The Institute's Scientific Office (SO), led by Chief Scientific Officer Graciana Diez-Roux, supports TIGEM's Director by maintaining a research environment that fosters innovation, collaboration, and scientific achievement. The singular goal of the Scientific Office is to facilitate the biomedical research enterprise at TIGEM. The Office supports the vibrant base of TIGEM scientists engaged in all aspects of biomedical discovery - basic, translational and clinical research. In addition, the Office offers expert assistance in identifying and developing extramural funding sources that support areas of on-site research interest and expertise, helps navigate the complex regulatory/compliance issues integral to biomedical research and coordinates educational and communications programs for TIGEM.
The SO ensures competitive funds to support research and other activities related to the Institute. It gathers and organizes information on major sources of funds from national and international agencies, institutes and foundations to support research and fellowships. This allows researchers to identify the best funding opportunities for their projects. The Office acts as liaison between researchers and sponsoring agencies and assists the researchers in providing administrative and managerial skills to facilitate access to funding sources.
The office provides support to researchers at all stages of projects:
- assessment of feasibility;
- support in the preparation of applications, developing proposal and budgets, completing applications forms and understanding the regulations of the granting agencies;
- assuring support and timely submission of both complete and accurate proposals, guaranteeing the best chance of success in the review process;
- negotiation of terms and conditions of the successful proposal and management of the consortium agreement with collaborating institutions; project management, fulfillment of all the administrative requirements and assistance for all reporting periods.
The SO assists and guides research scientists in the regulatory processes required to bring innovative therapeutic products and strategies developed at TIGEM from bench to bedside. The Office combines knowledge of scientific, legal and business issues to ensure that products meet required legislative regulations. It is the crucial link between TIGEM's scientists and regulatory authorities, including the Italian Regulatory Authority Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- keeping abreast of international legislation, guidelines and customer practices;
- advising scientists and manufacturers on regulatory requirements;
- preparation, review, and submission of IMPD documents;
- interaction with scientists and clinicians to develop the best strategies for optimization of regulatory compliance;
- preparation of meeting packages for Authority meetings; conduction of Authority meetings and preparation of follow-up activities.
PhD Program Coordination
The SO is the coordinating office for all matters related to training activities at TIGEM. The staff's mission is to manage the administration of the PhD programs and to oversee the personal and academic development of the PhD student community.
The Office provides students with the administrative, academic, and curricular guidance they need to successfully complete their programmes. This includes assisting in changing student degree statuses and advising students on registration-, thesis- and graduation-related matters. The Office organizes orientation meetings for new research students and provides them with the TIGEM Student Handbook, which contains all information pertaining to the programmes, and the online logbook, in which the students and the supervisors can keep track of deadlines and acquired skills throughout the course of the PhD program.
In addition, the Office supports the organization of thematic classes, data clubs and Institute seminars, which are obligatory components of the PhD program curricula.
The SO publicizes news and updates regarding the Institute's activities and progress via the institution's website and annual brochure.
Outreach to the general public is also an essential duty of the Office. Through a sustained educational dialogue, outreach initiatives not only promote the work of the Institute, but also provide an invaluable opportunity for researchers to rediscover their own research from the perspective of the general public. It is vital to increase public awareness of science and to transmit the excitement of careers in scientific research and development to students. The Office is already involved in many outreach activities such as:
- hosting pupils at the facility annually;
- welcoming Telethon volunteers to the laboratories;
- visiting high schools to aid students towards their career preference;
- supporting all public Telethon initiatives.
Depending on the target group, the impact of outreach actions aims to increase public awareness, to raise the profile of science, to attract schoolchildren into careers in science, and to inspire university students to consider careers in research.
The Scientific Office enjoys the advantage of having an English native speaker who is responsible for editing all communications and written material. The editing office helps TIGEM investigators in the preparation of science manuscript editing, research grant editing, program project report editing and preparation of Powerpoint presentations.