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CU Department of Medicine Launches New Resource to Expand Research Mission

New office is focused on supporting researchers and grant administrators, and increasing department’s research funding.

This month the Department of Medicine launched a new office to help researchers and grant administrators successfully obtain and manage research funding. The Research Office also provides numerous tools for researchers, and administers departmental grant programs designed to stimulate innovative research.

“The intent behind establishing the Research Office is to streamline the processes of seeking funding and managing grants, and allow the department’s researchers to devote more time to actually doing science,” said Sean Colgan, PhD, the department’s vice chair for basic research. “At the same time, we expect that this new office will increase both the scale and the impact of the research performed by the department’s faculty.”

The idea for a departmental research office was born out of a 2014 retreat among the department’s faculty, who identified increased research support as a key priority for increasing research activities.

“It was clear from the feedback we received from faculty that the support provided through different divisions was highly variable, and that there were some common needs that required attention. This additional level of support will be a key way to benefit investigators through the challenging process of obtaining funding,” said Hugo Rosen, MD, head of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Through the Research Office, departmental researchers will have access to a new resource – professional grant writing assistance. Experienced academic grant writer Jennifer Kemp, PhD, started work August 1 offering help with all aspects of the grant proposal, from structuring specific aims to addressing reviewer critiques.

“In this tough funding climate, it is more critical than ever to write grant proposals that stand out from the crowd,” said Kemp. “My goal is to help investigators present the clearest, highest impact grant proposals to remain competitive.”

Grant writing assistance can be especially helpful for early-career investigators seeking their first large grants. The office will also roll out a program helping connect researchers with opportunities for funding outside the NIH, including foundations and other federal programs like the Department of Defense.

Other key areas where the Research Office will offer additional support to the divisions and researchers within the department include support for divisional grant administration, a library of tools designed to simplify the grant application process, and help accessing campus clinical research services including regulatory assistance.

“The campus provides a number of extremely useful resources to help investigators performing clinical research, including some dedicated specifically to the Department of Medicine. The Research Office will serve as a conduit to those resources, helping clinical investigators understand and take advantage of this support,” said Marc Moss, MD, the department’s vice chair for clinical research.

The Research Office will also work with the Grants & Contracts Office, SARC, UCH and the VA to simplify the research and grants process across units, and will manage the department’s research space needs and allocation.

Additionally, the department’s grant programs designed to stimulate innovative new research will be housed and managed within the new Research Office. These programs include the Outstanding Early Career Scholar program supporting the career development of promising junior faculty, the Team Science program for new interdisciplinary collaborations, the Research Bridge program to provide funding during intervals between large grants, and the Health Services Research grant program supporting the development of health services research expertise among the department’s fellows and faculty.

Department of Medicine researchers can learn more by visiting, emailing, or contacting the members of the office directly: