|The UC Davis Health System's Research Volunteer Registry allows parents like Larissa Stuart to easily manage personal health information and research study preferences at the UC Davis MIND Institute for her daughter, Cooper. Pictured at right is MIND Institute researcher Sally Ozonoff.
By Katherine Tam
Nine University of California teams have won the 2012 Larry L. Sautter Award for developing easy-to-use information technology tools that improve operations and efficiency at campuses.
Winners were honored today (Aug. 6) at the UC Computing Services Conference held at UC Berkeley.
The award, sponsored by the UC Information Technology Leadership Council, recognizes innovation that supports the university's teaching, research and public service missions. The award also encourages faculty and staff to share creative solutions across the system.
"These are just a few examples of the great work that is being done on our campuses," said David J. Ernst, chief information officer for the UC system and a member of the selection committee. "A number of these tools will be of interest throughout higher education. It shows how technology coupled with thinking ‘outside the box' can improve operations and service across the UC system and beyond."
The 2012 winning projects are:
Golden Awards for Innovation in Information Technology
- Research Volunteer Registry (UC Davis Health System) keeps detailed information about research volunteers in a central database, eliminating the need for multiple registries or filing systems in different departments. This secure system reduces the risk of a breach of information or loss of sensitive data, and shields volunteers' personal details until they explicitly agree to participate in a study. Volunteers can update their information, thereby keeping the roster current, and research staff can easily search the database for appropriate people for their projects.
- DMPTool (Office of the President) helps researchers create data management plans, which now are required by most major federal funding programs. Having good data management plans ensures that UC remains competitive when seeking grants. The tool provides step-by-step guidance and points researchers to additional resources within UC and the California Digital Library for archiving and sharing research data.
- Delivering an Amazing Web Experience on Every Device: Responsive Design (UC San Diego) enables campus Web pages to display and function well on multiple electronic devices from the laptop to mobile devices to whatever piece of technology is next on the horizon. Web developers, for example, can dynamically shift the location of elements on a page or scale images to different resolutions.
Silver Awards for Innovation in Information Technology
- Greening Our Datacenter (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab) is a collaborative effort between researchers and IT specialists that successfully increased the energy efficiency and extended the life of an older data center. A wireless monitoring application was used to track the center's power usage in real time and guide energy-saving changes in the center from the tiles to the curtains.
- Kuali Ready (UC Berkeley) is a Web application that helps departments create a continuity plan, which is used to resume critical operations as soon as possible after a disruptive event. A questionnaire guides the user through a process to better understand the department's needs and Kuali Ready generates an action plan.
- Research Participant Management System (UCSF) facilitates the enrollment of research volunteers for clinical studies campus-wide by allowing people to register online for projects they are interested in. Departments search this repository of willing volunteers to find participants for their studies. The system also provides recruitment metrics by tracking screening visits and enrollment.
- JazzeeB: Berkeley's New Graduate Admissions System (UC Berkeley) allows departments to create their own online admissions applications by entering questions they want to ask and uploading relevant documents. These questions and documents then are combined with general questions that all Berkeley graduate applicants need to answer. Once applicants submit their paperwork, departments can customize the review process with specific questions and scoring scales for reviewers to assess the qualifications of applicants.
- FinancialLink Self Service Portal (UCSD) eliminates duplicate systems with a single online portal where employees can access standardized financial tools, transactions and reports. The portal features a suite of tools for collecting and summarizing financial data and allows employees to better share resources and collaborate.
- EZID (Office of the President) is a tool researchers can use to create long-term identifiers — a string of letters or numbers that is tied to a person, organization, file or other object — and manage them so they can be used in perpetuity. Research data is tied to these identifiers, allowing a researcher to share data, get credit for his or her work and track how it's used, for example.
The annual award program, which started in 2000, is named after Larry L. Sautter, a UC Riverside associate vice chancellor for computing and communications who died in 1999. Under his leadership, a modern data network, client server computing and improved technical support services were developed and implemented at Riverside.
More information, including the applications for each project, is available at the Sautter Award Program website.
Katherine Tam is a communications coordinator at UC's Office of the President.