A cross-organizational partnership aimed at reducing the time faculty and staff spend on research-related administrative procedures has made progress in its efforts.
Since it was announced in November 2021, the partnership, which joins the efforts of the offices of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer and Provost, has launched new tools, trainings and improvements to communication, processes and procedures.
Recently implemented initiatives:
- Lifecycle of an account training: The treasurer’s area created and delivered training in a 10-part “lifecycle of an account” training series to more than 2,100 attendees. Ongoing training efforts are supported by recent investments in training and communication infrastructures.
- New budget proposal tool and AIMS enhancements: Sponsored Program Services has released an Excel-based sponsored program budgeting tool and enhancements to AIMS. The budget tool reduces the number of iterations needed to develop a proposal budget. AIMS delivers improved functionality as well as accuracy and consistency for nongrant accounts.
- Central travel team creation: Changes to basic travel processes have eliminated procedures such as cost comparisons and shifted administrative work to a central travel team that completes travel reimbursements. This has improved the timeliness of reimbursements and enabled reallocation of staff time to more relevant, value-added services in support of faculty.
- PARI LLC: The Purdue Applied Research Institute (PARI) has been added as a functioning LLC to advance the University’s competitive advantage in applied research.
In addition, two new high-priority, enterprise-wide improvement initiatives have been launched:
- Integrated research administration study: An outside firm will review key components of the research administration governance, roles and responsibilities, processes, workflows, communications, training and staffing. Results from this holistic study of the University’s research ecosystem and other efficiency improvements will be shared in future communications.
- Selection of a new Electronic Research Administration (eRA) system: Goals for the new system include modernizing the research administration functionality, eliminating administrative inefficiencies and integrating all eRA systems into a single solution while building on existing SAP and SuccessFactors interfaces. An RFP process was initiated in February. Vendor proposals and demonstrations will be evaluated by a comprehensive team of faculty and staff during the summer and fall, and a final recommendation is expected in late fall.
Focus groups, feedback sessions and interviews will be scheduled for researchers and faculty to provide input into the integrated research administration study.
Questions regarding these updates can be directed to Ken Sandel, senior director of sponsored program services, at [email protected], or Theresa Mayer, executive vice president for research and partnerships, at [email protected].