In the current challenging research environment, a team of Academic Enterprise and Finance Accounting and Reporting staff is finding a way to maximize awarded grant funds and increase resource efficiency. As part of a Fiscal Year 2015 goal to revamp grants management and principal investigator (PI) reporting, leaders Paul Bristol (Assistant Vice President, Academic Development & Planning, Academic Enterprise), Glenita Segura (Director of Grants & Contracts Accounting) and Sonia Gonzalez (Assistant Administrator) and colleagues created a new system in POWER and myPOWER that allows PIs and grant administrators to use one application for managing grants.
“This is a great opportunity to put the information at the fingertips of the PIs, administrators and grants management staff,” says Glenita Segura.
Through eliminating non-valued tasks while providing better stewardship of grants funds, this streamlined process could potentially reduce the amount of unused or forfeited funds for sponsored programs, which could extend into the millions of dollars.
In the past, grants administrators relied on four or five different systems to gather the data needed to provide one cohesive grants administration report. PIs did not have any way to report on their own grants; they relied solely on their grant administrators to create and print reports for them.
With the new system, PIs can view and print their own reports from within myPOWER and grants administrators can view and print a variety of reports within POWER that allow them to view awards and projects at both a high level and a detailed level.
The new system in POWER, which launches soon, is part of the team’s overall goal to present clear “best practices” for grants management, which include frequent faculty and staff meetings, identifying staff roles and assignments and providing tool kits to manage projects of all calibers.
A talented group of programmers and trainers has made this effort possible. Required training for administrators and PIs has been going on since October and will continue through December and beyond. Stay tuned for a projections model planned for phase two of the project!