UT Joins MIT in Releasing Online Research Software

KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee research officials have teamed with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a suite of online software that will help universities streamline the process of creating, submitting, and tracking funding proposals.

Coeus Lite is the first web-based version of a program released by MIT in 2001 to track grant proposals and funding awards, said UT professor James Lloyd, who is heading the UT participation in design and implementation of the program.

“More than 100 universities nationwide have adopted the original Coeus program,” Lloyd said. “Coeus Lite will offer them an online version that will be more intuitive and easier to use.”

UT stepped into a major role in the process in 2005, when the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill abandoned its efforts to provide a way to create proposals online. Lloyd and a small team of programmers began to work on web-based budget forms and to prepare the interactive screens that enable administrators to use Coeus on the web.

“We got involved when managers of the UT research database began looking for a way to use Coeus for proposal creation and electronic routing and approval,” Lloyd said. “After we consulted with the developers at MIT, they asked us to work with them.”

Cornell University programmers have now joined the team to refine the online budget process, while the UT team works on the web interface. The UT Office of Information Technology has supported the work by providing programmers. MIT is subcontracting part of the implementation to computer programmers in India.

“The business of seeking research funding has always been a paper-intensive process,” Lloyd said. “Coeus Lite will eliminate some of the hard copies and make electronic versions available to the people who need to see them.”

The web-based version of Coeus is to be released on November 15, with updates to be released every six months thereafter, Lloyd said.

“Our involvement in this project is significant for UT,” said Dr. Frank Harris, associate vice chancellor for research. “Coeus has become the industry-standard tool among major research universities. Our invitation to join the development team gives us a visible role in research administration nationwide.”

The program is designed to interface with Grants.gov, the federal software that was recently put into operation. Grants.gov allows scholars and researchers to seek grant funding from all federal agencies in an online opportunities database.

Originally a Faulkner scholar, Lloyd led UT’s first efforts to put digital literary and historical document collections online.


Contacts:
Bill Dockery (865-974-2187, dockeryb@utk.edu)
James Lloyd (865-974-0390, jlloyd@utk.edu)