CU Denver | CU Anschutz Office of Grants, Contracts logs milestone

Grant proposal submissions top $1 billion for second straight year

The Office of Grants and Contracts at CU Denver l CU Anschutz Medical Campus recorded several major accomplishments in 2016.

In March, it was announced that CU Denver | CU Anschutz Office of Grants and Contracts (OGC) grant proposals had passed the $1 billion dollar mark following their transition into the InfoEd Global (InfoEd) suite of Electronic Research and Administration (eRA) tools. The OGC team did not stop there, but continued to break submission records.

OGC submits to several grant funding sponsors, including Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Justice (DOJ) and others. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a primary funding sponsor for CU. February, June and October are critical submission deadline cycles for various mechanisms such as large research and career development grants. These deadlines traditionally bring late nights and weeks of stress worrying about meeting submission deadlines.

In April, UIS, OGC, InfoEd and the campus eRA teams partnered to upgrade the eRA system to version 13.808.01E. This upgrade brought a number of fixes and enhancements to the system, but also many changes to business processes both at OGC and for the vendor.

Zachary Keys, UIS’s Director, eRA, said that with the efficiencies the upgrade introduced, grant administrators are now able to spend more time getting work done and less time working in the system. Grant Administrators were able to submit more proposals than ever before and surpassed the $1 billion record one month earlier than the mark was reached in 2015 to $1.194 billion.

In October, OGC submissions had increased by 28 percent over the previous year and 37 percent for the month of October. Even the numbers from the June to October deadline increased significantly, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1. OGC proposal submission numbers from June to October.

Table 1
* Includes October submissions via eRA only and includes all submissions to federal sponsors, not just NIH. Total submissions were $289,157,555.

Mary Powell and Dung Pham, IT Senior Professionals in the OGC, implemented several business process changes to align with the enhancements. They further aided in efficiencies across the campuses by providing training to their teams and department personnel, helping to ensure timely submission of grant proposals.

“The proposal submission process is streamlined since the eRA system was implemented,” Pham said. “The Pre-award team has done well with streamlining their processes to align with the upgrades so there are rarely delays in reviewing a proposal and returning it to the department and Principal Investigator (PI). Grant administrators have also done a good job of getting their applications routed on time and incorporating OGC’s edits to get a strong application to the sponsor.”

The vendor also continues to provide 24-hour, system-to-system support, which wasn’t even needed during this critical deadline given how well the system is now working. UIS and the eRA teams are constantly enhancing the tools and processes for greater efficiencies, including the development of additional ways to route proposals to save time for OGC for maximum efficiencies specific to the type of proposal.

These updates allowed researchers and administrators to work on the research and proposal refinement, rather than focusing on the proposal technology.

Learn more about research administration at CU Anschutz | CU Denver.

Anschutz Medical Campus eRA website

Anschutz Campus Research Home Page

CU Denver Research Home Page