eRA          eCOI         eIACUC           Pre-Award          Portal



  • VPR & ITS partner to evaluate the research administrative systems
  • Internal and external review of systems, services, and organization
  • Performed an extensive evaluation of vended and open/community source solutions

Recommendation: Based on functionality, implementation costs, change management issues, and timeline we selected a best of breed approach leveraging existing or available systems.

Renewing The Iowa Promise Recommendation

  • Implementation of a robust and integrated research information system for pre- and post-award administration.
  • An integrated system would simplify the processes and reduce the amount of effort required for grant management and administration.

Goals and Objectives

The vision will be accomplished by achieving the following goals and objectives –

  • Engage the research community in taking a broad and holistic view of research administration.
  • Promote collaboration and grow partnerships across the university in developing a fully integrated research administration system.
  • Enhance communication and collaboration between OVPR offices and investigators, research administrators and departments
  • Refine business processes, technologies, and interfaces to improve sponsored research administration, promote collaboration and ensure compliance.
  • Improve service to principal investigators and their research/administrative staff by enhancing their ability to obtain funding and reducing their administrative burden.
  • Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative functions to meet the growing workload demands in sponsored research and compliance.
  • Integrate process, data, and information access across the entire research enterprise.
  • Deliver timely and transparent information on proposals, awards, and protocol approvals status.
  • Create the foundation and flexibility for the University to meet the future administrative, compliance and reporting regulations.


Project governance is the overlying structure and organizational processes that are implemented to make project decisions, resolve conflicts, and facilitate communication. It describes the framework that governs the available project resources; strategic project decisions regarding scope, timeline, and budget; and general operating principles associated with the project. The goal of project governance is to create a simple and sufficient structure that provides a campus perspective, facilitates quick decisions, and creates effective communication paths.

Once in place the governance structure ensures that:

  • The scope of the project is defined so that the needs of all campus constituencies are adequately represented.
  • The project budget is adequate for the scope identified and funding contingencies are in place.
  • Appropriate resources are available for carrying out the specific tasks.
  • Overall project timelines are set and adhered to.
  • Decision and issue escalation mechanisms are in place.
  • Ensure overall project success

As a basis for effectiveness, the governance structure:

  • Must provide a mechanism that ensures a broad campus-wide perspective is brought to the project and to all policy issues.
  • Must identify and clearly define the roles and responsibilities of all involved in oversight and management of the project.
  • Should mirror existing campus administrative structure and be integrated with the broader campus organizational structure.
  • Should facilitate flexible and rapid decision-making especially in the implementation phase of the project.
  • Should facilitate open communication between all campus constituencies.

The eRA project is unique in that it is really composed of four separate sub-projects or modules, Pre-Award, eCOI, IACUC, and Research Portal. All four modules have separate goals, timelines, priorities, and constraints. The Pre-Award, eCOI, IACUC modules have distinct functional units responsible for their success. The Research Portal is a little different in that it crosses several functional boundaries and aggregates these three modules with existing applications while providing some additional new functionality. A common factor in all the modules are the technical resources responsible for the development and implementation, all are from VPR Research Information Systems. Given the magnitude of these projects relative their existing portfolio it is important that the governance structure ensure appropriate resources, control the scope, and align priorities for the individual modules and the overall eRA project to be successful.

The eRA project governance structure consists of a hierarchy of individuals, teams, and committees. The governance structure is based on models used to implement similar projects successfully both at University of Iowa and at peer institutions. The following sections describe the individual, team, and committee roles, responsibilities, and hierarchy.




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Feedback / Comments

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