ERIC: The New Research Project Management Solution for CityU

by Jacky Tsui, Roger Wong
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​What is ERIC?

Executive Research Information System for CityU (ERIC) ​is the new research project management solution of the University and it was rolled out in early February 2019. It not only replaced the old system – Integrated Research Information System (IRIS), which has been serving the CityU community since 1998, but also provided vital new features for our researchers’ needs.

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ERIC runs on AIMS platform and, therefore, it enables security access by users on and off campus with a single login environment with AIMS. Moreover, it enhances data integrity by sharing the essential data in AIMS directly.

In addition, ERIC is centrally maintained to provide more stable and timely services.

Highlight of New Features

Besides the essential IRIS features, such as comprehensive list of projects for Principal Investigators (PIs) and summary view of financial status of active projects, which are retained in ERIC, the following new features are also provided:

  • Assistant Delegation
    A flexible assistant delegation function allows PIs to assign assistants for managing their projects. Heads of Units can also assign assistants to endorse project reports or view research projects.​​
     
  • View Research Support Staff Information by Projects
    PIs can view research support staff information by individual project to facilitate more effective financial management.​
     
  • Submission of Project Reports for CityU-Funded Projects
    PIs (or delegated assistants) can submit the project reports electronically through ERIC, this facilitates paperless report submission and monitoring of report submission progress.
     
  • Submission of Change Requests​
    PIs (or delegated assistants) can submit change requests for research projects online, and therefore, any changes on the project can be traced properly. ​
     
  • More Comprehensive Research Grant Profile​
    Mainland grant information will be uploaded to ERIC to make PIs’ research grant records more comprehensive. ​
     
  • Enabling Display of Up-to-date Project information in CityU Scholars
    Research Project information on ERIC will be synchronized daily with CityU Scholars to ensure showcasing the most up-to-date project information on the public profile of our researchers.

Benefits for Different Stakeholders

With such a great research project management system, ERIC provides many benefits to different stakeholders in CityU:

  • For PIs and Heads of Units​
    PIs and Heads of Units can now login to the system anytime and anywhere to view and manage their comprehensive research projects and grants profiles. It saves a lot of their time for project report submission and endorsement with the streamlined workflow in the electronic platform. It also provides an easier and faster way to handle the change requests with clear tracking records. Last but not least, it allows assistant delegation with flexibility and security.
     
  • For Research Administration​
    With the enhanced data integrity in ERIC, less effort will be required for data verification and correction by the administrators in the Research Office. Furthermore, the overall efficiency of research project administration will also be improved with the streamlined workflow in the paperless environment.
     
  • For System Support​
    The new system is flexible enough for implementing further extension of system features and system interfaces with other systems. Therefore, less manual effort is required for data maintenance and data interfacing.

Upcoming Plan

ERIC will be further enhanced to streamline the project management related works, including grant application submission for CityU-funded grants and submission process for miscellaneous external grants.​