University of Illinois Memorandum of Agreement Systemwide Tools for Administration of Research and Training (START)

The University of Illinois is a world leader in research and discovery attracting nearly a billion dollars a year in externally sponsored research support. This funding originates from over a thousand different sponsors and involves over half of our institutional faculty, graduate students and staff. Providing the services to maintain a large and complex sponsored portfolio mandates requires that the University be efficient in its operational support of research. The purpose of this Memorandum of Agreement is to document the agreement among the principal sponsors of the Systemwide Tools for Administration of Research and Training (START). The goal of START is to implement modern and efficient research support tools that reduce the faculty burden in administering the sponsored portfolio while permitting the institution to maintain compliance and competitiveness.

The initial project focus will be identifying existing research support functions whose services would benefit from new or enhanced electronic research systems. This includes converting existing paper-dependent processes into a digital decision cycle, standardizing business practices among campuses, and developing new tools and processes to distribute sponsored project data to our investigators and administrators who manage and support the institutional sponsored portfolio.

The project will focus on the following research support services in approximate sequential order:

  1. Implementation of Kuali Coeus Conflict of Interest (COI)
  2. Development of the University of Illinois myResearch Portal
  3. Implementation of Kuali Coeus Proposal and Budget Development
  4. Implementation of system software supporting the Institutional Review Board
  5. Implementation of system software supporting Animal Care and Use

The following committees will govern the project:

  1. Executive Oversight Committee (VCR from each campus and AITS director)
  2. Project Steering Committee (Senior campus representatives and AITS project managers)
  3. Stakeholder/Advisory Groups (Senior faculty, Associate Deans of Research, College business office staff, OSP and OBFS staff, and others)

The project will be managed by the following:

  1. Vice Chancellors for Research (UIC and UIUC) and Provost (UIS)
  2. Administrative Information Technology Services

The Office of the Administrative Information Technology Services (AITS) will work in close collaboration with the above governing committees and designated operational staff of the various campus units in supporting this project. Prior to completion of the Conflict of Interest implementation, the project team shall assess the functional and technical merits to determine whether the Kuali Coeus software is the appropriate choice for integrating proposal and budget development.

The period of performance for this project is July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2018 with an estimated cost of $8,000,000. While the cost of implementation shall be borne by the sponsors of START, it is the intent that the efficiencies gained by the START initiatives shall more than compensate for the overall cost of the project. The Executive Oversight Committee shall annually review the progress of START in consultation with the Project Steering Committee. Progress shall be defined as successful implementation of new or improved research support services for administration of research for both researchers and the administrative staff who work with them.


Dr. Mitra Dutta
Vice Chancellor for Research
University of Illinois at Chicago

Dr. Peter Schiffer
Vice Chancellor for Research
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Lynn Pardie
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost
University of Illinois Springfield