Doubling Submissions at Louisiana State University

  • October 11, 2021

When Louisiana State University (LSU) needed an automation platform to solicit and review
an increasing volume of grant applications for limited submissions, they turned to InfoReady.
When asked about getting the campus engaged with it, here’s the response of Stephen D.
Beck, Ph.D., Associate Vice President in LSU’s Office of Research and Economic

“When we got the license we thought ‘let's try the review process’ and so we manually
added all our submissions to the system. Then we simply distributed it to our reviewers who
were members of the Council on Research. We did zero training, other than telling them to
rank submissions from one to five, with one being best. That's all we did because, honestly,
we felt InfoReady was pretty straightforward, and the feedback we got from reviewers
confirmed our assessment. It was the same situation with faculty, largely because InfoReady
was such a dramatic improvement compared to our previous automated processes, which
were admittedly awful. What we found is that faculty know filling out a form is easy. What’s
[been historically] difficult is keeping up with the amount of regular email that comes from
administrative offices. Even for faculty really diligent about organizing their email, it's almost
impossible to keep things together. So initial acceptance was so tremendous we didn't feel
any faculty training was necessary.”

Stephen goes on to add that “While we currently use InfoReady for our entire internal grants
and competition portal, we started off working just with limited submissions and faculty
awards. That proved so successful we've expanded its use to our internal grants programs,
including travel grants, research grants, and managing and routing administrative approvals
that don't flow through our electronic research administration platform – for example, F&A
waivers and cost sharing approvals.”

“Working in a part of the office oriented around proposal development,” adds LSU’s
Kristopher M Mecholsky, Ph.D., Associate Director of Research Advancement, “one of our
tasks is identifying funding opportunities, particularly limited submission competitions. My
colleague Kelly Robertson began by reviewing all opportunities and checking, first, their
status as limited and then their initialization date, letter of intent, and other deadline dates.
That allows us to develop a review process and timeline that’s customized to the particular
process. For example, the Department of Energy has recently been sponsoring
competitions due within a month or so of announcement. With that kind of extremely short
turnaround, it’s easy to understand why InfoReady’s automated platform is so critical to
structuring the information we’re asking from researchers, ensuring reviews and rankings
are quickly completed, and internally announcing the successful proposals. Clearly, using
email, manually produced documents, and spreadsheets are non-starters in this kind of
competition time frame.”

“In my tenure with the Office,” continues Kris, “there’s no question that InfoReady has
greatly increased our capacity, and part of that is because we can replicate competitions
year after year and keep track of them. Being able to replicate many recurring limited
submissions means we’re able to devote our time and resources to digging deeper to
identify more limited submission competitions and funding opportunities.”

To learn more, read the full case study and watch the webinar.



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