Adopting Team Dynamix to Create a Research Grant and Contract Data Management System
Acadia University has a world-class research environment and is a recognized research leader amongst small universities in the Atlantic region. Between 2010 and 2015, the number and value of research grants and contracts administered through the Research & Graduate Studies Office (RGS) doubled. Consequently, the work required to record, track and report on research grants and contracts also greatly increased.
In the summer of 2015, RGS staff proposed that part of that year’s Research Support Fund be allocated to develop a research grant and contract data management system. Upon approval, they formed an internal Research Fund Management Working Group to determine the best course of action. The group included staff from three units at Acadia - Research and Graduate Studies, Technology Services, and Financial Services.
The first steps were to conduct a feasibility study and review software options available. As it turned out, Team Dynamix (TD), the software platform on which Acadia’s Technology Services had built its service desk ticketing app, for handling all tech-related service requests on campus, was the best choice as it could be easily customized to meet the needs of the RGS office, with Technology Services staff available to provide onsite support.
Funding allocated from the Research Support Fund was used to develop the needed management system. The team worked through the lifecycle of grants and contracts, with attention to research funding complexities, and customized existing software to create a new grant and contract management system through a series of ever-tightening loops of testing and refinement. After several iterations it was ready for implementation. Greg Deveau (Manager of Consulting Services at Acadia) has been on hand to provide training and ongoing technical support.
Since its implementation, the TD grant and contract management system has allowed RGS staff to quickly and efficiently enter and access grant and contract data, and to store the data securely; effectively manage research agreements with multiple partners and funding sources that make up the University’s many complex, multi-year research projects; and meet the needs of stakeholders – both internal and external – ranging from informal and formal research fund queries to end-of-project reports.