Novelution Research Management System (NRMS) - Overview:

Novelution offers our core product suite, the Novelution Research Management System, to research institutions, hand-in-hand with a thorough audit of your data and processes, strategic consulting, and a software development and deployment process through which we will tailor design and implement customized versions of the system to meet the detailed, specific needs of each individual client.


The general purpose of an ERA system such as NRMS is to provide a centralized database system with integrated software modules, potentially supporting all aspects of research administration. This may include tools for both administrative and research staff, supporting processes from grant & contract proposal development, to pre-award & post-award management, to integrated IRB & IACUC protocol application and management, to varied compliance tracking, to staff, facilities, and resource management, etc. ERA systems are without any doubt the future of research administration. Serious research institutions are either already using ERA systems, in the process of investigating such systems, or will be soon. The question for any serious research institution that is not currently leveraging an ERA system is not whether it should transition to ERA; rather, the question is when and how this will occur.
Managing the tremendous amount of data throughout the full lifecycle of a single research project becomes an extremely complex undertaking, and this challenge to research institutions is exacerbated by rapidly changing external (and often internal) requirements and regulations. For institutions with large numbers of research projects underway simultaneously, each carries the weight of those same complexities. Old fashioned approaches typically involve some combination of tracking these projects with paper, email, and ad hoc spreadsheets and databases, such that scaling the research pipeline nearly adds a multiplicative factor to the administrative workload. This becomes an untenable solution, leading to delays that affect the securing of funding opportunities as well as creating compliance risk due to the possibility of human error that could cost an institution significantly.

Furthermore, to maintain a competitive position in the changing landscape of peer research institutions, many of whom are taking advantage of ERA systems or moving in this direction, research institutions should embrace ERA to demonstrate to Sponsors and potential researcher recruits that they take research seriously. Sponsoring agencies (e.g. NSF and AHA) have even begun to mandate use of electronic systems for the submission and management of grants. The federally mandated and sponsored Grants.gov website provides an electronic portal for proposal submissions and other electronic correspondence with Federal sponsors. By using an ERA system, these mandated electronic processes with sponsor agencies can be achieved more seamlessly. Achieving administrative efficiency and minimizing the administrative burden on researchers will enhance an institution's researchers’ competitive position among peer research institutions competing for funds.
Regarding software features, Novelution offers a unique degree of customization, compared to other ERA vendors. Beyond our core software suite which is already feature-rich, we have the ability to create a fully customized version of our system to fit the distinct workflow needs of each institution perfectly, rather than requiring an institution's team to fit their workflows to the requirements of an existing system intended for general-purpose use. Novelution specifically built our core software with the intention of creating a highly flexible system, so that we could create tailored versions fulfilling the particular requirements of each client. There are essentially no limits to the customization, from fully unique data and reporting requirements to workflow rules and automated email alerts, etc.

NRMS implements across-the-board efficiencies, easing the process for researchers to generate applications and significantly improving processing times for new applications and ongoing administrative management of sponsored projects and protocols. With a centralized data system eliminating the need for redundant data entry across departments as well as automated processes and user-friendly management tools, we aim to move projects through our partners' pipelines faster, thereby allowing them not to miss opportunities for new sponsorships. Increasing the speed of administrative departments, increasing the time that researchers spend on research, and reducing the time that researchers spend on administration, will fight the frustration caused by administrative friction. This will increase researcher satisfaction, as well as reduce the cost of a tremendous amount of work effort on the part of administrative staff.

Automated validations and processing of complex workflow rules built into NRMS system will enforce data integrity and adherence to compliance, significantly mitigating business risks to our partner institutions, avoiding potentially huge costs. Without such a system, there is much greater risk of human error leading to compliance breach, poor tracking of funds and budgets, inefficient use of resources, failure to renew expiring grants and protocols, and a generally slower process in which fewer research projects can be managed. This could cost research institutions in the form of loss of funding, compliance penalties, legal fees, and reputational damage.

Please note: The screenshots and bullet points of high-level features listed in the module description sections below are examples, to provide a general sense of the nature of system features. However, the system is intended to be tailor customized for each client's ideal needs, so this should not be considered a complete feature listing. Moreover, completely new, custom modules can be created, if desired.


System Administration + User Module
  • Manage Access Roles (control permissions for user groups)
  • Single Sign-on w/ customized role-based navigation menus
  • Manage Department Tree
  • Manage Sponsors
  • Manage CMS Pages
  • Manage User Accounts
  • User Profiles
  • User Training & Certifications
  • User Share Access Feature (e.g. allows project staff to submit of behalf of PI)

 

 

 

 


Grants/Contracts Module
  • PI applications for Sponsored Research (Grants & Contracts)
  • Integrated Pre-award & Post-award Lifecycle Management of projects
  • Automated letters & email reminders (triggered & scheduled, based on customizable system rules)
  • Budget Management Tools (Direct & Indirect costs, carry-overs, pro-rated period calculations, etc.)
  • Association of multiple budget year tabs to umbrella project record
  • File Management
  • Integration with IRB & IACUC Modules
  • Conflict of Interest compliance validation
  • Customized Reports
  • Sophisticated search functionality w/ custom filters & sorting

 

 


Institutional Review Board (IRB) Module
  • PI applications for IRB Protocol
  • Protocol Management throughout customizable status lifecycle (e.g. irb review, co-chair review, modifications required, etc.)
  • Status history retained with meta-notes
  • Automated letters & email reminders (e.g. approvals, expirations, etc.) - triggered & scheduled, based on customizable system rules
  • Chairperson Approvals
  • Co-investigator verification & certification validation
  • File Management
  • Integration with Grants/Contracts Module
  • Generation of IRB Monthly Agenda and Minutes
  • Customized Reports
  • Sophisticated search functionality w/ custom filters & sorting

 

 


Institutional Animal Care and Use Committe (IACUC) + Animal Care Facilities (ACF) Module
  • PI applications for IACUC Protocol
  • Protocol Management throughout customizable status lifecycle
  • Automated letters & email reminders (e.g. approvals, expirations, etc.) - triggered & scheduled, based on customizable system rules
  • File Management
  • Integration with Grants/Contracts Module
  • Generation of IACUC Monthly Agenda and Minutes
  • Animal Room Census
  • PI Order Forms for animal orders & special orders
  • Admin management of orders
  • Admin management of surgeries & event charges
  • Customized Reports
  • Sophisticated search functionality w/ custom filters & sorting

 

 


Space Allocation Module
  • Manage Site/Building/Floor/Room hierarchy
  • For each room, maintain SqFt, use description category assignments, assigned PI/Department, customizable meta-data fields
  • Special data fields for tracking Labs/Equipment
  • Integration with ACF Module for rooms' animal census data
  • Integration with Grants/Contracts Module, connecting PI room assignments & Sq. Ft. to finance data
  • Customized reports (e.g. Revenue per SqFt space allocation by PI/Department, SqFt by Financial class, etc.)
  • Sophisticated search functionality w/ custom filters & sorting