Superfund Research Program
The Administrative Core is responsible for organizing approximately monthly meetings of all SRP investigators, staff, and core leaders. Topics addressed in the regular meetings have included reviews of the project leaders’ research; new opportunities for collaboration among projects/cores and investigators; recent publications; and other items of scientific interest. At these meetings, core members regularly review ongoing work involving Research Translation and plan the direction in which that core is being developed.
In early 2010, the Administrative Core coordinated the program's SRP P42 reapplication. It provided support to all project leaders on the new application format, coordinated all paperwork, held frequent meetings to discuss collaboration, and organized a full-scale Mock Peer Review two months prior to the deadline. Outside reviewers from the Brown University SRP, the Dean of the BU School of Public Health, the Chair of the Environmental Health Department, colleagues outside the SRP system, and all project leaders served as either primary or secondary reviewers, using the R01 template, scoring system, and reviewable criteria. Each was asked to pay special attention to the mission, goals, and objectives of the overall NIEHS SRP program. The objective of having project leaders evaluate related projects was to require them to see the program through the eyes of a reviewer, judging the science not only on its standalone quality, but also its relation to the mission of the SRP program. After the review, leaders had five weeks to respond to criticisms and make adjustments that allowed a tighter integration with other projects. Much new collaboration was started as a result of this process. As a training exercise, all advanced graduate students, postdocs, and young investigators were invited to participate in the written reviews and observe the study section meeting and discussion. Results were compiled by the Administrative Core for use by project leaders and reviewed by Dr. Ozonoff (Chair of the session), who worked on follow-up with each project.
Researchers are continuing to use and build their internal website in order to increase intergroup communication. The Community Outreach and Research Translation Cores use this tool extensively. An internal wiki is currently being used to develop a training manual for a Community Outreach Core project.