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IORA Updates & Communications

IORA Updates & Communications

IORA News: April 29, 2021

New Instructor-Led Training in May: System-to-System

One of the IORA features we’ve been excited to share with you is the ability to submit applications directly to Federal sponsors using System-to-System (S2S). This includes applications submitted to NIH, DOD and other Federal sponsors that utilize Submitting an application using S2S means that the application will be prepared and submitted through IORA rather than through ASSIST or

If you are interested in learning more about S2S we will be offering two training sessions in May. The same training will be offered at each session, so you only need to attend one session (but you are welcome to attend both!). Add to your calendar:

There is no registration required for this training.

IORA News: April 1, 2021

The IORA Team presented at the March RARA / River Rats meeting and shared some key reminders and information PLUS some “IORA Awards”. You can view the presentation here: RARA_RiverRats3-2021.

IORA News: February 3, 2021

To assist you in choosing the correct person(s) to send ancillary reviews to in the IORA system, we have developed guidelines, which are now posted on the IORA website.

Please note:

  • For the CTSI, SMD Dean’s office, and AS&E Dean’s office, you are choosing an organization, not an individual.
  • When you “manage ancillary reviews” and click the “ok” button, the notification goes to the individual(s) listed right away.  If you are not ready for the reviewers to conduct their review, hold off on setting this up until you are ready.

Other important tips: 

  1. For federal sponsors such as NIH and NSF, please enter %NIH or %NSF into the sponsor field on your funding proposals.  This will bring you to the correct sponsor to choose in the system.
  2. If you know the ORPA RA (called “Specialist” in the system) that you traditionally work with and the system auto populates the incorrect specialist – please let your ORPA RA know so they can update this and avoid any delays in processing.  This is a known issue and we are working on it.
  3. Looking for your award notice?  Check out this guide here: How to Access your Award Information

Thank you all for your patience!  Please remember to visit the IORA Training Resources page for helpful information, user guides, and videos.

IORA News: January 28, 2021

The big news this week…As of January 26, the paper sign-off form has been officially retired! All funding proposals, agreements and awards will now be processed in IORA!

The team shared an IORA update at the January 26 Research Administration meeting (RARA / River Rats). One of the items shared were some Tips for Success to help make your transition to IORA a little easier:

  • Wildcards (%)) are your friend! Add the % sign when searching in IORA.
    • Example: You search for Boeing in the organization name search and nothing comes up
    • Try %Boeing and you’ll find The Boeing Company
    • Use %NIH and %NSF
  • Start entering proposal data in IORA as soon as you are aware so that ORPA can see it is being planned
  • Add Readers and Editors when creating a funding proposal (this information will all transfer over if an Award is activated so you won’t need to do it again)
  • To navigate back to the Dashboard, click the IORA logo (upper left)
  • When creating a funding proposal, be sure to indicate if you have “renovation, alteration or additional space” requirements (and talk to the Dean’s Office beforehand!)

The full presentation can be found here: RARA_RiverRats1-26-21.

IORA News: January 25, 2021

It has been about a week since go-live! Here are some stats as of Friday, January 22:

  • 2 funding proposals have been fully submitted for sponsor review using IORA (vs. the “paper” sign off form), 14 funding proposals are in internal review (with departments or ORPA), and 40 are in-progress (“draft”)
  • 9 new awards are now active and were successfully migrated to UR Financials, with 7 more in-process
  • 57 award modifications have been processed

Thank you to everyone who is getting into the system, asking questions and working with the team to resolve any issues. As we communicated from the very start of this journey, there will be bumps along the way as we work to resolve any issues and all become acclimated to using the new system. We appreciate your continued participation in identifying issues and your patience! (You can review and stay up-to-date on known issues here.)

Resources are Available!

If you’re feeling apprehensive about getting started, are unsure of how to do something, or just have some general questions, help is available!

  • Practice anytime in the IORA sandbox environment. This is a practice environment and email notifications are not turned on. Follow these instructions to access the sandbox environment.
  • Use the comprehensive user guides and watch the training videos/replays to help you through creating a funding proposal, completing a department review, finding your awards, and more: Funding Proposals | Awards | Agreements (Funded) |Agreements (Unfunded)
  • Review the Questions and Answers, which are updated daily as more key questions come in from IORA users
  • Attend an Office Hours session to get help from the ORPA team (there’s a session on Monday!)

We’ll keep you updated on new developments and will share an update at the next RARA/River Rats meeting on January 26.

IORA News: January 19, 2021 

Today is Go-Live day! 

We are pleased to announce that the Grants module in the Integrated Online Research Administration (IORA) system is now live!

All Grant funding proposals, awards and agreements may now be processed in IORA.

  • Login to IORA: Login Information can be found here
  • Known Issues: There are a couple of known items the team is working to address over the next week. You can stay up-to-date on these and any additional developments here.
  • IORA Notifications: Notifications are now turned on in IORA. You can see which IORA actions currently trigger notifications here. Automatic notifications will continue to be refined over the next week and ORPA will notify the appropriate individuals, as needed.

We expect there will be questions and items to resolve over the next couple of weeks. We will work to address these as quickly as possible. Your patience is greatly appreciated. If you have specific questions in IORA, please document them and plan to attend an Office Hours session or email

IORA News: January 13, 2021

The IORA “Sandbox” practice environment is now available if you would like to test it out! This is not the production environment and notifications are not turned on, so feel free to use it for practice purposes.

Please note: If you have any trouble logging in or any issues with the sandbox environment, please document them and plan to attend an Office Hours session or email by Friday, January 15. Please do not contact IT or ORPA.

Please be sure you have visited the IORA Training Resources site to review the questions and answers, watch instructor-led training replays, and view the IORA videos.

We are currently on-plan to open up the production IORA environment to you on January 19th. We will let you know when it is ready.

  • Please note: If you already use IORA for Agreements and/or IRB, you may see buttons, links or tabs allowing you to create a funding proposal. Please do not click on these options until given the okay by the IORA project team (planned for January 19th). We are working hard to deliver a fully supported grants system and your adherence is greatly appreciated.

IORA News: January 7, 2021


Though IORA will be live (in production) on January 11 as planned, we will be using the week between January 11 and January 19 to for additional validation and testing to ensure the best possible experience for the user community. The date you can begin using IORA is now January 19th. 

In conjunction with validation activities, ORPA will use that week to begin processing some of the requests in IORA that have come in during the freeze period.

IORA “Sandbox” Environment Available by January 12

A benefit of this extended period of time for you and your departments is that we will now be able to provide you with an IORA “sandbox” environment that will mirror the actual IORA production environment. This will be available by January 12 and we’ll provide access instructions at that time.

In this sandbox, IORA users will be able to look for their awards, practice creating funding proposals, etc. This also gives you a chance to document questions or any issues and bring those to our scheduled office hours.

Paper-Sign Off for Funding Proposals

You may continue to use the current paper sign-off form to submit funding proposals. (Please remember to adhere to 5-day deadline!) As of January 26, the paper sign-off form will be officially retired!

Thank you for your continued support. Another update will be provided on Tuesday, January 12, with information on accessing the IORA sandbox environment.

IORA News: January 5, 2021

The IORA system will be live on Monday, January 11, 2021! A confirmation announcement will be sent via various channels. Please keep reading for important go-live information.

Transitioning to IORA: Turnaround Time & 5-Day Deadline Reminder

First, we want to ask for your patience over the next few weeks as we all make the transition to IORA.

  • As we’ve been in a “freeze” period for awards, award modifications, subawards, and advanced accounts since December 18th, beginning shortly after go-live, ORPA will begin processing those that have been on hold. Working through all of those, in addition to everyone using a new system, will add to our normal turnaround time.
  • Adhering to ORPA’s five day deadline for submitting new funding proposals will be especially important over the next several months as we all become accustomed to working in a new system.

Note: If you have a funding proposal due on January 18 or before, you can still use the current paper sign off form to submit your funding proposal to ORPA.

Training Reminder & Office Hours

 Everyone who will be creating funding proposals in IORA MUST complete the MyPath training (30 minutes in total). You will not be able to create a new funding proposal if you have not completed this activity.

To be able to create a proposal in IORA, you must be CLASP certified, watch 4 short IORA training videos and acknowledge the University’s Code of Conduct, which will take less than 30 minutes. The four videos will cover topics such as an introduction to funding proposals, navigating the general dashboard, completing forms and managing the internal review process. You can complete the videos and acknowledgement in MyPath at any time.

Status of Go-Live & Access to IORA

We will keep you updated if anything changes with the status of our go-live this week. Once IORA is live, we’ll share the production link and post it on the IORA and ORPA sites.

Note: Duo two-factor authentication is required for remote access to IORA. If you don’t already have Duo set up, you may want to do so proactively. Information to enroll in Duo can be found here.

IORA News: December 16, 2020

The IORA team is working hard to meet our go live date of January 11, 2021!

Training Resources

IMPORTANT! IORA Access: Create a Funding Proposal

To be able to create a proposal in IORA, you must be CLASP certified, watch 4 short IORA training videos and acknowledge the University’s Code of Conduct, which will take less than 30 minutes.

The four videos will cover topics such as an introduction to funding proposals, navigating the general dashboard, completing forms and managing the internal review process. You can complete the videos and acknowledgement in MyPath at any time.

NOTE: Each of the four videos in MyPath open their own window. When each video completes, minimize the video window so you can see the MyPath navigation and continue through the training (by clicking Next – see Window 1).

  • Instructor-led training recordings now available; More live virtual classes will be scheduled as needed. Office hours will be available at go-live and after go-live.
  • Other resources: Videos, FAQs, reference guides are available

All resources can be found on the IORA Training Resources page.

Award Freeze Period

The Award Freeze period will go into effect on December 18 until go-live. This means:

  • Please send Awards, Sub-Awards and Award Modifications into ORPA before mid-December or hold until after go-live (January 11)
  • Freeze does not apply to Proposals – only new Awards and Award modifications
  • Proposals will continue to be entered into COEUS until go-live
  • COGNOS data will still be available during this freeze period

12/16/20 RARA / River Rats Meeting

If you missed the IORA update at the RARA/River Rats meeting on December 16, the slides are available here: RARA_RiverRats12-2020. Use the Feedback/Contact Us link in the left menu to reach out to the IORA team with any questions you may have.


IORA News: November 18, 2020

Thanks to the over 80 Principal Investigators (PIs) who joined our virtual open house on November 18. If you missed it or would like to review the materials, the presentation can be found here: PI_Event_11-18-20. The meeting recording can be found here (YouTube).

Also, thanks to the almost 300 attendees of the November RARA and River Rats meetings who learned more about IORA and saw a demonstration of the system. We hope you are excited about IORA! The presentation for those meetings can be found here: RARA_RiverRats11-2020.

Great questions were asked this week and will be incorporated into our frequently asked questions and training materials.

IORA Training

Virtual instructor-led training will take place in December with more events coming in January. Please visit the IORA Training page for more information.

Award Freeze Period

To prepare for go-live on January 11, there will be a “freeze” on new Awards and Award modifications in the mid-December – January 11 timeframe.

  • Please send Awards and Award Modifications into ORPA before mid-December or hold until after go-live (January 11)
  • Freeze does not apply to Proposals – only new Awards and Award modifications
  • Proposals will continue to be entered into COEUS until go-live
  • COGNOS data will still be available during this freeze period

IORA News: October 29, 2020

The IORA team will be hosting a virtual (Zoom) Principle Investigator (PI) Open House for PIs to learn more about the new Integrated Online Research Administration (IORA) system for Grants and Agreements. Read the full communication from Rick Waugh, Vice Provost for Research & (Project Executive Sponsor) and Steve Dewhurst, Vice Dean for Research, SMD/Associate Vice President for Health Sciences Research here.

Research Administrators – please note: The IORA team will be presenting to you at the next RARA and River Rats meetings in November. Look for information from ORPA-L!

The PI event will be held on:

PI Open House

Wednesday, November 18th

4:30 – 5:30 p.m. 

See November 18 update above for presentation/recording

Agenda: Opening remarks from Rick Waugh and Steve Dewhurst, IORA overview, What’s changing, Go-live activities, Training opportunities, Demonstration

There is a limit of 300 participants. The meeting will be recorded and the recording shared after the meeting. Please add the meeting information to your Outlook calendar.

IORA News: September 25, 2020

We are happy to announce that the IORA module for unfunded agreements (Material Transfer, Data Use and Confidentiality Agreements) is live and ready for use! This is an important step towards streamlining and automating our research administration capabilities, and we are happy to celebrate this milestone with you.

Effective today, if you need to submit a request for these types of unfunded agreements, you will be required to log in to the IORA Agreements Module using the link below (that’s right, no more fighting with the checklist):

Link to IORA Agreements:

On the login screen, click either UR Login or URMC Login.

Note: Duo two-factor authentication is required for remote access to IORA. Please see the Announcements on the login screen for instructions if you have not already enrolled in Duo.

Training & Help 

If you have not attended a training session yet, it’s not too late! The Office of Research and Project Administration (ORPA) will be hosting a live (virtual) instructor-led training session on Wednesday, September 30 from 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Please register in MyPath: IORA Training: Unfunded Agreements

For additional help with unfunded agreements, check the Help Center in the IORA system, which contains various user guides and videos. You can also view the videos on the IORA project website.

Agreements and IRB (Click IRB)

Unfunded Agreements and IRB (Click IRB) are now both integrated in the IORA system. Those who submit and process Unfunded Agreements and IRB protocols will be able to link to and reference both within IORA.

What’s Next?

Our next milestone is the IORA Grants module (including funded Agreements), currently planned to go live in January 2021 and you’ll hear more about that soon. IORA will eventually be a single online platform to manage most research administration related activity.

Please check the IORA website for the latest information. For questions, please contact the IORA team. If you encounter any other issues with IORA Agreements, please contact Anthony Beckman.

IORA News: September 17, 2020

We are excited to announce the initial rollout of the Integrated Online Research Administration (IORA) module for unfunded Agreements (i.e. Material Transfer Agreements, Data Use Agreements, and Confidentiality Agreements). These agreements will be managed exclusively in the IORA system beginning September 25. ORPA will negotiate these agreements on the initiator’s behalf after they have been entered in the IORA system and assigned correctly.

Those who were initially identified as frequent initiators of unfunded agreements received training on the system. However, if you were not able to attend or if you plan to submit or participate in unfunded agreements in the future, please email the mailbox as additional sessions will be held over the next several weeks. Please visit the IORA Agreements page for more information.

The IORA Grants module is currently scheduled to launch in January 2021 and the IORA team continues to move forward with activities in support of its go-live. Over 100 senior department administrators and 30+ department super users are participating to help ensure the Grants module meets the needs of our research community. Please check the IORA website for the latest information. For questions, please contact

IORA News: August 11, 2020

We are still on track to deliver the IORA module for unfunded Agreements (i.e., MTAs, CDAs, DUAs) on September 21, 2020.

Currently, testing of the Agreements module is in the final stages. In August, we will reconvene our Agreements focus group (a subset of high-volume Agreements requestors), for a demonstration of the Agreements module. At that time, they will gain access to the IORA staging environment and can provide feedback on any critical updates and changes to business processes necessary prior to go-live. They will also have a chance to review the user guides and training videos in order to provide feedback.

In early September, we will offer in person (Zoom) training to other University staff who initiate unfunded agreements most often. Attendees are in the process of being identified.

The IORA Grants module is currently scheduled to launch in January 2021 and the team continues to move forward with activities in support of go-live. The team also continues to work on training materials, data migrations, integration with Workday and business process flows.

In September, we will be holding a Research Administration Modernization Committee (RAMC) meeting, which includes representatives from each department. At that time we will begin bringing our super users back together to for weekly working sessions. An update will also be provided to the RARA and River Rats community in September and via email to Faculty shortly thereafter.

Please continue to check the IORA website for information and updates and please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.

IORA News: June 12, 2020

The IORA team has decided to postpone the launch of the IORA Grants module from late summer 2020 to early 2021.

Doing so will allow the team and our many stakeholders a chance to properly test the system, prepare documentation and socialize IORA and the new processes that come with it. It also allows time for our vendor to release the latest version which will encompass additional enhancements and benefits we know will be important to IORA users.

Though the Grants module will be delayed a few months, the team will now turn our focus to the Agreements module which will be launched for unfunded agreements this fall. This smaller scope will allow us to introduce an important component of IORA and begin to see the benefits from utilizing an integrated system of record for unfunded agreements while continuing to work towards launching Grants in early 2021.

Our updated high-level timeline can be found here.

Stay tuned!

IORA News: May 30, 2020

The IORA team continues to move forward during this time of change, uncertainty and new ways of working. We are currently in the midst of re-planning some of our project activities and exploring various approaches for go-live. Details will be posted as soon as they are finalized.

Since our last update, the IORA team has continued engaging various groups at the University. We held a successful virtual Research Administration Modernization Committee (RAMC) meeting on April 16 with over 100 department administrators in attendance. After the session, the RAMC provided input on training, department approvers, and upcoming proposals that are on the horizon.

Several other informational sessions were held with various departments, MedSac and the Research Policy Committee.

The 30+ IORA super users met with the team in April and will reconvene mid-June. At that time, weekly Zoom meetings will be held to demonstrate various system functionality and discuss business processes, training, and testing. (This plan is dependent on schedules across the various teams.)

Additionally, training documentation has begun and a short pre-requisite e-Learning module has been developed in MyPath. Users of the IORA system will be required to complete the module to obtain access to IORA and for continued access in the future.

In the coming weeks, the team will continue to reach out to various stakeholders and departments and finalize our re-planning activities. Please reach out to the team if you have any questions so far or would like the team to attend a meeting with your department to share more information.

IORA News: March 19, 2020

While recognizing there are many other pressing priorities for both the University and URMC, the IORA team will continue moving forward as much as possible, adjusting as we go and as it becomes necessary. Like everyone, we’re working on transitioning our working sessions and meetings to Zoom and will reach out to you when we have more information. If you aren’t familiar with Zoom, check the University IT site for details.

The IORA super user kickoff was held on February 26. With over 30 people volunteering as super users, many key research departments are represented and have voices on the project. The next steps are for the sub-teams to convene so please be on the lookout for invitations from the IORA team leads. (Like everyone, we’re looking for ways to use technology to keep us connected.)

The super users each signed up for one of the four sub-teams we need help with: Business Processes, Testing, Training and Communications.

  • Business Process: We are mapping detailed workflows for the future state (how things will be done in IORA) and will be reviewing these with super users for their input.
  • Testing: We hope to begin testing the System to System (S2S) portion of IORA next week. We expect to have COEUS award data loaded into our test environment in the next couple weeks.
  • Training: The core team will be drafting training documentation and sharing with the ORPA team and super users for review and feedback during upcoming raining sessions.
  • Communications: Status updates will be provided regularly and the communications subteam will get together to brainstorm creative ways to reach the IORA user community.