Governance

Research Administration Faculty Advisory Board

Reasoning:  The Executive Vice Presidents have made important changes to the research structure at Emory.  These changes are designed to raise Emory’s eminence as a research institution.  A crucial part of this change is to improve the research administration infrastructure to serve existing faculty and to help recruit the best faculty internationally.  The establishment of a Research Administration Faculty Advisory Board (FAB) will help assure that we achieve this goal.  The FAB will bring faculty researchers together with key staff to address the needs & opportunities across all areas of the Office of Research Administration.

 

Global Contracts Task Force

Reasoning: Emory researchers are engaged in global research activities. Some of this activity is focused on conducting clinical research in the country of interest. The laws, culture, and business practices of individual countries regarding this type of research can be very unique and situation specific. Setting up new research projects, particularly clinical trials or other projects involving enrollment of human subjects in a foreign country, can be challenging and difficult for faculty to undertake. Global contracts are especially challenging for central administration because they tend to be more inherently complicated than conventional contracts and may slow down the system for other, higher volume work. Often the laws of a particular country may conflict with the conditions of the sponsor, or they may impose obligations on the sponsor and/or PI that go beyond what is required under US law (e.g., payment for subject injury). This task force is being set up to examine the issues around global contracts (including grants), review the processes, and make recommendations that take into account priorities and resources.

 

Animal Protocol Approval Task Force

Background: A fully functional Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is required by federal regulations for all institutions that receive PHS funding for research involving animals or are subject to the Animal Welfare Act. The IACUC is responsible for assessment and oversight of the Institutions Animal Care and Use Program and should have sufficient authority and resources to fulfill this responsibility. To carry out this function, the IACUC has a number of defined responsibilities as indicated here:

  • Protocol Review and Approval for both new protocols and significant amendments
  • Post Approval Monitoring
  • Semi-annual Program review (every 6 months)
  • Semi-annual Site Inspections (every 6 months)
  • Review concerns involving the care and use of animals at the institution
  • Prepare and submit a semiannual report to the IO and make recommendations regarding any aspect of the animal program
  • Have the authority to suspend an activity as specified by regulations

Reasoning: Although all the responsibilities indicated above are federally required, protocol review and approval is of the most concern to the research community. This aspect of IACUC functionality has been consistently identified as a “point of pain” for faculty and staff engaged in research with animals. This task force has been created specifically to review this critical functionality of the IACUC with an eye toward reducing burden and increasing speed, efficiency and ease of review and approval. The protocol approval process includes a number of steps and requires the involvement of various individuals or groups to secure approval as noted below.

  • The IACUC Office staff: Responsible for routing the protocol, validating staff training requirements, performing grant-protocol congruence and providing administrative support. Serves as the main “point of contact” between labs and the committee and provides training in the electronic submission system.
  • The IACUC committee: The Committee is comprised of faculty scientists, veterinarians, non-scientists, and at least one unaffiliated member. Scientific members are Emory faculty who are responsible for performing primary protocol review based on their scientific expertise. Veterinarians are based at either SOM-DAR or YER-DAR and are responsible for veterinary pre-review (Vet Consult), and secondary review of protocol submissions. They are also primarily responsible for the review of standard procedures for IACUC approval. Non-scientists/unaffiliated members review the protocol from a lay perspective.
  • Research Group faculty and staff: responsible for protocol submission and response to reviewer questions. Also responsible for providing required documentation including verification of staff training, documentation of other approvals as required (chemical, radiation, or biological safety, wildlife permits etc.), and other materials as needed.
  • Ancillary or associated review groups: In addition to IACUC review, other approvals must often be secured prior to final protocol approval. This includes groups such as EHSO, COI, and behavioral management (primarily for NHP)