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It is understandable that questions may arise as a result of change. In this section, we address some of the questions we have heard. Additional questions may be sent to univrs.support@usask.ca.

General FAQs

 Click here to find information about UnivRS, timelines and other project details


 What is UnivRS?

The University Research System (UnivRS) is a web-based central repository for research-related activities and CV data management. It is intended to simplify the pre-and post-award and compliance processes, while producing reports and CV documents as needed. The data stored in UnivRS will help facilitate a research network among the faculty, finding shared research interests and building collaborations at the University of Saskatchewan. Additional information about the UnivRS project is available in the project charter.

 Why do we need UnivRS?

The implementation of UnivRS will address the infrastructure required to support, sustain and expand the University of Saskatchewan research enterprise. It is intended to be a central tool to collaboratively manage some research activities, including pre-and post-award, compliance processes (i.e. human ethics, animal care, biosafety and radiation safety) and clinical trials. This will also make research management more efficient and powerful by complying with reporting requirements from funding and other regulatory agencies.

UnivRS is intended to:

  • replace older, separate database systems with one centralized research and CV management tool at the University of Saskatchewan. The data stored within those separate systems will be migrated to UnivRS, including all research grants and contracts administered by the University of Saskatchewan since 1998, to preserve existing data and populate the University of Saskatchewan Standardized CV and Forms 1 and 2.
  • integrate with other systems at the University of Saskatchewan, such as AboutUS (the human resources system), PAWS (the university portal), the UDW (the university data warehouse (UDW) and the University’s identity management services. UnivRS plans to integrate with the Canadian Common CV (CCV) to streamline efforts needed to prepare funding applications.
  • Develop reports for academic unit(s) to promote research, scholarly and artistic work, and assist with annual reports and metrics. Administrative units may also have access to institutional metrics, such as publications per year, teaching activities and research funding history. Units can work with the UnivRS Team to develop reports in the system, which they can access and generate at any time.
  • increase transparency and optimization of business processes, and improve service delivery by integrating business processes and technology
  • develop inherent standards and controls within the system to ensure compliance with the Tri-Agency Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions, Controlled Goods Regulations and other known requirements.
  • enhance data sharing, accuracy and trust of information, and dynamic reporting increase support for communicating research to raise the University of Saskatchewan profile worldwide
 What is the total cost of the project?

The implementation of UnivRS was projected to cost $7.538M. Operational costs are being reallocated to support UnivRS throughout its implementation.

 What will UnivRS do for me as a faculty or staff member?

Save you time! UnivRS can be used to:

  • Generate your University of Saskatchewan Standardized CV and Forms 1 and 2. Faculty can add information to their CV from many sources, importing data from online publication databases such as PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus, while uploading information from personal BibTeX, Endnote (X1/X2/Tag), Reference Manager (RIS) and Refworks files. CV documents may be downloaded into a Word or PDF document at any time. The CV documents are pre-formatted to reduce administrative burdens and keep the information consistent.
  • Reduce the amount of time spent obtaining internal approvals for research grants and contracts. Those paper-based approvals are now obtained electronically in UnivRS to reduce administrative burdens on faculty and staff, and revert time back to research.
  • Comply with the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research and related policies, Controlled Good regulations, and other internal and external requirements.
  • Monitor research projects and generate information to assist with annual reports or reviews.

UnivRS plans to:

  • Interact directly with the Canadian Common CV (CCV) to minimize the amount of effort needed to apply for funding (e.g., CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) and keep CCV information up-to-date.
  • Generate CV documents in a variety of formats to adhere to accreditation standards and funding agency requirements.
  • Maintain your online web profile on your College/School/Centre website to promote research, scholarly and artistic work, and facilitate collaborations with colleagues and students.
  • Integrate with the University of Saskatchewan institutional repository to make research, scholarly and artistic work accessible to the public thereby complying with external requirements, such as the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.
 Was the software purchased from a vendor?

Yes, the software – CONVERIS - was purchased from Clarivate Analytics, who will jointly implement the system with the UnivRS team at the University of Saskatchewan.

 How long will it take to implement?

The goal is to fully implement UnivRS by 2019 in stages. A general progressive implementation plan for UnivRS is as follows:

- Stage 0: Set up of Standard System

- Stage 1: Pre-and Post-Award Management

  • Implement grant and contracts data module and associated workflows
  • Implement identity management, delegation and electronic approvals
  • Implement preliminary research reporting
  • Preliminary integration with internal system (e.g., Research Ethics, Biosafety, IDM)

- Stage 2 and 3: Compliance, CV and Advance Reporting

  • Implement ethics review workflows and meeting management
  • Implement publications data module and associated workflows
  • Implement public web capabilities and services
  • Implement advance reporting capabilities
  • Incorporate data exchange capabilities with agency(ies)

- Stage 4: Clinical Trials and Graduate Students

  • Implement clinical trials data module and associated workflows
  • Implement graduate students data module and associated workflows

There are no foreseen disruptions in service during implementation. Existing systems will remain active until UnivRS has been thoroughly tested.

 Will UnivRS address Tri-Agency compliance requirements?

Yes, UnivRS will address Tri-Agency compliance requirements by ensuring internal controls are in place to monitor and track controlled goods, conflicts of interest and ethical compliance requirements for research projects. It will also support internal initiatives, such as: the internal approval processes for Tri-Agency funded research; institutional policies for research administration, eligibility and institutional costs of research; and the development of an institutional repository for the University of Saskatchewan.

 Will information entered into UnivRS be secure?

Yes, the information entered or migrated into UnivRS will be secure because it is stored on University of Saskatchewan servers. It does not require any plug-ins or third party software, and can be used on mobile devices with support for Android, iOS and Windows Phones.

 Who will have access to UnivRS?

User accounts in UnivRS are maintained through the University's identity management services. These services assign the necessary permissions to faculty and staff through role-based access in UnivRS.  Each role allows a faculty or staff member to carry out a wide range of tasks, such as approving a research grant or contract.  Role-based access can be easily created and/or modified as the needs of the University of Saskatchewan evolve, without having to update the permissions of each end user. Additional information about the types of roles in UnivRS is available on UnivRS resources webpage.

 Will UnivRS connect to any systems?

Yes, UnivRS connects to other systems on campus to simplify processes and avoid duplication, such as Access databases in Safety Resources and the Research Services and Ethics Office, AboutUS (the human resources system), PAWS (the university portal), the UDW (the university data warehouse), and the University’s identity management services.  These connections also provide information necessary to comply with the University’s Eligibility to Apply for, Hold and Administer Research Funding policy and sponsoring agency requirements. Connections to other internal and external systems, such as the Canadian Common CV, ResearchGate and Google Scholar may be included in a future release.

Compliance (Animal Ethics, Biosafety, Human Ethics and Radiation Safety)

 Click here to find information about the ethics software (e.g. human ethics, animal care and use, biosafety and radiation safety)
 What is the Compliance Module?

The Compliance module effectively manages and reports on projects involving human participants, biological materials and radioisotopes at the University of Saskatchewan.  It also ensures the University of Saskatchewan aligns with external regulations and guidelines, including those set by Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the Tri-Agencies.  Software for projects involving animals and/or animal tissues is scheduled to be released in Summer 2019.

All faculty and staff will continue to submit their human ethics, animal ethics, biosafety and radiation safety forms to the respective unit via e-mail.  Additional information about research ethics is available at: https://vpresearch.usask.ca/researchers/ethics1.php

 When will it be released?

Human ethics software was released internally to the Research Services and Ethics Office staff and their centralized review committees on May 7, 2018.  Biosafety and radiation safety software is scheduled to be released internally to the Safety Resources staff and their centralized review committees on December 10, 2018. The staff and their centralized review committees will pilot the software before it is released to the campus community in 2019.

 Who will have access to this module?

During the internal release, the Compliance module will only be accessible by the staff in the Research Services and Ethics Office, staff in Safety Resources, and individuals associated with their centralized review committees. 

 Who has been involved in the development of this module?

Since 2016, many stakeholders have been consulted to develop the Compliance module. These stakeholders include, but are not limited to, the following: Office of the Vice-President Research staff; Safety Resources staff; Chairs of ethics review committees; the Research Systems Steering Committee and UnivRS Reference Group; and other internal and external stakeholders. Since November 2016, over fifty (50) stakeholders actively beta tested human ethics, biosafety and radiation safety software.

 Are faculty and staff impacted by the release of this module?

Faculty and staff are encouraged to complete the new and/or revised paper-based forms for projects involving human participants: https://vpresearch.usask.ca/researchers/ethics1.php. These forms are intended to: 1) provide opportunities for the campus community to share early feedback about the forms; and 2) to streamline the transfer of paper-based forms into UnivRS by the research ethics staff.

The biosafety and radiation safety forms have not been modified. These forms can be downloaded at: https://safetyresources.usask.ca/procedures_forms/index.php

 Will existing data be transferred to UnivRS?

Yes, data entered into the Research Services and Ethics Office and Safety Resources databases will be migrated to UnivRS prior to each scheduled launch. There are no foreseen disruptions to submitted or active projects during the migration.

 Will there be any disruptions in service during the rollout?

Minor disruptions may occur as the Research Services and Ethics Office and Safety Resources staff and their centralized review committees become familiar with the Compliance module.  Resources have been hired to assist with the transition and to provide dedicated support during the rollout.

 What are some of the possible risks associated with this release?

Some of the possible risks include: resistance to new and/or modified paper-based forms for projects involving human participants; and changes in external policies and/or regulations that may impact business processes and associated software.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

 Click here to find information about the CV management software in UnivRS
 How do I find my CV-related records?

Instructions on how to find CV records are included in the ‘Quick Start Guide – Where to Find and Update CV Entries’ available on the UnivRS resource webpage.

 How do I add a record in the online CV? Are there any short-cuts?

Instructions to add a CV Activities or Contributions record in UnivRS are included in the ‘UnivRS – Information Guide: CV Activities and Contributions Modules’ document available on the UnivRS resource webpage. Some short-cuts include: 1) cloning a record from a list page in UnivRS; 2) importing a publication from PubMed, Web of Science or Scopus; and/or 3) importing information from a file, such as BibTex, Endnote (X1/X2/Tag), Reference Manager (RIS) or Refworks. Instructions on how to use these short-cuts are included in the ‘UnivRS – Information Guide: CV Activities and Contributions Modules’ document available on the UnivRS resource webpage.

 Do I need to complete all the sections and fields in the online CV?

No, the online CV represents all the information that can possibly be requested in the USask Standardized CV and the Canadian Common CV. The University of Saskatchewan and most funding agencies request only a subset of this information. When integration with the Canadian Common CV occurs and you choose a funding source and CV type, only the information requested by that organisation will appear in the output. Specific instructions on information expected in the USask Standardized CV or Forms 1 and 2 is available in the University of Saskatchewan Standardized CV Comparison Documents.

 How do I validate a record in the online CV?

To validate a record: Open the desired record, click the ‘Save & Update Status’ button, select 'Validated’ in the pop-up window and then click the 'Done' button. Once the workflow is set, the respective list page will be displayed and the record you recently validated will appear at the top of the list. Note: Only records set to ‘Validated’ will appear in a CV generated by UnivRS. Additional instructions are available in the ‘Quick Start Guide - How to Find, Validate and Discard CV Entries’ document available on the UnivRS resource webpage.

If your CV was entered by a student, you may ask the UnivRS team to set the status of all your CV-related records to 'Validated' by emailing univrs.team@usask.ca. This will allow you to update and generate your complete USask Standardized CV from UnivRS.

 How do I delete a record in my online CV?

Faculty may choose to discard any CV Activities and/or Contributions records in UnivRS. To discard a record: Open the desired record, click the ‘Save & Update Status’ button, select ‘Discarded’ in the pop-up window and then click the ‘Done’ button. Once the workflow is set, the respective list page will be displayed and the record you recently edited will appear at the top of the list. Note: Only records set to ‘Validated’ will appear in a CV generated by UnivRS. Additional instructions are available in the ‘Quick Start Guide - How to Find, Validate and Discard CV Entries’ document available on the UnivRS resource webpage

 How does the system know where to place my items in the USask Standardized CV?

Data entered in UnivRS determines the placement of a record in the USask Standardized CV, Form 1 and Form 2. Details regarding the placement of a record in the USask Standardized CV are included in the ‘UnivRS and University of Saskatchewan Standardized CV Comparison’ document available on the UnivRS resource webpage.

 What information appears on my USask Standardized CV?
The guidelines and format for the USask Standardized CV are available on the Office of the Vice-Provost, Faculty Relations website.
 How can I delegate my role to a staff member?

Faculty members may choose to delegate their role in UnivRS to a staff member at the University of Saskatchewan. Instructions to delegate your role are included in the ‘UnivRS – Information Guide: CV Activities and Contributions Modules’ document available on the UnivRS resource webpage.

 How do I exclude a CV-related record from appearing in my USask Standardized CV?

Faculty may choose to exclude a record from their USask Standardized CV, Form 1 and Form 2. To exclude a record, check ‘Yes’ to the question ‘Exclude from Public Reports’ in any CV Activities or Contributions record. Once completed, click ‘Save & Update Status’, set the workflow status to ‘Non-Validated’ or ‘Validated’ in the pop-up window and click the 'Done' button. Records may be updated by the faculty member or their delegate at any time.

 How do I generate my USask Standardized CV, Form 1 or Form 2?

Instructions to generate a USask Standardized CV, Form 1 or Form 2 are included in the ‘UnivRS – Information Guide: CV Activities and Contributions Modules’ document available on the UnivRS resource webpage.

 How do I transfer my CV to the Canadian Common CV?
The ability to import and export information to other systems, such as the Canadian Common CV (CCV), is planned for a future release. Please watch the UnivRS Updates and Releases webpage to learn more about this and other items on the projects' roadmap.
 Where can I find more information about the changes to the USask Standardized CV?

Additional information about the changes to the USask Standardized CV format are available on the Office of the Vice-Provost, Faculty Relations website.

Pre-and Post-Award Management

Find information about the research grants and contracts process on the USask knowledge base: https://jira.usask.ca/servicedesk/customer/portals

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