Research Administration and Management.
The group of 86 contributors is comprised of well-respected topical experts that enabled the editors, Kulakowski and Chronister, to cover the vast breadth of Research Administration with ample depth to be useful to both the novice and the experienced administrator. The 79 chapter volume is divided into six major sections to logically organize various components of research administration. Also included are appendices to define a selected glossary of common terms and a lexicon of the overwhelming maze of acronyms so prevalent in our profession.
Part I: Introduction: Leadership and Management of the Research Enterprise in the 21st Century
The first section of the book rightly opens with a discussion of the Research Manager as a Leader in the 21st century research enterprise. The first chapter opens with an overview and introduction of the book in order to guide the reader in the philosophical and technical organization of the work. This is followed by an extremely interesting and well-documented history of the profession by the well-respected SRA historian, Dr. Ken Beasley.
The logical next chapter for this is offered as "Looking into the Crystal Ball" to divine the anticipated future of research administration. This is a thoughtful treatise on what we can expect based on past experiences, current climate and anticipated trends. The remainder of this introductory section deals with research administration in the organizational structure and leadership of model institutions engaging in research.
Part II: The Infrastructure for Research Administration
Lynn Chronister tells the reader in page 83 that the book overall "offers data, information, policies, procedures, suggestions, best practice, and strategies for developing or enhancing the research enterprise." In response, contributors speak with a common voice throughout Part II to provide a blueprint for the establishment of a new research support structure, effective administration for an existing one, and a process of strategic planning for change in a structure ready to grow, with clear advice on assessment at all stages. They delineate policies and procedures proven by long experience as markers for the novice research administrator and as reminders and benchmarks for the experienced. They remind all that implementation must always align with the mission and vision of the individual institution.
The editors and contributors see the research administrator as an advocate and compliance officer for researchers, as an agent of change and growth, as communicator for research and the researcher with the administration, the Board, the media, and the institution in general. They call the research administrator to greater leadership and then provide the tools to achieve that leadership.
Chapters deal with a broad variety of issues that face the research administrator, from human resources to human tissue management, from marketing to working with legal counsel. The book will serve as a reference and a professional development tool for research administrators at all levels of experience.
Chapter 24, although titled "National and International" serves to describe a number of US based professional societies and associations that may be useful to Research Administrators. In future editions of the book, we would hope to see this chapter expanded to include more international organizations such as the South African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA), the Canadian Association of University Research Administrators (CAURA), the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators (EARMA), the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), and the International Network of Research Management Societies (INORMS). Some of these organizations are referenced in Chapter 3, and could be further described here.
Part III: Pre-Award Administration
This section, comprised of 12 comprehensive chapters, deals with all aspects of pre-award administration to include both grants and contracts. There are chapters with broad overviews, such as "Fundamentals of Sponsored Programs," and "Contracts: Form, Function and Issue Spotting," as well as chapters with a more depth and narrower focus.
Some of the in-depth chapters deal with the specific topics of both federal contracts and industry contracts; successful proposals and peer review; preparing a budget and international research challenges. Each chapter is authored by a well-respected expert in the specific topical area.
Part IV: Post Award and Financial Requirements
Consisting of only six chapters, Part IV gathers into one place all major aspects of compliance and financial reporting. Here the research administrator will find information on the structure of financial reporting, the resources available, and the responsibilities of the various participants in the research enterprise. Types of payment from granting agencies, effort reporting, cost sharing, facilities and administrations costs, and internal and external audit processes are all explained succinctly and understandably. Government circulars essential to compliance and reporting are laid out and explained, and the development and management of a compliance program are set forth in clear terms.
The challenges and benefits of international collaborations are discussed. If a limitation exists in this outstanding reference, it is in the predominance of the American patterns and regulations. Although international research organizations are listed as vital resources, with all their contact information provided, it is certain that later editions will expand international compliance issues, resources, and challenges.
Part V: Responsible Conduct of Research
Part V deals with a number of thorny issues that go beyond basic compliance to fundamental ethical principles in the research enterprise and the publications that arise from it. Contributors offer guidance in the establishment of a compliance program, meticulous storage and reporting of data, mentoring and education in the responsible conduct of research, avoidance of conflict of interest, authorship principles, and health and safety issues, especially in an age of bioterrorism. They point out essential principles in the ethical treatment of human subjects and animals and the use and management of human tissue resources.
Finally, Elliott Kulakowski closes the section with a discussion of response to allegations of misconduct. He notes that policies for dealing with such allegations must be in place before they are needed and offers information and advice on fair practice, disclosure, and other matters attendant to allegations of misconduct.
In all chapters, as throughout the book, clarity and directness are hallmarks. The information provided is pertinent and succinct, and the policies and practices recommended are born of experience and refinement. Legal recommendations come from attorneys in the field. In all cases the material is offered as a sharing among professional colleagues.
Part VI: Technology Transfer
This section could prove to be the most helpful of the entire book to the senior manager and administrator. While many more seasoned administrators are quite familiar with pre- and post-award issues, responsible conduct of research, organizational theory and leadership, and some of the history and challenges of the profession, many of us are not well versed in the technical aspects of "taking it to the streets" via tech transfer. This lengthy section goes far to educate the novice in the broad concepts and the journeyman in the more in depth issues.
With twenty-one chapters, the section gives a very comprehensive study on issues related to tech transfer policy and organizational development; patent law; materials transfer agreements; export controls; copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets; license agreements; various agreements; STTR/SBIR grant mechanisms and other issues related to economic development coming from research. Although the entire volume is a good value, this section alone is well worth the cost of the book.
This is a must-have volume for every research administration office. It will be useful as a handy desk reference, as a training tool for in-house professional development programs and as a text for degree and certificate programs in Research Administration and Management.
Jennifer Shambrook, MHA
Associate Chair for Research Administration
Co-Director of the Division of Public Psychiatry
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Medical University of South Carolina
S. Marie Cooper, I.H.M., Ed.D.
Professor of Physics
Director of Sponsored Research