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CCSG Site Visits: Are You Ever Ready?. Cancer Center Administrators’ Forum April 2011 Presented by: Anita L. Harrison, MPA Associate Director of Administration, Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina. Site Visit Info.

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ccsg site visits are you ever ready

CCSG Site Visits: Are You Ever Ready?

Cancer Center Administrators’ Forum

April 2011

Presented by:

Anita L. Harrison, MPAAssociate Director of Administration, Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina

site visit info
Site Visit Info
  • NCI will contact you before the written CCSG submission to begin identifying site visit dates and persons who would have conflicts of interest in reviewing your application
    • Site visit is 4-5 months after grant submission
    • You will be asked to provide several possible dates over a 2 month period, and the dates should include Tues, Wed or Thurs dates (site visits are not held on Mon or Fri)
    • NCI might ask for hotel suggestions but NCI will arrange hotel and travel for site visitors
    • Conflicts of Interest – External Advisory Board (current and past); know who is on parent committee and review for COIs (former faculty, current collaborators, etc.)Parent Committee: NCI web site/Advisory Boards
advice 1 don t wait
Advice 1: Don’t Wait
  • Ideally: Don’t wait until the day after the CCSG grant submission to begin planning your site visit
    • Have a separate team working on site visit logistics 2 or more months before the grant submission
    • Identify suitable conference room for site visit
    • Notify and block travel for your Center and institutional leadership for the two months that your site visit may occur
    • Set dates for rehearsals and dress rehearsals; 1-2 should include EAB
    • Begin/finalize NIH biosketches for all membership
    • Begin collecting/reviewing meeting/retreat/PRMS documentation
    • Set template for shared resource posters; set template for presentations
    • Identify and formalize contract with presentation coach (if used)
advice 2 site visit room set up
Advice 2: Site Visit Room Set Up
  • Size of site team depends on size of Center; average site team is in the 20-25 person range
  • Room needs to be spacious enough to allow each reviewer plenty of “elbow” room (to open meeting book, have a lap top open and a place for plate/drink)
  • Other designated seating areas needed for:
    • Senior Leadership
    • Other Center leaders/staff and institutional guests
    • Designated area for NCI staff (2-4 people)
    • Designated area for documentation (meeting minutes)
advice 2 site visit room set up1
Advice 2: Site Visit Room Set Up
  • Most common complaint at site visits: TEMPERATUREKnow who to call to adjust temperature quickly. Test it. Make sure there are no scheduled fire drills, construction noises, etc.
  • Seating
    • U shape is best layout for site visitors; prepare name tents for site visitors (and NCI staff); prepare name tags too
    • Provide the most comfortable chairs for site visitors and NCI staff (they will be sitting all day!)
  • Remind everyone to turn off pagers, phones, etc.
    • Post staff outside door to enforce this
  • Table for beverages/snacks in room, but lunch set up in separate room (Site visitors in executive session during lunch, need separate room for lunch for Center leadership)
advice 2 site visit room set up2
Advice 2: Site Visit Room Set Up
  • IT/audiovisual
    • Have back up computer/projector plans
    • Every reviewer should have access to power strips for computers (have wires taped down in advance)
    • Every 2-3 reviewers need access to table top microphone
    • Access to power for laptops for site visitors
    • Have wireless access to internet for site visitors
  • Documentation
    • Have table in room if possible with all documentation (senior leadership meetings, program leader meetings, program meetings, EAB meetings, strategic plan, evidence of any Center-sponsored research activities)
    • Have cds available of grant
    • Provide mini prints of shared resource posters
advice 3 site visit preparations
Advice 3: Site Visit Preparations
  • Agenda is rather standard: obtain copies from other Centers
  • Dress rehearsals – the number depends on the experience of the institution/leadership; 2 is a bare minimum; there should be at least 3-4 other non-dress rehearsals
  • To script or not to script
    • Advantage: easier to control time; ensures that the main points are made
    • Disadvantage: risk of putting reviewers to sleep
    • Have a time keeping/alert system
  • Slides should have a common template but don’t force it; if a presenter has an exciting scientific slide to show that does not work well in the template—turn the background off; avoid crowding slides; limit animation
other site visit presentation tips
Other Site Visit/Presentation Tips
  • Consider the gender balance of your site visit presentations; it is noticed when all presentations are made by men
  • Do all of your Senior Leadership have a role in the site visit? Try to feature all of your Sr. Leaders
  • Coach your presenters not be to defensive when questioned; if the presenter fails to answer the question, have your Director/Assoc. Director follow up on the question in his/her closing remarks
  • Research your site visit team and share the information with your leadership; might help anticipate questions
  • Hotel to Center transportation: have staff with phone on site at hotel to escort site visitors; plan elevator strategy
advice 4 administrative review
Advice 4: Administrative Review
  • The Administrator is typically “pulled out” of the meeting just after the Director makes his/her first presentation for a discussion with the Administrative Reviewer for about an hour; have a 2nd in command in the site visit room who has been introduced to SRA
  • Typical data requests at this meeting may include:
    • Request for updated information based on discussions from the reviewers the night before (status of pending grants, needing updated or missing biosketches, updated or missing budget information, clinical trial number discrepancies, etc.)
    • Clarifications on the Center’s budget—total Center budget for most recent FY and the sources of support for that budget for the most recent FY (pie charts are often helpful in conveying this info)
advice 4 administrative review1
Advice 4: Administrative Review
  • A. Harrison typically looks for how the Administration supports the Center’s research efforts (similar to that of any shared resource)
  • How does the staff administration participate in the Center’s decision making, planning and evaluation processes?
  • Does the administration have adequate IT systems in place to provide efficient and effective services?
  • How does administration foster the development of research and research collaborations?
advice 5 poster session
Advice 5 : Poster Session
  • Poster data/info should match the write up or be clearly labeled as updated
    • Shared Resource (SR) Director should be able to clearly articulate the differences between the write up and the poster
    • Be especially careful with clinical trial accrual numbers; reviewers see red flags when numbers don’t match; Be sure to carefully label the graphs and what they represent
  • Present exciting science that was produced with the shared resource (largest portion of the poster)
  • S R Director should have logs of usage at the poster
    • Administration should review these logs prior to the site visit to make sure data matches written grant
advice 5 poster session1
Advice 5 : Poster Session
  • If Shared Resource Director has communication or attitude challenges,place an Associate Director/Program Leader at that poster; each poster should have at least 2 representatives in case the site visitors want to tour resource
  • If Co-SR Directors, be prepared to discuss the distinct responsibilities of each
  • Rehearse the Shared Resource Directors too!
    • Oftentimes Shared Resources that are part of a larger University service are not as connected to the organization of the Cancer Center; make sure they are knowledgeable about the research programs and what exciting cancer research is ongoing
    • Be prepared to answer questions about subsidies and budget request
advice 6 tours
Advice 6 : Tours
  • Rehearse tours to every SR (path to getting to all sites of the resource; resource should have signage, prep staff, etc.)
  • Animal-related shared resources are almost always toured by animal veterinarian
  • Clinical Trials shared resources are always toured
    • Reviewers typically “quiz” the staff to make sure that the unit that was described on paper is “real”
    • Reviewers may ask for a demo of the capabilities of the IT system supporting the clinical trials unit
    • Typically, reviewers want to know the time it takes to open a study at the Center
    • If clinical coordination of trials is “decentralized”, are their shared SOPs, standards, communications, any dual reporting authority
    • Clinical trials unit should be restricted access, locked cabinets and clear observances of HIPAA
site visit expenses
Site Visit Expenses
  • Poster printing and graphic design
    • (@ $60 per poster for printing)
    • Use a graphic designer to work with your Shared Resource Directors and leaders for their PowerPoint
  • Site visit book for each reviewer (prefer spiral bound)
    • Agenda, color copies of slides, small poster prints, etc
  • Food for breakfast, snacks and lunch (all participants)
  • Transportation for site team to and from hotel and for tours to shared resources (if needed)
site visit expenses1
Site Visit Expenses
  • Additional audiovisual (may be extra costs)
  • Additional honoraria/travel for EAB members if they attend dress rehearsals
  • Presentation Coach – anywhere from $50 -100/hr
  • Build in $15-$25K into your budget for site visit expenses