Transition to new research proposal system begins in July

In July, Iowa State will roll out the Streamlyne proposal development and routing system to replace the GoldSheet, Cardinal Sheet, Liquid Office and Cayuse systems.

After more than 20 years of service, the current proposal and development system is antiquated and inadequate for helping principal investigators (PIs) meet the requirements of an ever evolving and increasingly complex research proposal environment. In addition, the current system presents ongoing agility and maintenance challenges.

The office of the vice president for research (OVPR) and the office of sponsored programs and administration (OSPA) -- in collaboration with the colleges and user groups -- began defining the expectations for an enhanced proposal development and routing system in 2019.

"Our goal was to identify an improved, multifaceted system that would grow and evolve with the changing needs of our research community and be viable for years to come," said OSPA director Becky Musselman.

After reviewing several industry-leading options, the project team selected Streamlyne Research, an electronic Research Administration (eRA) software with interconnected modules, cloud-based security and industry-leading uptime.

"Our transition to Streamlyne and our changes in process are being made to ensure that we have the systems in place to help our PIs deliver successful proposals that review well and stand up to evolving and increasing sponsor scrutiny," said vice president for research Peter Dorhout. "With change comes challenges. But through every step of the process, our service-minded team has kept PIs' perspectives top-of-mind while making the necessary and purposeful changes needed to continue to advance the Iowa State research enterprise."

Phase 1 implementation

The first phase of implementation, beginning this July, will enable pre-award proposal development and pre-award institutional proposals for both sponsored funding and gifts to co-exist in one cohesive system. The proposal development module allows collaborative development of a proposal, including the collection of data and attachments required for approvals, reporting and tracking. The institutional proposals module provides for institutional recordkeeping of proposals submitted and agreements requested (for example, a Material Transfer Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding or Nondisclosure Agreement). In addition, Streamlyne is a certified Workday integration partner.

The move to Streamlyne means GoldSheets, Cardinal Sheets and Cayuse System-to-System (S2S) proposals for will be replaced with a single system that will:

  • Reduce the number of systems PIs need to learn and use.
  • Decrease duplicate entries.
  • Enable PIs to view, save and retain proposal attachments in a single location.

Additional Streamlyne benefits for PIs include:

  • Viewing proposals at any time once they have been initiated.
  • PIs and co-PIs may approve proposals at the same time without having to wait for the prior approver to authorize.
  • Files for submitted proposals will be saved and accessible in Streamlyne to help create accurate lists of current and pending support.
  • Tracking where their proposals-in-routing are in the workflow and approval process.
  • The ability to sort proposal listings by various criteria including sponsor, title, project, status, lead unit, deadline date, opportunity number or initiator.
  • The ability to copy proposal records -- including budgets and attachments -- in order to initiate new proposals.
  • Improved and more convenient budget development possible due to the system's ability to automatically load a research team member's salary and benefits when the individual's name is entered.
  • Store multiple budget drafts for a single project.
  • Co-PIs, in addition to PIs, can document proposal financial responsibility by responsible person.

Changes to routing deadlines

In order to help PIs meet sponsor requirements, a change in routing deadlines is being implemented to ensure proposals conform with the ever-changing requirements of funding opportunities. With Streamlyne, a new initial review process will be used for all sponsored project budgets. All sponsored project budgets will be reviewed and approved before final proposals are routed internally for ISU approvals. This means two firm proposal deadlines will be in place: one for submission of the budget to OSPA for review; the other for routing the proposal documents for approval.

The Streamlyne system currently is being tested by an ISU project team and the Campus Super-User Group comprised of proposal development staff from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences/Ag Experiment Station (CALS/AES); the colleges of Engineering, Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences and Veterinary Medicine; Extension and Outreach and the Grants Hub.

A system pilot will begin in May with CALS/AES and the College of Human Sciences. Training opportunities for all PIs will be offered prior to the July 5 go-live date. Additional information on the new Streamlyne system, including an FAQ, is online.