Office of Research Development and Infrastructure (ORDI)

What Services and Resources Are Provided to Faculty?

RENEW base-station at Rice University

Image: RENEW base-station at Rice Stadium

I usually associate ORDI with Centers and Institutes, how else does ORDI support faculty? 

The Office of Research Development and Infrastructure was established in August 2011 with a mission of fostering Rice faculty members’ effectiveness in securing extramural support for their multi-investigatory, interdisciplinary, scholarly and research activities. In addition to supporting Centers and Institutes, other components of ORDI include:

  • Assessment and evaluation of STEM programs 
  • Diversity and inclusion for research programs
  • Interdisciplinary research support
  • Proposal development 

ORDI also provides operational support of research facilities including:

  • Animal Resources Facility
  • Research Support Shop 
  • Share Equipment Authority

What services does ORDI provide to support faculty prepare proposals and manage awards?

ORDI offers an array of services to our faculty for preparing proposals and managing awards.  Within ORDI, for example, Office of Proposal Development (OPD) works closely with research faculty across campus to conceptualize, develop, and assist in the writing of proposals seeking funding for research projects. Their services including comprehensive project management for large, collaborative, multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional proposals; integrating material written by multiple team members so that proposals read as if they were written in a single and consistent voice; vetting, editing, and formatting proposals to ensure that all material is clearly, logically, and persuasively presented. ORDI also offers a wide variety of training events on proposal development and proposal writing.

Additionally, we also have the Interdisciplinary Research Support Office (IRSO), which is organized to assist with the development of interdisciplinary and multi-institutional proposals in the pre-award stages by working closely with faculty to develop the budget and budget justification, and either generating or assembling other ancillary documents. IRSO often works cooperatively with the Office of Proposal Development when both of their services are requested. IRSO also provides post-award administration of large-scale multimillion-dollar interdisciplinary extramural funding at Rice, and maintains a specialized capacity to support the administration of inter-department-school Centers and Institutes.

Are there other university resources in research development available to faculty?

In the last couple of years, the Office of Research has made investments in the creation of several offices to enhance and complement our suite of research development services.  The Rice Office of STEM Engagement is a single point of contact for all STEM-related outreach and education efforts and enhances the broader impacts of Rice University’s research through a platform of innovative, high-quality Pre-K to career programs that are designed to build a diverse, dynamic, and inclusive STEM pipeline.

The Office of Assessment and Evaluation supports faculty by providing assessment and evaluation services for STEM education programs at Rice University, with a focus on cross project standardization and sustainability.  

Meanwhile, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for Research Programs engages with our students, faculty, and staff to build a more inclusive, equitable, and welcoming campus environment for those participating in federally funded programs.

How does ORDI support research infrastructure?

The Office of Research makes ongoing investments in research infrastructure. The Shared Equipment Authority (SEA) manages over 100 state-of-the-art research instruments, providing maintenance, training, and assistance to both Rice and a variety of external users. The SEA invests ~$250,000 annually from its endowment for research equipment, usually through a call to faculty for new instrument proposals. The SEA’s oversight board reviews proposals to identify tools that have the greatest potential to materially impact research. Over the past 5 years, the University supplemented the SEA’s equipment budget to bring SEA’s total annual instrument funds to over $1 million per year. 

Another highly active facility is the Animal Resources Facility (ARF). Animal research is a critical step before human trials in biomedical research. The animal resources facility, also known as the vivarium, is specially designed for the care and support of research animals. Planning is under way for an expansion of this facility.

The Research Support Shop (RSS) is a unique resource available to our faculty. It is staffed by machinists that design and build highly specialized research equipment. The products are one-of-a-kind instruments, designed in collaboration with investigators, that allow data acquisition that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.