Using an Agile software development approach, we set project priorities after gathering input from our user base, the larger University research community, and the ResearchUVA project team.
Work completed in FY17
- Strengthened system security: a critical part of building ResearchUVA is making sure we have a security model that allows for more robust collaboration, delegation, access to information in the system, and integration with other systems.
- Developed electronic forms and workflow to reduce administrative burden and increase transparency: specifically, we've developed the electronic Proposal Routing Form (ePRF) and the Non-funded Agreement (NFA) form, along with the associated electronic workflow and notifications for both these processes. This functionality has allowed the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) to sunset the legacy Grants Administration System (GAS) and the Document Control Log (DCL) and provide fuller transparency and timely, targeted notifications for the University’s research community.
- Stopped sending paper files all over Grounds: we've now fully implemented electronic award notice distribution, eliminating the need for us to have multiple hard copy versions of the final documents printed and delivered across the University. This has resulted in significant savings in printing and resource costs for OSP and completed our transition to a paper-free office. Since 2015, OSP has reduced its printing costs by 172%, with a 65% decrease in costs in FY2016, when we started to distribute our documents electronically. This year, we are close to zero for printing and copying expenses. At the same time, we’ve implemented several tools and electronic processes to allow OSP’s front desk to process and assign incoming documents and activities from across Grounds.
- Made it possible to search all documents housed in the system: we added enhanced document search capability along with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) of all documents contained in Research UVA, with the goal of making it easier for users to find the information they are looking for very quickly (NOTE: this functionality is currently only available to users with certain roles and permissions). We've also started working on other search functionality to make searching even better for our users. We'll keep you posted.
- Piloted Juice, the Sponsored Programs Dashboard*, a data analytics and visualization platform to create insights and facilitate data-driven decision making at UVA.
- Implemented an automated testing infrastructure which will aid in the long-term growth and reliability of the system.
- Cleaned up a lot of data: the success of our decision making is contingent on the quality of the data in the system. Every user has a role to play in ensuring ResearchUVA data meets our decision-making needs.
*We created the dashboard in collaboration with a company called Juice Analytics and sometimes you’ll hear people use "Juice" and "Sponsored Programs Dashboard" interchangeably. It’s the same thing.