University of Southern California

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TARA (Total Access for Research Administration): What to Expect

April 17, 2013

USC Faculty

Kuali Coeus (KC) post-award is the portion of the TARA (Total Access for Research Administration) project that supports the management of research awards received from research sponsors.

KC-Post Award will go live on Monday, April 22.  Once KC-Post Award goes live, it will be used by the Department of Contracts and Grants to enter and finalize award information as reflected in the sponsor award documents.   Award information will then be accessible to Principal Investigators with their university log-in.  Award information will also be automatically sent to Sponsored Projects Accounting to establish the research account and create the working budget within the Kuali Financial System.   In addition, faculty will receive an award synopsis following the format shown in the attachment to this message.

As part of the transition to KC-Post Award, DCG will temporarily be unable to process new award information, on Thursday, April 18 and Friday, April 19.   We appreciate your patience while this transition is made.

Subsequent to the “go live” of KC-Post Award, new reporting capabilities will be developed in the Cognos Business Intelligence System.  In the future, you will receive a monthly summary of your research activity by account, generated automatically by Cognos.

For information on how to use KC-Post Award, please refer to this guide:

https://research.usc.edu/usc-research-administration-system/

For general information on the TARA project, please go to:

https://research.usc.edu/usc-research-administration-system/

This is an exciting period as we begin utilizing the new tools and functions TARA has to offer. Please feel free to give us your feedback as you begin using the system to support our research enterprise.

Kuali Coeus (KC) Post Award

In the middle of February, the Department of Contracts and Grants (DCG) will begin to process all award activity in the Kuali Coeus (KC) Post Award system. The implementation of the new data system will include significant enhancements, as well as streamline business processes. Key enhancements important to you are:

  1. KC will house all new award activity, in addition to active and pending closed awards. Using your USC ID and Password, you will be able to view your award portfolio in KC.
  2. The internal “Notice of Award” will be replaced with a more detailed, user-friendly “Award Synopsis.” An email notification with a link to the Award, including a printable Award Synopsis, will be sent to you once an Award is finalized.
  3. KC will reflect Award information, as approved by the Sponsor. DCG will enter budget information as it reflected in the approved award. Any subsequent changes to budgets and/or project accounts (establishing satellites, reallocating among object codes, etc.) will be processed through Sponsored Projects Accounting (SPA). The procedures for adding or modifying accounts will not change at this time, except that requests will be directed to SPA rather than DCG.

KC Post Award will provide investigators and research administrators with access to important information about awards, including the detailed terms and conditions. In February, the TARA Training Team will begin working through the schools and institutes to introduce you to Post Award functionality and navigation.

Financial Projections System (FiPS)

Many of you are looking forward to the new Financial Projections (FiPS) tool, which will help create alternate budget scenarios for staffing and other expenses on your research projects. We are working with teams of research administrators within the schools and institutes to build their expertise in using FiPS, to provide local resources to support the faculty. Rollout of FiPS to faculty will be underway by late February.

CORES

CORES, the software supporting shared core labs and the recharge processes, is in the final testing phase with five pilot labs. The pilots will become fully operational by the end of the month, meaning the billing process will be automated and integrated across all participating labs. The Office of Research will add new core labs to the system beginning in mid-to-late February and continuing until all major core labs are included.

Animal Care and Use Committee

Development of the system for submitting and reviewing protocols for the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) has been completed and linked to the iStar system used by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). A limited number of protocols are now being submitted to the new IACUC system, with the aim of moving to 100% usage by this summer.

Reporting

Bringing new systems online provides an impetus to revise and expand our reporting capabilities. The first order of business has been to re-write the reports currently found on SCera, including the Account Status Summary Report and the Rolling 12-Month Reports, to utilize the capabilities of the university’s new data warehouse and Cognos reporting system. These reports are also expected to become available in February; in the meantime, we will continue to publish existing reports in SCera.

Future TARA Elements

Over the next six months, we will implement new systems to support the Institutional Biosafety Committee and the Institutional Radiation Safety Committee, using Click Commerce Software.

By early fall, we will implement the KC pre-award system, which will support budget creation, proposal routing, proposal submission and negotiation of agreements.

Over the next several months, interfaces will be created to enable data to be imported into systems, and to expedite various processes, such as establishing new awards and accounts.

Additional Information and Help

For more information on the TARA project, refer to https://research.usc.edu/usc-research-administration-system/. General questions on the TARA project should be directed to Candice Poolman, Project Manager, at 213/821-5461 or cp_175@usc.edu.

The ITS Customer Support Center (CSC) staff is being trained to provide user support for TARA applications as they are rolled out. The CSC team will respond to technical problems (login issues, browser compatibility), system navigation, and application functionality. They will also be prepared to collect any reported bugs or performance problems, and any policy questions raised by users. The TARA user support staff can be reached at 213/740-5857 or by email at tarahelp@usc.edu.

More detailed information will be provided in about two weeks about changes in business processes surrounding award set-up, account set-up and account changes.

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Contact Us
Please send TARA questions or feedback to the Office of Research, vprsch@usc.edu

Please send newsletter comments and ideas to: Donna Obeid, Training and Development Specialist: dobeid@usc.edu

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