Approaches to Streamline Research Impact Evaluation Through Online Tools [HRA Members Meeting, New York, Fall 2022]

How can organizations measure and understand the impact of their research programs? What can online tools offer to automate or streamline evaluation processes to provide insights into research investments? In this session, we hope to fill HRA Members’ toolboxes with options (including free and subscription-based tools) for nimble research impact analysis. From perspectives on how the NIH measures impact and develops publicly available tools, to using ORCID to track grantee outputs, to other ways in which HRA member organizations measure and assess impact, we will learn about evaluation and tools that can help members to automate or streamline their processes.

Orna Ehrlich, MPH
Vice President, Strategic Impact | Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
Orna Ehrlich joined the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation in 2010. Her work focuses on the demonstration and communication of the Foundation’s impact on its mission and the IBD community. This includes working across departments to generate, monitor, and promote measurement of success across the Foundation’s strategic plan focus areas as well as communication of our measurements across Foundation programming. She also oversees the Foundation’s portfolio of peer-reviewed journals (Inflammatory Bowel Diseases® and Crohn’s & Colitis 360) as well as leading the analysis and dissemination of several Foundation research studies, including the Cost of IBD Initiative and Defining Remission study. Over her tenure at the Foundation, she has also developed and managed numerous patient and professional education programs as well as overseeing several needs assessments to assess gaps in knowledge and utilization of resources for patients and providers.

Orna received her Master of Public Health degree with a focus on Health Promotion from Columbia University prior to joining the Foundation and completed her undergraduate degree in Business Administration at the University of Michigan.

Kevin Sia, PhD
Medical Research Program Officer | Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
As program officer for medical research at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Kevin Sia manages and evaluates competitive grant programs and actively contributes scientific expertise and knowledge to build relationships with existing grantees.

Prior to joining the foundation in 2021, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Sloan Kettering Institute of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He has a research background in immunology and microbiology, particularly focused on vaccine immunity and antibiotic resistant pathogens.

He earned a Doctor of Philosophy in immunology and molecular pathogenesis from Emory University, where he trained at the Emory Vaccine Center.

George Santangelo, PhD
Director, Office of Portfolio Analysis | Office of the Director | National Institutes of Health
George Santangelo has been the Director of the Office of Portfolio Analysis (OPA) at NIH since 2011. He received his bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from the University of Pennsylvania and his doctorate in genetics from Yale University. Before coming to NIH, George was a systems biologist and data scientist funded by both NIH and NSF to lead research teams investigating how genes are regulated. In OPA, George now leads a team of analysts, data scientists, and software developers whose mission is to learn how to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery and disseminate that knowledge across funding agencies and the research community.

Gary McDowell, PhD
CEO and Founder | Lightoller
Gary grew up in Belfast, N. Ireland and Elgin, Scotland. He received a BA and MSci in Natural Sciences (Chemistry) and a PhD in Oncology at the University of Cambridge. He spent 2 years as a postdoc at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and then a further 2 years as a postdoc at Tufts University.

During his time at Tufts, Gary began expanding his interest in studying the scientific enterprise itself. He was a co-organizer of the first Future of Research Symposium in Boston and an author of the resulting white paper, Shaping the Future of Research: a perspective from junior scientists. He co-founded the Future of Research non-profit and was Executive Director from 2016 to 2019. Gary currently sits on the steering committee of Rescuing Biomedical Research.

While leading Future of Research, he was involved in numerous efforts to effect systematic change across the scientific enterprise. He co-chaired workshops at national summits to identify and implement action items addressing issues adversely affecting the people who do science. He collaborated with organizations such as the U.S. Census Bureau to draw attention to the realities of the early career researcher population. He was appointed to the Next Generation Researchers Initiative, mandated by the U.S. Congress under the 21st Century Cures Act, and convened by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, to examine the policy and programmatic steps the nation should undertake to ensure the successful launch and sustainability of careers among the next generation of researchers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences in the U.S.

Jennifer Brummet, PhD
Manager, Research | American Epilepsy Society
Jennifer is the Research Manager at the American Epilepsy Society where she supports the Society’s early career grant programs, professional development programs, and other research initiatives. Jennifer received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University and a MA/PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience at Michigan State University. She has dedicated her career to supporting biomedical researchers, including prior roles as a Social Scientist at the National Science Foundation and in a science policy/outreach role at the Society for Neuroscience. Jennifer volunteers with the Health Research Alliance, the Chicago Association Forum, and the Chicago Council on Science and Technology.
Jennifer Mortensen, PhD
Research Outcomes Manager | American Heart Association
Jen is the Research Outcomes Manager at the American Heart Association. At the AHA, she oversees the evaluation of the award portfolio, working to understand how AHA funding impacts the career outcomes of awardees and using data to inform funding decisions. Prior to her work at the AHA, Jen focused primarily on youth development and systems change at two national non-profit organizations, Genesys Works and YMCA of the USA. In those roles, she worked on developing national evaluation strategies and focused on building a data-driven culture across the organizations. Jen earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from DePaul University and both a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Ecological-Community Psychology from Michigan State University.