August 2021 Research Policy Updates

Dear Colleagues,

After six months on the job as VPR&I for Duke, I’ve made two major observations. First, research at Duke is thriving thanks to your creativity and hard work, but the Office for Research & Innovation (OR&I) should, can, and will do more to facilitate your success in research. Second, Duke has done much to achieve high standards for responsible conduct of research, but requirements set by sponsors are not static, and our processes and actions must keep pace. Our office is committed to facilitating your ability to meet these expectations in the most efficient way possible, thereby protecting time for research itself. Please stay tuned and provide input to as we seek avenues to accomplish these goals.

After thoughtful consideration and conversation with sponsors, peer universities, and Duke faculty leaders, we have concluded that several updates to our policies and procedures for assuring responsible conduct of research are required at this time.

New requirements include the submission of final grant & contract proposals to the appropriate pre-award office at least 5 business days prior to the sponsor due date, the use of the Intent to Submit Process at least 15 business days prior to the sponsor due date, required Researcher Onboarding of all new faculty and first-time PIs, and implementation of an institution-wide research quality program.

Additional communications and guidance for users will be forthcoming from the Office of Research Support (ORS)/Office of Research Administration (ORA) on grant and contract proposal processes, and from the Duke Office of Research Initiatives (DORI)/Duke Office of Scientific Integrity (DOSI) on onboarding and Research Quality.

Please join me in understanding the necessity for these changes and the value to be gained, and in finding ways to fulfill our obligations most efficiently.

With thanks and best wishes,



R. Sanders Williams, MD

Vice President for Research & Innovation