Research management experiences and needs of researchers in India
Topic: Organising Support Services & Team Building
-To understand the experiences of research staff in relation to grant writing and grant management, and their expectations from a research office.
-To identify current gaps in research management and suggest recommendations for change.
Methods- Online survey and qualitative interviews. Through an online survey, we collected feedback on grant management practices pre and post award, key barriers and available support systems. The survey was conducted with research organizations and implementation organizations separately. The survey was disseminated through the fellowship consultation group members and research managers of organizations. Through the interviews, we aimed to gain detailed insights about findings from the survey data.
103 participants from eight research organization in India participated in the survey. 51% of those participated were in the age group of 20-29, and 32% were between 30-39, the rest were above 40 years. 74% were females, 23% male,3 preferred not to answer. Half of the participants did not have previous grant writing/ management experience and were early career researchers. Below are the major findings of the survey. 1. 70% of the researchers did not have formal training and managed grant writing and management with informal support of mentors. 2. Major barriers in grant writing were lack of support in budget preparation, support in proposal preparation, technical support in contract negotiation and staff recruitment. 3.Although most of the researchers are satisfied with the administration of the organizations, a need to upgrade the finance department to meet international standards is evident.
Qualitative interviews were conducted with seven participants to understand their responses to the survey. 28% of those participated were in the age group of 20-29, and 57% were between 30-39, rest were above 40 years. 57% were males, 43% female.
The following opportunities were seen as crucial for grant management.
1. Career progression in academic is a strong motivation for researcher to write grants, mentors support is seen as added advantage. 2. Great need is felt with regards to trainings in write writing.
3. Researchers expect support from peers and protected time to discuss their ideas and challenges in grant management. 4. Although all of the researchers agreed to having protected time for writing grant, most felt it was not practical considering the need for researcher to contribute to his/her present job. 6. Researcher look for below support from Research office
a) Publishing grant opportunities
b) support in drafting/ reviewing budgets
c) responding to compliance and due diligence
d) reporting to funder and other agencies, reducing workload of Principal Investigators
The data will be further analyzed to understand further gaps in the grant management system based on which a report will be prepared to highlight recommendations for the wider research community. Our Data will inform
1. Develop SOP’s and policies to guide research organizations locally.
2. Develop a report to highlight the gaps and opportunities for researchers.