SSRI News Fall 2006

Message from the Director

Welcome to the inaugural issue of SSRI News, a new electronic bulletin of the College of Social Sciences' Social Science Research Institute (SSRI). The purpose of this electronic news bulletin is to promote communication with the College's academic and research community about events and issues concerning research and training activities funded by extramural sources. This bulletin will inform you of new initiatives and policies concerning sponsored projects in the College, grants management training opportunities, grants and contracts obtained by faculty colleagues, and other announcements related to sponsored projects. SSRI News will be archived in our improved website (http://www.ssri.hawaii.edu/). We hope to distribute one issue of SSRI News each semester, as well as use this venue to distribute notices that are time-sensitive.

 

SSRI is expanding its efforts to promote the College's and Institute's mission to facilitate sponsored research that addresses social, behavioral, economic, and environmental problems affecting Hawaii and the Asia Pacific region. During the past two years, SSRI's sponsored projects have grown significantly with new initiatives in the areas of healthcare informatics (Dr. Norman Okamura), evaluation and needs assessment (Dr. Judith Inazu), and mental health services research, evaluation, and training (Dr. Michael Wylie; described in this issue). The growth of SSRI's research portfolio parallels the growth of the College's sponsored research activities. Faculty members in the College and SSRI have been successful in obtaining extramural support for research and training activities, with grant and contract awards growing from $9.5 million in FY 2003 - 2004 to $17.9 million in FY 2005 -2006 (88% increase), despite only a 5% increase (largely due to collective bargaining agreements) in the College's operating budget. Also, in 2006, these grants and contracts supported 115 students in the form of either graduate research assistantships (84) or student employment (31).

 

With significant increases in sponsored research and training activities in the College, there is growing need to strengthen the College's research infrastructure and capacity for these projects. Infrastructure needs include research space and facilities and fiscal/administrative support services for Principal Investigators (PIs) in the College's departments. As the sponsored research division of the College, SSRI is committed to seeking and advocating for new resources or improved ways of channeling resources to build the College's capacity to provide PIs pre- and post-award administrative/fiscal support services. These services are essential to afford PIs the time to focus on their research activities and will, in the long run, enhance PIs' ability to compete successfully for continued extramural funding of their research and training activities. Investment in these services will help foster an environment that promotes the research mission of the College and SSRI.

 

Velma Kameoka, Ph. D.

Director

 

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