The Office of Grant and Contract Administration is developing a range of performance metrics and tracking tools to assess and improve the effectiveness of research administrative services and better serve the campus research community. Since 2013, we have been conducting surveys of Principal Investigators to assess overall satisfaction with the various steps of both proposal and award processes. We also collect performance metrics for both proposals and awards, including the cumulative performance metrics for the past three years 2013-2015. To streamline administrative processes, we also have implemented a mechanism to electronically route PIAA's and MOU's utilizing the SmartGrant routing and approval mechanism.
Additional metrics will be posted to the website as developed. Many of the implemented changes are based on the feedback surveys, described below.
The Office of Grant and Contract Administration has been soliciting feedback since early 2013 via short surveys sent to Principal Investigators for each completed proposal and award transaction. The survey responses are confidential and are monitored and reviewed for process improvements or training needs by the Directors of the Research and Engagement Offices that provide the relevant services. Responses of Dissatisfied or Very Dissatisfied are reviewed by the relevant Director and subsequently at a senior staff meeting with the Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement. Published results are strictly statistical.
The feedback received to date–both positive and negative–has been extremely useful. Based on feedback, we have made some simple changes, identified other areas for future improvements, and worked with staff individually to improve training and service. Improvements have ranged from reformatting the information in our automated emails to providing tools for staff administrators to better track proposal and award processing times. In 2014, we initiated a process for automatic pre-establishments of accounts for awards in a long period of negotiation, provided that the financial risk is acceptable, and that all compliance approvals are in place.
Thank you to all who have participated in the surveys and we look forward to your continued feedback in the future.