Throughout the year, UON researchers submit competitive research grant applications to the Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) online systems.
To ensure efficient coordination of the grants process and provision of timely institutional data, significant manual work was required by the UON Research Grants team to extract and monitor data in our internal system (RIMS). This workload peaks from November to March when major grant submissions are due. Peak periods result in a repetitive workload increase from an average of one hour to over ten hours per day.
In partnership with Research and Innovation Services, IT Services developed and implemented a Robotics Process Automation (RPA) solution to address the University’s research grant application needs. A new RPA bot now performs activities that were previously done manually, such as adding new user accounts, sending out welcome emails with critical information to researchers, downloading pre-filled tracking documents, updating grant process tracking statuses, and informing the grants team if manual changes are required.