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Minneapolis VA Health Care System Research Service

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New Staff Orientation: Overview

Staff Orientation: Overview | Administrative Expectations | Required Training | Security | Timekeeping & Travel

While the VA provides an employee orientation for new VA-paid staff, this introduction to our facility is not offered for personnel who are not paid by VA. Further, the employee orientation does not explicitly cover research issues. This research staff orientation is intended to serve as your guide to our program, and as a point of reference should you require assistance.

You should refer to this information as needed and encourage other personnel to review the information here when they first join the Minneapolis VA Research Service.

Research Office Organizational Structure

Our program is led by the Associate Chief of Staff for Research (ACOS). The ACOS is responsible for oversight of research activities at the Minneapolis VA. The Deputy ACOS assists the ACOS in managing our program. Together the ACOS and Deputy ACOS supervise the professional staff and oversight committee coordinators in our program, including the Human Research Protection Program Administrator, the Research Nurse Manager, the Veterinary Medical Officer, and the Budget Analyst. The Administrative Officer (AO) manages the business side of our program. The AO is the primary contact for hiring research personnel, and supervises program support staff in our office. Support staff duties include purchasing, timekeeping, records management, and inventory management. Specific details and contact information for our program are maintained on the Leadership and Administrative Contacts pages.

We maintain shared email accounts for many administrative tasks. These email accounts, and the purpose of each, are listed at the top of the Administrative Contacts page. While you may know that specific personnel handle a given task, we ask that you use these shared inboxes rather than emailing staff directly. This allows us to balance workload internally, and means we can more easily provide updates or respond to questions when one of our administrative staff are out of office.

If you are unsure who would best answer a question, use the Research Office general inbox ( and we will direct your request to the person best able to assist.

Policies and Procedures

Our program is guided by standard operating procedures (SOPs) approved by the Research & Development Committee (RDC). These SOPs are based in part on the rules, responsibilities, and requirements stipulated in the VA Directives and Handbooks that govern our program. Our local research administration also maintains administrative SOPs explaining policy for procedures that are not under the purview of the RDC. Current approved copies of these documents are maintained on the Policies and Procedures page.

SOPs that are relevant to each section of this orientation are listed at the bottom of each page. While we do not expect our personnel to memorize these SOPs, it is important that all staff know where to find these reference documents when guidance on a specific policy or procedure is needed. When in doubt, please reach out to our office for assistance!

Next: Administrative Expectations