• Gail Sutter

How Innovative Arizona State University streamlined their Limited Submissions process with InfoReady

Updated: Feb 16

Earlier this year Arizona State University was named the most innovative school in the US for the fourth year in a row by US News and World Report. The rankings take into account several factors, from curriculum and technology to campus life and faculty. Research operations is among the areas of innovation and that is where ASU meets InfoReady.

A major area where InfoReady Review has helped ASU is in streamlining and simplifying its Limited Submissions process.

Prior to using InfoReady for their Limited Submissions application and review process, ASU used a combination of email and SharePoint to collect applications and peer reviews. The coordination of Limited Submissions opportunities was much more burdensome; manually organizing and collecting items via email wasn’t particularly efficient, especially at the scale ASU does it.

According to Hayley Bohall - Research Opportunities Manager for ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, “InfoReady has streamlined the Limited Submissions process. It has helped to eliminate pdf forms, email submissions, and inefficient scoring systems.”

In a subsequent webinar, Bohall discussed how the integration between Ex Libris Pivot-RP and InfoReady further streamlined Limited Submissions.

See additional feedback below from our Q & A session with Bohall, regarding how ASU is using InfoReady Review.

Q. What’s your role/department?

A. Research Opportunities Manager; I coordinate all Limited Submission opportunities, applications and reviews. For internal competitions, I work with ASU departments to coordinate local opportunities and seed programs.

Q. What was the original plan for using InfoReady?

A. Originally, InfoReady was meant to improve the Limited Submissions application and review process. Previously to InfoReady, we used a combination of email and SharePoint to collect applications and peer reviews.

Q. What were your goals or expected outcomes?

A. We expected a simpler way to collect applications and a portal/site that is easily navigable for faculty and staff.

Q. What was the process like before? Who was involved/how were tasks delegated?

A. Before InfoReady, the coordination of Limited Submissions opportunities was much more burdensome; manually organizing and collecting items via email isn’t particularly efficient, particularly at the scale ASU does it. Additionally, a pdf form was required with each submission. With the implementation of InfoReady, our forms are obsolete. We have the competition site set up to collect everything that is needed. Plus, it’s customizable per each opportunity so we can mold it to be exactly what we need.

Q. What do you use InfoReady for now?

A. Now, we post every ASU-eligible Limited Opportunity and track them in InfoReady. Not all of these require review. However, if the competition requires a full review panel, the reviewers can easily access InfoReady and submit their review comments and scores. Downloading and compiling scores is easier than in the previous system and we’re looking forward to additional improvements to that process in 2019.

Q. How have processes changed since implementing InfoReady?

A. All our standard processes are much simplified. I try to use the InfoReady system as much as possible and let the site solve my needs. The calculation of reviewers’ scores and collection of comments is so simple with InfoReady; it allows us to shorten our review time-line significantly. Proposal feedback is also improved as a result of InfoReady.

Q. How have things changed for you in particular, and your office/department?

A. I think the InfoReady system allows people to quickly and simply apply for a solicitation; there is no hassle, no extra step, no separate log-in, no additional email. It’s exciting to see that faculty and staff can submit with no questions asked.

Q. What do you find most beneficial about InfoReady?

A. The most beneficial thing about InfoReady is that it is one system. Publicly posting, tracking, review, and data all in one area. If I were to name a second beneficial thing it would be the user interface; it is very user-friendly; it takes no explanation or tutorials (though they are available and helpful!).

Q. Any unexpected benefits?

A. An unexpected benefit is that the system is continually improving, I particularly appreciate the new notes section. I also like that it is a public site that is maintained outside of the ASU system. It makes things uncomplicated and easy for people traveling and for institutions that partner with ASU.

Q. Do you use InfoReady in ways you didn’t initially plan?

A. Not particularly, we were hoping to use InfoReady to replace our manual review process, and it does that well. Additional units, departments, and programs are beginning to use InfoReady for their review process. I’m so glad that the system isn’t solely for one process, but fits the needs of many.

Q. Do you notice any changes in outcomes?

A. My personal outcomes are a more straightforward process. There is a set of metrics and data needed after each competition. This information is easy to find and produce using InfoReady. We’re continually expanding how we can use the system and that includes how we measure success with the applications that are submitted to sponsor and overall experience by the reviewer.

Q. What do your colleagues say about the current processes with InfoReady as a tool?

A. I have heard many good reviews. faculty and reviewers like the simple layout, and ease of use. Administrators like the customization features and how easy it is to create a new competition.

Q. Do you get feedback from applicants about the system? If so, what do they report?

A. I only get calls or feedback when someone is having an issue; which pretty rare and easily solvable. I have experienced no negative feedback regarding the InfoReady system whether it be on the applicant side or on the reviewer side.

Q. What does the future hold for your department/office/team?

A. Currently, we manage and support the Limited Submissions function of the University, manage serval internal competitions, and support some University-wide nominations. I hope that we can expand the type and number of competitions that go into InfoReady and connect with some post award tracking, like follow on funding for seed programs.

Q. Are there any plans to expand use of InfoReady outside the research office?

A. Serval ASU Colleges and Schools are already using the InfoReady system for their own submission processes; these all seem to be research- related applications, seed grants, and other nominations. We are actively seeking ways to expand usage of the platform across campus; essentially, we want to see how we can use it to our advantage for seeding and improving fundable concepts.

Q. What kind of advice would you give others in your field?

A. If you are looking for a simple way to manage your Limited Submission process or collect applications for review; trust the InfoReady system. Re-think your standard practices and work InfoReady to meet each need you have; if you have questions or needs, reach out to the Service department, they have been incredibly responsive and helpful. Remember that more complicated reviews take extra time and effort. We’re working with our computing school to design a macro to digest the reviews for competitions with over 10 applications. This is important because InfoReady gives you great data, but you need an easy way to digest it.

Here are a few Impressive Honors ASU has received:

1. Top 100 Research universities in the world for research and teaching – Times Higher Education, 2018

2. A top producer of the world’s elite scholars – Frank Office of National Scholarships Advisement.

3. Among the best graduate schools in the U.S. – U.S. News & World Report

To see all ASU Awards click here: https://www.asu.edu/rank

We’re always excited to hear about new use cases for InfoReady. How might your organization use InfoReady?

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