by Kelly Morgan, Product Manager – Pre-Award Solutions
Sponsored projects research administrators (RAs) are accountable for all research activities at their institution, particularly federally funded research, which has the most risk of negative press. If you’ve ever seen a session at NCURA or SRA with a title like “How to keep your institution out of the headlines,” you know that preventing fraud, fines, and related scandal is a huge concern for RAs.
Both pre- and post-award RAs feel the stress and anxiety about noncompliance. Before a proposal is submitted, RAs face deadline-related pressure and must make sure proposals meet sponsor regulations. After receiving an award, RAs have to make sure the research meets internal ethics regulations. Often this means digging through emails, paper notes, and shared files to find out why certain decisions were made months ago when the proposal was prepared.
With information in so many places, created over many months, it’s practically impossible to get the complete story of a proposal. Cue the frantic emails and wasted time. That’s why you need a centralized hub for everything related to sponsored projects. It’s the key to transparency, compliance, and ultimately peace of mind.
How to see the whole story
In a perfect world, pre- and post-award RAs could see whatever they needed at a quick glance. Perfection may be impossible, but you can still create a single place that has all information about a proposal. Here’s what your central repository should include:
- The final draft of each proposal
- Reasoning behind what’s in each proposal–a virtual paper trail of thought processes in case anyone wonders, “Why did we do it that way?”
- Who signed off on what (such as protocol approvals) and when
- If something was rejected (such as by a review committee), who it was and what their concerns were
- Budgets, justifications, spending to date, funding remaining for each award
- Subcontract information for each proposal
If it sounds like a pain to compile all of the above, I have good news.
How Sponsored Projects can help
There’s an easy solution to capturing everything I just listed: Sponsored Projects. Every step of the way, the app documents your processes so you don’t have to. It captures all of the information you enter and presents it to you in a comprehensive dashboard. Rather than starting your day feeling flustered and overwhelmed, just open Sponsored Projects and see everything at a glance!
You’ll enjoy features like:
My tasks: When you log into Cayuse, you can see all of your Cayuse tasks at once, instead of having to check Sponsored Projects, Proposals, Human Ethics, and so on. “My tasks” includes tasks that are automatically generated if someone routes something to you (like a proposal to review). You can also add ad-hoc tasks for yourself and assign them to others. It’s everything you need to keep track of on one screen.
Notifications: No more trying to remember everything or creating a bunch of check-in dates on your calendar. You get dashboard alerts and automated reminders of award conditions to improve compliance and help you keep everything organized.
Electronic approval stamps: You and your colleagues can approve things right inside Sponsored Projects, and it automatically creates a record of who approved something and when. (As well as who rejected something and why.) It’s so much easier than running across campus or printing out forms.
Form builder: Sponsored Projects is the only app where you can configure and change your forms anytime—no need to involve IT or have advanced tech knowledge! Whether it’s during implementation or long after, you have control anytime your needs change.
Conditional routing: When RAs create a form for researchers to fill out, they can tag questions that pull certain teams or departments into the routing chain based on researchers’ answers. For example, an RA could set up the question, “Do you expect to use any materials subject to ITAR oversight?” When a researcher answers “yes,” the system will automatically notify and/or require review by the relevant export control reviewers. Then any proposal that uses that form will automatically be routed to the right people (and not bother those who aren’t involved).
Third party/API: Sponsored Projects can send and receive data from any other application, whether created by Cayuse or another vendor. That means your pre- and post-award system will have the latest data from your ERP, financial system, homegrown system, and so forth.
How Sponsored Projects works with Proposals
Sponsored Projects—along with our other apps—is on Cayuse’s powerful and integrated platform, with an easy-to-use interface, fast implementation, and amazing customer support. Together, Sponsored Projects and Proposals are the ultimate collection of all the knowledge and records you need. Our Proposals app makes it easy to submit error-free proposals to federal agencies, so your team can focus on research rather than forms. Sponsored Projects gives you peace of mind that your proposals are compliant with internal policies, and Proposals gives you peace of mind that you’re compliant with external (in this case, federal) requirements. With both, you have a powerful and comprehensive solution to get your job done faster and rest assured your organization is in compliance. That way, the only headlines you’ll be making are for your team’s amazing research breakthroughs!