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Delivering thoughtful and strategic
project management to modernize
core research administration processes

Case Study

The Office of Strategic Consulting ensured that the Research Administration Modernization Project adhered to its planned scope, schedule, budget, and resource allocation, allowing for the successful implementation of modern research administration software systems at UW–Madison.
By the Numbers


funding proposals created
with a proposed value of
over $1.3 billion


new research agreements
negotiated and 975
new awards set up


unique users
of the new portal


Over the years, campuses across the Universities of Wisconsin have relied on outdated and disparate technologies, along with supplemental systems, to complete essential administrative tasks and processes. To counter this challenge, in 2019, the Administrative Transformation Program (ATP) was established with the aim of standardizing and simplifying administrative business processes to create a more resilient administrative environment that advances the UW’s mission of research, teaching, and outreach.

Within ATP, the Research Administration Modernization Project (RAMP) stands out as a critical initiative, specifically addressing the pre-award side of research administration. RAMP was designed to implement select modules of one of ATP’s two new software tools—Huron Research Suite—to improve processes and tasks from proposal development and pre-award requirements to post-award non-financial management.

Our Approach

To support this project, our project manager:

  • Served as a valuable thinking partner, offering strategic insights to steer the project in the right direction.
  • Contributed extensive expertise and experience, drawing from prior system implementations to guide and reassure project stakeholders.
  • Identified key stakeholders and facilitated communication across teams and leadership, ensuring alignment around common objectives.
  • Facilitated discussions and decision-making processes, managed documentation, and communicated meeting outcomes.
  • Spearheaded the identification of essential project resources and devised strategies to acquire them.
  • Functioned as the central point of contact, connecting the RAMP team with ATP project managers and other critical contacts across campus.
  • Identified and communicated risks and obstacles across teams and to campus leadership.
  • Generated innovative solutions when confronted with complex challenges.
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In June 2023, the Research Administration Management Portal was introduced to the UW–Madison research community, replacing outdated software systems. RAMP reduces the complexity and burden related to reporting, improves access to data pre-award through post-award, increases support for developing and submitting research proposals, enables users to model financial forecasts more accurately, and more. The transition to RAMP ushers in a new era for the university’s world-class research enterprise, improving the application for and acceptance of over $1.4 billion in sponsored programs funding annually. RAMP’s successful implementation serves as a vital example, demonstrating the potential for success in subsequent ATP initiatives.