Collect the Data You Need...Before You Need It (Pt. 2)
Updated: Sep 17, 2021
Part 2: Award and Post-Award Processes
In Part 1, we discussed ways to collect application information upfront to help administrators manage a smooth review process. In this article, we focus on the data to gather for even later in your process: the award and post-award processes. With a little creativity, administrators can add questions to the application that will streamline financial transactions and act as a mini survey for their internal operations:
Finance & Accounting - If awarded, will the business office need a departmental code? An account or reference number? Gather it now to avoid chasing it down later.
Previous or Related Awards - Has this proposal (or a similar one) already been awarded for another opportunity? Based on the current posting, this could indicate 1.) a high likelihood of external funding success, 2.) lower priority because some funds have already been acquired, or 3.) an ineligible application that is not allowed to “double dip."
Referral Source - How did the applicant find out about the RFP? Use a multiple choice question for the most common answers (e.g., newsletter, website, direct email) or use a text field to let them write in. This info can guide marketing and promotion for future opportunities.
Resources - Did the applicant use any institution-specific resources when preparing their proposal? Whether it’s something basic like a lunch-and-learn workshop or more complicated like a peer review program, knowing this information will help shape current and future offerings.
Taking time before the opportunity is posted to think through information that could be useful in the award and post-award processes will begin to generate return on investment metrics before an application is even submitted. In InfoReady, this data can then be consistently gathered and exported year after year by using templates or copying past competitions. This will create clean, standardized data you can rely on. Over time, this data can tell a story, not only about the PI’s academic discipline or specific project, but about the ways the institution is supporting researchers and contributing to the wider body of knowledge across all areas.