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  • 1.  Best practices for Events?

    Posted 10-12-2021 07:45

    We have been trying to get more / better use out of the Events module in SP. Our post-award team is using it to some success with report reminders but mostly just grumble about it being annoying. An example of this is that the system email goes to the Grant Manager (GM) instead of the PI, and the GM is still having to send a further email to the PI as a reminder. I struggle with offering guidance because I just don't know how to use it very well.

    So I was wondering if there were any hot tips or best practices, maybe some innovative uses, others have found for Events. Screenshots welcome!

    Augusta Isley
    Senior Proposal Manager
    Ball State University

  • 2.  RE: Best practices for Events?

    Posted 10-13-2021 06:49
    Augusta, we push the current Events functionality to the max.  It is our one and only workflow tool for our PreAward office.  We create an event for every action/transaction that we complete in our office.  So for instance, if you work and submit a proposal then create an event.  If you review, negotiate, execute an award, then create a new unique award.  Additionally, when each award modification is received and processed, create an event!  We also create one last/new event when we are done and 'route' it to the post award person who then completes the distribution info in Award Admin.  We do more than just this but those are a few to mention.

    Mollie Robbins
    eRA Systems Manager & Training Coordinator
    Kansas State University

  • 3.  RE: Best practices for Events?

    Posted 10-13-2021 10:46
    Wow, Mollie, that's awesome.  I thought we were pushing events to the limit - but apparently not!!

    Our events work is more like Jennifer's.  We use it to tag out between award acceptance to award set-up and fund number creation.  The award-acceptance GCO also creates events for when reports are upcoming - about 30 days before the report is due, so that we can start....errr.... coordinating with the PI (doubtless perceived to be nagging.... but there it is).  We use it for notifying business managers in the departments about when the next increment is expected.  We track NCEs.  And it has been wildly helpful in managing grant transfers - which WILL be the death of me.  So many people are involved in those, and duties pop back and forth between post-award, the department, Accounting (for advance accounts, for example), and more.... We need a less cumbersome system, but until I have a minute to turn my mind to THAT, the Events function is keeping us focused and sure that a transfer hasn't fallen into a black hole of nothingness.​

    Andrea Buford
    Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
    Oakland University

  • 4.  RE: Best practices for Events?

    Posted 10-13-2021 06:59
    We use Events to manage our Post-Award in the central office (OSP) and to communicate with our accounting office (C&GA).  Our Grant and Contract Specialists handle all pre-award and post-award non-financial. The Specialist creates an event with information regarding the award, amendment, etc., and tags our post-award specialist who works out of her event inbox to create the award in Cayuse and make any other necessary changes to the record per the amendment (NCE, change of PI, etc.).  After she has made those changes in Cayuse, the event is tagged with someone in C&GA to set up the fund in Banner or make any other changes as needed.  The even has been a wonderful way for us to keep up with what is happening on the award such as the following:
    • status of review and any signatures needed
    • compliance requests and approvals
    • requests to PI/Dept re: budget issues, etc.
    We can communicate with the PI when they call to check on the status because on the event, we can see where it is in the process and who is working on it and any outstanding issues.  Below is a sample of the format we put in the description for our awards/amendments.  We also use events to issue subcontracts as well with another template of information for that particular event.


    For New Awards, Amendments and NCE

    Current Award/Amendment Amount: 

    Current Budget POP:

    Total Award Amount Expected:

    Anticipated Increments

    Project POP:


    I think the trick is to determine who needs to make sure they are in the habit of checking their event inbox on a daily basis.  Our post-award specialist works almost entirely out of her event inbox because those are her action items.  It really helps to have a snapshot of what happened throughout the process in case anyone has questions later on and we have found it particularly helpful when other Specialists need to take over certain projects or departments.  You have "cliff notes" to go by on what was done before.  It also comes in handy for training new people because they have a record to refer to when they have questions about certain sponsors or actions on the post-award side.

    Jennifer Mills
    Manager, Electronic Research Administration, Training & Reporting
    University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa

  • 5.  RE: Best practices for Events?

    Posted 10-15-2021 06:48
    Augusta, I agree. We also use the Events for reporting deadlines/reminders and a reminder going to the PI directly with be more efficient.

    We use events for the following:
    - Reporting requirements - create an event per report due and we upload the report and confirmation of submission date to the event.
    - Award Queries - we track queries that require time to research. We implemented this in an attempt to track the amount of interaction we have on a grant in addition to awards actions that result in a modification.
    - Proposal review/Award Negotiation - upload communication.
    - Workflow  - To our office coordinator, who sends out congratulatory letters to PI from our VPR.
    - Workflow  - Our Development office also tracks non-federal grants. We create an event and assign it to Development. This was the workaround we could find to share without having to pull reports and not giving them access to the full award record.

    In addition to a dedicated reporting tracking option in cayuse,  I wish that when reassigning events in bulk that it would be possible to reassign based on schools/departments and not only based on administrator name. We do not have a set portfolio for a staff position. We switch around based on workload, experience/interest, etc. If a person leaves it is common to split the workload during the transition period instead of reassigning the full portfolio to "one" person.

    Vibeke Svensson
    Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
    American University

  • 6.  RE: Best practices for Events?

    Posted 10-18-2021 09:14
    We use Events for tracking and reporting various items and workload here at UCD as well. In looking at the sp 4.0 upgrade the events functionality seems to be going away so you might want to consider that before expanding the use of events prior to upgrading. It looks like the tasks functionality is expanding a bit in 4.0.

    Maxx Gold
    Product Manager/Lead Business Systems Analyst
    University of California, Davis