8. If I am not directly involved in the project, is there anything I should be doing to prepare for the transition?
The Huron Research Suite is comprehensive software for managing the business of research. Modules offered include Grants, Agreements, Conflict of Interest, IRB, IACUC, Export Control and others. Baylor will implement Grants, Agreements and Conflict of Interest during phase 1. We will evaluate the appropriate timing and resources needed to add on other Compliance related modules at a later date.
The Pre-Award Process will change dramatically in terms of system usage and controls for compliance within that system, but URAs will remain the first point of contact for any proposal, and they will continue to help navigate faculty through the research lifecycle and its various policies from proposal development to submission to award management. Proposal development, routing and review processes will all happen within the same system. Just as it is now, a proposal is ready for Pre-Award review when the entire proposal is complete and approved.
The implementation phase of the project began in August, 2022. During Fall and Winter 2022 we will be configuring forms and processes, and use the spring 2023 semester for testing and training. Huron follows a standard methodology for implementation. A graphical view of those phases is available here. Huron's Grants and Agreements module has a proposed timeline for implementation at Baylor of 36 weeks, indicating a target of June, 2023 for piloting the system with select departments. Baylor also intends to implement Conflicts of Interest, so the overall timeline may be adjusted to incorporate all aspects of that additional module.
OVPR will conduct a brief pilot of the proposal process with a limited group that will be chosen based on its anticipated proposal activity immediately after go-live. The pilot group will be chosen during the Spring semester and will be announced to campus. Important to note: during the brief pilot, the system will be live for all active awards and for all OVPR-specific system functions across proposals, awards, and agreements.
OVPR will assess the pilot results throughout and determine further steps at that time.
The project team for Baylor will include roles for an Executive Sponsor, Project Manager, Business Analysts, IT Support and Core OVPR staff. The project is also governed by a Steering Committee with representatives from OVPR, Associate Deans for Research, Finance and IT. As Vice Provost for Research, Dr. Kevin Chambliss will serve as executive sponsor for the university. The Baylor team will have counterparts in the Huron project team, who will bring a Managing Director, Project Manager, and Technical consultants with extensive experience implementing eRA systems.
Yes! Faculty who have served as principal investigators in research have already been involved through surveys of desired functionality and invitations to view software demonstrations for the three finalists. For the actual implementation, we will eventually be testing and piloting the new system and will have need of individuals willing to take part in that process.
Familiarize yourself with policies and procedures regarding research and compliance at Baylor as these will be important factors in determining how the system will be configured.
During implementation, the primary impact will be on staff within OVPR, including Pre-Award, University Research Administrators, Post-Award, Research Compliance and Reporting. IT staff will also be involved to help integrate the system with Ignite. During testing and after go-live, any departmental faculty and staff involved with research development, proposal submission, or award and project management will likely have some interaction with the new system.
Definitely. Training materials will be developed once the system has passed the testing phase and no major changes are expected to the process. Training will start with central OVPR staff and extend to other areas of campus based on needed functionality. OVPR will offer ongoing system orientation and training for new users.
The Ignite project was transformational for university operations in Human Resources, Payroll and Finance. The Ignite PPM module (Project Portfolio Management) replaced one function in the TRAX system that previously housed financial data related to grants. It primarily serves our Post Award office with sponsored program award setup, project budget and expenditure tracking, and contract billing and invoicing. It is also utilized by the Controller's office for the setup of faculty start-up and discretionary project funds as well as capital projects. However, it was never intended to be a research admin system.
Ignite will continue to be the financial hub for grants projects. Once a proposal is awarded, the project record will remain in Ignite for tracking budgets and recording expenditures, and the contract record will remain in Ignite for billing sponsors. The Project Management Data Portal in Ignite will still be used to review budget to actual expenditures.