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Financing Research in VERA. 2009 ORD Local Accountability for Research Meeting January 14, 2009 Baltimore, MD. Overview. Special Work Group created to: Perform a comprehensive review of financial issues Review current practices in the field Clarify areas of ambiguity in current guidance

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Financing Research in VERA

2009 ORD Local Accountability for Research Meeting

January 14, 2009

Baltimore, MD


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Overview

  • Special Work Group created to:

    • Perform a comprehensive review of financial issues

    • Review current practices in the field

    • Clarify areas of ambiguity in current guidance

    • Catalog issues & questions needing resolution

    • Identify areas for improvement & simplification

  • Key concern is need for field input & suggestions

    • Break-out sessions provide a forum for more feedback

    • We need understand the practical operational issues

2


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Sources of Funding

  • VHA appropriations

  • Other Federal / State / Local governments

  • Non-Profit Corporations / charitable organizations / corporations

  • Gifts & donations

  • Reimbursements


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Sources of VHA Funding

  • Direct Research 101 funds

    • Medical & Prosthetic Research appropriation

  • VERA Research Support funds

    • 3 Medical Care appropriations

  • Specific Purpose / QUERI funds

    • 3 Medical Care appropriations

  • IT Systems appropriation funds

    • All information technology & telecommunications equipment & software


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Challenges - 1

  • What funds must / may be used for certain items

    • The “clear-cut” decisions (little, to no flexibility)

    • The “grey area” decisions (a lot of flexibility)

  • The historical approach versus the need to simplify, rationalize, & streamline

    • Problem of “one-size” fits all

    • Large Research programs / Medium ones / Small ones

  • Law of “Unintended Consequences”

    • Try to make the situation better, not worse


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Challenges - 2

  • 101 Research funds versus VERA Research Support

    • 101 based on 3-year average of VA funded projects (intra-mural)

    • VERA based on most recent year projects (intra & extra-mural)

      • 100% VA administered, 75% peer reviewed not VA administered, 25% non-peer reviewed not VA administered

  • Disproportionate impact of “fixed overhead” costs

    • 101 funds for Large programs / Medium ones / Small ones

  • Impact of Research Program dynamics

    • Growing programs, level programs, & declining programs


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Challenges - 3

  • VERA Research Support amounts

    • Are a guide, not a mandate

  • Accurate DSS reporting of Research Support funding

    • Dependent on accurate station level input

  • Direct versus Indirect Costs

    • What funds are responsible / appropriate

  • Full-time Research Staff reporting to ACOS for Research

    • Full-time / Part-time oversight staff reporting to VAMC Director


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Conclusion

  • Need input to create a better future

  • Need to minimize “unintended consequences”

  • Need to ensure future viability of Research


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