Texas A&M University System Improves Managing More Than US$800 Million in Research Funds with Centralized Research Information System
 
 

Texas A&M University System Improves Managing More Than US$800 Million in Research Funds with Centralized Research Information System

Texas A&M University System is one of the largest higher education systems in the United States, with a statewide network of 11 universities, seven state agencies, and a comprehensive health science center. The mission of Texas A&M University System is to provide education, conduct research, commercialize technology, offer training, and deliver services for the people of Texas and beyond through its network. Texas A&M University System members educate more than 120,000 students and reach another 22 million people through service each year. With more than 28,000 faculty and staff, the A&M System has a physical presence in 250 of the state’s 254 counties and a programmatic presence across the entire state. In 2011, externally funded research expenditures exceeded US$800 million to help drive the state’s economy.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Texas A&M

  • "In the competitive research world, time is of the essence. Oracle enables our researchers to quickly and easily engage with each other to find expertise in similar areas, secure grants, and focus their time on conducting research, not administrative tasks.” – Sreeja Sreekumaran, Technical Lead, Texas A&M University System

  • Help researchers better manage research programs through a secure, centralized, and integrated system, based on a reliable and scalable infrastructure
  • Support researcher collaboration and communication by providing access to data in real-time, reducing time spent on research administration
  • Support executive decision-making by generating cumulative reports on research activities, quickly and easily
  • Enable researchers across 11 universities, seven state agencies, and a health science center to secure external funding and more easily comply with research regulations

Solutions

  • Built, with the out-of-the-box functionality of Oracle WebCenter Portal, Oracle WebCenter Content, and Oracle Application Development Framework, an integrated and centralized research management system (which it called Maestro), to reduce the time 10,000 users across the university system spent on administrative tasks
  • Improved researcher productivity by 30%, thanks to an integrated activity stream to track research contract and proposal requirements, providing project status updates in real-time and streamlining communications between universities, agencies, and research centers
  • Created a system with an intuitive user interface, based on Oracle Application Development Framework and Oracle WebCenter Portal, requiring minimal user training and increasing employee satisfaction by 30%
  • Consolidated inventory, sponsor, and organizational information and supported real-time data updates to better track research information and improve report generation speed to enhance university decision-making
  • Leveraged built-in search capabilities to support seamless access to research data, compliance documents, and grant information from within the application
  • Used Oracle WebCenter Content to develop a system with more than 400 pages, custom dashboards for executives, and personalization tools for administrators and researchers—centralizing the tool across different departments
  • Secured and managed more than US$700 million in research funding by providing researchers with tools and information to streamline grant writing and better manage budgets
  • Achieved granular security functionality for research and grant-writing data by customizing each user’s access, thanks to Oracle Application Development Framework’s out-of-the-box security functionality
  • Created reusable system components with Oracle Application Development Framework to enhance the speed at which the university system can roll out new system functionality and security

Why Oracle

“We selected Oracle because its industry-standard technology and out-of-the-box functionality provided us with the means to securely consolidate information across our many locations and improve processes for our staff, so they could focus more on their research and spend less time on administrative tasks—a huge benefit for a large university system,” said Leonarda Horvat, director of Maestro, Texas A&M University System.

Implementation Process

The Maestro portal and content management system went live after just six months of research and development. The project was completed in several phases. The first phase focused on consolidating information into the data warehouse. The second phase enabled researchers to submit proposals and request grants through the system. The final phase, which has not yet been completed, will focus on making Maestro the one-stop-shop for all research needs, integrating all processes that are currently external—including phone calls and e-mails—with the system.