Research Systems Enhancement Project


Research Systems Enhancement Project

Research institutions are currently faced with the fundamental challenge of optimizing customer service and growing the volume of sponsored programs in an environment of increasing competition, rigorous compliance standards, and significant downward pressure on administrative costs. To meet this challenge, institutions like the Georgia Health Sciences University (MCG), which has experienced a substantial increase in its research volume in recent years, must maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their research administration infrastructure. Qualities such as skilled personnel, strong communication mechanisms, streamlined processes, and integrated technologies are all essential in this effort.

In November 2002, GHSU hired Huron Consulting Group to identify opportunities to improve the effectiveness of current sponsored projects accounting processes and reporting within the existing PeopleSoft Financials software. The primary objective of this assessment was to review the core post award systems and business processes within the Office of Grants and Contracts and provide GHSU with recommendations for improvement from a quality, efficiency, compliance, and customer service perspective.

The development and evaluation of new business processes focused the following goals:

  • Effectively utilizing the capabilities of the PeopleSoft system and eliminating the need for shadow systems
  • Developing effective processes that work well throughout MCG
  • Meeting compliance requirements imposed by research sponsors and/or audit agencies
  • Improving the cash management position of the institution
  • Increasing customer service levels and responsiveness to faculty, administrators, sponsors, and other customers of the grant administration process

Over the next several months, GHSU and Huron will work in partnership to implement the recommendations provided during this assessment. This website will be periodically updated to keep you informed of the scope of this effort, the resources involved, and the outcomes that have been produced to date.