Research Administration Communication

This Research Administration Communication (RAC) page is designed to keep you informed about upcoming changes in how we submit applications for external grants, contracts and fellowships (pre-award research administration); and how we provide management and support for externally funded awards (post-award research administration). 

All of this is happening within the context of the university’s move to a new service delivery model for research administration which involves transitioning many services from the university’s Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) to CHSS over the next several months. The college is working closely with OSP to ensure that services to CHSS researchers continue without disruption.

There are two key changes as part of the transition:

  1. The implementation of RAMP (Research Administration Management Portal). This system will capture research related data for proposals, grants management, conflict of interest, export control, institutional animal care and use, and institutional review board (IRB) for the protection of human subjects, in one system. The RAMP GO LIVE date for the Grants and Agreements modules is July 11, 2022. See https://ramp.gmu.edu for information about RAMP and RAMP training.  
  2. Expanding infrastructure by creating research administration staff within Colleges and Schools. This involves placing Pre-Award Research Administrators (Pre-Award RAs) closer to the investigators working on grant proposals, and providing additional Post-Award Research Administrators (Post-Award RAs) to work with investigators and department/center staff once their proposals are funded. These positions will be located in the Dean's Office. 

Here's a nice summary of the CHSS transition to RAMP and our new service delivery model. 

New Staff and Positions

In CHSS we are forming two teams to support you better with the upcoming transition and the launch of new college based research administration support.

The Pre-Award Research Administration team will be led by Ms. Rashmi Pershad, Associate Director, who reports to Dr. Michele Schwietz, Associate Dean for Research.  Three Pre-Award Research Administrators will start their positions in CHSS in late July 2022, reporting to Rashmi Pershad. 

The Post-Award Research Administration team, under the direction of Janice Cohen, Director of Finance and Research Operations, and Olga Shchepina, Associate Director of Post Award Services are complemented by two additional Post Award Research Administrators, Anthony DeMaio and Kenny Santos who started their positions in April and May 2022 respectively.  The Post-Award team is part of the larger CHSS Finance team led by Kim Dight, CHSS's Chief Business Officer. 

CHSS Pre-Award and RAMP:  What will be new and different?

Phase I  OSP will provide proposal/budget development and submission support to CHSS until the CHSS Pre-Award Research Administrators are onboarded and trained. OSP will direct how information needs to be provided in RAMP.  CHSS Pre-Award will begin developing Tools and Information for Pre-Award Success (TIPS) Sheets to assist in proposal development.  Summer 2022.

Phase II  Pre-Award Research Administration support will transition from OSP to the College once the CHSS pre-award team are in place, onboarded and trained.  The CHSS RAs will assist the faculty by reviewing RFPs or RFAs, preparing a timeline and checklist for the specific RFA, and will enter the proposal information into RAMP and the sponsor platform.  As OSP's Request for Proposal Assistance will be discontinued, we will replace this with a new intake form when Phase II is underway. Fall 2022. 

Phase III  Once we have smoothly transitioned to RAMP, the CHSS pre-award research administration team will provide template documents and samples to help faculty save time so they can focus on writing the main body of the grant. The pre-award team will expand outreach and proposal development resources and guidance.  Spring 2023.

We have created a dedicated email address for all pre-award related queries: CHSSPreA@gmu.edu. Please send any questions regarding pre-award research administration to this address.

CHSS Post Award and RAMP: What will be different?

  • All externally sponsored project award notices will be processed in RAMP.  
  • PIs will receive an email notification from RAMP once the award is fully activated in Banner with a fund number (20xxxx or 22xxxx) established.
  • PIs and/or research administrators will need to request Post Award Modifications (e.g. Subaward creation, NCE, budget revision, change in scope) through RAMP.
  • All award financial activity will still occur through Banner (RAMP is not used for managing financial transactions).  Financial reports will still be maintained and accessed through PI Reports.