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‘Incredible uptake’

Memorial Researcher Portal catches on in big way

Research

By Jeff Green

Since its province-wide launch in December, the Memorial Researcher Portal has caught on in a big way.

The website has been accessed more than 6,200 times by more than 1,800 users.

The new site is aimed at researchers requiring research ethics approvals and those undertaking funded research.

“A considerable amount of work has gone into the portal and we are delighted so much interest has been generated.” — David Miller

More than 450 researcher portal accounts have been generated, more than 100 new Human Ethics Applications have been created and the team behind the project has received and dealt with more than 400 support requests.

“Researchers across our campuses, as well as those external to the university working throughout the province, have requested this type of easily accessible portal for some time. Thanks to the Strategic Research Intensity Plan, this initiative has finally seen the light of day,” said David Miller, director of Research Grant and Contract Services, the unit within the Office of the Vice-President (Research) leading the development and implementation of the new portal.

The first phase of the site was launched in the fall; phase two will come later this year.

Since its province-wide launch in December, the Memorial Researcher Portal has caught on in a big way.
Since its provincewide launch in December, the Memorial Researcher Portal has caught on in a big way.
Photo: Jeff Green

“Since December, we’ve had an incredible uptake and interest from researchers who are submitting applications online, through the portal and to the three human research ethics boards: the university’s Interdisciplinary Committee on Ethics in Human Research, Grenfell Campus’s Research Ethics Board and the provincial Health Research Ethics Board.

“This initial phase provided researchers with a one-stop, online approvals process to these boards,” added Mr. Miller. “A considerable amount of work has gone into the portal and we are delighted so much interest has been generated.”

The right route

When fully deployed, the Memorial Researcher Portal will route researcher applications for funding to faculty and department heads, as well as various review committees for approval and sign-off. Signing authorities, such as deans, department heads and research ethics board chairs, can submit commentary on the application and will be able to route it back to the researcher for revisions.

As the application progresses through various stages, the principal investigator and research team will be kept apprised of approvals and changes via email and within the Memorial Researcher Portal’s work-flow log. Investigators will also have the ability to see all previously submitted applications in which they were a principal investigator or a project team member.

Post-approval activities, such as annual renewals and amendments, can also be entered into the Memorial Researcher Portal. All post-approval activities are then electronically linked to the original application.

New videos

A new series of six instructional videos aims to further increase usability of the portal, providing a range of tips and valuable information.

“We are enabling researchers to really get the most out of the portal,” added Mr. Miller. “Through the use of easily understood step-by-step instructions, the videos provide researchers an overview of things ranging from navigating the portal to submitting Human Ethics Applications. The portal is one of many initiatives within the Strategic Research Intensity Plan which aims to improve the services to our researchers and help them increase their research intensity.”

Watch the new Researcher Portal instructional videos, covering the following topics:

Phase two of the portal, which includes applications for grant and contract funding, will be available later this year.


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