Application Management System
Rationale: There are several programs on campus that manage the dissemination, submission, review, and selection of applications for student positions, grant awardees, or other candidate selectees. The Research Allocation Program (RAP) is one such program where this process is perhaps the most complex due to the number of intramural funding mechanisms, the number of review committees, and the nature of the selection process. Currently, RAP applications are submitted online but the review and decision processes are done manually, thus limiting continued efficiency improvement and lowering the ease of program reporting. To remedy this situation for RAP and other related program processes on campus, we would like to develop a single electronic solution that will accommodate the processes for dissemination, submission, review, selection, and reporting. The solution may leverage parts of existing software such as NUCATS Assist (Northwestern University) or CTSI-ART, or be built completely customized with Drupal interfaces.
Plan: The overall goal is to develop a centralized application management system that would coordinate opportunity dissemination, application submission, application review, application selection, and follow-up processes for multiple programs across multiple agencies. Configurable application components and flexible workflows would accommodate changing business requirements and support process improvements. Such a process solution would result in significant longer terms savings for all collaborating programs.
Criteria and metrics for success: An automated application management system can decrease the amount of time and resources administrative staff spends on application processes and follow-ups, as well as on compiling and summarizing application information for program reporting. Designated administrators would have direct access into the system to customize forms and run reports. Communication with reviewers and applicants can improve through automated deadline reminders and standardized decision notices. Broader and deeper analysis of application and review processes would be possible through reporting measures that have not been available before. The system will be a central repository for applications and progress reports and will offer greater ability to measure programs and funding opportunity impact.
Advantages for all users
Applicants can find funding information, apply via a website that is open to the public, and can upload a single proposal PDF. The application can be saved until submission allowing to be built in stages. Potentially applicants could also use the system to enter and submit progress reports online.
Reviewers can find all materials in one place (proposals, review forms, previous reviews). They can receive automated notifications and reminders to complete tasks before deadlines. They can write their reviews in stages and assign initial scores. During the review meeting, they can score proposals “live” as they are discussed.
Administrators can replace uploaded PDF files, delete applications, and submit on applicant’s behalf. They will take advantage of automated messages/notifications/reminders to communicate with applicants and awardees. They will benefit from a system that tracks many variables, including applicant attributes (e.g., name, department, gender, award status, etc.), and reviewers’ attendance and productivity. Summarized financial award information will be available in the system. Administrators can use the system to manage progress reports starting with automated requests for project/progress report updates sent through the system at intervals designated by each funding agency.
Potential Collaborators Development team - Depending upon whether a system is developed from scratch or leverages an existing one, the system development responsibility will lay with Edwin Martin and ISU or our colleagues at CTSI Virtual Home or the SF Coordinating Center or potentially an outside contractor. Requirement owner - RDO [Emy Volpe (RAP), Gail Fisher (LSP)], Suya Colorado-Caldwell (EVC&P Committees), and many other campus programs that utilize application review and selection processes.
Budget: This project can be developed modularly. With the $50,000, we could plan the development of all modules and develop several of the modules. Our intention would be that matching funds be identified that would enable to the full development of the modular plan. Leveraging another existing system may enable the full system build for $50,000.
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