, strategically oversee internal funding initiatives to ignite research and discovery on campus and local communities, and help facilitate connections to resources enabling motivated researchers to identify funding opportunities, develop grantsmanship skills, and create connections that support successful research proposals. Some resources highlighted by Kline included:

  • Researcher Toolkit that links to resources such as addressing broader impacts in proposals, grant writing resources, proposal resource library which is a repository of past successful grant proposals available as examples for researchers, the external grant review program, and the researcher handbook that provides guidelines to researchers on how to find resources on-campus. It also provides a link to Pivot that is an excellent resource to find funding opportunities, relevant conferences, and collaborators with specific research expertise. I use Pivot and really like the resources it provides to me as an active researcher. 
  • NSF CAREER Club which is designed to provide knowledge and resources to craft competitive CAREER applications to early researchers. The program has been a great success with several UI young faculty winning CAREER awards in recent years across CLAS and CoE.
  • UI Research Services Fair which is an annual vendor style fair that provides an opportunity for researchers to learn about campus resources and services available. During the 2022 fair, 55 resource units participated and event was held at Hancher Auditorium. The 2023 fair is planned for Thursday October 12, 2023 – 1:00-4:30 pm and to be held in Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge Room 180. Registration to the fair will open soon, so stay tuned and mark your calendars!
  • Training workshops for researchers available on a rolling bases. For more information on the upcoming workshops hosted by the RDO office, check this link out.

The RDO team will also like to hear from you, the researcher on-campus. Feel free to reach out to them at vpr-rdo@uiowa.edu.

Well this has been a productive quarter for the council. I wish you a productive rest of the spring semester! Stay tuned for future quarterly updates from the Research Council Chair.