NORDP 2019 Conference Notes: Using Technology for the Limited Submission Process

Presenter:

  • Daniel Moseke, University of Arizona

Thanks to our session scribe, Lisa Youngentob, University of Tennessee Health Science Center!

This roundtable discussion was well attended with participants representing a wide range of RD offices…large, small, biomedical, social sciences, the arts, public, private, industry, central, departmental, well financed and not. Despite the varied types of home institutions, everyone had the same goal, seeking out best practices on how to manage the limited submission process. One attendee described it well, “Despite the differences in size, scope and available resources (personnel and budget), there is a baseline level of infrastructure needed by every institution to run the limited submission process…finding the opportunities, announcing them to campus, managing the competition and review process, and awarding.”

The NORDP Limited Submission Circle was the first topic discussed. There was a lot of enthusiasm for getting members more engaged in this Circle (most were not even aware it existed), with many agreeing they would be more likely to post to a group of peers working in this arena every day, as opposed to putting a very specific LS questions out to the NORDP general listserv. The hope was, it could also serve as a great place for uploading and sharing resources (processes, links to institutional funding opportunity announcement pages, reviewer assessment question, etc.).

Attendees then shared how they identified relevant limited submission opportunities. These included, daily searches of Grants.gov, signing up for email notification of agency funding announcements (both federal and foundation), perusing funding opportunity webpages of other universities, (and even signing up for their funding opportunity newsletters), and using subscription-based funding opportunity databases (i.e. Pivot, Spin, Funding Institutional). Some institutions have developed their own funding opportunity database, using their in-house IT teams.

Methods of announcing limited submissions took different forms, such as, Mail Chimp, sharing via subscription-based databases, and internal listservs. But, email (with attached pdf), sent to specific investigators or to faculty as a whole, seemed to be the most commonly used technique…although most were interested in finding a “better, less time-consuming way.”

There was some discussion of administering the limited submission process itself…how to best keep track of it all…collection, review, and management. Ideas offered included subscriptions to services such as InfoReady Review, WizeHive, Trello, and Asana (some platforms offering free versions), and good, old Google Sheets/Excel spreadsheets. Calendars are also being used, both in Outlook and hard-copy, desk calendars.

Not surprisingly, finding willing reviewers is an ongoing issue raised by almost everyone. Some institutions use carrots, some use sticks. Reviewer pools are being generated from past awardees, assignment by deans/chairman, ad-hoc committees, promotion requirement, and volunteers. Thank you notes, luncheons, and acknowledgement by upper administration, were some of the reviewer enticements that were described by the group.

The takeaway from this roundtable was the realization that there are a lot of us out there who deal with the limited submission process on a daily basis. This group has a lot of questions, but, more importantly, they have a lot of answers and great ideas, which they are willing to share with one another…it’s the NORDP way!