Dear VA Boston Healthcare Colleagues: The Boston Globe recently published an article about how U Mass dealt with the void left when a research scientist dies – this message really hit home. Basically, when this scientist died, the lab went with her. Funding stopped, the lab was closed down and its employees found other things to do. The article described how the scientist had not groomed anyone to carry on the research even though she had employed a myriad of research assistants and others who often worked with her over the years. So, the money, time, and labor invested in the research ends there, no matter where it is in the discovery process. At BVARI we were recently faced with a scientists transfer and we scurried to back fill four epidemiologists to support one investigator’s termination. And, don’t forget, those studies that may be closed to BVARI’s responsibility in financial administration (but not yet through the committees) requires us to assign someone in the role as a PI as it is essential if there were to be an audit or compliance questions posed on the more technical side.This made me think about how many of you are grooming people who could step in and lead your research studies if you were not there. What is your role in succession planning? …
Additionally, as I work through the questions on an upcoming audit they have asked me a question that has laid heavy on my mind
Specifically, evaluate the major risks (threats) in front of you as PI, such as:
The idea is to identify the risks (potential losses) and take whatever action we can reasonably take to avoid or mitigate them.
Formal succession planning is not exclusive to BVARI administration … but, its also meant for researchers and the institution as a whole. I believe you need to make a plan for who could take over for you if you leave the institution, decide to transfer or get hit by a bus. Then you need to implement it, not just let it sit on the shelf.
While we all like to think we're indispensable, we need to think about who could replace us when we move on to what's next. If you look at your organization today, who could that be? What are you doing to get that person ready?
Best regards. Nancy Watterson-Diorio
Some things to think about:
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