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eRA 2019 rollout updates

UCT is taking its research administrative processes online through the electronic Research Administration (eRA) programme which will standardise research processes at the university. This system will be rolled out in phased modules during the course of 2019.

See below for the latest updates from the eRA team.

  • Electronic Research Administration system rollout in 2019: addressing the challenges (13 February 2019)

    UCT is taking its research administrative processes online through the electronic Research Administration (eRA) programme, which will standardise research processes at the university. Many of you will already have used the system, or will do so as we roll out the modules.

    By the end of the year researchers will need to use eRA to:

    • Obtain internal approval for grant applications to external funders
    • Apply for internal funding
    • Apply for ad hominem promotion
    • Create a researcher profile (which can be displayed onto your group’s website)

    You will be informed in more detail about specific functionalities as they go live, so please be on the lookout for communications from the eRA team in your Research Announcements.

    Please visit the eRA section on the Research Support Hub to learn more about what eRA is and why it is necessary.

    What are the challenges?

    The eRA system already includes internal (visible only to UCT members) as well as public researcher profiles. The public profile appears on the UCT Research Portal and offers researchers greater visibility, and can also be displayed directly onto other UCT websites. To create these profiles, eRA pulls data from other UCT source systems, such as personnel data from the HR system. Where there is fragmented and inconsistent data in these other systems it has led to problems in automated uploads to eRA.

    For those who have already come across this problem firsthand, we apologise for the inconvenience.

    These underlying data issues are an institutional problem beyond the specific remit of eRA and are being addressed by UCT via the University Data Quality Task Team. For eRA this data issue means that staff appointments prior to 2013 and publication data prior to 2016 are not currently automatically pulled into the system.

    What is the eRA team doing to address this issue?

    For the appointment data, we are working on importing staff appointments prior to 2013 into eRA. We will let you know when these are imported and you will then be able to populate your profile with up-to-date data for those years.

    For the publication data the Research Office will offer training opportunities on how to populate your eRA profile with historical publication data.

    Please keep an eye on the Research Announcements emailed to you for more about these training opportunities.

    What can you do to make sure you are ready for eRA rollout?

    If your UCT appointment was held from 2013 onwards, we encourage you to update your profile data and watch our how-to video to find out how to automatically pull in recent publications from databases like Web of Science, ORCID or Scopus onto your eRA profile.

    You can keep hidden any information you choose by making it internally visible only.

    If your UCT appointment was held from before 2013, then as soon as these data have been imported you will be able to populate your profile and publications.

    See our how to update your research profile video and pdf for more on how to hide elements of your profile. If you still experience challenges, please log a call.

  • Research contracts can now be tracked in eRA (21 February 2019)

    The electronic Research Administration (eRA) project is implementing new software to automate and streamline the research project lifecycle. The latest module in this project – the contracts module – has been live from 1 February 2019.

    This means the university is no longer using IRMA for new contracts.

    This switch will happen automatically. Researchers can (for now) continue to submit their grants as they would have in the past.

    Researchers whose grants are at the contract stage will receive an email informing them that their contract has been logged on the eRA system, the name of the contracts manager assigned to their contract and the option to log in to track the progress of their contract.

    You can use your UCT log-in credentials to sign in to the eRA system.

    Download the one-page guide to the new research contracts process.

    If you experience any difficulties with the system, you can log a call here.

  • eRA research contracts module going live (1 February 2019)

    As from today (Friday, 1st February) the electronic Research Administration (eRA) system research contracts module will be phased in. This means that all new contracts will be captured on eRA and access will be limited to the RC&I staff members.  The IRMA system will not be used for new updates on existing contracts from the 1st to the 8th February to allow for migration of the contracts still under negotiation to the eRA system.  As from the 11th of February these contracts will be available on eRA.

    What this means for researchers?

    This process will happen automatically and does not require any change in behaviour from researchers whose grants are at the contracts stage.

    The researcher, and faculty representatives can, as was the case with IRMA, log into the eRA system and track the status of their contracts.

    What about the previous system?

    From the 1st February 2019 all new contracts and those that are not finalised will be processed through eRA. The data, from contracts completed before 1 February, have not been uploaded onto eRA yet and, if researchers or administrators wish to look up on those contracts, they can continue to do so in IRMA.

    Once the migration of data is complete we will inform the community accordingly and IRMA will be discontinued.

    We thank you for your patience and support in this process.  If you have any questions, please log a call here for assistance.


  • Linking the eRA portal profiles to departmental websites (22 November 2018)

    You can now link your profile on the eRA portal to existing departmental websites. This means that researchers’ public profiles on eRA can have their information automatically populate their departmental websites. Update your profile on the eRA system, then ask your page manager to link it to your departmental website so you can increase your research visibility on both platforms.

    Our colleagues from Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research (CIDER) were the first to showcase their researcher profiles from the eRA portal on their website – ensuring it’s automatically up to date.