Research Management

Key items:
  • Project overview
  • Concept Note/Proposal development and agreement

The module has the functionality to provide support in recording and tracking development of a project, from concept notes and proposals until project contracts are fully executed. This will involve tracking calls for proposals, providing statistics and forecasts on the proposal pipeline. This OCS module will capture status, submission dates, due dates, reporting deadlines, all donor and partner information, co-funding agreements, and associated technical and financial data.

See frequently asked questions about research management

Read the PM office training manual on research management

Q&A (based on Nairobi open day)
1. Will we be able to link CN and Proposals to CRPs?
Yes, in Agresso a CN or proposal can be linked to a CRP through the relations tab.
2. CRP reporting requires Gender reporting for W1/2 as well as bilateral projects. Is this requirement captured in OCS?
Not at the moment but this can be built into the system at a later stage.
3. How will we be able to prepare amendments in the system? Cost or No Cost Extensions?
The system allows one to make various requests including cost or no cost extensions for Agreements. The request will require approvals through the workflow.
4. Show us the type of reports OCS will generate and how will we view them?
For the RM module, at the moment, various financial and non-financial reports can be generated or viewed depending on the user rights for a specific user.
5. Will the system be able to provide other reports other than financial reports? E.g. Technical reports
Yes, the system can generate other reports e.g. number of proposals per program, country, region, etc.
6. Is it possible to charge ones time spent on developing Concept Notes and Proposals to the Code created when filling in timesheets?
Not at the moment. Currently, one can charge 40 hours a week only to the existing agreements. Anything else falls under ‘no charge time’.
7. Will I work on my proposal on or offline?
The initial formative stages of a proposal will be done offline but will be created in the system with the status ‘under development’. Once the details have been firmed up and agreed upon, the proposal details will be updated in the system and the workflow for requisite reviews and approvals will be triggered.
8. When do I contact the “PMO” to enter my CN in the system?
Immediately you start working on the CN and have the required details e.g. budget amount, duration, period from, period to, submission deadline, etc. The CN will be created in the system with the status ‘under development’.
9. Will my concept note status remain open in the system even after the donor has rejected?Once a concept note has been rejected, the status will need to be reflected in the system as ‘rejected by donor’. The PI will need to share the information with the PMO or the person responsible for reflecting this status in OCS.
10.Will I be able to search for other people’s ideas on the system? If yes how does the system protect the ideas from the risk of others “stealing” them? Will there be controls in place?
Yes, through the key business users (KBU), you can request for the ideas that have been created/archived in the system. As regards inbuilt access controls, this is an area that is still under development to ensure that the idea owner will be notified when one needs to use their idea(s).
11.Will the system capture and help with monitoring the deliverables?
Yes but only if the deliverables are correctly created in the system with timelines very well specified. It is garbage in garbage out (GIGO).
12.Will OCS link with the Performance Appraisal system?
Not at the moment but this is an area that can be incorporated later.
13.Is there a check for due diligence in the system and provision to attach the report?
Not at the moment but this is being created.
14.Will I be able to see the list of people that the call for proposals goes out to?
This depends on your user rights. Some people will see while others will not depending on one’s user rights.

Additional comments from research management training sessions:

Master File
Concept Note
Relation on supplier should show Partner group only
Concept Note/Proposal
Internal Date should be earlier than Donor date; Status date in Proposal but not in Concept Note MF
Project Leader defaults to User – should not
Payment type just under relation – is this ok; Invoice rule is ‘challenging’ (Stella is following-up)
New CRA codes – still discussing so at the moment new are manual input
Check CRA Types – Linda’s list vs. attribute values (lab users; fellows)
Agreements / CRA
None in training set-up (could you add a couple please) so couldn’t check workflow