The Research Advisory Committee (RAC) was established by the Research Strategic Plan of 2003 as a way to advise the dean of the School of Medicine and the vice chancellor for research on issues relating to research, to guide implementation of the strategic plan and to conduct ongoing research strategic planning. The committee meets monthly to examine new developments within the School of Medicine and to recommend strategic areas that merit investment. Examples of its contributions over the years include:
- Developed a plan to fund first-year PhD graduate students until a more permanent mechanism was developed (2003-04).
- Developed a structure and initial agenda and selected members and a Chair for the Clinical-Translational RAC (2004). CTRAC helped create the CCTSI and now serves as its Internal Advisory Committee.
- Created and prioritized research fundraising priorities for the CU Foundation. These included endowments for graduate student support and recruitment of new faculty and established superstars; support of a center for development and management of clinical databases (now recognized as basis for “personalized medicine”); support for cores in proteomics, metabolomics, and imaging, all of which were established through SIRC and the Dean’s Academic Enrichment Fund (AEF).
- Pointed out need for faculty research database.
- Recommended strongly to School of Medicine and Graduate School deans and chancellor that space be established on the Anschutz Medical Campus for integrated, more cost-efficient support functions for graduate programs (e.g., recruitment, advertising, budgets, retreats, lecturers).
- Planned the dean’s retreat to discuss common goals with RAC, SIRC, and CTRAC (2004). One decision was to confirm with the dean that research should be moved forward through grass-root efforts, not top-down decisions by the dean or other sources.
- Convened groups interested in establishing stem cell center and recommended to the dean that this was single highest research priority at that time (2005). This led to Charles C. Gates Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Biology with Dennis Roop as director.
- Advocated for establishing bridge funding for grant lapses and created guidelines (2006). Return on AEF investment to date about 12-fold in total costs, 4-fold in ICR.
More recent examples:
- Responded to a charge from the dean at the State-of-the School address in 2008 to develop a plan to strengthen faculty retention. After extended discussions, the committee concluded that a child-care facility would have highest, most cost-effective impact. RAC then took this idea to SIRC, CTRAC, Faculty Senate, and women-in-medicine group, all of which supported it, and vice chancellor of research carried this forward to an implementation plan.
- Reviewed impact and cost effectiveness of SIRC program and SIRC awards to that date (2008). Responded to the Dean’s request to indicate cores that will need ongoing funding: COHO, biostatistics, tissue repository.
- Solicited letters of intent and chose presentations for research retreat of November 2009.
- Recommended review of space guidelines and offered constructive participation in the process (2010).