TRAQ upgrade to bring enhanced functionality and improved user experience

The Vice-Principal (Research) is pleased to announce a three-phase plan to modernize, upgrade and streamline research support services currently supported by Tools for Research at Queen’s (TRAQ) and Topaz Elements.

The new one-stop portal, slated to start a phased-in launch in mid-2021, will feature design and functionality changes that have been requested by our TRAQ and Topaz users over the past decade. The ultimate project goal is to remove barriers and make research administration at Queen’s more responsive and adaptable to the diverse and ever-changing landscape.

In November and early December 2020, a small group of central administrative TRAQ and Topaz users were invited to observe demonstrations of a new operating system. Feedback from these demonstrations, which are on-going, has been overwhelmingly positive and provided us with the confidence to continue exploring the fit, benefits and impact of upgrades and migration to our users.

New features of the system will include:

  • One-stop access point for multiple data management needs (awards, ethics, animal, biohazard) with a consistent look and feel offering improved user experience and efficiency
  • SSO (single sign-on) integration allowing all users to access the system securely with their Queen’s NetID
  • Functional end-user dashboards with ease of moving between modules, tasks and files
  • Integrations: cross applications (e.g., risk management to pre and post-award) and with Queen’s specific databases (to be determined)
  • User-friendly smart forms enable branching logic, auto-fill, auto-save, spellcheck
  • Increased transparency per file with fully customizable role-based permissions to control confidentiality and conflict of interest

Users of the current TRAQ and Topaz platforms will have the opportunity to participate in the consultation process. Details will be shared when available.

TRAQ 2.0 project FAQs

A: TRAQ (Tools for Research at Queen’s) is an e-submission system implemented by University Research Services and designed to streamline research-related administrative processes. 

A: TRAQ is used by researchers to electronically submit or sign documents required for various stages of the research administration and compliance lifecycle (e.g., grant proposals, Notices of Decision, research agreement review requests, compliance applications (GREB, HSREB, Biohazards)). In general, these submissions support a process that ensures research at Queen’s is compliant with internal and external policies and regulations.

If you are a reviewer/committee member or signing authority, you may also access, review, and approve applications electronically through the system. 

The next evolution of TRAQ to be implemented with the TRAQ 2.0 project, will also include procedures related to the use of animals in science (protocol management, certification submission, review, facility management).

A: If you currently use TRAQ or Topaz Elements, then you will more than likely be affected by the project. If you do not yet use either system, but are a researcher at Queen’s and will apply for research funding as a PI, may have Departmental Signing Authority responsibilities (e.g., Department Head), and/or you plan on conducting research that requires Ethics, Biohazard or Animal protocol approval, then you will likely require a profile in the new system. Please visit the TRAQ website and/or Animals in Science for more information on each of these systems.

A: Our current TRAQ platform, Romeo, will no longer be supported by the vendor after 2023. In addition, we have heard from the research community that changes to the system are needed. For these reasons, we are actively pursuing an opportunity to seamlessly improve our research administration system while also remaining compliant with regulations and requirements faced by researchers and the Institution.

A: The project is currently in the Discovery Phase. Timelines for implementation are not yet available.

A: Yes. Feedback from the research community will be an important part of this project. Please stay tuned for details.

A: Single sign-on (SSO) with your Queen’s net id and password; smart forms; reduced administrative burden at data entry steps; increased workflow transparency; increased reporting capacity; one-stop access point for multiple research administration management/portals (Ethics, Biohazard, Awards, Animals); one portal for all users.