University of Washington

Research Matters, Fall 2013

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SAGE Survey - Result Highlights

To the 64 of you who took our survey to give us feedback on SAGE, thank you! We appreciate your input and are already using it as we plan our upcoming releases. During our bi-monthly SAGE maintenance release cycles, we will incorporate many of the easier-to-implement requests, while exploring the larger, more complex requests as future projects.

In November we added the highly-requested feature of showing all recipients on the TO: line of email notifications so you will know who else has received the messages.

For our January release, we are planning to work on the following high-priority changes recommended by survey respondents:

  • Enhancing search functionality to make it easier to find your eGC1s*
  • Improving on-screen help and documentation*
  • Making minor adjustments to improve efficiency such as providing more information by default where possible
  • Including more fields in copied eGC1s
  • Adding Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to the locations select list for clinical trials research 

       *These are long-term projects where we will make minor updates initially.

In addition, we are actively evaluating the following:

  • how you could use SAGE for managing post-award attachments
  • the option to resend disclosure notifications

If you didn't get a chance to take our survey, it’s never too late to give us feedback. You can always share your thoughts about SAGE by sending an email to

FIDS and FCOI: Perspectives from the UW's Research Compliance Office

Joe GiffelsJoe Giffels, Associate Vice Provost for Research Compliance, is the UW’s Institutional Official responsible for financial conflict of interest. He reflects on UW's financial compliance since the federal regulations were revised. 

While you might not immediately think of FIDS (UW’s Financial Interest Disclosure System) as a tool to reduce administrative burden, many people from different units worked together to simplify how investigators report and track their Significant Financial Interests (SFIs) to comply with the revised, more stringent federal and current state Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) requirements. Now that we’re over a year out from implementing our updated FCOI policy, let’s review what we’ve done.

In August 2011, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) announced the revised regulations with an August 24, 2012 deadline for implementation. At the UW, thousands of awards and hundreds of millions of dollars would be affected. Jeff Cheek and Kim Blakemore from the Office of Research (OR); John Slattery, Karen Elledge, and Lauren Exnicios from the School of Medicine; Michael Corn from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP); Clark Shores from the Attorney General’s Office; and many others met in multiple sessions to determine how the UW could best comply. These meetings resulted in both the rewritten GIM 10, our FCOI policy, which reflects the changing regulations and in the decision to create an online system to facilitate and document the required financial disclosures instead of placing all financial compliance responsibility on the investigators and research administrators. With the support of Mary Lidstrom (Vice Provost for Research), Jim Kresl (Assistant Vice Provost and Director of the Office of Research Information Services (ORIS)) and his team were tasked with building a compliance system to support the complexities of the new policy.

Once GIM 10 was finalized, ORIS staff and colleagues worked diligently the remainder of the year to build and test the new system and develop trainings in time to meet the deadline.  On August 18, 2012, the first disclosure was made by a researcher from the School of Medicine.

With FIDS, investigators no longer have to disclose their SFIs on paper or track them; they can update them anywhere they have access to the internet; and they receive reminders when they need to disclose. Because FIDS is integrated with SAGE and SPAERC, research administrators and OSP can see when investigators need to disclose and when they have disclosed. FIDS also alerts the OR staff who review the disclosures when projects will be funded, so they may review the related disclosures just in time, preventing wasted time and effort reviewing disclosures for unfunded projects.

Since the initial release of FIDS,

  • over 30,000 individual disclosures have been submitted electronically
  • over 3,000 disclosures have been reviewed online
  • over 300 management plans have been written to comply with UW policy and federal regulations, allowing the research to proceed
  • ORIS has launched several updates to the system to enhance its capability based on user feedback

Want to learn more about our FCOI policy and how to use FIDS?  Anyone with a UW NetID can take our free FIDS 101 course taught by the ORIS Trainer with an FCOI official in attendance to answer policy questions.

Tips, answers, and reminders 

Our help desk is available Monday through Friday from 8:00-5:00 to help you answer your questions about SAGE, FIDS, and AUMS. Some of the answers to commonly-asked questions are:

Q: I'm new to the UW; what do I need to access SAGE?
A: You need a UW NetID and authorization. SAGE authorization is managed by the UW ASTRA (Access to Systems, Tools, Resources and Applications) system. Ask your unit's ASTRA authorizer to give you the appropriate SAGE ASTRA role(s). If you try to log in to SAGE without authorization, you will see a list of your ASTRA authorizer(s) displayed.

Q: I just took a job in another department, how do I access the eGC1s for my new department?
A: First, ask your former ASTRA administrator to remove  any roles specific to that department. Then ask your new ASTRA administrator to be sure you have the Global Edit role for your unit if you need to access and edit existing eGC1s. For more details, see the SAGE Access and Roles


Tips and reminders:

  • Keep your investigators updated on the PI & Personnel page of active eGC1s; otherwise, those who haven’t updated their SFI in the last year will receive reminders.
  • Save time and ensure the correct person receives the email notifications by keeping your contacts updated on the Contacts & Assign Access page of the eGC1.
  • If you have FIDS questions about what should be reported or other policy questions, email If you have questions about how to use FIDS, email
  • Unless you have more information to provide, contact our help desk just once for each issue or question. This ensures that we can respond quickly, and it helps us track your questions. Remember that if you call and leave a voice message, that will generate a ticket automatically, so you don’t need to also email.

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