National Council of University Research Administrators

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© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008




National Council of University
Research Administrators


Financial Research Administration IX:

Financial Research Administration in a Climate of Change

Ellen Feldman

Senior Specialist
-

Project Cafe: Financial Management Systems
Replacement

Northwestern University


Scott McNeal

Director, Enterprise Research Applications

Partners Healthcare System


February 2008

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Agenda


Introductions


Opportunities for automation of research enterprise


Northwestern and Partners Healthcare Experiences


Implementations/eRA capabilities


Perceived vs. Actual Benefits


Challenges and Lessons Learned

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

What is Northwestern’s

Research System Philosophy?


Create integrated eRA (electronic research
administration) environment that encompasses:


“Best of breed” software solutions


Integration through interfaces


Related Research systems


University Core systems


Portal

single point of access by role


Single sign
-
on via internet and vpn


© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Northwestern

Research System Initiatives



XX


XXX


XX

Software Solution

Process

Implementation

InfoEd Proposal Tracking

Proposal Tracking

July, 2007

InfoEd Proposal
Development

Proposal Development

Calendar 2009

PeopleSoft Grants

Post Award Management

September, 2008

Cognos
-
( for InfoEd data)

Cognos
-

( for PeopleSoft
data)

Reporting (Proposals and Awards)

July, 2007

September, 2008

Maximus

Effort

September, 2005

eIRB

Human Subject Protocol Submission &
Review

May, 2006

Granite/Topaz

Animal Subject Protocol Submission &
Review

May, 2006

Granite


Animal Facility Management

October, 2006

ISIS

Research Safety (web
-
based)

February, 2007

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Northwestern

Benefits



Enables integrated solution for research data


Facilitates Compliance


Provides easy access to real
-
time data on demand


Improves accuracy & efficiency



© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

What are Northwestern’s Challenges



Change Management


Process


Project Scope


Surprise !




© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Northwestern’s Challenges

Change Management



Manage Expectations


Communicate (positively!) what is changing


Communicate what will remain the same


Change the “status quo”


Incorporate process improvements in system replacements


Examine and refine internal policies


Communicate and translate impact of change


Provide tools to examine impact on staffing


Conduct Transition Workshops prior to training





© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Northwestern’s Challenges

Process


Multiple Project Owners for various systems


Office for Research


Project Café


Controller’s Office


Optimal Business Owner Involvement


Internal personnel should be deeply involved in the project


Identify and engage senior staff


Encourage the use of
backfill

to dedicate internal personnel



© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Northwestern’s Challenges

Project Scope


Software


Juggle multiple vendors at different points in life cycle


Minimize modifications to purchased software


Historical Data Conversion


Identify and manage the monumental data clean
-
up!


Coordinate efforts of business offices and project team


Interface coordination and development


Time (and money!)



© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008



“Best of Breed” breeds..

A Northwestern Challenge
-

Interface Map

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Northwestern: Lessons Learned



Change Management: Address the fear of change through
Implementation Readiness =

Communication + Training + Transition Workshops


Transition Workshops for PeopleSoft: Role
-
based


Chart of Accounts


Purchasing & Procurement


Budget and Spending Mechanics


What’s New with General Ledger


Grants Overview







© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Northwestern: Lessons Learned


Process: Balance of Resources


Internal vs. external (consultants)


Project vs. process owner


Scope: Management of Project Scope


Time vs. Scope vs. Money


Recognition as university priority




© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Pre and Post Award

System Project Highlights


Financial Management Replacement (Project Café)


PeopleSoft Financials


Replacing university’s financial system (CUFS)


Scope: Procurement, Chart of Accounts, Grants


InfoEd


Proposal Tracking
-

Replaced legacy tracking system


Proposal Development
-
create, route, electronic submission


Cognos
-

Budgeting and Reporting


FAMIS
-

Facilities Management Information System


© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Northwestern
-

Lessons Learned
Project Organization


Insert my wheel slide


© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Northwestern
-

Lessons Learned

Feature: Reporting


Objective: Facilitate data delivery to distributed
end users


Perceived Benefit:


Provide real
-
time data access


Eliminate shadow systems


Meet approved end user requirements


Utilize one reporting tool to deliver data from multiple sources










© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Northwestern: Lessons Learned

Feature: Reporting


Result: Cognos reports on InfoEd and PeopleSoft
data


Actual (and anticipated!) Benefits:


Provide data access to proposal and award data not previously
accessible by schools/units/faculty


Eliminate shadow systems


Engage end users in design and mock
-
up of reports


Utilize one reporting tool to deliver data from multiple sources










© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Cognos Reporting

Key InfoEd Proposal Tracking
Reports


Award & Proposal Summary: Management Area or
Sponsor Type


Faculty Proposal and Award Activity


Monthly Award and Proposal Detail: School/PI/Dept.


Negotiation: Status or Notes


Cost Sharing: Proposed and Funded


“Other Support Form/Current and Pending” Data


Proposal Success: Hit Rate, Funded %









© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Northwestern
-

Lessons Learned

Feature: Reporting


Challenges


Provide the tools to use the system


Offer training


Deliver supporting documents (on
-
line)


Enable end users to utilize the information


Vision: How to incorporate the data into business management


Provide guidance and resources after initial training


“Match” end users together to share experiences










© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

What is Partners?


Boston
-
based integrated healthcare delivery system


academic medical centers, primary care and specialty
physicians, community and specialty hospitals, health centers
and home care.



Founding members include Massachusetts General Hospital and
Brigham and Women’s Hospital


Affiliate of Harvard Medical School


Over $4B in annual operating revenue


One of the largest biomedical research centers in the US


20%
of revenue


Strong commitment to eRA initiatives to innovate, automate and
modernize the processes around research administration





© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Research at Partners Hospitals


Research portfolio at approximately $1B annually


Annual growth outpacing the clinical practice


Over 12,000 research funds under management


3500 investigators


23 research space locations across Boston


5600 grant applications/3000 IRB applications processed in last
12 months


Over 1800 sponsors


60% NIH





© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Research at Partners Hospitals



Complex organization


Partners


executive leadership


Hospital
-
based operations (grants/contract, finance, IACUC,
space management, etc.) and executive leadership


Clinical research programs


Hospital
-
based departmental leadership and research focus


Distributed research operations across Boston







© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

History


Fragmented focus on the processes of research


Different solutions implemented to satisfy specific operations only


IACUC, IRB, Grants and Contracts, etc.


Various tools and technologies used


Access, Excel, Email, etc.


Heavy investment in manual process


More IT focus on clinical operations and enterprise solutions


PeopleSoft, electronic medical records, etc.


Lack of Mac support across the system


Little understanding of IT needs and investment

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Research Enterprise Applications Group


Formed four (4) years ago to support all of research administration
functions


Integrated resources housed in various business offices


Moved out of research operations and into a new division Partners
Information Systems focused on supporting all of research


Admin systems, Computational Clusters, Network service levels for
research facilities, Clinical Research Initiatives, and Genetics/Genomics


Organization of a technical systems architecture for connection
and integration of applications


Commitment from research leadership and business offices


Execution of electronic research administration (eRA) strategy



© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Research Administration and IT


Strong commitment at Partners Research Admin to invest in technology


Environment of competing resources


Invest in systems or more bodies to do the work


Time dedicated to making the right decisions


Technology as the enabler not the solution


The system will not solve all problems


Bridging the language gap between offices


Wire frames, data schemas, xml, etc.


COIs, RO1s, Expedited, PA, etc.


Team cultures


Buried in paper vs. the great clean desk

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Partners eRA Initiatives


Insight 2.1 Integrated eRA Portal


eIRB w/ electronic submission and routing


eGrant submission via InfoEd


Personnel salary planning and effort management


Enterprise financial and operational reporting


Conflict of Interest Reporting


Electronic Grants Management System


InfoEd Grants Management


Online Grants submission with work flow


Distributed system access across the community


Billing and Accounts Receivable Automation


PS Grants 8.9 Implementation



Tight integration with Grants management system


Enterprise Online Training


Adobe Connect


New Research Content Management System/Portal


Interwoven


Intellectual Property Management


Knowligent


Enterprise Research Space Management System



Core Facilities Management Application

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

2007 Achievements


Go Live of eIRB to automate over 6,000 transactions
submitted to the Office of Human Subjects protection
annually


Implementation of InfoEd’s Proposal Tracking Module to
support the transition of all PHS Grants and Contracts offices
and Clinical Research Office off of legacy system


Deployment of PS 8.9 Grants, Contracts, Projects, Billing and
AR Modules


Complete rewrite of Insight platform


Partners Research Portal

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

2007 Accomplishments


Delivery of new TIMI and Device Tracking databases from Clinical
Research Office and migration off of legacy system


Rollout of Budget Builder module to support clinical research trials


Integration with charge masters from MGH and BWH


Delivery of new Reporting module


Migration of reports out of ReX for broader community distribution


Implementation of new Conflict of Interest Module


First solution to support users outside of the research community


Online learning infrastructure using Adobe’s GetConnect


Construction of over 60 online training modules


New research intranet content management system



© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

2007 Accomplishments


Deployment of 7 new modules on top of the Insight 2.0 platform:


Agreements


Purchasing


Personnel


eIRB


Conflict of Interest


Reporting


Administration


Continued to support of ReX and Insight during the transition



© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008





© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008





Insight Infrastructure:


Integration point of all research related data across systems


G/C, IRB, IACUC, Clinical Research, Patents, Inventions, Financials,
etc.


Security Infrastructure to segment utilization


PHS, Hospital, Department, Lab, PI, Project


Web
-
based


platform independent


Scalable for future use and integration


InfoEd PD/PT

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Integrated Grants Activities:


Online Grant Submission for all proposals


Distributed pre
-
post award tracking


Aggregated financial reporting by program
project, investigator, research program


Subcontract status


Salary expenses by week for the life of the
project


Effort commitments to sponsors


InfoEd PD/PT

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Integrated Human Studies Activities:


Automated eIRB using ‘smart forms’


Forms management tools available to
administrators with the human research office


Research document storage


Validation of proposals before submission


Real
-
time tracking of status and reporting


eSignatures


InfoEd PD/PT

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Integrated Animal Studies Activities:


Automated IACUC using ‘smart forms’


Forms management tools available to
administrators with the human research office


Protocol associated document storage


Validation of proposals before submission


Real
-
time tracking of status and reporting


eSignatures


InfoEd PD/PT

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Integrated Clinical Research Activities:


Budget Development tool for trial budgets
based on hospital costs plus other
administrative and salary costs


Tracking of expenses to project charges and
future reconciliation


Integration with electronic data capture upon
enrollment


Connection to IRB renewal with number of
subjects enrolled


InfoEd PD/PT

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Integrated Procurement Activities:


Track expenditures by lab and project


Report on expenditures with different
vendors


Enter transactions for reconciliation
against hospital systems


InfoEd PD/PT

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Integrated Personnel Activities:


Salary and budget plans by person across
research projects crossing fiscal years


Integrated into financial reports


Tracking of effort vs. salary commitments


Viewing salaries on projects ending


Reviewing actual salary pay history with
charges across grants


InfoEd PD/PT

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Integrated Reporting Activities:


Tracking of key data points across the
enterprise


Expenditures


Success rates


Space and density


Timelines for processes

InfoEd PD/PT

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Assessment


Evaluate the current states of your organization


Identify primary areas of focus


Business flows and intersections


Evaluate hospital/university and departmental shadow
systems


Secure capital seed funding to develop further concepts
and justify returns on investment


Build vs. buy





© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Assessment


Locate common data sources


Investigators, sponsors, security guidelines, etc


Coordinate activities to obtain necessary data feeds


Plan, plan and plan






© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Making it Work

.


Form strong partnerships


IT and Research Leadership


Project teams and research operations


Break down the barriers


Need for sharing of information and data across the research processes


Inclusion of all offices, hospital departments and investigators


Strong leadership to ensure commitment


Develop an overall vision and strategy for execution


eRA committee, shared collective responsibilities


External factors already forcing change


Grants.gov, increased oversight,
regulations, etc.


Understand the budget process


Money and investment required

© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Lessons Learned


Strong central leadership required to keep everyone on the
same page


Significant investment necessary to develop or implement all
services


There will be periods where the skeptics are the loudest voices


People say they need the information until they have it


Obtaining necessary data is not straightforward


Data merging and cleanup can be a painful process


Establish key goals and meet them as best you can





© National Council of University Research
Administrators FRA IX Conference 2008

Lessons Learned


If you are working with vendors, structure contracts so that
payments are contingent upon successful milestones


Hire the right talent


analysts, project managers, engineers
and data administrators


Establish clear technical and operational standards and stick
to them


Include everyone in the process at various points


The benefits of a modern and efficient research administration
process is important for us all…