Improving Research Administration - Project Progress

October, 2018

August, 2018

June, 2018

May, 2018

November 2017


October 2017


July - September 2017


    June 2017


    May 2017


    January - April 2017


    • A baseline survey of PI satisfaction with RA support services was sent to more than 2,000 faculty and other PIs in February, 2017. More than 400 responses were received. The results are being compiled and analyzed and will be announced to faculty by the end of the semester.
    • The Award Set-up working group announced the first of several enhancements designed to speed up and award set-up and to better communicate with PIs. This includes two automated emails sent to PIs: one when SPO receives the Notice of Award from the sponsor and one when the set-up is complete and CGA notifies the PI that the fund is active and they may begin research spending.
    • The recruiting process has been streamlined with CSS HR to help PIs initiate a personnel search before an award set-up is complete. The chartfield string is no longer required until the offer of employment is made, allowing PIs to initiate the search and hire process simultaneously to an award being set-up.
    • The notice from SPO indicating that an award has been processed and is awaiting fund activation by Contracts and Grants Accounting (CGA) has been renamed the Phoebe Award Summary (PAS) and now features useful award-summary details at the top of the notice.
    • Award set-up categories have been added to Phoebe Search to alert PIs as to which stage their set-up is. Learn more about Phoebe Search or log on.
    • Improvements have been made to Fund Advances which can provide PIs with access to funding while their award negotiation is in process. Learn more about Fund Advance or Apply.
    • Plans to design a pilot to test enhanced delivery of RA services are in formation. Ron Cohen, Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Earth and Planetary Science; Peggy Huston, Chief Operating Officer of Campus Shared Services; and Heidi Wagner, Assistant Dean of Administration in the School of Social Welfare have agreed to lead the effort to design this pilot. The College of Chemistry and the Division of Math and Physical Sciences have agreed to be the first participants in the pilot which we hope to launch later this calendar year.

    September - November 2016


    • The Vice Chancellor for Research, Paul Alivisatos, held a series of faculty forums in the month of October to provide a status update on the Research Administration Improvement initiative as well as gather faculty from across the campus to collect feedback
    • The project team is currently working on two process improvement efforts: the Award Set Up Process and the Proposal Development and Submission Process. As for the Award Set Up process the team has identified a set of solutions and is currently in the process of implementing those solutions. Several have already been implemented and others are still in progress. For more detail on the award set up process please click here. As far as the Proposal Development and Submission Process is concerned, we have established a working group, mapped out the current state process and conducted a series of pain/waste sessions with various stakeholder groups, faculty, staff, RAs, etc. We are now in the process of developing a set of solutions to address those issues. For more detail on the proposal development and submission process please click here
    • We have formed the Committee on Research Administration Services Delivery Structure to assist in the development of a new service delivery model structure. The Committee is comprised of staff and faculty and has met twice so far. Initial areas of focus for the Committee include establishing groupings, identifying potential pilots, discussing technology and governance structure for a new model. The next committee meeting is scheduled to take place on December 12.

    June – August 2016


    • Conducted a working session with a cross-functional group of campus administrators to complete a high-level end-to-end map of research administration processes.
    • Developed an initial process inventory listing targeted processes for improvement.
    • Conducted a series of working sessions with representatives from CSS, CGA and SPO to examine the award set up process. The working sessions mapped out current process, and identified issues and solutions to improve the process. The working group is currently working to develop implementation/roll-out plans to ensure successful deployment of the solutions.
    • Identified several issues in the conflict of interest disclosure process and implemented solutions to solve these issues. Improvements that have been implemented within this timeframe include a rolling weekly review of non-controversial financial disclosures as well as the ability for PIs to request early review of NIH COI financial disclosures.
    • Conducted 35 interviews on a regional service interface model and compiled feedback to inform the work on structure
    • The VCR began a faculty/staff listening tour. He met  with campus administrative staff through the summer. These meetings will continue in the fall and be extended to include meetings with campus faculty.

    March – May 2016


    • Conducted 3 faculty forums to obtain feedback on current research administration issues
    • Established research administration advisory group comprised of faculty and staff
    • Identified two initial processes for improvement (Conflict of Interest and the Award Set Up Process)
    • Established process improvement methodology
    • Formed working groups for process improvement projects