Academic health centers engage in research-related activities to varying degrees, depending on their size and intended mission balance.
For many institutions, research constitutes the largest portion of their annual expenditures. Thus, the challenges facing the research enterprise can have major financial and organizational implications for academic health centers.
Challenges to the Research Mission
These challenges include, but are not limited to:
- Accurately tracking the true all-in cost of research to assure informed decision-making regarding research-related resource allocation.
- Seeking new sources of research funding support in light of the erosion of traditional primary funding sources.
- Coordination of clinical and research mission interaction to optimize administrative efficiency and billable cost recovery.
- Exploring alternate employment paradigms to maximize research efficiency and effectiveness.
- Benchmarking research mission performance relative to peer institutions.
As traditional source of research funding become more constrained, it is vitally important that academic health centers ensure accountability for research expenditures.
With research funding trends becoming less predictable and reliable, academic health centers must explore alternative sources for underwriting the direct and indirect costs of the academic research enterprise.
Given the increasing complexity and globalization of clinical trials, the effective and efficient integration of research administration and compliance are more important than ever.
Academic health centers are exploring alternatives to traditional recruitment, retention and tenure that are a better match for the realities of the modern academic research enterprise.
Facing increased fiscal constraints, academic health centers are seeking to be more accountable for the return on investment of their research expenditures.
The rapid pace of innovation places enormous pressure on all the core missions of academic health centers, especially the research mission, to anticipate change and rapidly adapt to it.