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JRA’s Author Fellowship Program Celebrates Publications by an Alumnus

By SRAI News posted 06-14-2019 07:23 AM


Authored by Carson Harrod
Paul Martinez, Senior Contracts and Grants Officer, University of California, Berkeley

Publication of articles in peer-reviewed journals is a mainstay for research faculty in academia. It is an opportunity to share new findings with others in a given field. Peer-reviewed publications are important to authors for career advancement and funding of future research.

While most research administrators don’t live by the “Publish or Perish” maxim, authoring peer-reviewed publications can be a valuable benefit to the authors as well as the research administration community as a whole.

With this in mind, the Journal of Research Administration established the JRA Author Fellowship Program to provide one-on-one support and training to research administrators who are interested in becoming peer-reviewed authors. These “Fellows” are paired with experienced “Peer Advisors”, who guide them through the process of writing an article for a peer-reviewed journal.

The JRA Author Fellowship Program accepted its first cohort of seven Fellows in 2017. The first article by a Fellow in the program was published in the Fall 2018 issue of JRA. Angela Silva, who participated in the first cohort, tells about her experience in the Author Fellowship Program and describes the article that was developed as a result of her participation in the program.

Now, Paul Martinez, who was also a Fellow in the first cohort of the program, joins Angela as a peer-reviewed author. Paul’s article is in the current Spring 2019 issue of JRA. In his article entitled “AB20 and the California Model Agreement: Insights from Implementation and Streamlining of State Contracting with Academic Institutions”, Paul presents his research on how academic institutions in California came together to develop common proposal processes and agreement templates in response to California Assembly Bill 20.

Paul shares his experiences in researching and writing his article and the value of the Author Fellowship Program in helping him along the way:

I was fortunate to be part of a group of stakeholders who were at the implementation stage of a large-scale change in the way the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) campuses conducted business with the State of California.  Having this first-hand opportunity resulted in the initial idea to conduct a research study based on collected survey data and thus led to my participation in the Journal of Research Administration Author Fellowship Program (AFP).  Thankfully, the AFP paired me with my amazing expert Peer Advisor, Simon Philbin, who worked very closely with me to shape my initial ideas into a high-quality research article. Our regularly scheduled meetings provided me with momentum and focus to make it through to each milestone.

The AFP was the ultimate research administration professional development experience. Under the Author Fellowship Program and as a solo investigator, I applied for Principal Investigator status, submitted a Human Subjects protocol for IRB approval, and worked with campus data lab resources to learn data analysis techniques and proper research methodologies. Throughout this process, I covered the whole gamut of emotions from “There is no way I am ever going to finish this article” to “Wow! I just submitted my manuscript” and, for me, it was so immensely rewarding as I completed each next step in the research and writing process. 

My article explores the implementation and streamlining of the California Model Agreement (CMA) after the passing of California Assembly Bill 20 (AB20).  The CMA includes both pre-award and post-award models, thereby combining the state’s proposal and award processes. What is unique about the CMA is that the submitted proposal documents make up the actual agreement exhibits that are incorporated into the CMA, and the pre-negotiated model agreement provisions comprise the contractual terms and conditions.  In looking at the impact and magnitude of the CMA, its implementation required the collaboration of two major multi-campus public university systems (10 UC campuses and 23 CSU campuses) and over 150 State agencies to examine and significantly change their processes, adopt a new proposal and award business model, and translate that model to their staff and faculty.  I conducted a two-cohort research study to look at the university system view of the CMA at two different data points in its early post-implementation.