Electronic submission of applications Peter Johnson 18 Oct 1995 00:34 EST

Here at The University of Western Australia we handle the electronic
submission of grant applications in two principal ways:

(i) by placing a template of the application form on the World Wide Web for
use by applicants, who then return hard copies to us for mailing to the
funding agency (sponsor); and

(ii) by receiving a disk (or disks) from a funding agency. The contents of
the disk are usually tailor-made to the funding agency's requirements,
DOS-based and formatted in such a way that the completed application
becomes the primary source for the funding agency's own database. The disks
normally require a PC, a lot of hard disk space and RAM (eg, we have
received one that requires a 486 PC, 8MB of hard disk space and 16MB of RAM
and was supplied on 4 disks). The funding agency usually requires
submission of the disk with one or more hard copies. Funding agencies in
Australia who are moving towards the electronic submission of applications
do not seem to be actively supporting both Macintosh and PC platforms at at
this stage.

Templates are easy to use, but to our knowledge they cannot be used as the
primary source for importing data to our database, or the funding agency's.
Formatted disk systems are fine from the funding agency's perspective,
because the agency receives data which it can import into its own database,
but much less satisfactory from our perspective, because each agency's
disk-based system uses valuable space on our computers, is often
incompatible with some systems and the data cannot be imported into our

We are looking for a solution which combines what we see as the best of
both worlds - a template-type form which can be downloaded from the Web,
completed, and then returned to us (probably by disk, as it is more secure,
or at least until the Web is more secure) and to the funding agency in a
way which would enable both parties to import the data into their
respective databases. Conversely, there may be a more practical solution.
If anyone out there can point the way, or has thoughts on the issue, I'd
certainly appreciate hearing from you!

On a related matter, is anyone arranging for approvals of applications, etc
to be given electronically? If so, how?



Peter Johnson
Assistant Registrar (Research Administration)
The University of Western Australia
Western Australia 6907

Telephone: (+61 9) 380 2452
Fax:          (+61 9) 380 1075
Email:        xxxxxx@acs.uwa.edu.au
WWW:        http://www.acs.uwa.edu.au/research/