ORA Process Improvement Update

The Office of Research Administration subscribes to a philosophy of continuous improvement that informs our mission, vision, and values and improves the quality of service.

We are enthusiastic to report progress that has occurred with ongoing initiatives. Of more than 160 individual recommendations arising from external reviews from expert consultants, 32 have been implemented. The full list of recommendations was reviewed to assess priority, timeline, cost, and challenges before being categorized into individual workstreams.

Within ORA, process improvement efforts have tackled some of the initial recommendations from both Huron and McKinsey consulting groups. Some recommendations included adding Navigators to the RAS structure to serve as a central point of contact for the research community. Other recommendations seek to improve our business processes. For example, the contracting process has been streamlined by developing a library of clauses and language, as well as defining signatory authorities for individual roles. These efforts, and others, were undertaken to enhance the faculty’s and the Emory research community’s experience.

As 2021 begins, ORA is launching additional cross-functional teams to address the remaining recommendations that impact the faculty experience. Dedicated workgroups have been established to examine Award Closeout, Subrecipient Monitoring, and Award Setup.  The workgroups have held kick-off discussions of improvement. They will be working together closely over the next six months to implement, optimize, and improve these three workstreams.  We are off to a great new year and a great start, with more improvement to come!

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