Companies such as Click Commerce, InfoEd, and COEUS have developed customized systems for each institution that can include IRB approval applications for clinical trials and approval for testing and research with animals.
A seamless system: Instead of a Web-based program, these products are integrated into the institution's server. Researchers log on to their university's Web site and submit their grants by uploading to that server. Unlike Cayuse, this provides continuity to the entire grant application process: Researchers apply for a grant and if it's awarded, that award information can be routed to various departments of the institution, including the accounting department.
Just the science: This product is meant to make the grants administration staff's job easier by putting all grant and accounting information in one place. But it is also an advantage for researchers. "The only thing the...
Training and help: Because these systems require training of your institution's staff, experts are always available to help. Part of the product you buy is complete training for the administrators, who in turn give tutorials to the research faculty. Johns Hopkins University offers training courses for COEUS throughout the summer, each lasting no more than two hours.
Loan required? A fully integrated suite of products can start at $100,000—$500,000 per institution. When the University of Massachusetts Medical School was shopping around for a grant submission product that also included clinical trial and IACUC applications, it considered InfoEd but was quoted a $1 million fee to purchase and implement the package, says McNulty. This was far more than its intended budget. The medical school is still searching for a product that will support its preclinical and clinical trial submissions.
Lag time: In most cases, packages like this can take more than six months to integrate. McNulty says she has checked back with other institutions that decided to go with InfoEd and, two years later, implementation is still ongoing, causing frustration for the both institution and researchers.
Earlier deadlines: Similarly to PureEdge, administrators at some institutions using integrated-suite packages ask their scientists to send the research portions of applications to the grant administrators' office as much as two weeks ahead of the submission deadlines. The administrator (institutional officer) is responsible for compiling the final application and submitting it to Grants.gov, but the application must be returned to the researcher for final approval for submission and electronic signature. Click Commerce advises its clients to allot at least a week for this process and for any technical problems that might arise.