In 1993, the Bureau established a Research Development Office to encourage grant-development, to foster research that would benefit both the health system and its patients, and to assure strict compliance with research guidelines and ethics. As a result of the consolidation, grant funding has increased by more than 50% over the past five years. To better target appropriate funding sources and projects, ongoing workshops now take place in grant development at all Bureau institutions. In 1999 the Bureau received approval of a Multiple Project Assurance from the federal Office for Protection from Research Risk.
The certification “licenses” the Bureau to carry out federally-funded research in all of the Bureau affiliates. Unlike many academic medical centers that focus solely on clinical and basic research, the Bureau places an emphasis on social medical research and research that improves the delivery of healthcare. This includes treating the environmental context of disease, learning how to interact with and motivate patients, creating changes in behavioral attitudes toward medical care, and assisting in managing and controlling diseases and reducing their