Sage Bonomo, email@example.com, Grant Coordinator, Office of Grants and Contracts
The University heavily relies on third party grant funding to operate. Many of those funding opportunities limit the number of applications they will accept to one per institution. It is up to us to ensure that only one application is outgoing from our institution. Therefore, internal competitions are held to determine which proposals have the best chance of being funded. Prior to implementation of our project, internal applications were submitted via email. This process was difficult to track and manage, often PIs submitted incomplete applications or even submitted for opportunities which had expired. To resolve this issue, we have streamlined the application process utilizing REDCap to require all necessary materials for the application, as well as display which opportunities are available and track previous submissions. This process also improves the ease with which we can distribute our funding opportunities, vastly increasing our overall reach across campus.
Our office posts and manages over 200 limited submission opportunities per year. Some of those opportunities are easy to manage and have 0-1 interested PIs. However, some of the more competitive opportunities can have 5-8 interested researchers and managing that number of applications prior to the REDCap implementation was burdensome simply because of the time required to chase PIs down for missing information, whereas now it is possible to simply require fields in order to submit the application. REDCap also stores the submissions in one location, making it easy to download data for record keeping and compliance.
Due to staff turnover and the ever-growing nature CU’s research enterprise, a better and more sustainable solution was needed to manage the limited submission application process internally. The selection process requires coordination across multiple offices and campuses and must be done in both an efficient and fair manner to ensure that the best possible submission is selected and documentation is readily available if multiple parties express interest in the same funding opportunity. Keeping the process running efficiently and fairly had become a challenge under the old system, so a more streamlined solution was sought and implemented by our team.
Our plans for the future are to continue to encourage more applications to our portal through searching for opportunities which appeal to a broader range of disciplines and through promoting our opportunities through all of the various channels available to us. We aim to serve the entire campus and are now set up to handle every application which comes in efficiently.
What Makes You Happiest about this Project?
It has been a journey to determine what exactly works best and how to make REDCap serve our needs and the needs of our PIs most effectively. However, it is immensely pleasing to see the process now work seamlessly and have application after application come in, be approved and be funded without issue. Those involved have expressed their appreciation for the new process and how it has greatly streamlined the process of internal grant submissions and allowed for tracking of applicants and recipients, something that was both more challenging and labor intensive before.