MIT has created the Coeus system to assist the Office of Sponsored Programs, departments, and laboratories in proposal development and pre- and post-award management. The purpose of the system is to simplify and make more efficient, award acquisition and administration for all offices within the Institute. With its comprehensive proposal development module and post award functionality, Coeus is one of the first cradle-to-grave award management tools in the nation. This software now makes it possible to prepare proposals, route them internally to obtain proper approvals, and submit them to sponsors electronically. The main modules in Coeus are: Proposal Development, IRB, Proposals, Awards, Subcontracts, Negotiations, Person, Conflict of Interest and Report Tracking.
When you join the Coeus Consortium all modules are included in the membership fee. However, not all modules need to be implemented. Most institutions have taken a stepped approach to implementing Coeus. Coeus is always being enhanced with new functionality. When you join the Consortium at either the Development or Steering levels you have a say in how and what is developed. Having a say in what direction Coeus is heading is rare in such a product.
Coeus has two methods for end users to enter data into the same Coeus database. Both tools are included in the Coeus application. The Coeus Lite method is a 100% web-based interface. Coeus Lite allows the end user the ability to create a proposal for submission to a sponsor using an intuitive interface. Coeus Lite allows the investigator and other individuals to work concurrently on the proposal budget, narratives and the general data within the application. Coeus Lite also allows routing and review of the proposal by individuals in the approval chain for the institution. Coeus Lite makes training the majority of end users much easier since the interface is intuitive yet rich in functionality. Coeus Lite also allows the submission of the proposal to Grants.gov. Coeus Lite also allows investigators the ability to complete and submit a human subjects protocol if the Coeus IRB module has been implemented.
Coeus Premium is a full featured application which utilizes industry standard technology. The Premium user interface to Coeus is designed for back office use. Within the Premium interface your functional and business level people can control the routing, business rules, rates, cost elements, unit hierarchy, IRB committee and meeting schedules and all the other functions needed to make Coeus a comprehensive research administration application.
The Proposal Development Module has been designed to allow departmental administrators and investigators to construct full proposals from the desktop. First, the user is required to create a proposal shell, which includes the basic header information typically found on an institutional proposal routing form. Once this piece is done, work on the proposal can be distributed by function and managed through use of system roles. The Proposal Development Module also contains a robust tool for creating budgets. It stores all approved Employee Benefit, Facilities and Administrative rates, inflation factors, and ensures compliance with the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) by allowing the user to budget in the same manner in which expenditures will be incurred.
After the budget has been created and the science appended, the proposal is marked complete. The user then submits the proposal for online approvals. The system applies business rules created at the departmental, administrative office level and the centralized sponsored projects office, securing appropriate approvals along the way. When complete, the proposal will go through a final institutional review before it is submitted electronically to those sponsors that can accept an electronic proposal. Alternatively, the proposal can be printed for those sponsors that will require a paper proposal. The Proposal Development Module also is integrated with the Sponsor table (list of all sponsors) and Rolodex table (list of sponsor contacts).
The Coeus IRB module is the latest addition to the suite of modules which make up the Coeus application. The IRB module was designed by Coeus Consortium schools and incorporates the best practices of those institutes. The IRB module allows Coeus users to setup and maintain review committees, including the composition of the committees and the committee schedules. The application also allows investigators to create protocols, submit the protocols to a committee and receive communication during the review process throughout the protocol life cycle. With the addition of Coeus Lite the protocols can be created through any easy to use web- based interface. In addition, the protocol and proposal can be linked within the application, making the protocol information and the grant information easily accessible by the compliance, pre-award and post-award departments
The Institute Proposal Module contains those works that have been submitted to sponsoring organizations for funding. Where works in progress are stored and edited in the Proposal Development Module, only completed works are stored in the Proposal Module. Each proposal that has been officially submitted by the organization to the external sponsor is assigned a unique identifier. Through this identifier, the user can view basic data on funding source, title, department, principal investigators, and amount proposed. Also in this module, the user is able to generate a Current and Pending Support report for any investigator listed in the proposal. Current and Pending information can be downloaded in a variety of formats for subsequent modification to conform to individual sponsor requirements. Once a proposal is funded, the information in the Proposal Module forms the basis of the actual award.
The Award Module maintains detailed information on awards and subcontracts including a complete history of every change made to an award and subcontract from notice through closeout. The Coeus system stores all agency contacts (in the electronic rolodex), maintains all reporting requirements (financial, technical, property, patents), maintains the terms and conditions, required cost sharing, special reviews (animals, human subjects, biohazards, etc.), F and A rates (whether limited by agency or fixed for the life on Federal awards), as well as the required approvals for the equipment, foreign travel, and subcontracts.
The Subcontract Module is maintained under the awards that fund the agreement and contains detailed information on sub recipient agreements. Data in this module includes: the amount, the start and end date, the investigator at the receiving organization, other administrative contacts, and all required closeout information. Historical information is captured as the subcontract is modified to allow tracking of change orders to the sub recipient agreement. Additionally, funds released from incoming invoices are also maintained.
The Negotiation Module allows the Sponsored Programs office to track negotiations for individual proposals. It provides administrators with tools to keep notes and track the progress of the negotiation, facilitates sharing of electronic files, and generates status reports for negotiations.
The Person Module is the central repository for information regarding employees and students that may be associated with proposals or awards. The person module allows for multiple degree records to be stored, allows for bio sketch information in Word and PDF format to be stored, allows the user to produce current and pending support lists for any investigator, and tracks all required training.
The Conflict of Interest Module allows authorized users to check and maintain all Conflict of Interest and financial interest disclosures that may compromise professional judgment in carrying out research work. Principal Investigators (PIs) can maintain their financial interest disclosures in the Coeus database, and the Sponsored Programs Office can track the apparent conflicts through their resolution and maintain the required annual Conflict of Interest disclosure reports for individual PIs on existing NIH and NSF proposals and awards.
The Report Tracking Module tracks due dates and maintains the report status for required reports for an award. This module has sophisticated grouping and sorting capabilities to allow custom reports to be generated directly from the application that are relevant to the PI, department administrators and/or central offices. Three views are available at the click of an icon for the most useful views of the data. These views can be subsequently modified to tailor the report to the desired user specification. Once the reports are sorted and grouped, the information can be downloaded.