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Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment (2017)

Chapter: 3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience

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Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21) on public health and medical preparedness, which was disseminated October 18, 2007, established a strategy for protecting the health of Americans in the event of a disaster. The directive called on state and local governing bodies and governing officials, private-sector organizations, academic centers, public and private hospitals, and other entities to engage in disaster preparedness and response efforts (Bush, 2008). These efforts can be strengthened through the collective knowledge and resources found in the academic biomedical research community. In addition, the academic biomedical research community presents its own unique challenges to achieving national resiliency.

The committee defines the academic biomedical research community broadly as encompassing those research sponsors, academic research institutions and their research enterprise, and researchers involved in the conduct of biomedical and biological research. Academic research institution refers to any academic institution of higher education or research institute that supports multiple research projects. An academic research institution typically consists of the following key elements and personnel that support its research enterprise: research faculty, laboratory staff, and students and trainees; a president; a provost; a chief financial officer; a vice president for research; deans; an emergency management department; an environmental health and safety department; campus security and fire; capital planning and facilities services; human resources; grants management offices, legal department; a biological and radiological safety office; information technology; and governing boards and bodies. As discussed in Chapter 1, the primary focus of this report is on those academic research institutions supporting biomedical and biological research.

There is a broad range of academic research institutions, from standalone research institutes, to full-scale universities with multiple schools or campuses. Most of these academic research institutions have additional missions besides research, such as teaching and service activities. These activities are often interrelated with the research mission, such as teaching activities that involve training graduate students to participate in research. Additionally, medical service activities within medical schools are typically interrelated with clinical research activities. Thus, the research mission must function within a complex set of institutional functions and priorities. All the various missions influence the economic health of the institution, which is critical to the institution’s ability to support research. Institutions may also collaborate to conduct research—with various elements of the research activity and the infrastructure supporting it hosted in entities with different governance and different preparedness and response plans. In these cases, leadership from among the collaborating entities must ensure effective communications and a unity of effort to facilitate a disaster-resilient

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

research enterprise. These efforts need to be coordinated with the efforts and requirements of the various research sponsors in order to maximize the effectiveness of the research effort and minimize the impacts of disasters on the research enterprise.

This chapter discusses the various institutional components that contribute either directly or indirectly to the research enterprise. Each institution requires a number of departments and functions that do not carry out research themselves but which are critical for compliance with various federal mandates related to the research or which provide support for the activities of the researchers. This chapter further describes the crosscutting work of the emergency management department, which is by definition charged to lead and coordinate institutional preparedness, response, and recovery activities. The discussions in this chapter provide the necessary background to understand the appropriate authorities and communication paths necessary for developing effective disaster planning and management and achieving resilience. The below excerpt describes Florida International University’s (FIU’s) preparedness and response efforts for Hurricane Matthew, demonstrating the complex coordination of various institutional components (FIU, 2016). The full case study is located in Appendix E.

Once a hurricane watch has been issued, FIU follows this process regarding its research operations: the Office of Research and Economic Development issues an advisory to principal investigators and laboratory managers regarding the latest information from the FIU Emergency Management team. This advisory instructs principal investigators and laboratory managers to prepare to suspend experiments involving hazardous materials and to not begin new experiments; to coordinate with the Office of Research and Economic Development and Environmental Health and Safety to update all hazardous materials inventories in the Environmental Health and Safety database; to autoclave or inactivate infectious waste; and to make any necessary changes to shipments of laboratory items ordered. The on-campus chemical supply store is advised to delay or reroute receipts of chemicals or other research materials ordered. Scientific Receiving is advised to deliver or secure any laboratory materials it currently holds. The Office of Research and Economic Development provides the FIU Police Department with a list of all personnel allowed to remain on or enter the campus during the storm. (FIU, 2016)

Framing the discussion of disaster resilience in the academic biomedical research community is the issue of leadership. A core principle of disaster resilience is that leaders must be dedicated to building a culture of disaster resilience. Commitment from leadership drives overall improvement of emergency management programs at institutions (NCCPS, 2016). Leaders of each of the institutional components discussed in this chapter must be able to

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

reach across the aisle to ensure that all stakeholders in the resilience process are identified and then incorporated and engaged in efforts that support disaster resilience. This is particularly true for research, where the variety and constantly changing nature of the research require input from the researchers for appropriate planning. Leadership within an academic research institution can be complex, but once effective policies and processes regarding disasters have been established, all members of the academic research institution are enabled and empowered to work across systems to minimize or avoid the impacts of a disaster.

Because changes in organizational structure may occur as a result of a disaster and because a disaster can affect so many entities, academic research institutions may find it helpful to adopt a model of meta-leadership. Meta-leadership is defined as “overarching leadership that intentionally connects the purposes and work of different organizations or organizational units” (Marcus et al., 2006). Marcus et al. (2006) found that this meta-leadership framework—one that incorporates leaders with the ability to cross organizational lines, make decisions that are mission based, and assemble disparate information into coherent messages—can be especially important for emergency preparedness. This model may make it easier for disparate stakeholders to work together to build a strong culture of resilience.

CORE STAFF FUNCTIONS OF AN ACADEMIC RESEARCH INSTITUTION

In this section, the roles and responsibilities of departments or departmental functions and personnel relative to disaster resilience planning are delineated. Figure 3-2 is an example of the types of components and organizational structure that are typical of academic research institutions. The committee acknowledges that the organizational structure can differ significantly between academic research institutions, and the degree to which an institution’s research activities and finances are centralized or decentralized can affect the feasibility of implementing various mitigation strategies.

Figure 3-2 and the roles delineated in this section may be typical of larger academic research institutions. Some institutions may not have faculty or staff that correspond to each of these titles, other institutions may use different organizational models, and still others may have decentralized models of organization. However, all of the general functions discussed below are typically needed in some form within the institution. The organizational structure shown below in Figure 3-2 reflects daily operations. The structure would change in response to a disaster based on the incident command system (ICS), which is a uniform structure that outlines authority and delegates decision-making responsibilities for response in times of disaster. The ICS

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×
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FIGURE 3-2 Example of a typical organizational structure of an academic research institution.
NOTES: This figure highlights executive leadership, key departments and departmental functions, and the research enterprise. The gray box highlights an example of the organizational structure of the research enterprise, the focus of this report. The committee acknowledges that the organizational structure can differ significantly between academic research institutions and that the degree to which an institution’s research activities and finances are centralized or decentralized affects the feasibility of implementing various mitigation strategies. The committee also acknowledges that the organizational structure will change in response to a disaster based on the incident command system structure, which is a uniform structure that outlines authority and delegates decision-making responsibilities for response in times of disaster.

structure is discussed in more detail in Chapter 6 (Response and Recovery Planning), and these structures also will vary by institution.

Whatever an institution’s organizational structure happens to be, however, each piece of that structure has a part to play in supporting resilience. The organizational structure of the institution and its policies and procedures can empower each component of the institution to plan for disaster response and recovery. Resilience is dependent on finding an institutional leader that can identify the essential stakeholders and necessary resources

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

and can coordinate the planning groups and activities that occur at many levels of the institution (FEMA, 2003). Leaders charged with the overall disaster resilience and emergency management of the institution will work conjointly with leaders that are focused on the disaster resilience of the research enterprise, with each stakeholder empowered and prepared to make decisions that will protect the research enterprise in the event of disaster.

It is important to note in Figure 3-2 that the principal investigator (PI), who is the creative driver of the research process, is part of a direct reporting structure that leads to the higher echelons in the institution administration, while many of the support services critical to the research process are on alternate reporting structures. Each level of higher administration takes a broader responsibility for the overall enterprise. Some major units listed under the direction of the vice president for research, which serve research directly, may contribute either directly or indirectly to the research enterprise; departments listed under the president’s office serve critical, but more indirect support functions for the research. The exact reporting structure for many of the units in Figure 3-2, as well as the titles of the individuals in charge of those divisions, may differ. However, these general functions are important to the research enterprise, and their relationship with the PI is often indirect. Each of these important functions will be discussed in more detail below.

The Principal Investigator and Individual Research Laboratories

For the purposes of this report, the committee considers the PI to be the key element of the academic biomedical research community around which the academic research institution must build its support structure. Kidwell (2014) defines PIs as the “lead actors” in research projects. PIs are responsible for directing research projects, including those research projects supported by grants, and must ensure that the research projects comply with all federal, state, and institutional regulations. PIs also are responsible for ensuring the integrity of data and results. At an academic research institution the PI would be a faculty member (or equivalent). These faculty members are very likely to also play roles in teaching, administration, or even medical practice. However, there are some places where PIs are solely involved in research-related activities. We consider the PI the central focus of research efforts for this document because PIs are responsible for planning the research activities; writing and managing grants to fund the research activities; and hiring, training, and managing the research staff in conducting the research. Thus, in terms of research activities, the PI is responsible for the creative aspects of the research design, the implementation of this design, and the publication and dissemination of the results. In most

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

ways, the other parts of an institution relevant to research provide various critical aspects of support for the PI.

In addition to established PIs, academic research faculty are composed of early-career investigators and new investigators. The definitions of early-career and new investigators vary; the National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines early-stage (i.e., early-career) investigators as investigators who (1) are within 10 years of completion of medical residencies or terminal research degrees, and (2) who have not previously been awarded a substantial, competing NIH research grant (NIH, 2012). Other definitions of early career and new investigators are less concrete; e.g., the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program defines early career investigators only as junior faculty members (NSF, 2016a).

Additional researchers work under the direction of the PI and fall into several categories. These include career researchers who work as research associates as well as postdoctoral researchers who also work full-time on the research but who are generally at an institution only for a few years of final training before getting independent jobs. There are also students at various levels, the most important being the doctoral students who are involved in some course work but are primarily being trained by the PI to carry out research. All of these positions are recruited by the PI and are primarily paid by the PI’s research grants. However, they are hired by the institution, and their positions are managed institutionally.

The PIs and their laboratory members are in the best position to understand the specialized needs of their specific research as well as the most important and vulnerable reagents and other resources needed for their research. To promote a resilient laboratory, it is important for PIs to engage in disaster resilience planning with institutional leadership. Additional details about mitigation planning are further described in Chapter 5.

Laboratory Staff

Laboratory staff are typically under the direction of the PI and are professionals hired to carry out the research. These individuals have varying levels of training, from doctoral level down to high school graduates and generally are assigned to carry out specific aspects of a laboratory project. Their positions include laboratory managers, research associates, and clerical staff. A laboratory manager is responsible for coordinating the operation of a research laboratory, including training, activities, budgets, infrastructure, and safety protocol. Research associates are typically postgraduates who assist with the research performed in a laboratory. These “hands-on” researchers often have the most detailed understanding of critical research reagents and equipment for the PI’s projects. Clerical staff support the daily operation of the research laboratory. In addition to their

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

key understanding of the structure of the laboratory and its key reagents, these individuals also often play roles under the PI’s supervision in making sure that steps are taken to meet various compliance standards.

Laboratory managers can assist in disaster resilience efforts by anticipating the needs of a laboratory in the event of an impending disaster; they should assess protocols for backing up or relocating data and samples, organize disaster response training exercises for research faculty and staff members, assess the vulnerabilities of the laboratory, and ensure controlled access to facilities after a disaster. Clerical staff can support laboratory managers in these disaster planning and response efforts.

Research Students and Trainees

Although there are a broad range of trainees involved in research, from summer high school programs through postdoctoral research training, the most common trainees in research laboratories are doctoral students and postdoctoral (M.D. or Ph.D.) trainees. Doctoral students will generally spend 4-6 years training with a specific PI, carrying out their own research projects. Although working with a PI and generally receiving financial support through the PI’s grants, doctoral students will also be involved in didactic training, such as course work, and function within the structure and requirements of an overarching doctoral training program. Postdoctoral trainees will commonly spend 1–6 years involved with a specific research project in a PI’s laboratory in order to broaden their research experience.

Like the research staff, students and other trainees are the most knowledgeable about their ongoing research needs, which are highly variable between different research laboratories and projects. As students and trainees gain experience conducting research in a laboratory, they can reflect an institution’s commitment to disaster resilience by participating in disaster-response training exercises that occur in the laboratory setting. They can also engage their peers in institutional training exercises and lead the student body in fostering awareness of disaster resilience planning efforts.

Research Animal Resource Center and Animal Care Staff

Doctors of veterinary medicine may perform research that has applications to animal or human health, and they may support the care and well-being of animals used for research (Rosol, 2009). The care and use of research animals within an institution is tightly regulated, and is overseen by a team of specially trained staff that includes board-certified laboratory animal medicine veterinarians and certified laboratory animal managers, technologists, and technicians. Central to the animal care and use program at an institution is its institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC),

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

which has the responsibility for reviewing and approving all use of vertebrate animals at the institution and overseeing all activities that take place with these animals (NRC, 2011). The ultimate responsibility for the care and welfare of the research animals rests with the IACUC and the attending veterinarian, who report directly to the institutional official (IO). The IO bears the ultimate responsibility for the entire program. Doctors of veterinary medicine and animal care staff can oversee the protection of data and the transfer of animals to fail-safe facilities or regional backup facilities with which the institution has partnered. Additional information on animal research is discussed in Chapter 7. Table 3-1 lists the suggested roles that individual research laboratories can take to promote disaster resilience.

The Academic Research Institution

Most institutions use some type of department structure to provide guidance and support to PIs, and the research department is the primary authority structure over PIs (see Figure 3-2). The overall responsibilities of departments may vary, but in all departments the head of the unit has direct authority over the PI and plays an extensive role in knowing the needs and activities of PIs. Thus, the department is often able to coordinate and represent the needs of the PIs at higher levels of the institution as well as to help implement institutional requirements to which the PIs must adhere. In most cases, the department is involved in recruiting the types of researchers desired for that unit. Departments often provide mentoring, a source of scientific communication (e.g., through seminars and journal clubs), local grants accounting, and clerical support. PIs may have responsibilities to, and garner support from, multiple departments or centers; this type of parallel research organization is intended to create research synergy. Furthermore, a research institution has many departments and personnel that are not directly employed in the research projects but that are critical in maintaining the institutional functions and support services that indirectly affect research. The responsibility for the function of these various support services can rest at different levels of the institutional management and may vary depending on the size and overall mission of the institution. Thus, the immediate responsibility to secure these services against a disaster will also reside at different levels of the administrative structure.

President

The president is the chief executive officer of an institution and is typically appointed by the institution’s governing body. He or she is responsible for defining the mission and goals of the university, for preparing a budget for approval by the governing bodies of the institution, for implementing

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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TABLE 3-1 Suggested Roles of Individual Research Laboratories in Disaster Resilience

Key Component of the Academic Biomedical Research Community Suggested Roles in Disaster Resilience
Research faculty (includes principal investigators, early-career investigators, and new investigators)
  • Maintain a resilient laboratory
  • Work with institutional leaders to develop appropriate recovery standards for implementation after a disaster
  • Work within institutional policies and guidance to allow optimal response to damage to research-related assets with respect to institutional insurance
  • Perform regular backup of data
  • Secure research methodologies
  • Consider maintaining redundant, remote research samples, including deposition into national repositories
  • Work with research sponsors to participate in funded research involving disaster resilience
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Laboratory staff (includes laboratory managers, research associates, and clerical staff)
  • Anticipate the needs of laboratories in planning for disaster
  • Assess protocols for backing up data or relocating data and samples
  • Seek out disaster response exercises from emergency management authorities
  • Define the characteristics of a resilient laboratory, assess vulnerabilities, and mitigate the deficiencies
  • Work with leadership to develop procedures to ensure controlled access to facilities after disaster
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Research students and trainees
  • Promote awareness of institutional disaster planning efforts
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Research animal care staff
  • Oversee the protection of animals
  • Participate in trainings and exercises

university policies and procedures, and for promoting the development of the institution. The role of the president has expanded in recent decades, and, in addition to these stated responsibilities, the president also is responsible for representing the institution, for persuading faculty members to support the institution’s mission and vision, for raising money, for organizing staff and administrators, and for presiding over ceremonial events (Bok, 2015).

University presidents can play a critical role before, during, and after a disaster. The president should anticipate the needs of the research enterprise

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

and develop plans of action before disasters occur, with special consideration given to the preservation of the research mission of the institution. Presidents should also work with institutional governing bodies to consider the financial implications of various disasters. Finally, presidents should appoint leaders accountable for institutional disaster preparedness and response that will engage the academic biomedical research community to implement processes aimed at improving its disaster resilience.

Presidents, especially those of state institutions, represent the institution before state and local legislatures and community members; presidents also act as links between the institution and the community. Thus, presidents can use the numerous resources available at the university to partner with community organizations in support of disaster resilience efforts.

Provost

The role of the provost varies among institutions. Reporting to the university president, the provost generally serves as the chief academic officer for the university and has oversight of faculty and faculty affairs, and curricular affairs. The provost also typically has oversight of the research enterprise, while responsibility for research is often delegated to a vice president for research.

The administrators who report to the provost typically include deans, vice presidents, and vice chancellors. With the recent emphasis on fundraising and marketing in higher education, the role of the provost is often expanded to include chief operating officer (Short, 2006).

The university provost often serves as an extension of the president, and the provost’s role in disaster resilience may be similar to that of the president. Because of the provost’s oversight of research, a particular focus of his or her work could be to ensure that the institution’s governing body considers the importance of preserving the research mission in the event of a disaster. The provost could participate in disaster resilience planning efforts either directly or by delegation of authority in order to ensure adequate engagement in these processes.

Chief Financial Officer

The chief financial officer (CFO) has financial oversight of an organization and is primarily responsible for supporting the achievement of the institution’s mission while “preserving (and enhancing) its assets” (Ladd, 2011, p. 1). The CFO traditionally has been responsible for overseeing the production, reporting, management, and execution of budgets and for ensuring the accuracy of financial data (Thornton, 2015). CFOs of higher education institutions also are vital in developing and financing capital

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

projects (Jessell, 2013). In recent years the role of the CFO has expanded to include additional responsibilities, as CFOs have increasingly become the strategic partners of chief executive officers (Han et al., 2015).

The CFO can support disaster resilience by working with the president of an academic research institution to (1) give priority to the creation of a business continuity plan for implementation in the event of a disaster, (2) participate in disaster preparedness and response, (3) accept responsibility for the finance component in the institution’s incident command structure established for disaster response, and (4) anticipate critical needs. As previously emphasized, making the protection of the research enterprise a priority of institutional leaders and governing boards, the CFO can play a strategic role in budgetary planning that minimizes the financial impact of a disaster.

Vice President for Research

The vice president for research often serves as the chief research official at an institution and has oversight of the institutional research budget. The vice president for research works to strengthen an institution’s research enterprise and promote research collaborations inside and outside the university.

The vice president for research can be an advocate for building resilience throughout an institution. Working with the provost and the leadership of facilities services, the vice president for research could develop plans for the preservation of an institution’s research mission. Because the loss of or damage to research materials due to a disaster could have extensive negative effects, the vice president for research could work with research faculty and staff to assess research facilities; develop plans for the protection of research materials, animals, and equipment; and develop contingency plans for the continuation of research in case of a disaster.

Reporting to the vice president for research are various offices that oversee the submission and management of research grants, the animal research enterprise, specific aspects of laboratory safety, and also human subjects research (see Figure 3-2). All of these offices need to be intimately involved in resilience planning, but they also need to be functional as soon as possible post-disaster to allow these research activities to resume.

The vice president for research is also likely to have associate and assistant vice presidents with responsibility for research space optimization and compliance, research innovation and economic development, research initiatives and research development, and research operations. The organization and specific titles of these associate and assistant vice presidents vary by institution, and the following are only examples of what an institution’s organizational structure may look like; regardless of the titles and

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

organization, institutions should maintain oversight of each of these areas to ensure the continued function of the academic research enterprise in the event of a disaster.

Research space optimization and compliance Officials in this area ensure the effective use of research space and facilities and promote research practices that uphold high ethical standards. The vice president for research also ensures compliance of the institution’s research enterprise with state and federal regulations and ensures compliance with grant and contract obligations. The vice president for research has oversight of the institutional review board and ensures the humane use and treatment of animals used in research.

To plan for and mitigate the impacts of a disasters, the vice president for research could develop plans for the continuation of research, plans for the protection of animals used in research, and plans for the security and backup of data and samples. The vice president for research may work with engineering and design professionals to ensure that appropriate, resilient, fail-safe facilities are built to house animals in case of a disaster. Additionally, officials in this area may work with researchers to develop a network of local and state partnerships with facilities where samples and animals can be housed.

Research innovation and economic development These leaders facilitate research partnerships between the university and industry as well as between the university and federal, state, and local agencies. They promote research collaboration by fostering and maintaining communication between the institution and industry leaders and between the institution and agency partners. They also may have oversight of patent management, of processes for protecting intellectual property, and of licensing of products or technology that are the result of institutional research. The vice president for research can foster research collaborations dedicated to mitigating disasters by working with the president of the institution to ensure that research that promotes disaster resilience is conducted and adequately funded.

Research initiatives and research development Officials in this area are responsible for pursuing novel research and supporting current research pursued by an institution’s faculty members. They have oversight of grant application support services offered to researchers and are responsible for ensuring that grant applications comply with federal, state, and institutional regulations. The vice president for research also may oversee programs that promote networking and interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers at an institution. These officials can play a critical role in the

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

disaster resilience efforts of an institution by advocating for interdisciplinary research that aims to mitigate the impacts of a disaster.

Research operations These leaders have oversight of the research support services available to the institution’s faculty. The vice president for research has oversight of project management related to grants awarded to faculty, provides financial monitoring of grants and contracts, and may be involved in the institution’s strategic planning efforts. The vice president for research can work with the chief financial officer of an institution to create a business continuity plan that will ensure the continuation of strategic research initiatives in the event of a disaster.

Deans

The heads of research units typically report to an individual (e.g., a dean, chair, senior vice president, or senior director) who has overall responsibility for the function of the school or institute. This individual may be responsible for overseeing many aspects of the institution and generally has a great deal of say in developing the overall vision for the research directions and in controlling resources to support that vision, as well as overall responsibility for maintaining other school activities, such as teaching or clinical activity.

Development Office

The development office is often involved in obtaining financial support for institutional priorities. It is important for disaster resilience for the research enterprise to be an institutional priority. The financial aspects of an academic research institution are discussed in more detail toward the end of this chapter and in Chapter 9.

Emergency Management Department

Emergency management departments play an integral role in an institution’s vision for disaster resilience. Working with the president to set the direction of disaster resilience efforts, emergency management departments are responsible for planning for disasters by developing, testing, and implementing effective protocols and procedures that protect employees, students, animals, and research in an institution. Emergency management departments conduct vulnerability assessments of the institution, assess local and regional hazards, and develop and maintain plans, such as emergency operations plans, for effective responses to the most likely catastrophic events. They are charged to identify and lead the essential insti-

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

tutional stakeholders and coordinate planning and activities to best prepare the institution and its community for a disaster. Emergency management departments work with partners across the university to organize and carry out institutional disaster response training exercises that are in compliance with federally established standards and will engage with local and state response agencies to create partnerships with emergency responders. In the event of a disaster, emergency management departments will facilitate the activation of the institution’s crisis management team, ensure an ICS structure is in place that is able to communicate with internal partners and establish a unified command with external partners, and coordinate institutional response with the aim of protecting lives and property, limiting the disruption of the institution’s mission and operations, and guiding recovery efforts in concert with local, state, and federal agencies. The closer the emergency management department is to senior leadership, the more effective it can be in engaging personnel and departments in disaster resilience efforts (see Box 3-1).

Environmental Health and Safety

Research laboratories have some level of inherent risk and exist within the environment of the standard risks within any institution. Thus, most institutions have a department of environmental health and safety to oversee the typical risks associated with the work environment, including compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or similar safety standards. This office is responsible for developing plans and procedures for various facilities failures, such as power outages and fires; it is also responsible for conducting routine inspection of facilities to ensure that appropriate safety precautions are implemented. In laboratories, this includes emergency showers and eyewashes, spill kits for hazardous materials used in the laboratory, and fire extinguishers. Some of these safety standards (e.g., those regarding how chemicals are stored) are also pertinent to laboratories engaged in disaster resilience efforts.

Campus Life, Housing, and Food Services

The campus life, housing, and food services department plays an integral role in providing student programs, housing, and dining services. The safety of the students is of paramount concern to the institution. It is important for the campus life, housing, and food services department to plan to provide housing and food for the institution in the event of a disaster.

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Government Affairs

The government affairs department typically serves as the liaison between the institution and local, state, and federal agencies. The department can coordinate governmental policy development and represent the institution to membership organizations, associations, and consortia. The government affairs department can oversee legislation and related issues, guide testimony and information provided to public officials, and ensure that the institution has a coordinated and unified position on issues related to the public sector. This department is likely to have extensive information about local, state, and federal agencies and may be able to point to existing collaborations between the institution and local, state, and federal emergency

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

management organizations. Working with the research enterprise, the government affairs department can solicit, coordinate, and disseminate information to local, state, and federal agencies before, during, and after a disaster.

Health Services

The health services department provides medical care to students at the institution. The health services department can provide care, services, and support to students and the institution in the event of a disaster. For example, the health services department can provide triage and supportive care, assist with evacuation, and coordinate with institution and community resources.

Campus Security and Fire

Campus security is typically responsible for ensuring a safe environment for the faculty, staff, students, and visitors at an institution. Campus security generally provides a range of services; it may respond to on-campus emergencies, manage parking and traffic, lead and participate in crime prevention activities, and provide security for special events. Some larger or more isolated campuses may also have their own fire departments, although many institutions rely on relationships with their local fire departments. Campus fire departments (or their local equivalent) and fire rescue services may lead and participate in fire prevention activities and respond to emergencies.

Before, during, and after a disaster, campus security and fire departments play a critical role in ensuring the safety of those affiliated with an institution. Before a disaster, they can work jointly with emergency management departments to develop emergency response and recovery plans. As part of preparation efforts, they also can participate in disaster trainings and exercises. It is important for campus security and fire departments to work closely with local and community police and fire rescue services in the development of disaster response plans. Finally, these entities become essential in implementing these response plans during and after actual disasters.

Office of Risk and Insurance Services

The office of risk and insurance services is responsible for securing robust insurance policies that protect the academic research institution as a whole as well as policies that protect the research enterprise (including, when possible, securing insurance for research samples). This office also is responsible for clearly communicating to institutional leaders the terms and coverage provided by insurance policies. Working with PIs, the office of risk

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

and insurance services may, for insurance purposes, ensure that laboratories maintain appropriate photo or video documentation of equipment, facilities, and research samples.

Because insurance alone is often not sufficient to protect against all losses brought by disaster, some institutions have developed enterprise risk management programs as a way of strategically mitigating potential risks. The office of risk and insurance services may dedicate resources to establishing or continuing enterprise risk management.

Capital Planning and Facilities Services

Capital planning refers to the process of analyzing, giving priority to, and allocating funds for the major construction and maintenance of infrastructure in a given community. At an institution, capital planning personnel collaborate with facilities services personnel to meet the academic and strategic goals of the institution. It is critical that this planning include considerations for higher building standards to promote institutional resilience, while still staying within the institution’s budgetary restraints.

Facilities services staff are typically responsible for overseeing the implementation of an institution’s capital plan, for ensuring the maintenance of buildings and equipment owned by the university, and for maintaining the grounds and landscape of a campus. Facilities services departments play a part in ensuring that research projects occur in a secure and stable environment with reliable ventilation, power, water, and other utilities. Interruptions in any of these utilities can destroy ongoing experiments, damage expensive research equipment, and distract researchers from the safe performance of their work. In many cases, facilities services staff are also responsible for testing and maintaining backup systems associated with these utilities.

Human Resources

Human resources departments often have a variety of responsibilities. Generally in an academic research institution, human resources staff are responsible for the administrative and operational tasks of training and career development for employees; the management of employee performance, selection and staffing, and compensation and benefits; employee assistance; and union and labor relations (Gilley and Gilley, 2006). Evans and Chun (2012) argue that in addition to the execution of administrative and operational tasks at an institution, the role of those in human resources must expand to include strategic assistance in optimizing talent resources, preserving intellectual capital, and improving financial performance.

All research-related personnel are hired in compliance with state and

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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federal laws. Human resources can (1) advise departments and investigators regarding best practices for hiring researchers, (2) advise on regulatory compliance, and (3) provide ongoing assistance to departments and investigators in managing employees in order to maintain a suitable workspace that is in compliance with regulations.

Human resources departments can facilitate disaster resilience planning by organizing response training programs within the institution and in collaboration with local areas. Human resources staff also can work with institutional leaders to ensure staffing for functions that are designated as essential. Furthermore, these departments can assist planning efforts by developing and advertising incentives for employees willing to work during and after a disaster. In the event of a disaster, human resources staff can effectively organize student and community volunteers and can assure employees that their jobs and wages are safe.

Grants Management Office

Grants management offices typically assist PIs in finding grant opportunities, carry out some level of accounting, and help investigators abide by the accepted policies and guidelines of a particular granting agency. Typically, all formal communication between the PI and most granting agencies must eventually go through the grants management office to ensure that the institution supports those requested actions. Prior to a disaster, the grants management office can work with research sponsors to develop policies for restoring research that may be affected by a disaster. In the aftermath of a disaster, these offices may experience an increase in workload and will be required to assist researchers in seeking funding to restore damaged research.

Legal Department

Legal departments at institutions—variously termed general counsel, legal counsel, or college counsel—are responsible for the daily management of legal issues at the institution (White, 2008). Some institutions use the in-house counsel of salaried attorneys employed by the university; others rely on the outside counsel of independently employed attorneys; still others use a combination of both inside and outside counsel. The in-house model provides documented cost-saving advantages for an institution (Peri, 2008). The role of legal departments at different institutions differs according to several variables, including reporting and organizational structure, size, and mission (White, 2008). Generally, legal departments provide counsel (regarding contracts, employee relations, student affairs, etc.) and handle formal dispute resolutions. Legal departments are especially important in

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local regulations, including those designed to reduce the risk of damage from disasters.

Biological and Radiological Safety Offices

Almost all biomedical research institutions have specific hazards associated with research projects, including the use of radioactivity, lasers, x-rays, recombinant DNA, chemicals, infectious agents, and select biological agents. There are often separate offices to oversee the use of radiation, chemicals, and infectious agents. The radiation safety office is responsible for training all investigators who can potentially be exposed to radiation in the research environment, for monitoring the purchase and receipt of radioactive compounds, and for assisting in the safe disposal of used radioactive compounds. The radiation safety office also may be responsible for oversight of ionizing radiation sources (such as Cs-137 sources), which fall under regulation by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as x-ray sources and lasers. Most of these require some level of state licensure and inspection, which is also overseen by this office.

Almost every reagent used within a research laboratory is classified as a chemical. Institutions are required to keep a general inventory of the chemicals used within the laboratories; institutions must also assess the volumes of some chemicals in use (e.g., flammables) to ensure they do not exceed safety limits. The chemical safety office additionally oversees the training of personnel as well as the appropriate storage and disposal of any chemicals that pose potential hazards. Furthermore, appropriate plans and assistance are provided by this office in response to any spill or similar concern regarding these chemicals.

A number of research projects also involve toxins and infectious agents that fall under the guidelines of the Federal Select Agent Program (http://www.selectagents.gov/index.html). These are agents that are likely to have specific regulatory rules that may require appropriate safety inspections (either within the institution or by a regulatory agency such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Department of Agriculture), training for researchers and staff, and documentation of compliance with appropriate guidelines. Depending on the nature of the agent, one of an institution’s offices for chemical or biological safety will take responsibility for training and working with the PIs and their laboratories to ensure and document compliance.

Information Technology

Institutions may have separate infrastructures for the administrative functions related to research information technology (IT), functions that

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

may involve powerful computer clusters, systems managers, programming expertise, data transfer systems, and systems for remote meetings via the Internet. These activities can involve expertise related to the maintenance and operation of computers and programming. However, they are also very dependent on the functions of the computer systems, networks, and any other ancillary equipment. Research IT systems can play an important role in the backing up of research data as well as contributing to important communication systems.

Communications and Public Affairs

The communications and public affairs department serves to communicate with the media and the broader community. In a disaster, the public information officer works with the president and incident commander leading the response to disseminate incident-related information in a manner that is timely and accurate. The dissemination of timely and accurate information is especially important if a disaster has befallen a research enterprise with hazardous agents and research animals. The lead public information officer as a member of the ICS structure (discussed further in Chapter 6) also coordinates messaging with external partners to ensure consistency and to avoid release of conflicting information.

Public information dissemination is also important well in advance of a disaster to increase awareness of planning activities, drills and exercises, as well as resources available to the community that can aid in disaster preparations (e.g. location of severe weather shelters, evacuation routes, and shelter-in-place guidelines). The communications and public affairs department are also engaged in disaster planning activities, to ensure their staff have explored procedures for managing large numbers of media requests, hosting press conferences and interviews with leaders and subject matter experts, and drafting and appropriately clearing press releases and other communications in times of crisis. The communications and public affairs department could participate in drills and exercises to familiarize staff with plans and procedures and to improve message coordination with external partners (FEMA, 2007). Table 3-2 lists the suggested roles that key institutional personnel can take to promote disaster resilience.

Governing Bodies

Governing bodies of institutions, whether at the state or the institutional level, are primarily responsible for gathering resources and working to fulfill the research mission of the institution. Governing bodies typically have oversight of the broad goals of the institution.

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

TABLE 3-2 Suggested Roles of Key Institutional Personnel in Disaster Resilience

Key Component of the Academic Biomedical Research Community Suggested Roles in Disaster Resilience
President
  • Identify and support leaders responsible for institutional disaster preparedness and response
  • Give priority to disaster resilience planning
  • Preserve the research mission through supporting policies founded in risk management
  • Empower individuals to direct institutional emergency response efforts
  • Support partnership with local, state, and federal entities to foster disaster resilience efforts
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Provost
  • Work with the president and institutional governing bodies to preserve the research mission
  • Ensure a resilience function for the research enterprise (chief resilience officer and research enterprise planning committee) with sufficient staff and resources and ensure coordination with institutional resilience efforts
  • Support disaster resilience planning efforts
  • Augment the president’s efforts to create partnerships outside the institutional community that can aid in disaster resilience
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Chief financial officer
  • Work with institutional leaders to preserve the research mission
  • Give priority to the creation of a business continuity plan
  • Anticipate critical financial needs of the institution and the institution’s research enterprise in the event of a disaster
  • Participate in disaster resilience planning activities
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Vice president for research
  • Work with institutional leaders and key stakeholders in the research enterprise and participate in processes that develop plans to protect human life, protect research animals, protect property and the environment, and maintain the integrity and continuity of research
  • Set priorities and champion funding for the rehabilitation of facilities that do not meet established performance goals
  • Give priority to and fund the repair and reconstruction of damaged facilities
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Deans
  • Work with individual departments, department heads, and chairs to promote disaster resilience efforts
  • Support disaster resilience efforts at the department level
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×
Key Component of the Academic Biomedical Research Community Suggested Roles in Disaster Resilience
Development office
  • Obtain financial support for disaster resilience efforts for the research enterprise
Emergency management department
  • Lead institutional multidisciplinary disaster preparedness planning
  • Conduct threat and hazard identification and risk assessments
  • Understand local and regional hazards
  • Develop, test, and implement effective emergency operations plans and recovery plans
  • Maintain primary responsibility for disaster response and recovery efforts
  • Develop and execute institutional disaster exercises and drills
Environmental health and safety department
  • Ensure implementation of appropriate safety precautions
  • Work with emergency management and other partners to ensure the security of biological, chemical, and radiological stock and to develop emergency-response plans and recovery plans
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Campus life, housing, and food services
  • Plan to provide housing and food for the institution in the event of a disaster
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Government affairs
  • Solicit, coordinate, and disseminate information to local, state, and federal agencies before, during, and after a disaster
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Health services
  • Provide care, services, and support to students and the institution in the event of a disaster
  • Provide triage and supportive care, assist with evacuation, and coordinate with institution and community resources
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Campus security and fire
  • Work with emergency management to develop emergency response and recovery plans
  • Coordinate with community police and fire rescue services to develop joint response plans
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×
Key Component of the Academic Biomedical Research Community Suggested Roles in Disaster Resilience
Office of risk and insurance services
  • Secure insurance policies for protection of the academic research institution and the research performed there
  • Communicate to institutional leaders the terms and coverage provided by insurance
  • Ensure appropriate documentation of equipment, facilities, and research samples
  • Engage in enterprise risk management with other key entities in the academic research institution
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Capital planning and facilities services
  • Determine hazards to be designed for and establish performance goals for all buildings and infrastructure systems that ensure safe and secure environments for research
  • Integrate disaster resilience planning into construction design
  • Clear debris after disaster and repair, restore, and replace (as needed and directed) damaged research facilities
  • Conduct vulnerability assessments of facilities and determine where retrofit is needed to achieve established performance goals
  • Develop plans for facilities failures
  • Conduct routine inspections of facilities
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Human resources
  • Work with institutional leaders to disseminate disaster education and training programs
  • Work with emergency operations and business continuity planners to ensure the staffing of essential functions
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Grants management office
  • Preserve the research mission
  • Establish a policy with research sponsors for funding the restoration of research projects affected by a disaster
  • Proactively assist researchers in seeking restoration funding.
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Legal department
  • Ensure compliance with local, state, and federal regulations
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Biological and radiological safety offices
  • Train researchers in exposure prevention and protocol and in safe handling of hazardous materials
  • Monitor radioactive compounds
  • Dispose of hazardous material safely
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×
Key Component of the Academic Biomedical Research Community Suggested Roles in Disaster Resilience
Information technology
  • Facilitate backup of research data
  • Secure data and equipment
  • Participate in trainings and exercises
Communications and public affairs
  • Communicate with the media and the broader community regarding the preparedness activities of the research enterprise
  • Assign a public information officer to work with the president and the incident commander leading a response to disseminate incident-related information
  • Coordinate messages with external partners to ensure consistency
  • Ensure procedures are in place to manage media requests and facilitate press briefings
  • Participate in trainings and exercises

State Governing Bodies

State institutions receive revenue through taxpayer funding, so government officials at the state level often have a role in guiding and supervising these institutions. The level of government supervision varies from state to state; historically, state governments have remained relatively removed from the campus affairs of state universities. Recently, however, these governments have started holding institutions accountable for budgets and performance, and states have become increasingly interested in stronger research programs that can bolster the local economy surrounding the institution (Bok, 2015). The government of a state, with its primary responsibility for protecting constituents, can play an important role in collaborating with institutions and their research enterprise to plan and prepare for disasters and to pursue evidence-based research to strengthen the resilience of local communities after disasters.

Institutional Governing Bodies

Institutional governing bodies (e.g., boards of trustees, regents, visitors, directors, or supervisors) often have fiduciary responsibility over an institution and are often responsible for creating a strategic approach that enables an institution to achieve its goals (Dunlop et al., 2011). The governing bodies of state institutions are usually appointed by the governor of a state; the governing bodies of private universities may be chosen by alumni or boards of directors (Bok, 2015). The governing bodies of some

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

institutions may be appointed by a state governing body in conjunction with state governing officials (e.g., the board of governors of the State University System of Florida appoints, in conjunction with the governor of the State of Florida, members of the board of trustees for each state university).

The responsibilities of institutional governing bodies differ according to the policies and procedures delineated in each organization’s bylaws; however, because of the fiduciary responsibility they possess, these governing bodies naturally have a role in overseeing disaster resilience planning efforts within institutions and surrounding local areas. State institutions in particular have experienced a recent spate of budget cuts that can hinder the ability to plan for and respond to disasters. Dunlop et al. (2011) wrote that the existing gaps in emergency preparedness in the United States (i.e., too few public health workers to respond to an emergency, too few workers to help build resilience in the community after a disaster, and too few personnel, equipment, and facilities in the medical system to manage an influx of patients) are exacerbated by these budget cuts. Institutional leadership and their governing bodies that can anticipate and manage budget cuts and still allocate funds to support emergency preparedness through education and training can have an impact on the disaster resilience of the institution and surrounding local areas.

An institutional governing body can also affect the disaster resilience of an institution’s research enterprise through consideration of the institution’s research mission. Because institutions are often centers for the pursuit of research critical to society, the damage or destruction of research projects or facilities resulting from a disaster can affect the entire United States (AAHC, 2008). As part of effective disaster resilience planning, it is necessary for governing bodies to work to preserve the research mission of an institution.

Additional Governing and Regulatory Bodies

Research at institutions is also regulated by a number of federal agencies, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (which monitors and regulates the handling and use of radiation), the Food and Drug Administration (which regulates and monitors clinical trials and laboratory practices), the Department of Agriculture (which monitors and regulates the use and care of animals used in research and select agents), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (which monitors chemical and biological hazards and exposure to these hazards), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which monitors the welfare of human research subjects and select agents and provides biosafety guidelines regarding exposures and hazardous material). State and local bodies also regulate institutional facilities and laboratories (e.g., through fire codes). Table 3-3 lists the suggested roles that governing bodies can take to promote disaster resilience.

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

TABLE 3-3 Suggested Roles of Governing Bodies in Disaster Resilience

Key Component of the Academic Biomedical Research Community Suggested Roles in Disaster Resilience
Governing bodies (includes institutional, state, and federal regulatory bodies)
  • Give priority to evidence-based research to strengthen disaster resilience
  • Anticipate and manage budget expenditures at a broad scale
  • Allocate funds to support disaster resilience efforts
  • Preserve the research missions
  • Monitor radiation and other hazardous material, clinical trials, laboratory practices, and welfare of human and animal research subjects

SPECIAL FEATURES OF AN ACADEMIC RESEARCH INSTITUTION

Although the research enterprise is dependent on almost all the institutional structures discussed above, there are a number of particular vulnerabilities that can be specifically devastating to research projects. Several features of the research enterprise deserve special attention because they are particularly sensitive to the disruptions caused during a disaster or because they may be particularly important and difficult to replace or because they may create a hazardous situation. Comerio and Stallmeyer (2001) estimated that the average laboratory contents were valued at $200 to $300 per square foot, while in a typical office space the value of the contents is usually $25 per square foot.

The following section examines some of the more complex features within the academic research institution; these are directly involved in research projects of the PIs. The features discussed here may involve various types of core groups that provide equipment or service to many different research projects. Many of these features are generally too complex or expensive to be managed by a single PI or research group (e.g., facilities for animal research [vivarium], cores that maintain and operate very large and complex equipment needed for a broad range of research projects, cores that primarily provide expertise of a particular type, an institutional review board for oversight of human research, and research computing).

Research Space

Research Campus

In the same way that the organizational structure differs widely among academic research institutions, the physical structure and layout of campuses also varies. Some institutions may construct research facilities in close

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

proximity to one another, while other institutions’ research enterprises may be spread across many acres of campus. Some institutions may even have research facilities and centers distributed at separate campuses in different cities across an entire state. The presence of research on different campuses or in different schools within a university often creates parallel authority streams that could be added to Figure 3-2. For instance, each dean of a school would have authority over researchers in his or her school, and there may be separate provosts over chancellors at different campuses, with duplication of many elements of the structure.

Even when research is housed in buildings that are in close proximity, the type of research conducted in each building may differ. For example, the campus of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, which opened in 2010, features three buildings in which scientists of many types (e.g., chemists, biologists, and engineers) conduct research (Kornberg, 2010).

Because the built research campus can be complex, institutions may experience challenges regarding space, resources, and equipment cores. It may be difficult to coordinate cross-disciplinary research, and it may be even more difficult to coordinate disaster resilience planning efforts. An academic research institution having multiple campuses, or satellite campuses, increases the need for the planning process to cover all locations and to facilitate communications between the campuses. However, in the case of a disaster it can be beneficial to have multiple campuses because it may happen that not all campus locations are affected by the disaster and it is possible that universities may compensate for a disaster on one campus by providing resources on another. Given that outside assistance will not likely be immediately forthcoming after a disaster, there must be a plan in place to procure and access research-related resources when needed in an emergency. It is crucial for the research enterprise to hold advance discussions with essential suppliers and consider establishing mutual aid agreements (MAAs) or memorandums of understanding (MOUs)1 to facilitate the delivery of appropriate research-related resources at the time of request. MAAs and MOUs are predicated on the acknowledgment that one institution may not have all the resources needed to respond to an incident, and they may include provisions for requesting or providing the use or loan of facilities, equipment, or personnel in a variety of disciplines, including police, human resources, and crisis communications as well as direct access to resources at the other institution or from government agencies. Additional discussions

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1 A memorandum of understanding differs from a mutual aid agreement in that a MOU is not necessarily a mutual benefit agreement. A MOU and MAA are both written noncontractual agreements between parties. If a research enterprise is considering drafting an MOU or MAA with external entities, it is recommended that this be discussed with the institutional legal counsel. The counsel can provide guidance on what is appropriate for inclusion (ZAHN, 2011).

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

regarding MAAs and MOUs can be found in Chapter 5. An integrated approach to disaster resilience, one that takes disparate elements of the built research environment into account, can be very important to an institution’s ability to achieve a vision of disaster resilience.

Laboratory Space

Most biomedical research requires somewhat specialized research space. These spaces may require, for example, high rates of ventilation, which may be even more specific for higher levels of biological containment. The space also must have utilities to support a great deal of electrical equipment, running water and sinks, and compressed air or natural gas at each laboratory bench. In addition to access to 120-volt outlets and 240-volt dedicated electrical hookups, most modern laboratories have access to some level of emergency power for use during power outages, which helps minimize disruptions to critical equipment, particularly freezers.

Many laboratories also have major or built-in equipment critical for laboratory operations. This includes fume hoods to allow the handling of volatile chemicals, steam autoclaves for sterilization and decontamination, and dishwashing systems. Depending on the specific research needs, there may be other major built-in equipment.

Many laboratories house extensive major equipment that is specific to one investigator’s laboratory or shared with other nearby laboratories. Equipment may include biological safety cabinets for tissue culture studies or other sterile handling; specialized incubators for growing tissue cultures, yeast, and bacteria; spectrophotometers; camera and imaging systems for recording the results of specific experiments; microscopes; specialized centrifuges; and smaller benchtop instruments, some of which may be specific to the needs of individual laboratories. Most of this equipment is fairly robust and will survive some level of power interruption, although such an interruption may disrupt ongoing experiments, and major power fluctuations (e.g., lightning strikes or repeated power outages) may cause damage to sensitive electronics.

Laboratories also require cold storage to preserve reagents and biological materials. Many investigators depend on −70°C freezers for the long-term storage of samples. These freezers are reasonably tolerant of short power outages but, without a backup power supply, cannot maintain temperatures through prolonged outages. Many samples are also stored in liquid nitrogen. Very large liquid nitrogen freezers require a hookup directly to a liquid nitrogen tank that must be replenished regularly. Smaller liquid nitrogen Dewar storage tanks are more common and typically only need replenishment once per month.

Research spaces are often customized to facilitate specific projects. Be-

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

cause laboratories house specialized equipment and store critical reagents, research programs can be disrupted if investigators are displaced from their specific laboratory spaces.

Laboratories also are very dependent on IT. The Internet is used to access library resources, to order supplies, to send and receive e-mail, and to maintain other electronic communications. PIs write grants and articles and store important communications on computers. Some laboratory equipment is also monitored via the Internet, allowing investigators to detect and address any issues in a timely manner. Many of the data generated in laboratories are digital in nature and thus primarily stored on a computer system. Written notebooks are still the laboratory standard, but a limited number of laboratories routinely store laboratory notebooks on their computers or, more desirably, in the cloud. It is critical that data, communications, grants, and manuscripts stored on computers be backed up on a routine basis so that they can be transported to a new location in the event of a disaster and so they can be preserved if the computer system is damaged or lost.

Biological Containment Laboratories

A biological containment laboratory is a core facility designed for experiments involving biological hazards. These laboratories have specific requirements for the safe storage and usage of potentially hazardous biological reagents (e.g., viruses and bacteria) (Chosewood and Wilson, 2009). Security, ventilation, and storage requirements must be specifically considered in regard to natural disasters. Many backup and monitoring systems are mandated within these types of laboratories. Typically, highly trained personnel oversee biosafety level 3 and level 4 containment laboratories. These personnel control access to the facility and ensure appropriate training for all individuals who use it. These containment laboratories are used both to store and to work with hazardous organisms which can pose a potential threat to those individuals working with them as well as to individuals outside the facility if the organisms were to be inadvertently released into their local environment. These facilities are specifically regulated through the Federal Select Agent Program and are additionally regulated by some state and local regulations in some areas, which mandate that there are specific disaster preparedness procedures in place.

Equipment and Expertise Cores

Modern biomedical research often requires the use of equipment that is either too expensive or too complex for a single laboratory to operate. Thus, an institution may develop an equipment core to support a number

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

of PIs and research projects. The equipment is usually bought either with a specific equipment grant or through funds raised within the institution. The support of the equipment core can involve a complex mixture of grant funds, charges to the core users, and institutional funding.

Each equipment core may be specific to the type of equipment it houses. For example, the equipment may be a fluorescence-activated cell sorter requiring some level of biological sterility and relatively clean power; a confocal microscope requiring a dark room and vibration-damping tables; or a cyclotron requiring shielding from radiation, a massive power supply, and an extremely stable building. There also may be special security issues around a piece of equipment, such as a cesium source used in ionizing radiation studies, which must be handled under the guidance of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (IAEA, 2004). Issues relative to the power requirements, ventilation, and protection of expensive equipment and other considerations relative to each specific type of core must be considered both before and after a disaster.

Much of the equipment used in research is very specialized and expensive. The electronics on many instruments can be sensitive to electrical or environmental challenges, and often these instruments require careful calibration or adjustment. It is not unusual for individual laboratories to customize equipment and software for their specific needs. These types of equipment may range from individual stand-alone equipment to complex arrangements of robotic components for high-throughput experimental designs. In these cases, it is important to assess critical pieces of equipment for vulnerabilities to potential disaster-related disruptions.

Some core support activities primarily involve individuals with specific expertise (e.g., in biostatistics or bioinformatics); these individuals make up expertise cores. The ability of expertise cores to support institutional research projects is dependent on the availability of the individuals who have the necessary and appropriate expertise. These cores are funded by a mixture of grants, fees for service, and institutional funding.

With the increasing complexity of scientific instrumentation and the needed expertise, both researchers and granting agencies recognize the importance of coordinating outstanding core resources (NIH-ABRF, 2015). For example, following Hurricane Sandy, ensuring that core resources were operating in the immediate aftermath was an efficient method to help laboratories recover research capacity (Mische and Wilkerson, 2016). Thus, core resources can be an important part of research resilience as well.

Supply Chain

Obtaining the necessary reagents for research requires a very responsive system. The supply chain for these research efforts may actually in-

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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volve multiple offices within an institution and is likely to include some department-level support in the actual purchasing process and coordination with the institutional purchasing office. The institutional purchasing office often ensures that purchases are compliant with funding sources, establishes procedures and relations with suppliers that allow for rapid purchase of materials, and ensures that funds are spent so as to maximize value. The institutional purchasing office also establishes appropriate regulatory processes so that only those researchers with appropriate training and licensure can purchase restricted reagents.

An efficient delivery system is required and must be integrated with the purchasing system to ensure appropriate handling for the delivery of restricted materials (e.g., radiative materials). Research materials are often unstable and may require an efficient system that coordinates with the research laboratories.

Research Involving Animals

Research involving animals requires special attention in this report because research animals are sentient beings that are totally dependent upon humans for their care and welfare. Their presence within a disaster impact area markedly influences the character and intensity of necessary response efforts. The loss of large numbers of research animals can profoundly and negatively affect animal caregivers and other individuals who came into contact with the animals (Hall et al., 2004; Mort et al., 2005).

Within an institution, the research animal resource center (RARC) is usually an independent unit; it provides basic husbandry and veterinary care for animals and operates specialized cores that provide surgical models or genetically engineered rodents, fishes, or other experimental models. The RARC supports PIs in their research efforts with live animals in many ways, including by assisting investigators in complying with the specific requirements in federal laws and policies that regulate the care and use of animals in research (i.e., the Animal Welfare Act and the Public Health Service Policy).

The RARC also assists PIs in navigating the complexities of these guidelines and regulations, and it streamlines the oversight and monitoring activities required to achieve compliance. The RARC typically employs at least one veterinarian with specialized training in the care and use of common species of research animals (Diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine). These veterinarians provide essential guidance to researchers, and their consultation is required when an experimental procedure has the potential to cause pain or distress. The regulations and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals also invest the veterinarian with the authority to decide the state of welfare of any animal and to take whatever actions are necessary to alleviate distress or suffer-

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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ing. The veterinarian’s primary consideration must be to always act in an animal’s best interests.

Animals used in research require particular attention when preparing for a disaster. There are many ethical and compliance reasons why an animal facility must be well protected from disasters. However, the disruption of animal experiments can also have a major negative impact on research programs. In particular, many animal models used by researchers are difficult or impossible to replace (e.g., transgenic mouse models that are difficult and expensive to reproduce). Even in cases where an animal model could be reproduced, its genetic makeup might be altered in a way that makes the previous animal model not completely comparable with its replacement. In addition, there are many animal experiments that span very long periods of time. If an experiment is disrupted, researchers may be forced to restart the experiment from the beginning, resulting in the loss of a year or more of effort, and it may be difficult financially to carry out such an experiment again. Detailed discussions about disaster resilience and animal research can be found in Chapter 7.

Data

There are many reasons why biomedical research institutions need to protect the integrity of the data they have already collected. They may need to maintain appropriate records of data for future publications or patents, for example, or be required post-publication or post-award to maintain the data record (Office of Research Integrity, 2017). This data storage is intended both to facilitate the sharing of data with other investigators and also to allow researchers to demonstrate the integrity of their scientific process if there are challenges to their scientific findings. Traditionally, the heart of scientific data storage has been the individual investigator’s laboratory notebook, so it is critical that appropriate steps be taken to protect these notebooks from damage during a disaster. There is some movement toward electronic notebooks, which can be kept in the cloud and backed up electronically. Increasingly, however, while the laboratory notebook is used to provide a record of the experiments, the primary data are stored on computers as electronic images, output from digital laboratory equipment, and large datasets in proteomics, genomics, and other high-throughput technologies. These data also require appropriate backup procedures.

Whichever form the data takes, it is critical that the primary data be stored in a safe and organized manner that is accessible to the investigators and that copies be made whenever possible. For the electronic data this means taking the appropriate measures to back up the data, as well as protecting it from hacking. National data repositories are an option to make data available long term.

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Samples

Many long-term research efforts involve collecting and storing biological samples over an extended period of time. This can include human tissues collected through surgery or necropsy that are then stored in freezers or liquid nitrogen, as well as fixed samples. These samples are usually collected under institutional review board protocols that detail the conditions for the use of such samples in research and that obtain consent from patients or their relatives. Other types of biological materials may be collected over extended periods of time. These samples may be collected by an individual laboratory for a specific research project or may be collected as a core available to investigators for new experiments. Biospecimen collections need to be stored appropriately; many storage methods, such as the use of −70° C freezers and liquid nitrogen Dewars, periodically fail or regularly need refilling. Thus, appropriate oversight, possibly including alarms and backup systems, is often important in these settings. Because the samples are often collected over many years and may have already been characterized in many ways, their loss can be a devastating blow to ongoing and future experiments.

Reagents

PIs often have reagents (compounds or substances) that are critical to their specific research projects and are difficult or impossible to replace. These may include reagents that have been custom-made or carefully modified or calibrated for the investigator’s research. For example, a researcher who loses a unique and required antibody may find it impossible to achieve the goals of a project within a reasonable time. Generating a new antibody might prove costly and time-consuming, and there is no guarantee that the newly generated antibody would work as well as the previous one or that the results with the new antibody could be directly compared to the results of previous experiments. Laboratories generate similar types of reagents as part of long-term research projects; these reagents are critical to ongoing projects and often are tremendously expensive or difficult to replace. However these reagents are stored, care must be taken to maintain appropriate backup systems. In most cases, researchers are the only individuals with a thorough understanding of these specific reagents, their locations, and appropriate storage.

Hazardous Reagents and Select Agents

There are a number of types of reagents that pose hazards to anyone handling them, including the investigators themselves or emergency personnel returning to a laboratory environment following a disaster. All research laboratories are monitored to ensure appropriate training for staff and

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

the appropriate handling of such reagents. In addition, laboratories are required to have appropriate signs warning of potential dangers within the laboratory as well as spill kits and (sometimes) protective gear for researchers working with those reagents.

Researchers often work with potentially dangerous infectious agents within carefully controlled and contained facilities (described above). If that containment is disrupted by a disaster, individuals may be exposed to these infectious agents. Appropriate precautions and storage facilities that create redundancy in the containment of these agents is necessary. Some of these hazardous agents are classified as select agents, that is, biological or chemical agents that are deemed to pose a potentially severe threat to public safety. These agents are regulated under the Federal Select Agent Program. They are subject to increased regulation and inspection and require added security against both natural disasters and acquisition by terrorists.

Many chemicals used in laboratories can pose hazards if containers are broken or if appropriate storage conditions are not maintained. These chemicals may include flammable or potentially explosive solvents that pose serious fire or respiratory hazards as well as caustic or toxic chemicals that are dangerous when touched or inhaled. Laboratories should use appropriate storage, containment, and backup systems to contain spills. This will often include storage in explosion-proof refrigeration or other containment systems and also strict limits on the quantities.

Many researchers use various radioisotopes in their research. Typically, the radioisotopes have relatively modest levels of radioactivity, and the materials are stored behind several layers of security and monitored by an institutional radiation safety committee under the oversight of the appropriate state department. Of greater concern are materials that produce larger levels of radioactivity; due to their potential for use in dirty bombs, these materials require extensive shielding, and require limited access and monitoring with an active alarm system (Homeland Security News Wire, 2014).

FINANCIAL ASPECTS OF AN ACADEMIC RESEARCH INSTITUTION

Academic research institutions receive funding from various sources, including tuition and fees, sales and service, grants and contracts, facilities and administrative cost reimbursement, charitable giving, athletic revenues, federal and state governments, and clinical practice. The percentage of total revenue supplied by each of these sources differs according to type of institution, its location, size, rankings, and other variables. This section provides general information on institutional funding streams. As institutional leaders develop policies and procedures for resilience (perhaps using funding

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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from the sources discussed below), they should aim to develop multiple lines of support in advance of a disaster. Though institutions may draw funding from these sources, each institution should maintain a dedicated budget for disaster resilience planning efforts.

Insurance and Clinical Practice

Academic research institutions that have health centers can generate revenue through clinical practice. These academic health centers (defined by Wartman [2008] as those accredited institutions that comprise a medical school, one or more schools in the health professions, and a teaching hospital or affiliations with health systems or other care providers) have faced financial challenges in recent decades. While public institutions traditionally used clinical practice revenue as a supplement to state appropriations, recent decreases in state allocations have caused these universities to increasingly rely on clinical practice revenue to fill gaps in funding.

Health care reform in the United States has spurred another shift in the funding—and organizational structure—of many academic health centers. Payment models are shifting from a fee-for-service reimbursement structure toward a value-based structure that emphasizes the “triple aim” (which advocates for the improvement of the patient experience of care, the improvement of the health of populations, and a reduction in the per capita cost of care) (Blue Ridge Academic Health Group, 2016, p. 2).

University Revenue

Tuition and Fees

Public and private institutions generate funds through tuition and fees assessed to students. A national conversation has recently developed regarding increases in the cost of tuition at state institutions. From 2003 to 2012, state funding for public institutions decreased by 12 percent overall, and the median tuition for in-state students rose by 55 percent (GAO, 2014). During the same period, tuition as a percentage of total revenue at public institutions grew from 17 to 25 percent, which made tuition the largest source of revenue for public colleges and universities.

The declines in funding that have spurred increases in tuition and fees may be due in part to the 2008 economic recession and competing state priorities; Bok notes, however, that states have granted public institutions a “steadily diminishing share of state appropriations” since 1980 (Bok, 2015, p. 65).

Academic research institutions may consider allocating a portion of the revenue generated from student fees to disaster resilience planning efforts.

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Disaster resilience planning, which works to ensure the stability of the institution and its mission, is beneficial to the entire institutional community; for this reason, institutional leaders may choose to redirect revenue generated from fees to disaster resilience planning efforts.

Charitable Giving

Endowments and charitable giving are pursued by institutional leaders in an effort to fund new or existing programs, and the level of charitable giving appears to have increased in recent years. Charitable contributions in 2015 totaled $40.3 billion, a 7.6 percent increase over the previous year; eight gifts of $100 million or more were recorded during 2015 (CAE, 2016). While the total amount of charitable giving reported was the highest since the 1957 inception of the survey, just 20 institutions accounted for 28.7 percent of the total contributions.

Endowment can also be a source of funding; however, as Johnson et al. (2015) noted, most endowment funds are restricted and so may not benefit the entire institution or its research enterprise. Local fundraising can support emergency preparedness in partnership with state and local governments.

Athletics

In recent decades, institutions seeking to benefit financially from the success of their athletic teams have increased support for intercollegiate athletics, despite data demonstrating that this decision may be a risky one (Thelin, 2011). In particular, institutions have sought to benefit from increased revenue generated by higher attendance at sporting events, revenue generated by broadcast appearances on television, and lucrative contracts with television networks. Institutions with successful athletic teams may additionally seek the indirect benefits of more applicants, greater numbers of enrolled students, and increased donations from alumni and other philanthropic groups (Humphreys and Mondello, 2007). Thelin (2011) writes that this strategy has been successful only for a few institutions. Humphreys and Mondello (2007) found that even when athletic teams are successful, only restricted donations increased; unrestricted giving did not increase, and restricted giving earmarked for athletic departments typically does not benefit the research enterprise at an institution. Institutions that pursue this funding model (i.e., the funding model that subsidizes athletic programs to attract star players and coaches who can win championships) may find the overall financial benefits of this strategy to be fewer than expected.

In addition to their funding contributions, athletics departments can potentially have a direct role in disaster response, as was demonstrated

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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at Louisiana State University (LSU) during Hurricane Katrina. Three days before the hurricane made landfall, LSU opened the Carl Maddox Field House (an indoor track and field stadium) in an effort to house evacuees with medical needs (Henderson, 2015). After the storm, LSU converted the nearby Pete Maravich Assembly Center arena (where the university holds its basketball games) into a field hospital that served 6,000 patients (Pope, 2005). Together, these two facilities became the largest triage facility in U.S. history (Kleinpeter, 2015).

Disaster resilience planning efforts require effort at all levels and from all areas of an academic research institution. This includes athletic departments, which have a part to play in funding and facilitating disaster resilience.

Research Sponsors

Government Funding

The federal government provides funding to public and private institutions and individual students mainly through funding for research and for grants and loans; it also provides funding for veterans’ educational benefits and smaller appropriations for general-purpose and operating support.

State governments provide additional funding to public institutions. Most state support is through general-purpose appropriations; smaller amounts of funds are allocated for research and grants. From 1987 to 2012, states provided institutions an average of 65 percent more funding than the federal government. However, since 2012, federal funding has increased, and state funding has decreased, so that federal and state contributions are more equal now than at any other time since the 1990s (Pew Charitable Trusts, 2015).

Federal funding The federal government began to give priority to academic research after the Second World War and during the Cold War era. Prior to this period, researchers depended mostly on grants from corporations and foundations to fund research projects (Bok, 2015), but the importance of national security in the postwar era pushed research to the forefront of national policy and catalyzed the founding of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1947 and the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1950. These government agencies initially allocated small amounts of money to institutions, but the research investments made by these agencies have since increased dramatically. By fiscal year 2016, the NSF’s budget had grown to more than $7 billion and NIH’s budget to more than $31 billion (NIH, 2016; NSF, 2016b).

Federal funding for research comes through grants, cooperative agree-

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

ments, and contracts. Grants provide money and equipment for approved research projects. There are also specialized grants to support improvements in the physical research infrastructure and to help purchase major equipment. The federal government also provides funding through cooperative agreements, which allow federal agencies more oversight of approved research projects. Some federal agencies use cooperative agreements to promote collaboration between researchers working for the government and researchers working for universities. In funding through contracts, the government creates an agreement with an institution for the creation of a product or service (AAU, 2011).

Federal funding for research covers the direct and the “indirect” (i.e., facilities and administrative) costs of a project. Funding for direct costs can be used toward salaries, stipends, travel, equipment, and supplies. Funding for facilities and administrative costs is based on a negotiated rate for each institution to reimburse them for expenses indirectly related to research, including the maintenance of facilities, the construction of facilities, utilities, and compliance (AAU, 2011). Revenue received for indirect costs is a possible source to strategically fund resilience efforts that contribute to the mitigation of the potential disaster impacts on an institution’s research enterprise.

The federal government also provides funding to students at universities and colleges through grants, loans, and work-study programs (including Pell Grants, Perkins Loans, and Federal Work-Study).

State funding Public institutions receive funding from states as appropriations, grants, and contracts. In recent years, states have implemented new models of performance-based funding. These performance-based funding models vary by state and use numerous metrics to determine the allocation of funds, including the number of degrees awarded overall, the number of degrees awarded in high-priority fields (e.g., allied health, science, technology, engineering, and math), graduation rates, research and development expenditures, and the rates of employment of graduates (McKeown-Moak, 2013).

States also fund students of public institutions through grants awarded based on need and on merit. Most grant funds from states are disbursed on the basis of need, but data show a recent increase in merit-based aid (GAO, 2014).

Industry Partnerships for Research

In the past several decades, many institutions have advocated for closer ties with industry for the creation of partnerships for research. Although Enders and Conroy described these partnerships as not “a reliable and im-

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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TABLE 3-4 Suggested Roles of Research Sponsors in Disaster Resilience

Key Component of the Academic Biomedical Research Community Suggested Roles in Disaster Resilience
Research sponsors (federal, state, and private)
  • Conduct evaluations of prior disaster response and recovery actions taken by research sponsors
  • Communicate with academic research institutions pre-disaster to discuss potential disaster response and recovery actions, set expectations, and highlight current initiatives in place
  • Match or leverage incentives to encourage academic research institutions and researchers to incorporate disaster resilience into their research programs
  • Provide funding sources for capital improvements that will improve the resiliency of research facilities at academic research institutions
  • Establish standards and require evidence of business continuity and resilient data management planning as a condition of awards
  • Work with public- and private-sector partners to develop disaster-resilient regional and national repositories for data and samples
  • Explore funding for national centers of excellence for disaster resilience planning at academic research institutions that would analyze existing data, serve as a repository for after-action reports and post-disaster analyses, and promulgate best practices for the academic biomedical research community

mediate replacement” for federal funding, collaborations do allow resources to be pooled and intellectual capital to be shared (Enders and Conroy, 2014; Matthews, 2012). Support for industry research partnerships may be provided by private industry or by the federal government. NSF—through a number of programs—provides funding for research collaborations between industry and public and private institutions (Matthews, 2012).

Bok (2015) wrote that these industry research partnerships yielded important discoveries and that they have generated revenue for institutions in the form of patents, royalties, and corporate research support. Clarke et al. (2015, p. 138) noted that while most royalties and intellectual property rights provide only a “relatively small income” for research centers, successful research enterprises benefit the reputation of a university and can create jobs within the local community.

Disasters may affect these university–industry partnerships for research. Disasters may severely affect the supplies required by the research enterprise and may also affect the rate at which research is completed. Thus, these partnerships should be established prior to disasters, and they should in-

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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clude guidelines on how supplies and other resources may be used in case of emergency.

Private Funding

As mentioned above, prior to the Cold War, funding for research came mainly from private foundations and corporations. Although the bulk of funding for research currently comes via government grants, a number of private entities also offer grants for basic science and medical research. These entities vary in the type of research they fund as well as the type of support they provide (e.g., general support grants, training grants, equipment grants, and infrastructure grants). Additional details about the roles of research sponsors in building resilience of the academic biomedical research community are provided in Chapter 10. Table 3-4 lists the suggested roles that research sponsors can take to promote disaster resilience.

CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS

Disaster resilience should be an integral element of strategic governance at the academic research institution, and, as this chapter highlights, each of the key elements and personnel at the academic research institution has a role to play in strengthening disaster resilience to protect its research enterprise (Kapucu and Khosa, 2012). However, there are several issues described in this chapter that create significant challenges to enhancing disaster resilience at academic research institutions. As PIs are responsible for directing research projects and ensuring the integrity of data and results, they should be responsible for taking actions to safeguard their research and preserve their critical data, samples, and reagents. However, the relative independence of PIs in pursuing their research goals and the pressures of the environment in which the PI must compete for research funding make it difficult to get PIs actively involved in resilience-related activities. Therefore, it is crucial for higher levels of management within the institution to help provide resources and programs to encourage these activities.

Conclusion: Each PI is part of a hierarchical reporting structure that has direct authority over the actions of the PI. Many of the support services critical to the research process are also on alternate reporting structures. From an administrative perspective, only an individual higher in the administration at the academic research institution is most appropriate to lead disaster resilience planning efforts for the research enterprise because it will ensure resilience planning efforts extend directly to all components of research activity and support.

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

Because many of the research support structures are subject to different reporting pathways than the PIs (see Figure 3-2), it is important that support for disaster resilience planning for the research enterprise comes from a high leadership level at the academic research institution. Evidence has shown that disaster resilience planning is effective if the president of an institution chooses a responsible individual who shares the vision for building resilient systems and uses campus resources effectively (Kapucu and Khosa, 2012). Furthermore, given the unique attributes and features of the research enterprise, it is important for the research enterprise planning process to be led by the individual who is the most knowledgeable about the resources (e.g., personnel, equipment, space, and IT systems) required for research functions. This is likely to require dedicated effort for leadership of the research enterprise resilience planning process that will complement and integrate with the overall institutional resilience planning process. It may also help identify additional allocation of resources for resilience efforts (Kapucu and Khosa, 2012). The committee refers to this leadership function as the “chief resilience officer for the research enterprise” (see Figure 3-3). A clear understanding across the institution of the fiscal and administrative realities and the resources available to establish the chief resilience officer for the research enterprise function is imperative to determining whether this function is represented by an existing position or is a new role. The key takeaway is that this function resides at a high level within the institutional research leadership and integrates with the framework for institutional disaster preparedness.

The chief resilience officer for the research enterprise should focus on plans specific to the research enterprise and complement the broader resilience efforts conducted by the institution. The chief resilience officer for the research enterprise should represent the interests of the research enterprise and integrate into the overall institutional disaster preparedness infrastructure. At the outset of the planning process, a research enterprise planning committee led by the chief resilience officer for the research enterprise should be created to work with the institution-wide planning committee to assess the unique characteristics of the research enterprise, determine resilience goals and objectives, and develop, implement, and maintain plans. The research enterprise planning committee is further discussed in Chapter 4.

Placing this function at a high level within the institutional research leadership ensures there is comprehensive understanding of the research enterprise and authority for action. This function is necessarily complemented by the emergency management function, which holds the formal education, training, and expertise in emergency management and disaster resilience planning. A similar mechanism has been implemented to develop effective animal care and use programs, where U.S. federal law

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×
Image
FIGURE 3-3 Example of how the chief resilience officer for the research enterprise represents the concerns of the research community within the framework for institutional disaster preparedness.
NOTES: The function could be represented by an existing position or could be a new role, but the key takeaway is that this function resides at a high level within the institutional research leadership and integrates within the institutional disaster preparedness framework. The committee also acknowledges that the organizational structure will change in response to a disaster based on the incident command system structure, which is a uniform structure that outlines authority and delegates decision-making responsibilities to respond in times of disaster.

creates a statutory basis for the IO, an individual who, as representative of senior administration, holds the authority, bears the ultimate responsibility of the animal care and use program, and is responsible for resource planning and ensuring alignment with the institution’s mission (NRC, 2011). In some institutions, the IO has been taking on the duties of the chief resilience officer for the research enterprise.

In order to ensure integration within the framework for institutional disaster preparedness, the chief resilience officer for the research enterprise should become part of the institution-wide planning committee (see Box 3-2), typically chaired by emergency management, and work with the various stakeholders described in this chapter to explore strategies that can

Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×
Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
×

be readily rolled out to help PIs and support operations most effective to prepare the research enterprise for potential disasters. It is also worth considering that disaster response and recovery requires implementation of an ICS structure that will differ from the day-to-day administrative structure of the institution, most particularly by empowering the incident commander identified in the emergency response plan to lead the institutional response as described in Chapter 6.

Designate a Qualified, Senior Individual with Oversight of Disaster Resilience Efforts for the Research Enterprise

RECOMMENDATION 1: Academic research institutions should designate a qualified, senior individual with oversight of disaster resilience efforts for the research enterprise. The qualified, senior individual should be integrated within the framework for institutional disaster preparedness to ensure that the research enterprise is represented in and coordinated with overall institutional disaster resilience efforts. The qualified, senior individual should lead a research enterprise planning committee to work in coordination with the institution to assess the unique characteristics of the research enterprise; to determine resilience goals and objectives; and to develop, implement, and maintain plans.

Possible responsibilities of this individual could include, but are not limited to

  • Developing a vision of resilience to protect the research enterprise.
  • Providing oversight, communication, collaboration, and coordination of a broad and diverse group of institutional stakeholders to engage in all-hazards planning for the research enterprise in concert with institutional planning.
  • Developing, enhancing, and leveraging local, state, and national partnerships that inform efforts to enhance the disaster resilience of the research enterprise.
  • Supporting the understanding and use of the National Incident Management System and the incident command system among peers.
  • Enhancing disaster resilience of the research enterprise through the development of trainings and exercises germane to the research community.
  • Striving for multidimensional communications and enhancing education, awareness, and understanding of what to do before, during, and after disasters among students, staff, and faculty of the research enterprise.
Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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  • Monitoring the implementation of and compliance with disaster resilience policies and procedures.

REFERENCES

AAHC (Association of Academic Health Centers). 2008. Managing emergency preparedness: Academic health centers organize and innovate. http://www.aahcdc.org/Portals/41/Publications-Resources/BooksAndReports/AAHC_Emergency_Prep_08.pdf (accessed October 17, 2016).

AAU (Association of American Universities). 2011. University research: The role of federal funding. https://www.aau.edu/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=11588 (accessed October 17, 2016).

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Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Suggested Citation:"3 Defining the Academic Biomedical Research Community in the Context of Disaster Resilience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation's Investment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24827.
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Next: PART II: THE PROCESS FOR ADVANCING DISASTER RESILENCE »
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The academic biomedical research community is a hub of employment, economic productivity, and scientific progress. Academic research institutions are drivers of economic development in their local and state economies and, by extension, the national economy. Beyond the economic input that the academic biomedical research community both receives and provides, it generates knowledge that in turn affects society in myriad ways.

The United States has experienced and continues to face the threat of disasters, and, like all entities, the academic biomedical research community can be affected. Recent disasters, from hurricanes to cyber-attacks, and their consequences have shown that the investments of the federal government and of the many other entities that sponsor academic research are not uniformly secure. First and foremost, events that damage biomedical laboratories and the institutions that house them can have impacts on the safety and well-being of humans and research animals. Furthermore, disasters can affect career trajectories, scientific progress, and financial stability at the individual and institutional levels.

Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community offers recommendations and guidance to enhance the disaster resilience of the academic biomedical research community, with a special focus on the potential actions researchers, academic research institutions, and research sponsors can take to mitigate the impact of future disasters.

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