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How to Extend Your Research Administration System with No-Code Apps

October 14, 2020

A recent survey on research administration found that 33% of approvals are collected on paper. 41% of all form interactions, beyond just approvals, are completed through email and Adobe.

Why is that? Why are administrations using paper-based forms to manage research?

Some elements of research administration eclipse the scope of research administration software. That’s okay. These systems were built to meet specific needs, such as managing conflict of interest and commitment disclosures, protocols, export controls, proposals, and awards. Research administration software already facilitates the majority of the work around research.  

Research departments are seeking to extend the already robust functionality of their research administration system with flexible and automated forms.

Use no-code apps for research administration approvals

No-code applications can fill this gap.

Using a no-code solution, your institution can save time and resources by moving approvals to a software-based system. With the right software, your department could fully automate the peskiest paper and PDF processes in just weeks with minimal work from IT.

How two institutions extended their research administration system with no-code apps

Southern Connecticut State University 

Southern Connecticut State University was seeing success with their research administration system. However, supporting processes handled outside of the software could be clunky at times. Information management tasks, such as finding information, locating documents, and delays in processing, all due to paper-based dependencies, had negative impacts on personnel.

Paper dependency issues were exceptionally apparent in the supplemental pay for grant-related work process. Paper processes resulted in researchers sometimes waiting weeks or months after filling a form to see results on a paycheck.

SCSU searched for an automation platform to solve this issue. 

They chose Kuali Build and by the end of the quarter, approximately 95% of the approvals were delivered within two weeks of form submission. Check out the full story here.

University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Amherst uses several Kuali Research modules to manage administration processes. Still, like SCSU, there were essential processes that fell outside the scope of those solutions. 

The Research and Engagement (R&E) team attempted to use their preferred eSign tool to manage auxiliary processes; however, the tool lacked the requisite functionality to handle these processes which led to a failed process launch. 

The R&E team recognized the need for a better forms and workflow solution to round out their research technology portfolio.

UMass Amherst utilized no-code app solution Kuali Build to fulfill their needs.

UMass Amherst was able to quickly develop and launch their most difficult research process with Kuali Build. Using the software’s robust workflow capabilities, the R&E team implemented a large, complex set of routing rules, including branched routing, custom email notifications, and robust integrations. You can read more about their story here

Create No-Code Apps for Your Research Administration

SCSU and UMass Amherst continue to expand their use of research administration systems by utilizing no-code app solution Kuali Build. You can too. Start leveraging no-code software to save time, improve accuracy, and lift personnel satisfaction across research activities. Visit to learn more.

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