Implementation

The Coeus Replacement Project and Princeton ERA

Research at Princeton requires modern, efficient administration systems. After two decades of use, Princeton’s Coeus grants database has reached end-of-life. We are replacing the Coeus platform with Princeton ERA, a SaaS (Software as a Service) cloud-based electronic research administration system. Learn more about our implementation.

Princeton ERA will:

  • reduce administrative burden on faculty and staff;
  • increase intelligence to support improved decision-making; and
  • ensure Princeton remains compliant in all its research activities.

Project Overview

After two decades of use, Princeton’s Coeus grants database has reached end-of-life. We are replacing Coeus with Princeton ERA, a SaaS (Software as a Service) cloud-based electronic research administration system.

The Coeus Replacement (Core) Project is a SAGIT-funded (Strategic Advisory Group on IT) project delivering on specific recommendations from the Task Force on Administrative Workload in Research.

The Coeus Replacement Project reflects extensive input from across the Princeton research enterprise: the 13-month process to select Huron Research Suite as the new platform included 21 focus groups with community members, three onsite demos by vendors, sandboxing and user experience testing with two vendors, and countless community-stakeholder meetings.


Project Guiding Principles and Objectives

  • Use out-of-the-box functionality
  • Align business processes with the new system
  • Minimize customizations
  • Undertake minimal data conversion
  • Include new budgeting tools
  • Include non-funded agreement management
  • Deliver proposal and non-funded agreement analytics

Project Governance 

The Core Project has a Project Implementation Team made up of functional and technical members from ORPA and OIT.

The Core Project has a Steering Committee that provides strategic input and assistance to the Core Project Team, evaluating and resolving major project issues, risks, and decisions, as well as providing feedback on project milestones, deliverables, and policy recommendations.

The Core Project also has Project Champions who represent the interests of the research-administration community who will be heavy users of the system. Project Champions will help the Core Project Team to develop a robust system (technology platform and business processes) to modernize proposal preparation and non-funded agreement processes in an effort to ease administrative burden.


What's Happening Now

We are currently in the behind-the-scenes implementation process of the project, with plans to launch Princeton ERA late this summer. We will move into systems testing in the spring and to begin user training in early summer. This training will be a combination of one-on-one, group sessions, and self-service training options for the community.

Listed below are some highlights:

  • On January 23rd, our Coffee with ORPA session focused on an update for the project.  This session included a short demonstration on how to begin the development of a proposal.

Training and Support

We will have significant training resources available to help community members feel confident going into go-live and post-launch of Princeton ERA. This includes how-to content and guides for system users, for both technical and business-process content. Our community has told us they like the how-to videos, guides, and content about the Coeus system, so we will produce similar content for Princeton ERA. 

Implementation FAQs

What is the Core Project?

The Coeus Replacement (Core) Project is a SAGIT-funded project to replace Princeton’s Coeus grants database with a new electronic research administration system, Princeton ERA.

Conducting cutting-edge research is at the core of the University’s mission and the replacement of aging systems and processes is fundamental to Princeton’s research-enterprise growth. The implementation of Princeton ERA will:

  • reduce administrative burden on faculty and staff;
  • increase intelligence to support improved decision-making; and
  • ensure Princeton remains compliant in all its research activities.

The Core Project delivers on specific recommendations from the Task Force on Administrative Workload in Research.

What is Princeton ERA?

Princeton ERA is a SaaS (Software as a Service) cloud-based electronic research administration system that will enable people to do their jobs more efficiently. It will replace the Coeus grants database, which is at end of life.

Why are we replacing Coeus?

Princeton has used the open-source, consortium-supported Coeus grants database system for more than 20 years. Coeus has reached end of life: vendor support ceased at the end of 2019 and ORPA is now working with a third-party contractor to support Coeus through the implementation of Princeton ERA.

How did we decide on the technology platform for the new Princeton ERA?

We selected Huron Research Suite as platform for Princeton ERA with the support of Princeton’s research community. This community is a foundation of the Core Project and provided extensive input into the choice of Huron’s out-of-the-box electronic research administration (ERA) system.

What is Huron Research Suite?

Huron Research Suite is the name of the technology platform we have chosen for Princeton ERA.

How will Princeton ERA integrate with other systems?

We are seeing the rollout of new research-administration systems across campus. Princeton ERA seeks to improve the cohesiveness among other systems relevant to Princeton’s research enterprise, including eRIA, Visual Compliance, HR, etc.

What will we be able to do using Princeton ERA?

Princeton ERA is a next-generation system that will empower users through streamlined interfaces and processes. The system will enable a more transparent and data-driven research administration within departments and across campus.

At first, we’ll be using Princeton ERA to manage proposals, non-funded agreements, and research compliance. However, one of the reasons we selected the Huron platform is its ability to integrate proposal and award management. We may roll out the award and subaward features of the platform in a future phase of the project.

What are some of the benefits of Princeton ERA?

Princeton ERA will increase transactional efficiency by simplifying sponsored-project lifecycle processes:

  • Enables users to create proposals on a laptop; view and approve on any mobile device as the platform is a cloud-based solution
  • Aligns with sponsor and institutional requirements
  • Allows proposal submission in pieces (PIs can submit proposal narratives closer to proposal deadlines)
  • Enables electronic approvals and PI certifications
  • Available system-to-system validation and federal-proposal submissions to Grants.gov which reduces duplicate data entry
  • Provides easier budgeting capabilities
  • Streamlines tracking and management of funded and non-funded agreements
  • Streamlines compliance processes
  • Reduces the amount of administrative activity done by email
What criteria did we use to select the technology platform for Princeton ERA?

Several guiding principles and objectives guided us as we selected the platform for Princeton ERA:

  • Use out-of-the-box functionality
  • Align business processes with the new system
  • Minimize customizations
  • Undertake minimal data conversion
  • Include new budgeting tools
  • Include non-funded agreement management
  • Deliver proposal and non-funded agreement analytics
Who provides project oversight and governance?

The Core Project has a Steering Committee that provides strategic input and assistance to the Core Project Team, evaluating and resolving major project issues, risks, and decisions, as well as providing feedback on project milestones, deliverables, and policy recommendations.

The Core Project also has Project Champions who represent the interests of the research-administration community who will be heavy users of the system.