Electronic Research Administration @ LSU
“Electronic Research Administration (eRA) provides critical IT systems support to manage the receipt, processing, review, award, and monitoring of research and non-research grants at an institution or agency.”
-- National Institutes of Health (era.nih.gov)
SPS - our first eRA
Since 2003, LSU has used its own custom-built system, Sponsored Program System (SPS) for managing the submission, routing and internal approvals for extramural grant proposals. And since 2015, the Office of Research & Economic Development has used InfoReady Review for its internal grant programs, waiver requests and faculty awards.
With the change of our financial and HR services from the mainframe to Workday, it has become clear that LSU needed to migrate its pre-award processes to a modern system. An ad hoc committee representing relevant constituency groups at LSU, the Ag Center and Pennington Biomedical Research Center was formed to identify and procure a new system.
A New eRA
After a year-long procurement process, the committee decided on InfoEd Global to be the provider of the new eRA system. In addition to the existing Pre-Award functionality from SPS, the system will also include modules for post-award reporting, conflicts of interest disclosures, and human subjects and animal subjects reviews.
Each of the four modules in LSU's eRA installation will go through a five-step implementation process. All of the modules will begin with a business process mapping for the activities covered in the module. At the same time, historical data will be captured and migrated into the appropriate modules so that our reporting functions will track longitudinally.
Once the process is fully documented, InfoEd will provide an on-site demo and testing of their initial prototype. Feedback from the demo and testing will guide further revisions and iterations until the project team feels the module is ready. A final user acceptance training and demo will be provided to assure satisfaction among end users on campus.
At both the prototype demo and user acceptance demos, we will engage with selected college grants administrators, internal staff and faculty volunteers to make sure we get and include their feedback.
Over the course of the 2018-2019 academic year, the software will be installed, configured, and implemented with various modules that support faculty, staff and administrators in pre-award preparation, post-award reporting, and conflict of interest disclosures. In 2019-2020, we will be deploying modules that support IRB and IACUC administration.