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SSP Roles and Responsibilities: Who's On First?

The Science Support Partnership is a complex program with a number of players.  The following should help to outline who the various players are, and what their individual roles are throughout the process. 
FWS Project Officer:  The individual responsible for the focus (assurance that the proposal is designed to meet the specific need) and programmatic aspects of a project.  Serves as the counterpart to the Principal Investigator to assure project is progressing and that products are delivered on schedule.
  • Develops problem statement in accordance with FWS guidance
  • When developing problem statement, communicates with regional and programmatic offices and partners, as appropriate, to develop potential cross-regional/programmatic proposal to optimize funding
  • Upon notification from FWS Research Coordinator of project selection, makes contact with the USGS to locate Principal Investigator
  • Jointly develops formal proposal with Principal Investigator and obtains required approval
  • Submits proposal to FWS Research Coordinator in accordance with established time line
  • Communicates with Principal Investigator throughout life of the project
  • Tracks project progress, resolves issues as they arise, notifies FWS Research Coordinator of significant issues (notable findings, performance, termination, etc.)
  • Receives progress reports and final products
  • Provides copies of progress reports and final products to the FWS Research Coordinator and other interested parties
  • Applies new information to address management problem
  • Completes project evaluation and transmits to the FWS Research Coordinator
Principal Investigator:  The individual responsible for the design, conduct, interpretation and reporting of research or other activity described in a proposal.  Serves as the counterpart to the Project Officer to assure project is progressing and that products are delivered on schedule.
  • Obtains required approval from Center Director/Unit Leader to participate in the project and jointly develops proposal with the FWS Project Officer.
  • Upon notification of project selection, prepares a full project plan in accordance with USGS Science Quality policy or organizational guidelines (i.e. university policy and procedures)
  • Obtains review and approval in accordance with USGS Science Quality policy or organizational guidelines
  • Upon notification, contacts Project Officer and begins work in accordance with project schedule
  • Communicates with Project Officer throughout life of the project
  • Resolves issues as they arise
  • Provides progress reports and final products on schedule to the PO
USGS Center Director/Unit Leader (or delegate when appropriate):  The individual responsible for assuring that adequate funds are identified for the projects successful completion and for assuring that the Science Quality Policy is adhered to.  
  • Reviews and approves proposal
  • Notifies Principal Investigator of project selection and requests a full project plan
  • Reviews and approves the full project plan
  • Notifies USGS Headquarters when project plan has been approved
  • Upon receipt of fund allocation, notifies Principal Investigator to begin project
  • Reviews and approves all products before submission to FWS
  • Resolves issues of concern elevated by the Principal Investigator and Project Officer (performance concerns, project terminations, etc.)
FWS Research Coordinator (Regions and Washington):  The individual responsible for coordinating, tracking and monitoring science support activities within their purview.
  • Tracks availability of science support funds
  • Initiates annual call for problem statements based on availability of funds
  • Prioritizes problem statements following Regional or Washington Office protocols
  • Notifies FWS Project Officers of selected problem statements and requests formal proposals
  • Notifies other Research Coordinators and the Office of Research Coordination of problem statement selections to identify areas of potential overlap or common interest
  • Reviews and approves proposals
  • Participates in conference call with other Research Coordinators and the Office of Research Coordination to discuss approved proposals and to share information
  • Prepares proposal package and obtains RD/AD approval and transmits to the FWS Office of Research Coordination
  • Provides assistance to Project Officer as necessary
  • Receives progress reports and final products from Project Officer and makes them available to others
  • Provides project evaluation form to PO
  • Resolves issues as they arise
  • Provides accomplishment data to the FWS Office of Research Coordination for use during the annual budget process
FWS Office of Research Coordination:  The office responsible for coordinating and tracking overall program activities.
  • Provides updates, guidance and assistance to FWS employees and others as necessary to ensure success of program
  • Ensures established time line is followed
  • Schedules conference call with FWS Research Coordinators to discuss proposals prior to finalizing annual proposal package
  • Collates selected proposals from Regions and Washington and prepares package for Director approval
  • Transmits approved proposal package to USGS Headquarters
USGS Headquarters:  The office responsible for coordinating and tracking overall program activities.
  • Provides updates, guidance, and assistance to USGS employees and others as necessary to ensure success of program
  • Informs USGS Regional Offices, Center Directors, and Unit Leaders of the annual proposal process timeline
  • Ensures established time line is followed
  • Notifies Regional Offices, Center Directors, Unit Leaders and non-USGS PIs of project selection and provides guidance as necessary
  • Upon receipt of approved full project plan, provides funding to PI
  • Collates accomplishment data for uses during the annual budget process
USGS BRD Regional Offices: The office responsible for coordinating, tracking and monitoring science support activities within their purview.
  • Provides assistance with locating qualified PIs to address management problems
  • Remain aware of approved and active proposals
  • Resolves issues of concern elevated by the Principal Investigator and Project Officer (performance concerns, project terminations, etc.)
USGS Cooperative Research Unit Program:  The office responsible for coordinating, tracking and monitoring science support activities within their purview.
  • Provides assistance with locating qualified PIs to address management problems
  • Inform the Units of approved proposals
  • Initiates Research Work Orders with host universities
  • Resolves issues of concern elevated by the Principal Investigator and Project Officer (performance concerns, project terminations, etc.)

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Page Last Modified: Monday January 14 2013