CU electronic research administration portal upgrade improves user experience

In November 2019, 21 teams representing University Information Services (UIS), CU Boulder and CU Denver|Anschutz Medical Campus collaborated to successfully upgrade the university’s InfoEd application to a more current version, adding functionality and providing bug fixes.

InfoEd is an electronic research administration (eRA) portal, used by the eRA teams at CU Boulder and CU Denver|Anschutz Medical Campus to automate processes the university uses to apply for research grants and funding.

Campuses use InfoEd to manage the research lifecycle, from start to finish: It manages pre- and post-award administrative and regulatory aspects of grants, contracts, protocols and conflicts of interest, and it serves as the official repository for sponsored project proposals and awards.

While the project updated the InfoEd application to the latest release and codebase, it was a prerequisite for other large efforts, including Document Management and CU Boulder’s Conflict of Interest (COI) implementation. This upgrade also provided users with a number of benefits and enhanced features.

Benefits included:

  • A modernized interface with a new color scheme and a simpler look and feel
  • More options for rich text editing and progressive text search
  • Improved electronic forms options
  • New ENABLE portal features to improve the user experience and create new possibilities for interacting with the system
  • Kendo grid formatting added filtering and sorting options
  • Several bug fixes not available outside of the new code version

The project team had a different approach from past upgrades.

“We used a new structure that allowed more collaboration between campuses, UIS and InfoEd. We had increased participation from the steering committee, which gave us new insights,” said Cheri VonFeldt, assistant director of eRA for CU Denver|Anschutz Medical Campus. “All around, the upgrade was an improvement to past upgrades. We are always striving for improvement.”

Jennifer Silverthorne, assistant director of eRA for UIS, echoed these sentiments, attributing the success of this 9-month project to “a coordinated effort of the campus teams, UIS and the vendor.”

The campuses and UIS are now taking the project’s lessons learned and looking forward to the next upgrade to continue providing a stable, secure environment while continually improving their processes and the user experience.

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