Research Admin March 2022 Update

Welcome to the first ATP Research Administration update! Every month, we will share a report on the progression of all Research Administration–related activities in the Administrative Transformation Program. Read on to learn about our work to date and see key implementation dates.

About ATP’s Research Administration Strategy

The systems and business processes that support research administration across the UW System are undergoing a transformation. The ATP Research Administration team, in close collaboration with leadership and subject matter experts across the UW System’s campuses, is engaged in an initiative to expand our capabilities and modernize our technology to meet the ever-changing requirements of the UW’s world-class research enterprise.

This transformation is spearheaded by two separate, but related, endeavors: the Research Administration Modernization Project (RAMP) and the implementation of Workday. RAMP will implement select Huron Research Suite modules, on varied timelines and according to the needs of each UW campus, which will be complemented by functionalities within Workday.


Grants & Agreements (Systemwide)

The Huron Grants & Agreements modules seek to replace functionally provided by WISPER and Cayuse 424 into one system, while adding additional features. The implementation at UW–Madison kicked off on December 1, 2021, and the team quickly dove into a three-month onboarding phase. Since the beginning of December, the team has spent upwards of ten hours a week focused on:

  • Receiving hands-on, in-depth training on the Grants & Agreements solutions
  • Identifying gaps between UW business processes and the Grants & Agreements solutions
  • Developing requirements and an agreed-upon scope for the configuration of the future system  

The onboarding stage concluded in late February, and the team will soon transition into an eight-month design stage to conduct the deep-dive design of the business processes and system configurations. More information on the details of the design stage will be provided in next month’s update.

The go-live date at UW–Madison is expected to be February 2023. Conversations regarding the timeline for implementation of Grants & Agreements at UW-Milwaukee and the comprehensive campuses are ongoing.

Employee Compensation Compliance (Effort Reporting Changes – UW–Madison and UW-Milwaukee)

UW–Madison and UW-Milwaukee will upgrade the Effort Certification and Reporting Technology (ECRT) system we use now to the newer Huron Employee Compensation Compliance (ECC) module. Coupled with the upgraded technology, we will transition away from the traditional effort reporting to a new project-based payroll confirmation approach.

Since early December, the team has engaged in planning and technical activities. Much of the work has focused on mapping current UW data into the future ECC solution as well as technical conversations with partners from UW–Madison’s Division of Information Technology. Additional analysis has also been conducted to make a few key decisions. To date, we’ve identified the following changes associated with moving to the ECC solution:

  • Shifting the focus of certification to payroll in dollars, rather than a percentage of effort
  • Limiting certification to federal awards only
  • Organizing the data by federal project, not a specific individual
  • Applying the 1% commitment rule to federal awards only

Once data-mapping and technical activities conclude in the coming weeks, the team plans to provide in-depth information sessions for stakeholders at the UW–Madison and UW-Milwaukee campuses. The expected go-live date for this is August 2022 — the next certification period.

Financial Forecasting (UW–Madison)

The Huron Financial Forecasting module will be used primarily by the UW–Madison Budget Office. This provides financial and research-focused university leaders with the data and analytical capabilities to evaluate the performance of programs and investigators more accurately. Preliminary planning activities have concluded, and a kickoff for this three-month implementation has been scheduled for March 4.

Export Control (UW–Madison)

This implementation is not expected to start until July 2022, roughly. It’s anticipated that the roll-out of this dedicated export control functionality will occur in conjunction with the Grants & Agreements modules.


In many ways, the implementation of Workday as our new HR and Financial systems is just starting. Huron is the system implementation (SI) firm selected to help the UW System implement Workday at all UW System campuses. Huron began onboarding activities with ATP in January.

The Research Admin team has been working closely with the Finance team to finalize the Workday FDM (Foundational Data Model – think chart of accounts). In addition, we’re gearing up for dedicated grants management discovery sessions, which will introduce Workday delivered features, concepts, and terminology in order to shape the Foundation Tenant Build, as well as prepare the team to move into the Architect stage. These discovery sessions are expected to take place throughout the month of March and will involve Research Administration Design Teams and members from various focus groups. We are planning for three specific sessions:

  • Grants Management #1: Award Setup and Award Maintenance
  • Grants Management #2: Sponsored Billing and Closeout
  • Effort Reporting (for the UW comprehensive campuses)

Workday’s expected go-live across the UW System is July 2024.