Colorado State University


Colorado State University (CSU) is a longtime user of Kuali Sponsored Programs, but didn’t have a way to manage Subawards within the same system. Staff was using old access databases, and couldn’t leverage the organization tables in Kuali’s Sponsored Programs software. This meant that anything done for Subawards during the proposal stage couldn’t be easily validated in the Award management stage. Without the Subaward module part of the configuration, administrators were uncomfortable with even the idea of an audit of the institution’s sponsored programs because they were unsure that they could provide the required information surrounding their subawards. This had to change in anticipation of questions in an audit of their sponsored programs. CSU needed to have visibility into who had subaward contracts and track those throughout the project.


Kuali’s Subaward module allows information from the proposal stage to flow into the project management stage once the Award is granted. Then, you can use the tool to track the subaward right in the same Sponsored Programs software. CSU utilized the Kuali Community when working toward pushing this module live, working closely with Chanell Rome, an eRA analyst at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), who was about 6 months ahead on implementation.


By being an active participant in the Kuali Community, Chris Carsten, eRA systems officer at Colorado State University, was able to learn the pain points and hurdles UMBC had faced and was able to prepare her own team accordingly.

“The Kuali Research Award user group was a good place to identify resources,” Carsten said.

Within the community, she was able to talk a lot about the capabilities of each of the different features, like the organization table, to find out what it does and doesn’t do. She was able to learn how others use the different fields to capture custom data, getting ideas on the types of data she’d like to capture for CSU specifically. And through this project, she was able to present to the Kuali community at large about her implementation progress and experience with it.

“One of the most valuable things for me is this community that I can bounce ideas off of,” Carsten said. “We don’t have to wait for meetings either. We can post on Zendesk and get answers right away.”

Through this process, Carsten has now joined a working group of Kuali Research Award users, which meets regularly about the Subward module specifically, how it’s working, and what kind of improvements that come up in the group.

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