Project Next and Other OSP Projects


Project Next was initiated by OSP in FY2011 to improve research administration services and processes at MIT, delivering high levels of excellence while making the administration of sponsored funds as easy as possible. Our goals are to:

  • Modernize our processes
  • Measure and improve customer service
  • Provide better training for MIT staff in research administration – both OSP staff and administrators in DLCs
  • “Be opportunistic” – take advantage of regulatory changes and other MIT initiatives to effect broader research administration process changes


(as of 2011)

Michelle D. Christy (Director, OSP) until December 15, 2018
John Patrick Donahue (Associate Director, OSP)
Stephen D. Dowdy (retired - Director, Research Information & Systems, OSP) 
Patricia Greer (retired - Deputy Director, OSP)
Colleen Leslie (Associate Director, OSP)
Stephen Michaels (retired - Associate Director, OSP)
Kristen Shikes (Administrative Manager, OSP)
Shawna Vogel (Associate Director, OSP) until October 2018
Carol J. Wood (Coeus Business Manager, OSP)

Link to PDF Chart: Project Next and Other Key OSP Accomplishments

Areas of Focus

We focused on our three primary function areas: proposals, awards and compliance.  In each of these areas, we asked:

  • What tools and/or technology can we develop to automate and improve processes?
  • How can we better communicate the Institute’s policies and processes around research administration at MIT?
  • How can we keep improve the deal process for non-federal projects, including better, more timely information to PIs and DLC?
  • How can we expand and improve our training options for OSP staff and for research administrators at MIT?
  • How can we develop and retain skilled and experienced staff in OSP?

The answers to these questions resulted in an exhaustive list of projects and potential process improvements that fell roughly into four categories: OSP Managers led their teams through a variety of projects focusing on four key activities:

Project Next