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UMB Research Systems Project
Phase 1

April 26, 2002

Problem: There is a lack of coordination and integration with the current systems that support research at UMB. The computer systems are disjointed, stand-alone systems with narrowly defined purposes.

Goal: To enhance research support by improving the interoperability of current systems, using contemporary desktop tools and the web to provide access for researchers and research administrators to the data in the current systems, and implementing a new system that will allow sponsoring agency awards to be entered into a database and electronically populate the financial system.

Objectives: To make information currently in the Grants and Contract system available to Principal Investigators and Research Administrators via a web application; To provide an automated way of transferring data from an electronic routing form into the Grants and Contract system; To improve security of research data through a coordinated plan with the principal owners of the data; To successfully complete implementation of the BARS2000 product.

Current State: Data in the Contracts and Grants system are available only to persons in the Office of Research Development and report writing capability against the system is limited in functionality. Multiple attempts at creating electronic routing forms have not solved two security related problems: 1) sending confidential information across the campus network in clear text and, 2) providing electronic signature capability. Once data are entered into the form it must be reentered into the Contracts and Grants system. Financial system account creation and associated information distribution, i.e., billing sponsoring agencies for direct and indirect costs incurred by researchers, and letter of credit drawdowns of accounting information are performed by legacy PC-based systems written in unsupported languages.

Tentative Schedule:

Agreed on scope and order of enhancements. Subsequently developing a project plan, assigning resources, and creating an account crosswalk between BARS2000 and financial system.

Beginning in May:
Identify data in Grants & Contracts to be made available to PI's and Administrators. Design and build extract programs to move data into an Oracle database. Design and build Oracle database. Develop hierarchical security schematic for access. Draft specifications for Crystal Reports to provide standard data to PI's. Put BARS2000 into production.

Test extract and database load programs. Test Crystal Reports. Make modifications as necessary. Draft specifications for loading data from the Electronic Routing Form (ERF) to Grants & Contracts System. Draft specifications for Web-based access to the Oracle database.

Put Crystal reports into production. Code and test the loading of data from the Electronic Routing Form into the Grants & Contract system. Code and test Web "front end".

Loading of data from the Electronic Routing Form (ERF) goes into production. Begin security discussions on Electronic Routing Form. Integrate Common Security Database with the Web "front-end".

Test Web-based access to Oracle Database. Put Web-based access into production. Design security for ERF.

Outcome: ORD will be able to enter awards into the BARS2000 system when notified by sponsoring agencies. The BARS2000 system will create an account through a nightly update to the financial system. Account information will be electronically routed to appropriate persons. Monthly billing of Sponsoring Agencies, posting of payments, and initiation of accounting entries for Letter of Credit drawdowns will be automated. PI's and Administrators will track grant and contract proposals to ensure expedited submission to sponsoring agencies. Information will be more readily available on current and past submissions to agencies.

Communications: President, Deans, Vice Presidents, Staff in ORD, Financial Services, Research Administrators, PI's.

Ultimate Goal: (Phase ll) Fully integrated, "soup-to-nuts" Research Support System comprised of Proposal Development, IRB, Electronic Submission, Account Administration Billing and Collection, and Reporting Modules.