The University of Wyoming (UW) engaged Attain Partners as a strategic partner during their electronic research administration (eRA) system transition to the industry-leading platform, Cayuse. As a Cayuse preferred partner, Attain Partners successfully guided UW through this transformation leveraging eRA subject matter expertise, Cayuse end-user experience, and Prosci® change management strategies to optimize the University’s research administration.
Effective Research Administration Fosters Research Enterprise Success
The research enterprise in the United States helps to advance our nation’s goals in various fields, such as technology, health, energy, national security, the economy, the environment, infrastructure, and agriculture. This important work would not be possible without the administrative support performed by those in research administration—to ensure the research comes to fruition, all aspects of the research process need to run smoothly while adhering to federal, state, and institutional policies and regulations.
With the increasing need to mitigate errors and keep pace with ever-changing policies and regulations, electronic research administration (eRA) systems have become a vital resource to research administrators. The Cayuse Research Platform provides a best-in-class solution for managing the research life cycle by minimizing risk, maximizing efficiency, optimizing planning, and enabling research institutions to become data-driven.
Optimizing Research Administration at the University of Wyoming
The University of Wyoming (UW) is a public land-grant research university in Laramie, Wyoming, serving more than 12,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students across a variety of disciplines. With a rapidly growing research portfolio of over $90 million in R&D expenditures, UW places the utmost importance on its research administration.
In March 2021, The University of Wyoming was in search of a new eRA system to meet the University’s evolving research needs. After a rigorous selection process, Cayuse was selected because of its integrated platform, software quality, user-friendly interface, impeccable customer service record, and versatility of its product offerings. Given the transformative change an institution undergoes while implementing a new eRA, how would UW ensure not only that Cayuse was implemented fully and correctly, but also guarantee that they were using it effectively and efficiently?
With the right partner, the University would be able to ensure project goals were achieved, thereby assuring their stakeholders were set up for success with the new eRA. The University of Wyoming selected Attain Partners as their partner because we are experts in the grants administration and regulatory compliance environment, while simultaneously having extensive experience working with Cayuse and their solutions. Further, we are deeply familiar with the issues research institutions face daily and have a demonstrated track record working collaboratively with institutions undertaking eRA implementations.
Empowering a Successful eRA Implementation and User Adoption
Leveraging decades of combined expertise and a deep background in research administration, Attain Partners’ subject matter experts collaborated with the University of Wyoming throughout the Cayuse implementation—conducting our support within three workstreams.
Process Design and System Configuration
Providing industry best practices and top-of-the-line research processes, Attain Partners facilitated the collaboration between university stakeholders and Cayuse—advising UW on matters ranging from business operations to system configurations. We guided the client through critical decisions with the goal of streamlining and standardizing processes and improving the overall effectiveness of research administration management across the university. As part of the configuration process, Attain Partners prepared draft forms (Proposal Routing, Award, Subaward, Conflict of Interest, etc.) that drew from the knowledge gained during the discovery of the Wyoming culture, legacy business processes, and future goals. We coupled that with industry best practices to design forms that would ensure compliance with Federal, State, and University regulations while not increasing administrative burden on faculty or staff.
Crucial to ensuring the processes would remain consistent and efficient, Attain Partners developed standard operating procedures (SOPs) which included definitions, roles, and related policies to guarantee continuity throughout the research life cycle. Ultimately, Attain Partners delivered a standard, and university-approved, SOP template for Proposals, Sponsored Projects, and Animal Oversight. As the project continues, they will also provide Human Ethics and Outside Interests processes. With these standards in place, we were then able to begin the process of data harvesting and transfer.
Leveraging the industry gold standard Prosci® methodology, Attain Partners experts will enable the University’s research administration to successfully adopt the Cayuse research platform and will manage this organizational transformation. In the supportive role of Change Practitioner, we prepared UW for change by conducting a series of assessments to better understand the University’s readiness and help inform plans to best lead the client through the transition. Attain Partners is managing the change by developing and implementing a powerful communications plan; a thorough sponsorship model; an insightful resistance management plan; an in-depth training plan; and a campus rollout plan. And to further guarantee success, we will reinforce the change by monitoring stakeholder feedback and metrics to analyze change management effectiveness and determine areas of improvement.
Research Enterprise Optimization Unlocked at the University of Wyoming
With an easy-to-use and efficient electronic research administration system, the University of Wyoming can realize its goal of growing its research enterprise and increasing funding. Working with Attain Partners as a strategic implementation partner allows UW to properly assess its current and future eRA needs, configure the Cayuse platform to achieve its goals, and empower University stakeholders with the tools and resources necessary to undergo this transformation and successfully adopt the new system.
Once this project completes, the University will not only be equipped with a robust and burden-free eRA platform but will boast new business processes and procedures, developed by Attain Partners, to support research enterprise advancement to an optimized state. Throughout this process, Attain Partners has thoroughly explored all business cases that will touch the Cayuse system and developed a clear, actionable process for each. This thorough implementation will allow a seamless transition for UW staff members.
Partnerships between vendors play an important role in any eRA system implementation. Attain Partners and Cayuse are the driving force behind how research is managed and administered. Watch our on-demand webinar to hear how the partnership between Cayuse and Attain Partners can help your institution with new modules, change management, data cleanup, and how the two companies work together. Have specific questions? Chat with our experts directly here.
About the Author
Jenifer Parker is a Human Resources and DE&I Professional at Attain Partners. With a passion for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Ms. Parker has experience in helping organizations develop their DE&I strategies, leveraging her professional training in Diversity and Inclusion. Prior to working at Attain Partners, Ms. Parker led a corporate DE&I program at a private firm in Alexandria, VA. She holds a professional certificate in Diversity & Inclusion from Cornell and earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wake Forest University.
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