David Hellard On The Rewards Of Helping Scientists Fund Their Research
David Hellard is senior manager for the SC CTSI Research Development program.
What do you do at SC CTSI and what do you like most about it?
I am in the fortunate position of being able to notify investigative teams their projects will be funded! Following these projects and witnessing their development and successes are the most rewarding parts of my work, as well as directly interacting with the research community. Aiding researchers with locating potential collaborators, assisting with their grant submissions, and guiding them through their post-award process keeps me savvy of the current translational research milieu.
What are the most challenging parts of your job?
Without question, trying to maintain an active and engaged group of volunteer reviewers is difficult, given the number of applications we process each year. We’ve received close to 300 research proposals total during our last two cycles. Making sure they all are reviewed fairly and thoroughly requires a tremendous amount of human capital. Given that we are entirely dependent upon the willingness of colleagues to donate their time and energy to this task, the issue of “reviewer fatigue” over the next few years is probably foremost on my mind. We are constantly in need of new reviewers and new strategies. Do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to get involved!
Given that we are entirely dependent upon the willingness of colleagues to donate their time and energy to this task, the issue of “reviewer fatigue” over the next few years is probably foremost on my mind.
What are misconceptions that people have about your field of work?
Unfortunately, we also have the less than desirable task of informing people their proposals will not be funded for a given cycle. I want to be sure our applicants know this decision doesn’t mean their proposals aren’t worthwhile or valuable, far from it. With so many applicants, the program is highly competitive. However, half of our awardees from the Fall 2012 cycle were resubmissions from previous cycles, meaning those proposals had already been reviewed once and the applicants were provided with feedback and comments from their peers on how to make them better.
How would you complete the following sentence: "The thing my colleagues don’t know about me is …?”
I am a veteran National Guardsman and a graduate of the Ohio National Guard NCO Academy. Without the Guard’s Tuition Assistance Program and G.I. Bill, I’m not sure how I would have paid my college tuition.
What do you do for recreation or fun?
I think most of my immediate colleagues know by now photography is another passion of mine. The overwhelming majority of my time outside of work is spent either exploring Southern California with my camera or working on the photos themselves and sharing them online. I’m also in the process of starting up a restaurant blog, if only to have a place to post all the photos I have taken of all the delicious food I’ve sampled in L.A.! View David’s photos
Learn more about the SC CTSI Research Development
The SC CTSI Spotlight series highlights the people that are part of SC CTSI at USC and CHLA. It provides us with the opportunity to learn about their work and perspectives. Thanks for sharing!