Since the establishment of RDS in January 2015, the Office has received informal feedback (mostly positive) from faculty and staff who interact with RDS staff through finding funding opportunities, training and the submission of proposals, subawards and independent contractor agreements. 

In an effort to baseline faculty and staff overall and task-specific satisfaction with RDS, a Grants Management Survey (a Google survey) was sent to all faculty within GUMC by an email from the Dean for Research on April 24, 2017. The survey was also sent to GUMC staff through the GUMC Administrators Basecamp list serve. The purpose of the survey was to assess faculty and staff satisfaction relating to interactions with RDS and the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR). The goal was to provide a baseline for future year’s surveys and analytic data to identify and improve current pre-award processes. The survey was anonymous, to give individuals the opportunity to provide honest feedback. 

Participants were asked to evaluate RDS on specific tasks related to proposal development, their interactions with RDS and the overall value and quality of the Office. The ranking order was as Excellent (5), Very Good (4), Good (3), Fair (2), Poor (1) and Not able to rate on this area (unscored). Analysis of the survey results is based on forty-two submissions. We received fifty-seven responses to the survey, however, several survey submissions were not considered because the respondent did not submit or manage proposals, or the responses provided were “down the line” and we did not want these responses to skew (high) the true results.

Overall, RDS ratings were outstanding with an average score of above 4.25 for the overall value of the office and the quality of work. The highest ratings were for the following tasks (each receiving an average score exceeding 4.3, thus ranking between Excellent and Very Good):
• Answering questions 
• Executing the budget development/revision process
• Ease of use in completing the budget using RDS’s budget template
• Establishing and communicating proposal deadlines
• Responsiveness to questions and requests
• Communicating the sponsor’s requirements related to proposals

The lowest ratings were for the following tasks (each receiving an average score exceeding 3.3, thus ranking between Very Good and Good):
• Communicating and assisting with the subaward process
• Providing training resources (templates, PowerPoints, website links, etc)
• Communicating/assisting with the ICA process

RDS will continue to focus on customer service and will strive for continuous improvement on the tasks that were identified with Excellent to Very Good scores. To address the lowest ratings, the Office will take the following steps:
• Subaward process: a new module of GU-Pass was released in July 2017. RDS and OSR have clarified the process to make it more efficient and transparent, allowing faculty and staff to track the request. The new system will also provide improved reporting capabilities and metrics to identify opportunities for process improvement.
• Training resources: RDS recently hired a new staff member to improve pre-award training resources. She has already created training materials for the new GU-Pass systems and has taken a lead role in re-developing the RDS website, which will soon have a page dedicated to Education and Outreach. RDS staff will also solicit feedback from faculty in the coming months, so that we can create training resources and templates that will be most helpful to faculty.
• Independent Contractor Agreement process: A new module of GU-Pass will also be released in July 2017 to track ICA setup. RDS developed and disseminated a process flow in the Spring 2017 to communicate University-wide changes made to the process last year; however, the process remained in flux as participants settled into their new roles. RDS is slated to conduct training at an upcoming GUMC Administrator’s meeting in Fall 2017 to further clarify the process with GUMC staff. 

Read some of the highlights of RDS Performance from 2017 Grants Management Survey.