Announcing HRA - A Different Kind of ORCID Consortium

Alice Meadows's picture

Non-profit l funding organizations who participate in the Health Research Alliance (HRA) are joining together to form a new ORCID consortium.  This is our first fully-funder consortium, and a powerful example of how funding organizations coordinating around ORCID integration can realize substantial gains for researchers and program evaluation.

Led by the HRA, the new consortium members plan to leverage ORCID integration into the grants application process to improve the ease of the application and reporting process for their grantees and enable timely and accurate notification of research outputs to program managers.  Ultimately, this will help members better understand the impact of their funding programs, both within and across the consortium. This consortium approach is especially relevant for researchers who receive funding from multiple sources, taking what individual funders have been doing with ORCID to a network level.  

The consortium formed under the guidance of Maryrose Franko, the Executive Director of HRA.  “Funders are thrilled by the fact that they don’t have to wait to hear about a publication or a patent filing until the annual progress report gets submitted. ORCID integration in funder systems will significantly decrease the burden on researchers (and dramatically increase the accuracy) in entering the same employment, education, publication, previous funding (etc) information on applications. We fully expect to see the consortium grow from the initial 12 members.”

ORCID’s consortia program, launched in 2015, now includes 17 consortia, 14 of which are national-scale ORCID adoption and implementation efforts involving primarily research institutions. The HRA consortium is particularly timely, launching as ORCID gears up to support a funder-focused program of activities in 2018.  ORCID’s earliest supporters included funders such as the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Wellcome Trust (UK) - both of which are also represented on our Board.  HRA’s ORCID consortium builds on our existing funder membership of 24 funders plus a further 20 government organizations, many of which also provide funding to researchers.

The HRA’s ORCID consortium has contracted with Altum, Inc., a recognized leader in grants management solutions, to provide consortium outreach and technical support in accordance with ORCID’s Collect and Connect guidelines: collecting ORCID iDs and record update permissions from researchers as they apply for funding; storing these iDs in the grants system; including the iD in the grant award information; enabling auto-update of the grantee’s ORCID record; and receiving updates from ORCID as grantees use their iD to share their work in other research systems.  Together, these system integrations take us a step closer toward our “enter once, reuse often” goal, freeing researchers to spend more time making contributions and less time managing them.

Recognizing the benefits of broad adoption of ORCID across funder systems, HRA and Altum are promoting and supporting ORCID integrations across the many grants management platforms used by the HRA consortium’s member organizations, including Altum’s proposalCENTRAL and Easygrants, Blackbaud GIFTS and GIFTS Online, CC Technology CC Grant Tracker, Smart Simple GMS360°, and several custom platforms.   

Altum’s proposalCENTRAL platform is used many of the consortium members and more than 100 other funders. Establishing a benchmark among funder systems, proposalCENTRAL enables researchers to reuse information in their ORCID profile to complete applications and progress reports.  Additional ORCID integrations within the platform are being rolled out by Altum in phases over the next few months to enable researchers to receive information about their funded projects into their ORCID record at the time of award, and to enable funders to receive alerts as grantees (and grantee alumni) publish research findings and receive new grant awards.

HRA members joining the ORCID consortium are enthusiastic about the benefits and value of ORCID membership to their mission and funding programs, as typified by Lorraine Egan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, who said of the new consortium: “The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation is excited to be able to streamline information about its grant recipients and track their success into the future.  It’s good for the scientists we support, good for Damon Runyon and good for the biomedical research ecosystem as a whole.”

Look out for more information about ORCID and funding organizations in the coming weeks and months!