Metrics for Determining Staffing Needs in Departmental Research Administration Offices
MetadataShow full item record
Departmental research administrators are the link between researchers and the offices of sponsored projects at major universities. They also serve as liaison between the researcher and the agencies that fund their research projects. Today’s funding environment has become increasing competitive and complex with the increase of compliance requirements mandated by the Federal government, funding agencies and research institutions. It is imperative that research administration keep apprised of these changes to assist their researchers in securing and managing sponsored funding. At Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS), there is no consistent procedure for evaluating departmental research administration staffing needs. Typically, changes in funding dollars are used to justify any changes in staffing. That is not the only statistic impacting need. The research performed in each department is fundamentally different but the tasks that must be completed by research administration are similar. This Capstone Project evaluated the time it takes to complete each task, characterized the nature of each task, and determined the number of tasks completed in a given period. This information was used to assess the ability of a department to meet the needs of research administration. For this capstone project, a questionnaire was sent to three research departments at KSAS; Biology, Chemistry, and Physics and Astronomy. This questionnaire collected data regarding the average time needed to complete a variety of tasks performed routinely by staff in research administration roles. The tasks were characterized as being either analysis or processing, or a combination of both. The researcher also examined the JHU position hierarchy for research administration positions in order to assess the ability of a department to perform all of the tasks necessary to meet the needs of the researchers in their department. For this project, data was collected on relevant position attributes and on the labor distribution of existing positions within a department. Metrics were developed to classify the various tasks needed to meet research administration needs and the time requirement of those tasks. This data can now be compared to the time available with the current staff levels in each department to determine their adequacy.