PATHWAYS OF DISCOVERY

Evolving roles of BASIC SCIENCES in a transformed
School of Medicine and Public Health

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Introduction

In 2014-15, the UW School of Medicine and Public Health engaged in a strategic planning activity focused on the basic sciences in our school. This effort was undertaken with the understanding that the basic sciences are fundamental to every aspect of our mission as a leading academic medical center. The strategic plan describes key actions that serve as a roadmap as we navigate the ever-changing landscape of fundamental research and education.

Vision: Basic sciences in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health will advance human knowledge, prepare our students for the practice of medicine and the pursuit of research, and contribute to the improvement of the quality of life in Wisconsin and beyond.

Mission: Basic sciences in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health are a multi-faceted enterprise focused on innovation, collaboration and fundamental discovery as the means to advance knowledge, teach and inform our students, and promote the Wisconsin Idea.

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Research and Research Training

Our strengths across the continuum of research, education and clinical care contribute to the sustainability of our position as an international leader in each of these endeavors. The School of Medicine and Public Health is strategically positioned within a world-class research university where talented faculty and staff members are passionate about discovery, where innovation and collaboration in research and training are valued highly, and where top-notch research trainees are recruited nationally and internationally.

Our research benefits from campus affiliations and collaborations and our training programs are enriched through participation in cross-disciplinary training activities. We embrace the “Wisconsin Idea,” which extends our opportunities for research and training across the state, nation and world. Emerging technology now provides us with unprecedented opportunities to approach research problems in new and different ways.

Strategic planning in the basic sciences has identified opportunities to develop new directions in research and to define, evaluate and implement innovative training paradigms to prepare our graduates to contribute to, and to lead, the continuing evolution of scientific discovery.

Action Plan: Priorities for Fundamental Research and Research Training

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Team Science

Research problems have become increasingly challenging due to the emerging complexity of biological processes. Because of this complexity, new understanding is often best achieved using approaches that involve two or more principal investigators in multidisciplinary teams. The differing perspectives of team members accelerate the pace of discovery and may elevate a project in ways that are not accessible to an individual investigator. Characteristics contributing to success in team science include the collective expertise of the investigators, shared scientific interests, respect and trust.

The School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) has developed diverse platforms that promote team science, such as thematic centers and programs. Nevertheless, the extraordinarily collaborative environment in the SMPH and across campus provides a critical foundation for even greater initiatives in team science. Strategic planning has resulted in a series of compelling recommendations to increase the quantity and quality of team science.

Implementing these recommendations promises to yield high-impact fundamental discoveries in key research areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurosciences, metabolic disease and regenerative medicine, and many-fold benefits for science, medicine and public health.

Action Plan: Priorities for Facilitating the Development of Multi-Investigator Research

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Resource Allocation

Institutional support, programmatic initiatives and research infrastructure needed to perform effectively as a top-tier research institution have become increasingly costly. As we plan for the future, it is critical for us to strategically invest our resources, develop new models for funding and work even more collaboratively than in the past across the scientific enterprise within the School of Medicine and Public Health and across campus. The path forward necessarily involves selective investments in high-priority research programs and greater support of basic science faculty to advance research and teaching and to ensure that we retain key contributors in the face of outside recruiting pressures.

There is a particular need to create a new administrative infrastructure to facilitate the development of collaborative grants and to alleviate the burden of regulatory and compliance reporting requirements. A more robust system of developing, supporting and in some cases decommissioning research cores is needed. This system needs to emphasize the power of those cores to advance discovery along a continuum which emphasizes basic science as a key component on the path to translation, dissemination and implementation of research findings.

The School of Medicine and Public Health is bound to campus systems for determining compensation, which has not kept pace with national norms - we need to develop an SMPH-centric system to reward extraordinary performance in research and teaching, without forsaking the shared value of compensation equity.

Action Plan: Priorities for Resource Allocation in Support of Basic Science Missions

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Basic Science in Medical Education

Through a process of continuous improvement of our educational enterprise, we are ideally poised to boldly reshape basic science education for all students in the health professions at the School of Medicine and Public Health. We must thoughtfully balance and align the value placed on education with the research and clinical missions both within and beyond departments.

Action Plan: Priorities for Future Contributions to Health Professions Education

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Strategic Planning Leadership Team

Staff to Committee

Research and Research Training Work Group

Research Themes

Key Elements Actions Key Players Status
Involve faculty in defining current and future research directions Appoint SMPH Research Advisory Committee (RAC) R. Moss, Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies Done, RAC appointed
Capitalize on existing research strengths Identify strengths to build upon R. Moss, Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

SMPH Research Advisory Committee
Ongoing
Exploit funding opportunities Identify priority funding areas; compile list of candidate PI's to lead applications SMPH Research Advisory Committee

SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies
Ongoing, review quarterly

Administration

Key Elements Actions Key Players Status
Provide administrative support for proposal preparation, multi-PI projects, and compliance reporting Add central administrative staff to support proposal preparation and multi-PI projects Debbie Meltzer, Assistant Dean, SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

Tracy Cabot, SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies
Ongoing, review monthly
Provide support for pilot/bridge funding R. Moss, Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies Ongoing, review semianually

Core Facilities

Key Elements Actions Key Players Status
Continually assess core capabilities Develop new core capabilities SMPH Research Advisory Committee

SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies
Ongoing
Ensure access for expert and non-expert users Develop guidelines for core operations UW Campus Cores Committee In process
Provide oversight of each core via a faculty/staff committee Develop guidelines for core operations SMPH Research Advisory Committee

SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

UW Campus Cores Committee
In process

Scientific Workforce

Key Elements Actions Key Players Status
Ensure best practices in training of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees Establish distinct training advisory committees for pre and postdoctoral trainees R. Moss, Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

C. Bradfield, Director, Office of Graduate Program Support

A. Rapraeger, Office of Postdoctoral Studies
In process
Ensure pre/post doctoral training for range of career opportunities Expand career advising services and opportunities C. Bradfield, Director, Office of Graduate Program Support

A. Rapraeger, Office of Postdoctoral Studies

UW Graduate School
Ongoing
Increase effectiveness and impact of graduate training programs Optimize the size and quality of graduate programs; implement integrated admissions R. Moss, Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

C. Bradfield, Director, Office of Graduate Program Support

UW Graduate School

Graduate Program Directors
Pending
Increase opportunities for professional development of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees Establish distinct professional development programs for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees C. Bradfield, Director, Office of Graduate Program Support

A. Rapraeger, Office of Postdoctoral Studies

UW Graduate School
Ongoing

Team Science Work Group

Leadership

Key Elements Actions Key Players Status
Encourage, recruit, and support leaders for multi-investigator grants Establish policies to promote leadership opportunities and support for leaders SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

Center Directors

Department Chairs
Ongoing
Enable leaders to succeed while minimizing impact on personal research programs Provide leadership training, administrative support, and support for personal research program SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

Center Directors

Department Chairs
Pending
Showcase success Develop publicity strategy UW Health Office of Marketing and Public Affairs

SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies
Pending

Team Science Culture

Key Elements Actions Key Players Status
Establish incentives for participation in team science, especially for leadership Develop endowed chairs, personal financial incentives, strategic sabbaticals D. Biggs, Senior Associate Dean for Administration

R. Moss, Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

Center Directors

Department Chairs
Ongoing, review annually
Establish "margin of excellence" research funds to promote multi-investigator research projects Provide pilot funds to programs and centers to initiate; provide matching funds to sustain program grants SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education

Center Directors

Department Chairs

UW Foundation Directors of Development
Ongoing, review monthly
Secure expertise needed for program development through new research relationships Increase collaboration within UW, and with other academic medical centers, research foundations, industry R. Moss, Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

K. Zimmerman, SMPH Director of Business Engagement

Center Directors

Department Chairs
Ongoing, review annually

Resources for Development/Support of Team Science

Key Elements Actions Key Players Status
Reallocate existing resources in ways that catalyze development of extramurally funded team science R. Moss, Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies Ongoing, review semiannually
Provide administrative infrastructure to develop and submit team science proposals Establish services within the Dean's office to support the development of research grant applications Debbie Meltzer, Assistant Dean, SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

Tracy Cabot, SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies
Ongoing
Invest in technologies to support innovation SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education

UW Campus Cores Committee

Center Directors

Department Chairs
Ongoing
Encourage extramural support for SMPH research programs Showcase success to philanthropists, foundations, NIH, private sector Ongoing
More effectively inform funding agencies of SMPH research strengths/capabilities; increase UW influence on research policy and directions Host visits by NIH/DOD/DOE institute, unit and program directors; encourage faculty participation on national policy panels and institute councils D. Meltzer, Assistant Dean, SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

Venn Partners

Department Chairs

Center Directors

Faculty
Ongoing

Resource Allocation Work Group

School-Level Funds and Resources

Key Elements Actions Key Players Status
Ensure the continuity of highly competitive research programs by providing support in temporary funding gaps Expand bridge funding for faculty and academic staff SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education

Center Directors

Department Chairs
Ongoing, review semianually
Ensure competitive faculty salaries Develop temporary, merit-based compensation for faculty D. Biggs, Senior Associate Dean for Administration

R. Moss, Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

Department Chairs
In process
Ensure faculty are aware of resources available at department/school/university levels Update and continuously maintain school website and video kiosks D. Meltzer, Assistant Dean, SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education
In process
Evaluate/develop research cores SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

SMPH Research Advisory Committee

UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education

SMPH Research Cores

UW Campus Cores Committee
In process

New or Increased Funding

Key Elements Actions Key Players Status
Identify/communicate opportunities for multi-investigator grants; provide infrastructure to support application submissions Compile list of investigators and interests to match with funding opportunities; directly notify faculty/staff of relevant funding opportunities D. Meltzer, Assistant Dean, SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

Center Directors

Department Chairs
Done, review monthly
Increase funds flow from private foundations Strengthen relationships with philanthropic and disease centric foundations D. Meltzer, Assistant Dean, SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

K. Zimmerman, SMPH Director of Business Engagement

UW Foundation
In process
Enhance industry collaboration by streamlining contract negotiation UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education In process
Increase philanthropic support; develop SMPH/UW seed fund Participate in campus Science Philanthropy Alliance SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education

UW Foundation
In process

Individual Faculty Development

Key Elements Actions Key Players Status
Increase the frequency of faculty sabbaticals Encourage faculty to take sabbaticals, if even at UW D. Biggs, Senior Associate Dean for Administration

Department Chairs

Faculty
In process
Effectively communicate the availability of resources for faculty Update and continuously maintain school website D. Meltzer, Assistant Dean, SMPH Office of Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies Ongoing

Relevance/Cost Effectiveness of Cores

Key Elements Actions Key Players Status
Establish SMPH Scientific Advisory Committee to advise Senior Associate Dean Appoint SMPH Scientific Advisory Committee members R. Moss, Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies Done
Place cores on sound financial and operational footings Develop governance, business, operating guidelines for cores R. Moss, Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

SMPH Scientific Advisory Committee

UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education

UW Campus Cores Committee
In process

Basic Science in Medical Education Work Group

Great Teaching

Key Elements Actions Key Players Status
Identify best teaching practices C. Seibert, Associate Dean for Medical Student Education and Services

Educational Policy Council

Course Directors
Ongoing
Professional development of teachers Provide faculty and staff development opportunities; support awards for teaching faculty; partner with teaching academy on campus; encourage faculty and staff participation in internal and external faculty development programs for educators E. Petty, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

C. Seibert, Associate Dean for Medical Student Education and Services

Department Chairs

Course Directors
Ongoing
Protect time/resources Ensure mission aligned funds flow, provide protected time for education and curriculum development K. Mount, Senior Associate Dean for Finance

Department Chairs
Ongoing
Create infrastructure for building/sustaining excellence in education Develop robust evaluation and assessment practices; create comprehensive IT analytics; build partnerships with campus, within and between programs and units; reward great teaching E. Petty, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

C. Seibert, Associate Dean for Medical Student Education and Services

Partners on campus in provost's office

Teaching Academy and educational technology
Ongoing

Integrated Education Aligned with Metrics

Key Elements Actions Key Players Status
Hold leaders/teachers accountable Develop and apply metrics for success, create programs to mentor and assist in faculty development E. Petty, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

C. Seibert, Associate Dean for Medical Student Education and Services

Medical Education Office

Educational Leadership Team

Department Chairs

Course Directors
In process
Build stronger central education leadership model Build assessment and evaluation core, provide central oversight though curriculum directors and leaders E. Petty, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

C. Seibert, Associate Dean for Medical Student Education and Services

Educational Leadership Team

Educational Policy Council
In process
Develop clinical/basic science teams to lead courses Create course leadership teams that draw on strengths and talents of faculty and staff in clinical and basic science disciplines C. Seibert, Associate Dean for Medical Student Education and Services

Educational Leadership Team
In process
Identify teachers to lead education through competitive process Solicit self, peer and departmental nomination of teachers and create review process to identify teachers for major course leadership roles, renew positions based on performance metrics C. Seibert, Associate Dean for Medical Student Education and Services

Medical Education Office

Course Directors
In process

Continuous Improvement

Key Elements Actions Key Players Status
Identify and disseminate desired outcomes Develop departmental dashboards; presentations at Educational Policy Council, Educational Leadership Team E. Petty, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

C. Seibert, Associate Dean for Medical Student Education and Services

Medical Education Office
In process
Analyze and adjust teaching practices based on outcomes Implement process for feedback and development Medical Education Office

Office of Faculty Development
In process
Develop metrics to calibrate, improve, and reward great teaching Create and track key performance indicators Medical Education Office

Department Chairs

Educational Policy Council
In process
Adopt diverse assessment methodologies Use robust assessment and evaluation methods Medical Education Office In process