At the end of September, we did something we have never done before: facilitated a 100% virtual annual conference, Connect by Cayuse (previously known as Cayuse Round-Up). We were thrilled to receive incredibly positive feedback about achieving our main goal: enabling the research community to connect, share, and learn during these difficult times.

The topics covered many areas, including perspectives from the panel of industry association presidents (SRAI, NCURA, and NORDP), tips for working from home, analytics across the research lifecycle, best practices in integrating with your ERP, product demos, highlights of the new Cayuse platform, and much more.

We also had some fun networking sessions, swapped quarantine recipes, and competed for prizes. You can see a few of the most engaged/conversational conference attendees, with Eric Boerngen from Illinois State just barely edging out Mollie Robbins from Kansas State for the top spot. Thank you to everyone who not only attended but contributed by asking questions, answering polls, and joining our networking sessions. It was great to see so many people so engaged!

With so much positive feedback, we’ll likely continue to have a virtual aspect in future conferences. Here’s just a few examples of feedback that are indicative of what we’ve been reading in post-conference surveys:

“I really liked the virtual format because it let me interact with others in the session in real time and let me join in on more than one session in a time slot.”

-Julie Ryans, Cytokinetics

“As a first-time conference attendee, I’ve been very impressed! If this hadn’t been offered for free, our university would not have supported the cost, so I am especially appreciative. It’s been very beneficial.”

-Maureen Wawsczyk, Ferris State University

“This has been a fantastic conference platform! In many ways, it feels more interactive than the in-person events. I’ve really enjoyed it!”

-Evins Wardlaw, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Featured sessions

We had more than 60 sessions, and future blog posts will dive into them, so we’ll highlight just a couple now. Our industry leaders panel, titled “Research Resilience in Times of Unprecedented Change,” united three key industry leaders to share their reflections on the first half of 2020 and how the research community is responding to unprecedented challenges. The Presidents of the SRAI, NORDP, and AALAS shared ideas for successfully navigating research administration in 2021 and beyond. You can watch the recording here:

We ended with a powerful keynote on workplace bias from Serilda Summers-McGee, Principal & Chief Human Resources Officer at Workplace Change. Serilda shared ways to recognize unconscious bias in the workplace and what to do about it. Serilda’s session, as well as all others, are available to all conference registrants on our new Connect community that’s meant to keep the conversation going all year, so be sure to join and then just look in the top navigation bar for Events, where you can access all of the recordings:

It was a jam-packed conference, and thanks to all of the presenters, attendees, customers, and sponsor partners like Attain and Bad Rabbit for making it such a success!


We also recognized several institutions with 4 awards this year!

This year, we added a few new awards to our program, and we’re honored to recognize several research professionals and organizations for their hard work and research impact achieved over the past year.

This year, the award categories included the Sheri Pulis service award, COVID-19 research resilience, modernization, and productivity. Congrats to all of those who were recognized, and we look forward to next year’s nominations! We’ll be highlighting these awards and those recognized further in upcoming blog posts but wanted to recognize all of our award recipients briefly here as well:

Sheri Pulis service award

Winner: Holly Goold, Veterinary Technician Manager at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus


COVID-19 resilience award

Winner: Dr. Sonia Chawla, Research Compliance Officer at Eastern Michigan University

Honorable mentions: Lamar University and Gbenga Adesida at UC Berkeley


Modernization award

Winners: Mollie Robbins, eRA Systems Manager & Training Coordinator at Kansas State University, and the University of Windsor

Honorable mentions: Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences and The American University of Sharjah


Productivity award

Winner: Chapman University

Honorable mentions: Hektoen Institute and Sacred Heart University


We hope you’ll join us in 2021

This year was our largest customer conference yet, with so many insightful presentations and sharing across our customer community. We couldn’t have done it without all of our customers and attendees, who made the event informative and special. Your continued commitment and passion for the research industry is what inspires and motivates us every day. Only time will tell if next year’s event will be in person or virtual, but either way, we can’t wait to see everyone again!

Connect with industry leaders and peers all year

Whether you’re already part of the Cayuse family or not, you can join our recently launched Connect Community. It’s a new online place for research and sponsored projects administration professionals from around the world to discuss industry issues, share expertise, ask questions, and more!

Join and connect with hundreds of your peers >>