TARA is USC’s Total Access for Research Administration system, supporting management of research awards, proposals, core laboratories and regulatory protocols. For questions regarding TARA log-ins and searches, please contact tarahelp@usc.edu or call 213-740-5857. For any other TARA-related questions, call 213-821-5461.


To manage conflicts of interest that may exist between outside activities and your obligations to USC, disclose potential conflicts through diSClose, USC’s online system for conflict disclosure. Use diSClose to satisfy requirements under USC’s Conflict of Interest in Research, Relationship with Industry and Institutional Conflicts of Interest in Research policies found at USC Policies.

eCert (Effort Certification)

USC uses a web-based reporting system, eCert, that: 1) Calculates the distribution of effort. 2) Provides a mechanism for those paid through a sponsored project or cost-sharing account to certify the accuracy of the effort reporting. For more information, check out User Guides for eCert at Financial and Business Services.

EHSA (Environmental Health and Safety Assistant)

The EHS Assistant is an online database hat enables researchers to review critical information regarding their permits/laboratories (e.g., audits, inventories, and lab personnel training history) and update as needed. Researchers may also request waste pick-up, respond to safety inspection findings, and request to add research staff. Learn more at USC Environmental Health & Safety.

FBS (Priority Software FBS)

The Priority Software FBS system supports reservation, tracking, billing and payment for services and goods supplied by core labs and other research recharge centers. Once users are set up, any core-related charges for products and services can be tracked, reviewed, billed and paid by using Priority Software FBS on the web. Learn more at Research Initiatives and Infrastructure (RII).

FiPS (Financial Projection System)

Quick FiPS is a module within the TARA system designed to provide users with the ability to easily access account balances and perform financial projections. The system leverages existing account level security and allows users to view summaries of their accounts, model various expense and income scenarios, as well as perform projected budget changes. Guides are available within the system by clicking the icon in the top left corner of the screen next to the page name.

iStar: Human Subjects

The iStar system is used for the review of human subjects research, animal research, radiation safety and biosafety. The USC Institutional Review Boards use iStar to review studies that require IRB review and to certify studies that do not require IRB review. Learn more at Office for the Protection of Research Subjects.

iStar: Animal Care

For a first time research, research and development, teaching, or pilot project involving animals, users must submit a protocol form through iStar to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Learn more at Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

iStar: Biosafety

Research projects using biohazards, human gene therapy, and/or the generation of transgenic rodents must be registered on iStar with the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) by completing the Biological Use Authorization (BUA). A single application may cover multiple grants and projects. Learn more at USC Environmental Health & Safety.

iStar: Radiation Safety

To apply for a Radiation Use Authorization (RUA) to use materials or devices that produce ionizing radiation, users must submit an application through iStar. The Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) meets monthly, and the deadline to submit protocols in support of RUAs is two weeks before the next meeting. Learn more at USC Environmental Health & Safety.

KFS (Kuali Financial System)

The Kuali Financial System (KFS) is a suite of online software modules that enables users to process several different types of business transactions online, from initiation through the approval cycle. Learn more at USC Information Technology Services.

Kuali Coeus (KC)

Part of USC’s TARA system, Kuali Coeus is used for proposal development; preparing, validating, and submitting proposal; and award management. Learn more at Department of Contracts and Grants.

OnCore (Clinical Trial Management System)

USC’s Clinical Trial Management System, OnCore, is a jointly sponsored, web-based software system for managing clinical trials. The CTMS is integrated with the Electronic Medical Records to streamline the process of managing clinical trials. Learn more at Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute.


Use Sophia for intellectual property management, such as to file an invention disclosure, request a material transfer agreement “MTA” or request a confidentiality agreement “CDA” related to technology transfer. Learn more at USC Stevens Center for Innovation.