How does your organisation manage its research administration? Does your team rely on outdated systems or manual processes such as spreadsheets?  

Your response to the above questions is a strong indicator of whether your organisation is working as efficiently and competitively as possible. 

The research administration activities within the award lifecycle are broad, and bring along numerous administrative tasks, including but not limited to pre-award, post-award, contract management, forms management, and business process workflow automation.  

There is a significant risk of non-compliance that comes with relying on solutions that do not integrate end-to-end with all the necessary research administration functions, not to mention the human error associated with manual data processing.  

Research administrators play a significant role in an organisation’s operational excellence and decision support. This is greatly challenged when researchers need to rely on a plethora of systems, each containing different data structures, to extract data to assist in decision-making. 

The good news is that we’ve come a long way from submitting paper-based applications and depending on in-house systems to manage the award life cycle. Today research organisations are not only able to manage their entire grants lifecycle with a single end-to-end research management system, but they can also customise these systems to meet their unique organisational requirements. 

Now researchers balance the competing responsibilities of managing their administrative load and their actual research work without compromising their valuable time and ensure no missed milestones and complete compliance.

What is a Research Management System (RMS)? 

With a wide variety of research management systems to choose from today, it is essential to understand what a research management system is. 

A Research Management System (RMS) is a platform that manages a research grant or contract's pre-award, post-award, and publication phases. Throughout the Grants and Contracts life cycle, RMS interfaces with other finance and /or HR systems to provide a seamless process for grants and awards management, eliminate re-keying of data, and heighten transparency into the status of applications at any time. 

How does research management systems (RMS) benefit researchers? 

Winning a research grant in today’s competitive environment is a considerable achievement. However, that is just the beginning of a new journey and brings several administration burdens for its recipients.  

Successful and timely delivery of all the proposed outcomes is critical not only for the researcher’s career and reputation but also for the organisation they represent. Therefore, implementing efficient and reliable processes is essential. 

When research organisations implement a cloud-based research management system, they increase the researcher’s efficiency and ability to collaborate. Saving time and increasing productivity. 

The number of benefits provided by a research management system are endless, however, some of the most common ways in which an RMS positively impacts researchers' work include: 

  • Reduced time submitting proposals and managing sponsored projects,
  • Increased collaboration with PIs, 
  • Speeds up compliance and review processes, 
  • Works to prevent non-compliance, 
  • Reduced administrative burden, so researchers can begin researching sooner,  
  • Provides 24*7 access to information,  
  • Provides real-time oversight of the entire research program, 
  • Streamlines reporting, automates workflows, and eliminates paper forms, 
  • Release of new features and updates on a regular basis further simplifies research management processes, 
  • Being cloud-based it involves low maintenance cost, 
  • Notifications, and alerts, for administrators, faculty staff, committees, and researchers, 
  • Data is centralised, secured, and backed up regularly, 
  • Tech support is available at your fingertips, 

It is a common scenario for research administrators to be scrambling to make the proposal deadline, or to be juggling last-minute budget revisions and missing signatures. By considering adopting a change with a Research Management System, you can be assured that your organisation will see a significant improvement in the time involved in managing research administration. Not to mention the added benefit of increasing research portfolio and revenue.

Utilise RMS for increased impact:

Although research administrators have historically focused on improving operational efficiency to serve faculty better and facilitate compliance these administrators are increasingly called upon for strategic insights to help guide broader institutional strategy. Data makes up a key source of strategic insights related to technology. Data on accounting, budgeting, students, research administration, human resources (HR), and other factors are often collected but infrequently used to their fullest potential.  

Imagine needing to collate this data and information through disparate systems. Given the complexity and the challenges within the research ecosystem, managing data created during just one research project alone is challenging. Working research data across your organisation without a system is impractical, if not impossible. 

Given how challenging it can be for research administrators to achieve their goals, there still seems to be plenty of research organisations that are still using legacy or excel spreadsheet processes.  

Researchers can’t afford to get left behind and let Finance and HR once again top the list of institutional priorities and influence vendor development choices for the next few years.  

Research organisations should invest in research management systems. 

Manage your Research effectively With OmniStar:

Using in-house or cobbled-together systems when managing research results is frustrating for the researchers. 

If you want to be competitive, you must recognise and promote your research potential and impact. The tremendous advancement in research management technologies has resulted in development of a unique system, such as the OmniStar Research, freeing you from repetitive administrative tasks and other research management hassles. 

The OmniStar research management system can transform the way your organisation operates. Renowned universities, hospitals, and research organisations within Australia place a high level of trust in OmniStar because of its ability to simplify and automate core processes every step of the way. 

Get in touch with an OmniStar expert today to discover how you can work smartly with a fully flexible research management solution.

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