Four students from the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics‘ sport analytics program will travel to Dallas, Texas, Feb. 21-22 to compete in the AXS National Collegiate Sports Analytics Championship and defend Syracuse’s national title. Seniors Collin Kneiss, Nicholas…
Syracuse University Invests in Research Development and Operations, Expands Staffing
To help advance and support the research and creative activities of faculty, a new Office of Research Development has been established within the Syracuse University Office of Research. This development, which aligns with ongoing feedback on the Academic Strategic Plan draft framework, comes in response to the external evaluation of the University’s research operations conducted in spring 2022.
“Syracuse University emphasizes the importance of research and creative work, but we need to improve our support infrastructure to allow our faculty to maximize their potential,” says Duncan Brown, vice president for research. “One of the types of support most frequently requested by faculty is assistance with the pursuit of new opportunities to support their work. With strong support from Provost Ritter, I am pleased to announce the creation of the Office of Research Development, which will help faculty pursue the fellowships and funding they need support their research and creative activities.”
The new Office of Research Development represents an investment in staffing and support programs to strengthen the research and creative mission of Syracuse University by leading collaborative research development activities, promoting research and creative activity in all schools and colleges and capitalizing on existing institutional resources in innovative ways.
New Staff Roles
Based at the new Office of Research Development, Christina Leigh Docteur will serve as executive director and Chetna Chianese as senior director of research development. Docteur and Chianese led the former proposal support services unit. “As someone who has worked in progressive research development roles across the University, I appreciate the significance of these changes at all levels of the institution,” Docteur says. “And as a project manager for the University’s Academic Strategic Plan, I recognize how responsive these changes are to the specific needs expressed by our faculty and staff who are so invested in conducting research and creative activities.”
Through a collaboration between the Office of Research and the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), Docteur and Chianese will be joined by Melissa Whipps, director of research development, and Sarah Workman, associate director of research development for the humanities. Whipps and Workman will move to positions co-funded by the Office of Research and the College of Arts and Sciences.
“This collaboration will allow Melissa and Sarah to continue to work with the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences and will provide more opportunities for collaboration across the University through campus-wide research development activities,” says Lois Agnew, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The hybrid funding model between the Office of Research and A&S will create a new position that will support faculty in managing the awards that Sarah and Melissa have helped our faculty secure.”
Whipps has been based in the College of Arts and Sciences, while Workman has held a shared role between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of Research, supporting faculty in the humanities and creative disciplines across campus.
New Staff Positions
Colleen Burton has joined the Office of Research as associate director of postdoctoral affairs and research services. Burton’s appointment is the first step in the development of a new Office of Postdoctoral Affairs in collaboration with the Graduate School. In her new role, Burton will manage and refine processes for hiring and overseeing a growing and diverse group of postdoctoral researchers at Syracuse University. Burton will also be responsible for post-award financial management of Universitywide research and creative activities.
To increase the Office of Research’s support for faculty, staff and students who engage in research that involves human subjects, Michelle Saya will join the Office of Research Integrity and Protections in April as assistant director of human research protections. In this new position, Saya will serve as a designated reviewer for exempt research protocols, manage standard operating procedures for the Human Research Protections Program and manage clinical trials registration and processes in accordance with National Institutes of Health (NIH) requirements. She will also serve as the primary point of contact for multisite research reliance agreements when Syracuse University serves as the lead Institutional Review Board (IRB) for collaborating sites or relies on the review of an external IRB.
The services provided by the Office of Research to faculty will be enhanced by the addition of two new staff positions: an operations specialist, who will support the research development team through event management, communications and general operations; and a research systems analyst, who will be responsible for research information management systems, developing systems to track funding opportunities and other Office of Research and Office of Sponsored Programs data collection, analysis and reporting needs.
The addition of these roles will enable critical growth of Office of Research initiatives responsive to the proposed programmatic commitment identified in the recently released Academic Strategic Plan draft framework to “incentivize research and creative work in areas of distinctive excellence.”
“I am excited to see these changes at such a critical juncture for our institution,” says Brown. “By investing in our people and taking a close look at our processes, we will be able to promote and support growth in research and creative engagement in a way that is responsive to both our institutional needs and greater societal opportunities and challenges.”
In the coming months the campus community can expect to see increased outreach from the Office of Research as new mechanisms for supporting research activities are developed and announced.