Internal Research Award Management System (IRAMS)

In 2017, divisional offices and Research Services worked with IT Services to deliver a purpose-built system for managing internal research funds and external grants with institutional quotas. Internal Research Award Management System (IRAMS) supports grant application, selection and post-award management.

What is IRAMS?

  • IRAMS is used to manage both JFF and other funds: the application form, PDF and approval process can be different for different funds
  • More internal funding applications and awards are in one place
  • Researchers from outside of the University can apply for funding schemes that permit it, but they will have to obtain a virtual access account (temporary single sign-on ID)
  • Funding opportunities are advertised on divisional websites and the funding section of the Research Support website.
     
  • To become a departmental approver contact the person in your divisional office who deals with JFF or internal funding opportunities
  • View and follow the progress of all applications of any status, not just those that need assessing
  • View final reports submitted by researchers
  • Return an extension request to PI so that they can make changes, without having to reject the request
  • Download a PDF of an application before recording departmental assessment
  • Divisions and Research Services can add and manage funds through IRAMS
  • Quick reference guides are available to create new awards, manage emails and applications
     

IRAMS enhancement requests

This list will be updated as progression on delivery is made and enhancement requests added. IRAMS administrators will be involved in reviewing, prioritising, scheduling and testing enhancements.

Identified issue

Currently the approval for fund applications is only possible at department level, this means there can be a high number of approvers for a given department.  As a result approvers are able to view, and approve, applications that are not necessarily part of their own sub-unit.

There is often a difficulty in knowing which applications an approver should be approving, should the list be particularly long.  It is also the case any email notification for approvers will go to all approvers for a department possibly resulting is unwanted “Spam”.

Planned solution

To amend the workflow to ensure an approver is assigned to sub-units/departments as well as the whole department.

Initial requestors

Martin Edmunds (MPLS); Sam Cooper (RS JFF TEAM); Liam Murphy (Medical Sciences)

Identified issue

There is not a quick and clear mechanism for identifying who departmental approvers are.

Planned solution

A suggested approach would be to add the list of approvers for each department to the “approval tab”.

Initial requestors

Liam Murphy (Medical Sciences)

Identified issue

Four years is the maximum amount of time possible to set for schemes on the current financial details tab. Some of the schemes will be five+ years so a level of adaptability here is required.

Planned solution

To allow the number of financial years to be specified either during the application process or by the fund when it is initially set up. Enabling this flexibly would also add the benefit of allowing the number of financial years to be restricted where needed.

Initial requestors

Liam Murphy (Medical Sciences)

Identified issue

A number of IRAMS administrators have made requests for enhancement to the functionality of email notifications, including:

  • text that can be customised per fund
  • additional email addresses as needed
Planned solution

A review and rework of aspects of email functionality, so that each fund can manage the text and recipients of the notification sent out on their behalf.

IRAMS administrators should be involved in further discussions and analysis phases to ensure the precise nature of these modification requests are captured and delivered.

Initial requestors

Liam Murphy (Medical Sciences); Sam Cooper (RS JFF TEAM)

Identified issue

Depending where you are within IRAMS, data is presented in inconsistent ways or the default view is not directly relevant to IRAMS leading to a poor user experience. There is also a concern data could be incorrectly added to the wrong view. An example:

“Generally there are two records for each department/division in Dynamics, one which will state 'Display in IRAMS – No', and the other which will state 'Display in IRAMS – Yes'. It is the one which states 'Display in IRAMS – Yes' where we add departmental approvers. It is not clear why there is an additional record which states 'Display in IRAMS – No’.”

Planned solution

To conduct a full review with the intention of setting more consistent default views. In regards to data being displayed, as outlined in the above example, provide an IRAMS-centric view of the information when viewing data used, or shared, by other aspects of the Dynamics platform.

Initial requestors

Sue Douglas (Research Services)

Identified issue

A number of error messages within IRAMS do not provide meaningful information. An example being “Please contact your departmental IRAMS administrator”.  This particular error message is inaccurate as it misleads an applicant to believe they have a departmental IRAMS administrator, and from a support model point of view an applicant should be contacting the fund manager, ie the appropriate IRAMS administrator in the division/Research Services.

Planned solution

A full review and clean-up of error messages utilised within IRAMS, and appropriate text appended to messages.

Initial requestors

Sue Douglas (Research Services)

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