Just as the tools for conducting research are becoming increasingly electronic and automated, so too have the tools for administering research. This summer, UGA faculty began using two new electronic research administration systems: one to submit and manage human subjects protocols and the other to submit grant proposals.
The two research information systems, developed by the Office of the Vice President for Research, eliminate paper applications as well as simplify and streamline administrative processes associated with grant proposals and human subjects protocols. They join an existing information system, Artemis, which handles submission of animal use protocols. Biosafety and technology commercialization information systems will be developed next.
“These research information systems are a major step forward for UGA research,” said David Lee, vice president for research. “Our goal is to serve the university community better by making research administration less burdensome for faculty. While we still have a long way to go before these systems are fully realized, we are excited about their potential.”
The eResearch Portal for Institutional Research Board went live May 30. Faculty access the new IRB system through the portal to submit new human subjects protocols, amendments and continuing reviews. The eResearch Grants and Awards Portal went live June 11. Faculty access the new grants system through the portal to submit proposals of all types to the Office for Sponsored Programs.
Both systems enable researchers to prepare, certify and submit proposals from any place. The new information systems eliminate redundant and inaccurate data entry by auto-filling proposals and protocol forms with data. Both research portals are accessed with the researcher’s UGA MyID and password.
Robert Scott, associate vice president for research, oversees OVPR’s Georgia electronic administration of Research, or GeaR, initiative <http://gear.ovpr.uga.edu>, which focuses on the use of information systems to support the business of research at UGA.
“While the different systems are now accessed through separate portals,” Scott said, “OVPR’s vision is for all research administration systems to be automated and fully integrated with one another so that researchers can access all of their proposals, awards and protocols through a single portal.”
The launch of the new systems followed six years of planning and preparation by OVPR departments, including the Office of Research Information Systems, the Office for Sponsored Programs, the Human Subjects Office and others.
Gary Rachel, a senior grants officer and assistant director for research analytics in the Office for Sponsored Programs, led implementation of the grants system.
“Although the initial launch went very smoothly, we are listening to individual users and departments, and refining the system based on user feedback,” he said.
OSP soon will be restarting its faculty user group, according to Rachel.
The IRB system also launched smoothly, according to Benilda Pooser, director of the Office of Human Subjects.
“Hundreds of human subjects protocols have been submitted without incident since going live,” she said.