The Division of the Vice President, Research & Innovation (VPRI) in partnership with the Office of the Chief Information Officer has embarked on an initiative to upgrade and modernize My Research On Line (MROL) into a new service called My Research Funds (MRF). In tandem with this transformation, the Funded Research Digest (FReD) will be modernized into the University of Toronto Research Account (UTRAC). MRF will serve as an online interface to U of T’s Research Information System (RIS) and Financial Information System (FIS) and provide principal investigators (PIs), project managers, divisional administrators, and VPRI administrators with role-based access to key research funding information, including terms and conditions for awarded applications, financial account details, and funding history.
MRF and UTRAC will replace MROL and FReD, respectively, and transform these systems into a modern research funding administration service that supports the University’s complex research enterprise. The upgrade will allow users to access the same information they are familiar with in a streamlined interface and with new functionalities. MRF will be launched in two phases; see Timeline below for more information.
This initiative is part of U of T’s renewal of its SAP systems under the U of T Enterprise Modernization Program.
MRF and UTRAC will build on the strengths of MROL and FReD while bringing numerous additional benefits to U of T’s research and innovation community, including the following.
- A modern and adaptive user interface
- Improved information layout and navigation
- System notifications that push important, actionable information out to users
- A secure, central electronic repository for key documents
- More powerful and flexible reporting tools
MROL and the FReD are core administrative research systems provided by the VPRI to U of T’s research and innovation community. These tools provide PIs and central/divisional administrators with role-based, electronic access to key information about sponsored research funding.
MROL is an on-line interface to the Research Information System (RIS) and Financial Information System (FIS), both of which are subcomponents of the Administrative Management System (AMS). MROL allows PIs to access information about their research funding, including details about awarded applications, funding history, ethics protocols and safety permits, and financial account details.
FReD is a record of the terms and conditions of an award and is available to PIs and their project managers, business officers, and VPRI administrators. FReD provides information about budget installments, eligible and ineligible expenses, project and financial deliverables, and other terms and conditions. Currently, FReDs are accessed either through MROL (for PIs and project managers) or through AMS (for business officers and VPRI staff).
MRF and UTRAC will allow users to access the same information they are accustomed to viewing in MROL and FReD today, including sponsor terms and conditions, financial account information, expense review tools, and funding history. However, MROL and FReD will be completely rebuilt in a new user interface technology and rebranded to reflect their new look and expanded functionalities.
- FReD will be transformed into the University of Toronto Research Account (UTRAC).
- MROL will be replaced by MRF, which will serve as the platform where users can access the new UTRAC as well as financial account details and other information.
Both MRF and, by extension, UTRAC will be accessed in the My Research Portal via a user’s UTORid and password.
In addition to a modernized user interface, MRF will feature the following key enhancements and changes.
- System alerts and notifications about important events such as upcoming grant end dates, budget deficits, No Posts, and more
- Document repository that allows users to access research funding agreements and other key funding documents
- Flexible research expense reporting tools that provide a live read of financial information and allow users to group, sort, and filter data
- Functionality to export data into Microsoft Excel for offline analysis
- Seamless integration between the new UTRAC (replacing FReD) and financial account information and expense review tools
- Self-service management tool for PIs to assign project managers to view funds and expense reports
- Improved outgoing sub-award management and auto-payment functionality
- Electronic version control and archiving to replace paper filing to facilitate remote access and promote environmental savings
MRF will be launched in two phases.
Phase 1:The first phase will mark the rebuild of the FReD and its launch as the modernized UTRAC. During the first phase, users will continue to access financial account details and funding history via MROL as they do today. Phase 1 is scheduled to go live in the summer of 2023.
Phase 2:The roll-out of UTRAC will be followed by the second phase involving the rebuild of the financial account reporting / review tools and funding history currently available in MROL. Once these functionalities are fully integrated into MRF, MROL will be taken offline.
Frequent and meaningful engagement of our end users to build a solution that meets their needs has been a top priority of this initiative. To that end, the project team reached out to users of MROL and FReD early in the project cycle via a variety of consultation activities to identify user priorities, pain points, and suggestions for system and business process improvements.
A range of consultation activities took place during the early requirements gathering stage and continued throughout system development to demonstrate and validate system design concepts.
For a full summary of the consultation activities and detailed user feedback, please download the My Research Funds User Engagement Report.
Following on from past consultation activities, the project team will continue to engage users as development of MRF progresses. Stay tuned for further updates on demos and feedback sessions that will highlight the enhancements and changes coming down the pipeline.
To validate the design of MRF and ensure it meets our user’s expectations and requirements, the VPRI will be inviting MRF users to participate in a series of hands-on user testing sessions.
If you are an MROL or FReD user and are interested in testing the new MRF system, or have feedback about the initiative, please contact the Research Systems Engagement Coordinator listed below.
2023 Workshop # 2: MRF Initiative: A Makeover for MROL and FReD
|Wed March 22, 2023||2:00 pm - 3:00 pm|
MRF Initiative: A Makeover for MROL & FReD
|Thurs Feb 2, 2023||2:00 pm - 3:00 pm||Session Recording|
View past research alerts and announcements about the MRF initiative.
- Research Alert – Jan. 8, 2023- MRF Initiative: A Makeover for MROL & FReD
- Research Alert – Nov. 7, 2019 – My Research Funds (Upgrade to MROL and FReD): Second round of consultation workshops
- Communication to Divisional Research Facilitators – Dec. 12, 2018 – Survey re: key on-line research administration tools
- Communicate changes to MROL and FReD to U of T’s research and innovation community and provide opportunities for users to share feedback
- Support and training on the new MRF system
- Support users throughout the transition from MROL/FReD to MRF/UTRAC
- Administer the MRF system and facilitate access to MRF
- Work with EASI (Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration) team on the MRF system development and issue resolution
Contact information for MRF Renewal Initiative inquiries:
Research Alert – Nov. 7, 2019 >My Research Funds (Upgrade to MROL and FReD): Second round of consultation workshops