Reaping the Benefits of Electronic Proposal Routing—
Even at a Smaller School
University of San Diego
Before September 2013, the researchers, investigators and administrators at University of San Diego (USD) were overburdened and often hindered by the University’s lack of a software solution for grant proposals. All proposals and approvals were routed via paper—meaning their staff were constantly running from office to office with large proposal packets. Their organization system involved color-coded pages for signatures, Adobe forms, and Excel for budgeting. Additionally, without an electronic system, administrators found it difficult to navigate sites like Grants.gov, the site for funding and applying for federal grants.
What USD needed to maximize their research potential was a software solution that eased the process of routing approvals and navigating submissions. Administrators were looking for a solution—fast—and they found it in Cayuse 424, an electronic proposal development and submission solution, along with Cayuse SP, a sponsored project life cycle management solution. Cayuse was ready to help them implement Cayuse 424 and Cayuse SP quickly with comprehensive support before, during and after the implementation.
The effect of switching to an electronic system for proposals was felt immediately all across the small university, but especially in the School of Nursing and the College of Arts and Sciences where the solution was most used. Though faculty, investigators, deans, and the provost all needed to be trained on the new system, they all found it intuitive and easy to learn. In fact, many of the people who started using the solution were largely self-taught.
“I really appreciate being able to obtain all of the necessary approvals electronically.”
Susan Lord, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor of Electrical Engineering
Once the cloud-based software was implemented, everyone began to save immeasurable amounts of time. “The Cayuse Research Suite has simplified the process of having a proposal routed through the University and approved by administrators,” says Tim Clark, Ph.D, Associate Professor Chemistry and Biochemistry. With everything in a centralized system, staff members are finally all on the same page. They can see where proposals stand in the process and review budgets in one location.
“I really appreciate being able to obtain all of the necessary approvals electronically,” notes Susan Lord, Ph.D., Chair and Professor Electrical Engineering. “Given how busy administrators’ schedules are, it is very helpful that they can do an approval even if they are traveling.”
“Before the Cayuse Research Suite, we had to dash from office to office getting approvals and signatures. Now the process is much more streamlined and efficient,” adds Jesi Betancourt, Assistant Director of USD Legal Clinics. “I really like the ability to upload documents to Cayuse SP and Cayuse 424 and easily share information with other departments, so we are all on the same page at the same time. The Cayuse Research Suite has made managing my grants much easier and faster.”
One of the biggest questions administrators asked themselves when considering a switch to an electronic solution was whether the size of their University justified the cost of the solution. In 2013, the school had 67 submissions. In just the first year alone, the school will have 115 submissions. USD staff now has no doubt that Cayuse 424 and Cayuse SP were justified expenses even with the size of their campus, and they’re already seeing tremendous results.
“The Cayuse Research Suite has made managing my grants much easier and faster.”
Assistant Director, USD Legal Clinics