Increasing Confidence and Consistency with Cayuse 424
University of California, Irvine
For the departmental administrators and Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) staff at the University of California, Irvine, the manual submission of proposals via Adobe SF424 forms and Grants.gov was a slow, cumbersome, and error prone process. This led to an increased rate of proposals being rejected by funding agencies due to form and formatting errors, as well as errors in pieces of the proposals that were not typically reviewed by SPA staff. Additionally, UCI research struggled with inexperienced and untrained staff supporting faculty due to research administration training program cuts.
With a growing research program and the goal of reaching $500 million in annual research funding, the SPA office at UCI had to find a way to keep the flow of work going for faculty while the campus was growing. To do this, UCI needed a solution that was intuitive and easy-to-use for novice administrators and faculty, could be integrated with its existing open source sponsored projects tool, and could also scale with the growth of its research program.
The SPA staff at UCI began the process of evaluating their options for solving their proposal submission challenges. The process involved a group of SPA staff members and departmental administrators going through the process of submitting a proposal using their existing open source system, a traditional Adobe SF424 package through Grants.gov, and the Cayuse 424 system-to-system submission solution. After going through the process with each option, the group unanimously agreed that Cayuse 424 was the preferred solution for submitting proposals.
After documenting the findings of the evaluation group and sharing the findings with the SPA offices’ implementation steering committee, in December 2013 the decision was made to use Cayuse 424 for UCI’s system-to-system submission needs.
Following the implementation of Cayuse 424, UCI quickly recognized the significant benefits that were brought forth by the solution. Two of the biggest benefits experienced by the SPA staff and departmental administrators are the reduction in duplicate data entry and reduction in proposal rejections due to errors. Cayuse 424’s ability to auto-fill data when preparing proposals and the over 1500 real-time error validations have helped UCI ensure that proposals will be accepted by funding agencies on the first submission.
Additionally, Cayuse 424 API Connect allows UCI to feed information back into its existing open source electronic research administration system. This has resulted in significant time savings for departmental administrators, greater accuracy when entering data, and an increase in the number of proposals that can be submitted over a given period.
Lastly, Cayuse 424’s intuitive, easy-to-use interface has made for an easier learning curve for new administrators and faculty, saving valuable time on training. Faculty and staff continue to fall in love with Cayuse 424 after using it, and adopt the solution as their preferred submission method. In 2016 UCI reached $395 million in research funding with the help of Cayuse 424, and the university is well on its way to meeting the Vice Chancellor of Research’s goal of half a billion dollars in funding while advancing research and society.