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  • 1.  Sponsored Projects: Process management

    Posted 18 days ago

    Hi Cayuse Community,


    Our institution is one of the first to implement Cayuse in Canada. We are running into some process related challenges and are hoping to hear how other institutions are managing. I have questions about SP4 and Human Ethics; I've shared the SP questions here and will start a new discussion thread on HE.

    For context, Queen's University is a research-intensive institutions (medical school, all levels of post-graduate training) in Canada, but we have a relatively smaller faculty cohort of about 850.  

    1. How/where does a PI share with you their Notice of Award or other documentation needed to trigger the creation of the Award form?

    2. How does your Proposal form identify the funding program the PI is applying to? Our research office needs to know this given that many of our funders have multiple funding programs with very different terms, funding models, application requirements (e.g. as with NIH, our national agencies also have many programs per agency)

    3. How does a PI notify you (Research office or Research Accounting) when they require a post-award amendment to the award? e.g. additional/supplemental funding awarded, adding team members, no cost extension...

    4. Do you require unit level approval prior to application submission to the funder? If so, how do ensure one-up approval of funding applications in Proposals when the applicant is also the highest level approver (e.g. if approvals go to the Dept Head and then the Associate Dean, but the Associate Dean is the applicant)

     

    I look forward to learning from you! 



    ------------------------------
    Karen Samis
    Director, Grants and Research Operations
    Queen's University,
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Sponsored Projects: Process management

    CAYUSE CHAMPION
    Posted 17 days ago
    I'm not sure how similar our Cayuse products are or how regs translate to Canada - so bear that in mind!

    1) At proposal stage, we indicate pretty much everywhere that the AOR's email is actually a shared inbox, and award notices are sent there by the sponsor.  Except when they're not.... right?  Then the PI usually brings it to us - or to someone who knows it should come to us- because he wants to start spending, like, yesterday.

    I also keep a pretty sharp eye on things that are in Proposal File Complete status - which is what we use for "waiting to hear from the sponsor."  When things have been there a while, we start trolling sponsor websites, portals, etc.... Eventually, we just ask the PI and then the sponsor - unless it's a sponsor we just know can take years to fund someone.  Hello, DOE, I'm talking to you.

    2) I don't know what a Proposal Form is - so we may have different Cayuse products.  We use SP and on the General Information page there are spots to put the Program Name, the Funding Opportunity Number, and a URL to the guidelines.

    3) That information often flows the other way - we tell them they need those things ;)  Our Research Development Officers often help a PI figure out if a supplement might be a good way to go.  We run reports that indicate when funding is ending, so that the RDOs know when to start pinging a PI that it's time to start preparing a new proposal so there won't be a gap in funding.  We also use Fund Manager to watch burn rate, and if someone isn't spending at the rate we would have predicted we work with them to figure out why.  And then a NCE is often part of the response.  As for adding a team member, that's often a graduate student.  They flow on and off projects like water, it seems.  And that process begins in the departments and only comes to us for financial approval - unless we need to talk to the sponsor first, then the Grants and Contracts Officers would handle that.

    4)  Yes we require unit-level approval at proposal stage.  The one-up thing can be tricky when it's a large institutional-level grant and the PI might be the VPR, for instance.  Then it goes to the Provost.  If the Chair is the PI, the Dean is already in that approval chain, so that's fine.  When it's the Dean, it would route to the Provost.

    Does that help?

    A

    ------------------------------
    Andrea Buford
    Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
    Oakland University
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Sponsored Projects: Process management

    Posted 14 days ago
    Thanks for all that detail, Andrea.

    1) We don't have full control over that in Canada. Some funders (mostly federal, provincial) send or copy the ORS (Office of Research Services) on the NOAs, but many only send them to the PI. Keeping a close eye is a great idea, but our volume is too high for that to work reliably.

    2) We are implementing SP4, which has Proposals (pre-award), Awards (funded) and eventually also Agreements (no funding) as build-in tools. Are you using SP Classic?

    3) Sounds like your office also has eyes on accounts. At Queen's, Research Accounting is a separate, but close colleague, department. Again, their volume is way too high for them to keep track of projects this way. We may consider Fund Manager in a future implementation, however. Amendments are also not always about $, and it'd be difficult for us to know about those until they tell us.

    4) Can you explain how your routing path is triggered? It sounds like you are doing what we need, but I'm not clear on how that would work since we would only want to send Proposals to a Dean for signature when the ADR was the applicant (or team member) and not every time. Our current approval process is 1) Dept Head and 2) Associate Dean of Research with that Faculty, 3) + Hospital Directors, if relevant. The current set-up in SP4 does not seem to allow us to indicate who the 2nd approval step would go to the when the ADR is named on the proposal.

    Yes - thanks!





    ------------------------------
    Karen Samis
    Director, Grants and Research Operations
    Queen's University,
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Sponsored Projects: Process management

    CAYUSE CHAMPION
    Posted 14 days ago
    Good morning, Karen -

    To your second question, this is the very first bit of information we ask for when starting a new proposal record in SP:


    We still see some confusion from our PIs about the difference between Sponsor (the entity that sends the money to us) and Prime Funding Agency (the entity from which the entity sending the money to us got it, if we're not getting it directly), but otherwise this works pretty well. In addition to linking to the sponsor's guidelines here, we also download or create a PDF of them and attach that PDF to the record, so we've always got a copy of the guidelines as they were at the time the proposal was submitted (since they do change over time).

    We found it helpful, when entering sponsors into our database, to include common acronyms. In the example I screencapped from a proposal I'm working on right now, I just had to type "NSF" into the search box to get the sponsor name to come up, rather than having to type out the whole thing (or enough of it to tell the search engine what I was talking about).

    ------------------------------
    Michael Spires
    Research Development Officer
    Oakland University
    Rochester, MI
    (he/him)
    mspires@oakland.edu
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Sponsored Projects: Process management

    Posted 14 days ago
    Thanks, Michael. Is the Sponsor Program Name field completed by the PI or populated from a pull-down list filtered to the programs listed in your system for NSF? We would love to have the latter, but the only option available to us in SP4 is to create a list of all programs and expect PIs to scroll through a non-filtered list or ask the PIs to enter the program name themselves.

    Thanks again,
    Karen

    ------------------------------
    Karen Samis
    Director, Grants and Research Operations
    Queen's University,
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Sponsored Projects: Process management

    CAYUSE CHAMPION
    Posted 14 days ago
    Here at OU, the research development officers (like me) or the grant and contract officers (who work for Andrea) are usually the ones who fill in most of the proposal form. We have a pre-defined list of sponsors, but we didn't bother trying to customize a list of programs - both because there are too many to make that a worthwhile effort, but also because the programs themselves change over time. New ones get added, old ones get discontinued, or else they morph into something else. We prefer to have the program name reflect whatever the title is on the guidelines (I usually just copy-and-paste it for that reason), though sometimes we do abbreviate when things are super-long.

    Doing it that way helps relieve burden on the faculty and (in theory, at least....don't ask me how it has worked out in application!) helps to standardize usage so that anyone with the proper access would be able to go into the system and work out how many R01s we did last year, or how many CAREER proposals the year before that.

    ------------------------------
    Michael Spires
    Research Development Officer
    Oakland University
    Rochester, MI
    (he/him)
    mspires@oakland.edu
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Sponsored Projects: Process management

    Posted 14 days ago
    I see. Thanks for explaining.

    ------------------------------
    Karen Samis
    Director, Grants and Research Operations
    Queen's University,
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Sponsored Projects: Process management

    CAYUSE CHAMPION
    Posted 14 days ago
    Hi Karen!
    1. Award notifications come from all manner of places. We've tried to streamline notifications into our shared AVPR email inbox, but sometimes that isn't possible given the submission method (i.e. the PI submits on their own). Mostly we try to communicate to the PI while we are in the development stage, prior to submission, that it's REALLY important that they share any (any) communication with the sponsor that they get to avoid delay or an award denial. The long game of education seems to have been mostly successful. There will always be outliers though.

    2. The way BSU uses Cayuse SP is a bit different than the software was designed. The SPA contact fills in about half of the Proposal Record information, including the sponsor and program information on that General Information page. If we know the information, we will enter it.

    3. PIs work with their Grant Manager (post-award administrator) when there is a need for an NCE or change to the award, a supplement or changes to the project team. Once that is changed/updated in Banner (our financial system), they would update Cayuse SP with the new information.

    4. Yes, we require a proposal to be fully routed and approved through the level of the AOR prior to submission. .....

    Of course, I say that and there are 'extenuating circumstances' on a fairly regular basis. Like "well this one is a contract that has been in negotiations so we couldn't route it until the sponsor agreed on the budget number" or "This is a student proposal and the student didn't know they needed to contact SPA before, but now it's awarded and the check is made out to BSU" or "ope, this VP has been working on a super sekrit proposal for months and it's due tomorrow but didn't know they needed SPAs help because there's 1:1 cost-share required." Those types of things happen and we do the best we can to get email approvals for documentation purposes, but those generally are all after-the-fact situations.

    4.1 - If the Dean or VP or AD is the applicant, I will manually add in other approving units as appropriate (i.e. a college budget director) so there is at least one other approval. *Technically* if the PI is also the approver for the department, a proxy should approve on behalf of the unit (imho) but that doesn't always happen.

    ------------------------------
    Augusta Isley
    Senior Proposal Manager
    Ball State University
    amwray@bsu.edu
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Sponsored Projects: Process management

    Posted 14 days ago

    Hello Augusta,

    Thanks for your replies.

    1) Am I understanding correctly that you ask PIs to email their NOA (when your office is not copied on it) to a general email inbox; i.e. they do not give you the NOA in the SP platform? How tricky is it to then determine which proposal file the award is for when a PI has many pending decision at the same time or NOAs coming in for subsequent years? 


    4) Can you explain what your current process is? SP4 does not allow us to indicate who the second approver would be when the applicant is already listed as that person. Our process is 1) Dept Head, 2) Associate Dean Research. We can't list Dean as the alternative 2) when the ADR is the applicant. Sounds like you have a way around that.

    Much appreciated.

    Karen



    ------------------------------
    Karen Samis
    Director, Grants and Research Operations
    Queen's University,
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Sponsored Projects: Process management

    CAYUSE CHAMPION
    Posted 14 days ago
    1) Yes, we ask that they email notifications to AVPR or their pre-award contact. Just getting it to someone in the office is really the first step. It's not terribly hard to ID which proposal it belongs to. I say that with the caveat that BSU submits like 400 proposals a year and we can usually remember who submitted what. Very few of our faculty submit more than 2 applications at any one time and certainly not with the same title (sometimes similar!). NOAs that come in for subsequent years of funding or a true supplement (new $$ we weren't expecting), those typically land with the post-award administrators' email not a centralized inbox.

    4) BSU are currently using SP3.9 which has the functionality to add units when there isn't a rollup - either because it's a top-level unit or the standard process is to NOT have a rollup for authorization. We can't add a unit a second time though - like the AD is the PI and pulls the Dean's Office (where the Dean and AD are both listed proxies for the unit), we can't then add the Dean's Office a second time to have a different person approve. SP4 sounds similar to SP3.9 that the approvers are by unit not by individual so they have to work it out. We would expect that the Dean and the AD arm wrestle (or whatever the academic equivalent is) over who is approving for the Unit.

    ------------------------------
    Augusta Isley
    Senior Proposal Manager
    Ball State University
    amwray@bsu.edu
    ------------------------------