Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

RACE FAQs

RACE, the Research Administration Center of Excellence, is a shared service center that will provide faculty-centric research administration support across TJU by standardizing processes and restructuring positions. 

A shared service center for departmental research administration is an important step towards: (1) enhancing service for all researchers across campus; (2) ensuring consistent processes and procedures across departments; and (3) providing our grants management staff a clear career path and an opportunity to grow their careers here at Jefferson. 

Prior to December 2013, the campus was engaged through town hall meetings, process discussions, and Senior Administrator meetings. Since December 2013, we have engaged stakeholders in the following ways: (1) Faculty through the Faculty Advisory Committee; (2) Research Administrators through the RACE Working Group and process subcommittees; and (3) the Research Community through regular Town Hall Meetings for Administrators and Faculty.

RACE will be a separate office from ORA and SPAO and be focused on providing exceptional local research administration support to researchers. 

Please contact Danielle Finelli at (215) 503-2732 should you have any questions related to these positions. 

The transition for each department to RACE will include two critical touch points:

  1. Transition Meeting #1: The RACE Director, RACE Team Leads, Department Senior Administrators, and Department Chairs will be meeting to review the Service Level Agreements. Transition meetings have been scheduled for Phase 1 departments. Transition meetings for Phase 2 departments will be scheduled in August.
  2. Transition Meeting #2: The RACE Team Leads, RACE Grants Administrators, Department Grant Administrators, and PIs will be meeting to discuss the transition of Active/ Pending Awards to the Team Leads. Additionally, all files will be discussed with the Grants Administrators. These meetings will be occurring in July for Phase 1 departments and in September for Phase 2 departments. 

RACE training will cover the following topics:

  1. Introduction to Research/ RACE;
  2. The Lifecycle of a Sponsored Award;
  3. Compliance Background and Consequence of Non-Compliance;
  4. Role of Customer Service vs. Compliance;
  5. OMB Uniform Guidance;
  6. Self-Management, Team Management, and Personal Effectiveness;
  7. Proposals for Sponsored Awards;
  8. Budgets;
  9. Proposal Review Process and Other Institutional Committees;
  10. Terms and Conditions/ Award Acceptance;
  11. Award Setup;
  12. Account Reconciliation/ Billing/ Reporting;
  13. Award Closeout;
  14. Effort Reporting Overview; and
  15. Clinical Trials Research Administration (pre- and post-award).

RACE Training will occur on the following dates: Tuesday July 15th Wednesday July 16th, as well as Tuesday July 22nd- Thursday July 24th. In addition to onsite training, RACE staff will be attending the NCURA-sponsored training at Christiana Healthcare on Monday, July 14th.   

The Service Level Agreement is RACE's promise of service to each department they are serving. The Agreement will outline the support services that RACE will provide to faculty as well as the level of communication the department can expect. The Service Level Agreement will include the following:

  1. RACE mission, guiding principles, goals, and structure;
  2. RACE hours of operation, expectations for response (e.g., timeliness), and a detailed list of services provided by RACE;
  3. Performance Metrics to track effectiveness;
  4. Escalation procedures for when expectations are not met; and
  5. Roles and Responsibilities Matrix for both pre-award and post-award services.     

ORA/SPAO will be responsible for the following:

  1. Ensuring TJU compliance (OMB A-133 audit coordination, subrecipient monitoring, federal financial reporting, effort reporting monitoring, invoicing/ AR monitoring for non-deliverable based invoices);
  2. Initial draft of coverage analyses;
  3. Contract execution;
  4. Expense/ cost transfer approvals (over a certain $ threshold); and
  5. Proposal submission.

RACE will be responsible for the following:

  1. Assistance in identifying funding opportunities;
  2. Proposal development (administrative components); and
  3. Sponsored account management [monthly account reconciliation, annual budget input (sponsored awards active and projected data), initiation of cost transfers on sponsored projects, reviewing effort reports with PIs, invoicing/ AR monitoring for deliverable based invoices, salary/ expense approvals, account closeout].

The RACE Project Team has developed an approach that will allow flexibility and improve some basic controls. This approach will have three purchasing options:

  1. Purchase using P-Cards: PIs that are currently utilizing P-cards may continue to do so. The process is as follows:
    1. PI or PI's designee (as determined by your department's guidelines and PI) makes purchase using a P-Card that is primarily designated for grant purchases. If you do not know which P-Card your department has designated, please check with your department or you may contact the RACE Purchasing Team: racepurchases@jefferson.edu.
    2. Justification: In PaymentNet, the purchaser enters a justification- which lab the purchase is for, what is being purchased, and the allocation method
    3. Approval: RACE approves grant-related purchases in PaymentNet (after purchase is made)
    4. Documentation: The order confirmation and the packing slip will be forwarded to a central RACE email by the Purchaser
  2. Purchase using Ascent: PIs that are currently utilizing Ascent may continue to do so. The process is as follows:
    1. PI or designee (as determined by your dept.'s guidelines and PI) makes purchase using Ascent
    2. Justification: In Ascent, the purchaser enters a justification- which lab the purchase is for, what is being purchased, and the allocation method
    3. Approval: RACE pre-approves grant-related purchases directly through the system
    4. Documentation: Once the item is received, the packing slip is forwarded to a central RACE e-mail (all other documentation is already in the system prior to review, there is no need to forward confirmation)
  3. Purchase made by RACE Purchaser: PIs may also choose to utilize the RACE purchasing team. The process is as follows:
    1. PI or designee (as determined by your dept.'s guidelines and PI) sends RACE Purchasers a request form via e-mail (RACEpurchases@jefferson.edu).
    2. Purchase: RACE completes the purchase and forwards a confirmation to the PI or designee
    3. Documentation: The packing slip is forwarded to the RACE central e-mail by the person receiving the order 

The proper justification should include three elements:

  • PI/Lab benefiting from the purchase
  • Description of item being purchased (may reference any quotes/invoices)
  • Allocation method for item, should it benefit multiple projects (for example, this supply may benefit all of the FTEs in a lab or it may be based on experimental design and benefit only one project)