My Research Assistant (MyRA) was developed as a central statewide web research portal with resources and tools for and about research. In 2013 MyRA's links were subsumed into OSP's Grant Life Cycle.
The MyRA concept was conceived by faculty in the Department of Biomedical Informatics (Bernard LaSalle and Dr. Joyce Mitchell, University of Utah) and developed in conjunction with the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (Jean P. Shipman, Director) to address primarily the information needs of clinical researchers. Via Clinical and Translational Science Award funding, a consultant, Margaret Reich, was hired to conduct an extensive needs assessment. Assessment methods included surveys, interviews and focus groups that resulted in a white paper. One of the white paper recommendations was to develop a one-stop shop research portal for clinical and translational researchers.
Content for the MyRA research portal was discussed and initial content was selected by an inter-institutional MyRA Committee (see members listed below) who met for several years. Funding for the site structure was provided by the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine, Mid-Continental Region (NIH# N01-LM-6-3504). This project's deliverables included a set of templates (2 versions: HTML and Drupal/Alfresco) that are available free-of-charge to other entities upon request. Another version was funded by the Office of the Vice Dean for Research at the University of Utah Health Sciences through the Center for Clinical and Translational Science. This funding provided salary for a dedicated Research Concierge who further developed the research portal, along with additional content from the Vice President for Research Office.
In a third round of development, the desire for a more centralized virtual portal for all University of Utah researchers was identified and through discussions with Dr. Cynthia Furse (Associate Vice President for Research, University of Utah), MyRA's content was incorporated into the Office of Sponsored Projects website that was redesigned in 2013 by Laurel Duncan in collaboration with Media Solutions. Biomedical research information for this expanded audience continues to be overseen and developed by Peter Jones, Research Concierge at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, with all other research information being overseen and developed by the Office of Sponsored Projects and the Office of the Vice President for Research.
You can read more about MyRA's development in the article "Assessing clinical researchers' information needs to create responsive portals and tools: My Research Assistant (MyRA) at the University of Utah: a case study" (pdf).
MyRA Committee Members:
Other MyRA Contributors: