Intuitive grants processes benefit both external applicants and the life sciences companies who support them. For life sciences companies, one of the most critical aspects of managing any grants and research program is the ability to provide a self-explanatory application process. Applicants will only have an organization’s website and application form to understand the grants application and award process. Frustrations often arise with unclear expectations and directions when requesting funding or product from life sciences companies. This can lead to incomplete applications, multiple rounds of communication and backlogged applications which will burden an already overloaded team.
Organizations typically manage multiple grants, sponsorships, donations and research requests that vary by country or region. These multiple processes usually lead to siloed operations and difficulty ensuring compliance oversight across all programs.
Corporate citizenship is critical to sustaining the life sciences industry, however slow and inefficient processes can impede education and research growth. Organizations require the ability to provide an intuitive application and review process which is able to scale as their strategic goals and reach expand. Below, I breakdown the three key aspects of developing a successful grants program to ensure an intuitive, compliant process.
- Clear Application Process: Provide intuitive applications ensuring requesters understand the type of funding or product support available. Applications should include help text, rule-based fields, validations for required information and program overview.
- Clear Communication with Applicants: Allow the applicant to include their expected needs and timeline which organizations can use to manage their expectations. Lead-time requirements for applications, or specific application validations, can assist with immediately notifying an applicant that their request does not qualify for support. This can reduce the burden on teams who require time to review each application regardless of meeting organization criteria for funding.
- Compliance Oversight: The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has consistently identified grants and donations as areas for abuse and fraud. Recent industry investigations and CIAs have highlighted a continued need to ensure compliance oversight for these funding requests. There was a recent CIA with a large pharmaceutical company that included provisions for budgeting, increased process controls and criteria for supporting specific types of organizations. Establishing compliance controls throughout the grants process is imperative to ensure life sciences organizations can continue these vital programs.
Providing applicants with clear instructions, ensuring clear communication between the applicant and reviewers and keeping compliance top-of-mind throughout the review and award decisions is the key to building a successful grants program.
MediSpend offers a comprehensive Grants Management Solution, which simplifies and streamlines your grants and study management process. Easily manage grants, sponsorships, donations and investigator-initiated studies from application to final milestone. Please contact us to learn more about MediSpend’s scalable, easy-to-use and configurable Grants Management Solution.