Researcher Timesheets: Delivering a new approach
One of the key requests from the research community is to improve the system for recording time spent working on projects.
Timesheets are required by a number of funders, most notably the EU and UKRI, they must be competed to comply with their audit process. Currently, researchers are asked to input data on to either paper printouts or excel spreadsheets, this information must be collated and then entered into the finance system to enable claims to be made.
In September 2022, after an extensive scoping exercise, Vidatum were appointed to supply the new online timesheet system to the University. Vidatum’s innovative solution will support researchers in completing timesheets in a streamlined manner, deliver an automated approval process and, most importantly, meet the requirements of funders.
This RLP (Research Lifecycle Programme) project aims to deliver an online solution to upgrade timesheet processing bringing it into line with user expectations. The project is being delivered in conjunction with Research Finance.
What will this project deliver?
The new timesheet system will take project details from Oracle Financials and combine it with information from ResourseLink. It will then present project researchers with a single screen showing all their projects, work packages and a weekly calendar for them to complete. The system will route the completed timesheet to the relevant authoriser. Reminders will be sent from the system at agreed points to encourage timely completion.
Researchers, and those who authorise timesheets, will be able to complete timesheets on computers or via their mobile devices. This will make the process fast, efficient, and completely paperless.
What is the timeline for the project?
- Vidatum appointed to deliver the new system in September 2022
- System set up and configuration will take place during the autumn months.
- Full live testing is anticipated to commence in January 2023.
- After the live testing has been completed there will be a phase roll-out with all users being upgraded by Summer 2023.
The benefits of this project are
- Increased user satisfaction and ease of use.
- Less labour-intensive processes for researchers.
- Less manual labour-intensive set up and data entry processes.
- Meet the needs of larger research groups with multiple funding streams.
- Meets Funder requirements and is acceptable to EU and UKRI auditors.
- Reduced risk of research funding having to be returned because of non-completion of timesheets.
How can I get involved?
The timesheet project will involve the researcher community assessing the timesheet solution during the autumn, reviewing its features, the guidance information and provide feedback. If you would like to be involved in the upcoming pilot or would just like more information, please email email@example.com
Where can I find updates about the Timesheet Project?
You can visit the Research Lifecycle Programme website for more information and sign-up to the monthly newsletter. If you would like us to attend faculty, school, division, or department meetings to present an update on the project, please contact Anthony Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange this.
Vidatum were founded in 2004 and have extensive experience of working with universities. Their timesheet system was specifically designed in 2018, in collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland to meet the needs of academic researchers. It is now used by over 20 universities in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe.