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Research Enterprise System Program

The Research Enterprise System (RES) Program was established in 2019 to support SFU’s strategic vision. It will improve the way we manage the approximately $150 million and growing research portfolio and reduce administrative burden for faculty so that researchers can focus on conducting research. The program will aspire to improve how research projects are supported throughout the research life cycle and improve service to researchers while controlling risk to the university. The RES program includes a number of interrelated projects that will be implemented over the next few years.

See our FAQ page


Processes, systems, and how people work will change as we shift to further support a service-oriented model, which keeps the researcher at the centre of everything we do.
The program will drive changes to:

  • Policy, processes, and procedures to complete the work
  • The enabling technologies used to support all stakeholders involved in the research life cycle

Examples include:

  • Electronic forms and workflows to replace the pre-award signature sheet process
  • Replacing or improving existing administrative support systems, including the current Human Ethics system and implementing significant improvements to FINS and FAST
  • New reporting and analysis tools for faculties, departments, and users
  • Removing a layer of duplication on some research expenditure duties which already lie with departments and faculties
  • Replacing the Grant Track system used by Research Services and Research Accounting


The future state will create more efficiencies amongst all impacted stakeholders. Benefits realized as we move along the roadmap:

  • Reduced overall administrative effort
  • Improved service turnaround time 
  • Increased institutional credibility
  • Improved collaborative capabilities across stakeholders 
  • Increased analytical capabilities
  • Clearer lines of accountability



Graphic displaying the four stages of the research enterprise system

Project 0: Human Ethics

The Office of Research Ethics launched their new research ethics application system, "Protocols", on November 23, 2020. Researchers now have a new system to submit and review applications, manage amendments and renewals for human research ethics certificates and course approvals. Kuali was selected as the vendor and its system has been successfully implemented in numerous institutions including University of Waterloo.

Project 1: Project Costing

The Project Costing will expand PeopleSoft footprint and make project financials more accessible to the research community and allow them to make more informed decisions. Financial information for all research funds (Fund 30s) will now be from one financial repository: PeopleSoft.


  • Provide a complete view of a project, year by year
  • Better informed decision making, reduces risk of over spending and results in fewer budget reversals
  • Forecasting will be made easier
  • Ability to see multiple project years using FAST

The implementation timeline is October 2020 – March 2022.

Project 2: Proposal Management and Workflow

The process for submitting proposals for external funding will change significantly when Project #2 launches in Dec. 2022. The SFU 'Signature Sheet' and all related processes will be transitioned to an integrated database and workflow running on 'Kuali Research', software from a well-established PSI vendor.


Project 3: Billing and Accounts Receivable.

This project will focus on the back-end work for Billing and Accounts receivable for Finance. Planned for 2022


Project 4: Dashboard

Project 4 will allow all stakeholders to view their research projects at a glance using the dashboard view.


Frequently Asked Questions


Training Videos


Project Team

If you have questions about the Research Enterprise System please email


Leadership Team

Michael Richards Associate Vice-President, Research Program Sponsor
Karamjeet Heer Associate Vice-President, Finance Program Sponsor
Brian Stewart Chief Information Officer Program Sponsor
Dan Blue Director, Financial Services Project Sponsor (Finance)
Trevor Davis Executive Director, Research Operations Project Sponsor (Research)
Keith Fong Director, Applications Services, ITS Project Sponsor
Kirk Benedict   Program Manager, Project Costing and Commitment
Peter Onota   Project Manager
Nikhil Sandhu   Project Manager, Proposal Management and Workflow


Last updated: February 14, 2023