The College currently uses InfoEd as its pre-award research management tool and has nearly 2,000 users. This very broad user base has resulted in:
- Low data quality of the application records, including the accuracy and completeness of the costing. The impact of this is often either a reduced recovery for the College if crucial elements are omitted or a rejection of the application by the funder if items or the budget requested are not permitted for the specific call. This negatively impacts on Imperial’s success rates and can affect reputation.
- A lack of accountability and coordination of individual grant applications, in some cases resulting in important regulatory or other critical terms being missed in the preparation.
Aside from this, in recent years in the HE sector, there has been a substantial increase in the amount of research-related administration required of academic staff as PIs and with their research grants. Examples include open access deposits, enhanced research data management requirements, Researchfish returns and increased due diligence of partners to name but a few. To help minimise this growing burden, an objective of the current overall College strategy is to support academic staff as much as possible in their endeavours to apply for and win research funding.
In support, the number of staff members that will be able to create grant applications in Worktribe will be restricted to a smaller number of administrative pre-award experts (“super users”). They will be responsible for creating, completing and checking all grant applications in Worktribe. This will minimise the amount of administration required from academic staff, allowing them to focus more on teaching and research. Academic staff will not create grant application records. Academic staff will be able to view all grant application records on which they are named. It has been noted that a small number of academic staff wish to engage with creating their own records and would be negatively impacted by their access being revoked entirely. Therefore, academic staff will be able to create a “Standalone Budget”. This uses the same costing methodology as full grant applications so will allow academic staff to perform a “quick costing” if they wish. It is not a mandatory step. Their pre-award super-user can then create a full costing covering the same base items, with any required amendments.
Academic staff will have the ability to create standalone budgets by default, which will allow them to cost non-staff items and unnamed staff (e.g. a “to-be-appointed” researcher on a specified spine point). To cost specific named staff, an additional responsibility in the system is required. Academics wishing to do so should contact email@example.com to request this.
Super users have been specified by each Faculty as part of the implementation plan. Those staff members who will be super users when the system goes live will be contacted by their Department Manager in advance.
View Projects: Allows the user to view research grant application records. All users can view those projects on which they are named. To view projects on which they are not named, the user must also have either Access Department Projects, Access All Projects or have been provided access to a specific project by a user with Create and Edit Projects.
Create Standalone: Allows the user to create a minimised, separate record to generate a cost and price. This cannot be used as a full research grant application record and can only be accessed by the creator by default. The creator can choose to provide access to individual records to specific users.
Access Department Projects: Access research grant application records within the department in question. Those records will be read-only unless the user also has Create and Edit Projects access.
Cost Existing Staff: Enables access to staff records within Worktribe to allow them to be costed to the record. Without this access, users can cost unnamed staff, selecting specific grades and spine points. If the user only has access to create and edit standalone budgets, this applies to those records only and the user still will not be able to create or edit full records. This access is provided by default for RS / JRO and department super users and is provided on request for academic users, department approvers and standard department users. Those requesting access should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Create and Edit Projects: Allows creation of a full research grant application record.
Advanced Budgeter: Enables access to additional costing options that allow the user to override certain default values. This provides greater flexibility for expert users though increases the risk of issues being introduced.
Access All Projects: Allows the user to access all research grant application records in the College.
Edit During Submission: Provides the ability to edit proposal records even after they have been submitted for approval.