Volume LII, Number 2
Jennifer E. Taylor
Tennesee Tech University
The Journal of Research Administration (JRA) is the premier scholarly publication for the field of research administration and management. We publish timely work that covers all facets of our discipline. The journal is an important education and career development platform. Our authors share best practices and innovative means of performing research administration and management work in our fast-paced, ever-changing environments while also enhancing their own careers through the process of publishing peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles.
As we have moved toward the holiday season of 2021 and continued to deal with the challenges brought on by COVID-19 we were fortunate to continue to receive high quality, important manuscripts that address a range of key issues in Research Administration. I want to thank our authors and editorial board members for their hard work and commitment during this challenging period.
I am pleased to share with you the important and wide-ranging manuscripts that are in our current issue and that reflect those efforts. We have a “voice of experience” essay from someone who has been a university leader across four decades. This essay is followed by seven original articles that reflect the journal’s ongoing growth in its international reach and impact. In addition to two original articles from the United States, the other five manuscripts come from Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. We hope that researchers from across the globe will continue to view JRA as a preferred outlet for their work as well as a source of important conceptual and practical scholarship to guide their work.
Our voice of experience essay is entitled “Overview of University Finances: Accounting and Budgeting Principles for Higher Education.” In this essay, Dean Smith provides us with a discussion of the genesis and goals of his insightful and highly informative books regarding university administration and what they offer to our readers. Collectively, the four volumes that are considered provide deep dives into critical aspects of university finances and share broader lessons regarding the intricacies of how universities function.
Laura Pastor-Sanz and her colleagues from across Europe and Australia provide a case study in their article, “A Managerial Framework for a Large, Multi-centre Clinical Trial within an EU-funded Collaborative Project." In this article they discuss the advantages and complexities of research and clinical trials that involve centres that span multiple cities and countries. In the article “Strategies to Obtain Research Funding for Rural Medical Colleges in Japan”, Yuko Amano-Ito offers us a detailed examination of the challenges, and potential solutions, that researchers in Japan’s rural medical colleges are grappling with as they deal with a national context in which the operating budget has been reduced year-by-year since 2004. Loralin Welch and Noorie K. Brantmeier in “Examining Employee Retention and Motivation Trends in Research Administration” provide us with a timely examination of motivational factors contributing to retention and voluntary turn-over they found to be most important through their mixed-methods national survey of research administrators in the United States Professor Mackworth-Young in his article entitled, “A Proportionate Peer Review Service,” examined the use, efficacy, and functioning of the peer review service as it has operated over more than a decade at Imperial College in London. Charmaine Williamson and Christina Shuttleworth discuss the genesis and implementation of a program based on, “A Social Innovation Model as a Bridge-Builder Between Academia and Research Management” in which staff involved in institutional research management may be collaborative and strategic partners in research development among faculty and students. Lisa Boyce from the University of Surrey offers us a four-year study of the relationship of overhead rates, including waiver of overhead, to the number of awards and their overall value/amounts across seven UK universities. In her article “Overhead Rates: Impact on Research Application Success”, she offers some lessons the results may hold for considerations of adjusting or waiving overhead as well as possible extensions of the work internationally. Finally, in the article “Development and Implementation of Work Engagement Strategies in a Clinical Research Consortium During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic”, Marcus Johnson – along with colleagues in Veterans Affairs (VA) settings across the United States – describes the development and implementation of strategies to maintain work engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic among clinical research staff involved in a consortium of ten VA medical centers involved in collaborative clinical trials.
In 2022, we will begin the process of pre-publishing articles online soon after they have been formally accepted. These articles, once copyedited and proofed by the authors will be both posted on the JRA’s webpage and then as part of the framework of the full Fall or Spring JRA issue in which it will be published. We hope that this will get the important lessons that our articles may offer readers to them to draw on much sooner. We also hope that it will encourage potential authors to consider JRA as an outlet for their work as will allow their work to be available in discoverable and citable form much sooner than if it was held until the formal issues were released.
This is my first issue as Editor-in-Chief of JRA. I am humbled and excited about being given the charge to continue to help move our field forward. There are many people that I would like to thank for their help and support as I transition into this role and for their ongoing critical contributions to the success of the journal. First, the communications committee of JRA provides important guidance and input on all phases of the journal. Nathan Vanderford, my predecessor as Editor-in-Chief, provided six years of leadership to the journal as deputy editor and editor-in-chief. He left it much stronger and vital than when he began his service. He provided me with both the opportunity to serve as Deputy Editor and invaluable mentorship during that time as well as throughout this transition. Holly Zink, who has served as Associate Editor over the past three years has continued her important contributions to JRA, now as Deputy Editor. I thank her for her ongoing support and partnership in this work. The members of the editorial board are essential partners in ensuring that the manuscripts that appear in the journal are exceptional and that they make important contributions to the work of our readers and the field of research administration more broadly. Without the countless hours they contribute to the review process, the journal and its continued growth would not be possible. The Author Fellowship Committee and the Author Fellow Advisors provide essential guidance to the Author Fellows as they develop and publish their first scholarly articles and I am grateful that they will continue to provide this unique and important work for JRA. There are also many behind the scenes SRAI staff who have shared their knowledge, guidance, and expertise during my time as Deputy Editor and through my transition to the Editor-in-Chief role. Gina Cuevas and Jim Mitchell have my gratitude and appreciation. They are truly the glue that holds the production of the journal together and are critical to ensuring that it meets the highest professional standards.
Lastly, and as always, if you are a non-SRAI member and wish to have the journal delivered to you via email, please sign up through the online system at http://www.journalra.org.