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PennERA-Web Site Launch and Project Update

A dedicated web site ( was launched over the summer to help inform the University community about the PennERA project. PennERA is the University's Electronic Research Administration project, a multiyear initiative to develop streamlined processes and more efficient tools for handling pre- and post-award administrative tasks related to the sponsored projects of Penn‰s academic research community. Ultimately, the project will implement a ‹cradle-to-graveŠ web-based system for research project development, support, and management.

The new PennERA web site provides up-to-date information about current project planning and development activities, news, and events, as well as background information such as project rationale, key milestones and deliverables, and completed activities. We invite you to visit the web site regularly to keep abreast of progress and to send feedback to the project team.

In recent months, progress on the PennERA project has been made on several other fronts:

Phase I of Core PennERA System. PennERA was conceived and organized as a multistage project with new and improved systems and processes being implemented at phased intervals. The initial development phase of the core PennERA system began in June of this year, following the signing of the contract with InfoEd, Penn‰s primary vendor-partner for research administration software. In Phase I the cornerstones of the new research administration system will be built: a new application to track proposals and awards, and a new application to track human subject and lab animal protocols. These base applications will provide a solid foundation for the more extensive protocol and proposal development modules to come in later phases.

To guide development, the project team will call upon three standing faculty advisory groups. A fourth group comprising School and Center administrators will be convened in the fall. We expect that this group of ‹Research RepsŠ will function in a similar manner to the BEN Reps group.

In the near future, the project team will be asking both faculty and administrators to serve on working groups to provide additional information regarding requirements and to address specific issues related to business processes during the development and implementation phases of the project.

Other Initiatives. The PennERA project is the umbrella for numerous other development initiatives related to research administration. These initiatives are being undertaken in parallel, either to provide short-term solutions to pressing administrative needs or to build functionality required for the core PennERA system. Among these are:

  • Human Subjects Adverse Events Reporting System (PennAEs)--this web-based system will give principal investigators (PIs), clinical coordinators, and staff in the Office of Regulatory Affairs a means of tracking, collecting, and reporting serious adverse events involving human subjects. PennAEs will be released to a pilot group this month and to the University at-large in phases later in the fall. Adverse event reporting functionality will later be integrated into the core PennERA system. For more information on PennAEs, please see the sidebar (at right). 

  • Next-Generation Effort Reporting System-- this system will give the University community an online tool for reporting in compliance with the requirements of OMB-A21. System needs and requirements are currently being identified and a proposal is expected to be ready this month. 

  •  BRIM System--this billing and receivables system was completed last year and is used by the Office of Research Services to issue invoices and track receivables for sponsored projects. Beginning this fall, data from BRIM will be fed into the University‰s central data repository, the Data Warehouse, and will eventually be made available to Data Warehouse users who wish to run their own reports or import data to their desktop systems for analysis.

Future updates about PennERA will be provided throughout the project.

For the most current information, please visit the PennERA project web site at If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please send an e-mail to

--Robin H. Beck, Vice President of Information Systems and Computing

--Andrew B. Rudczynski, Executive Director of Research Services and Associate Vice President of Finance

--Joseph R. Sherwin, Director of the Office of Regulatory Affairs


Click Here for Penn's Adverse Events Reporting System (PennAEs)

Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 3, September 10, 2002


September 10, 2002
Volume 49 Number 3

A Major General in the U.S. Marines has been named as Penn's EVP.
Civic House--the community service hub--has a new Faculty Advisor.
9/11 Remembrance
Senate Agenda
At the Convocation last Wednesday, the President and Provost welcomed the new students to campus with words of wisdom.
PennERA--Electronic Research Administration--is intended to streamline processes related to sponsored research.
PennKey, a new authentication system is coming to campus to improve network security and protect privacy online.
Remember last academic year? The Models of Excellence program seeks nominees whose notable achievements went above and beyond the job expectations.