Themes emerge during research award management transformation

From: Jessica Johnson Webb, Associate Director of Award Management; Alicia Reed, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research
Sent: Tuesday, June 1, 2021, 10:04 a.m.
To: KU Lawrence faculty and staff

KU Research Community,

As we proceed with the research award management transformation project launched in February, we remain committed to making data-driven service improvements based on feedback received from those who work closely with grant management staff in the Shared Service Centers, KU Office of Research, and designated research centers. Three key themes emerged from feedback received via campus-wide listening sessions, an anonymous webform, and in-person stakeholder meetings: 

  • Refine award management services
  • Value relationships
  • Create fulfilling environment for staff

Infographic with three interlocking puzzle pieces illustrating themes that have emerged while collecting feedback during the research award management transformation process, including 1) refine award management services; 2) value relationships; and 3) create fulfilling environment for staff.
As we implement and stabilize the new Award Management unit during the 2021-22 academic year, we will address these themes while working toward our goals of improving service to campus partners, reducing administrative burden for investigators, and creating structure to support autonomous and satisfying work for staff.

Research staff from the Shared Service Centers and the Post-Award Grant Management team in the Office of Research are meeting regularly to map the processes that involve tasks currently handled by one or both of these units. Once the processes are mapped, those groups will propose new workflows to remove extraneous steps and imagine more efficient ways to complete processes. Those future-state process maps will be reviewed by Award Management leadership and subject matter experts to ensure compliance and feasibility.

In addition to conducting this detailed process review, we have met with research centers to discuss coordination between their units and the new Award Management unit. Research center staff will be invited to review proposed processes to coordinate support and take advantage of changes to enhance services to investigators.

Please visit the project website for updates, including answers to frequently asked questions and the most up-to date timeline.

We appreciate your thoughtful participation so far — from staff dedicating extra time to map and design new processes, to research partners across campus who have provided feedback and ideas about how to leverage this transformation to best steward KU resources and support overall award management goals.

We will continue to provide monthly updates throughout the duration of the transformation. If you have questions along the way, please let us know.


Jessica and Alicia

Jessica Johnson Webb
Associate Director, Award Management

Alicia Reed
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research