Simon Fraser University

PeopleSoft Innovator

Simon Fraser University modernized their research portfolio with PeopleSoft Grants Management


Simon Fraser University, in conjunction with their partner SpearMC, modernized their research portfolio with PeopleSoft Grants Management, the first of a four-phase effort.

Additionally, the team upgraded PeopleTools and deployed fluid homepages, WorkCentres, custom tiles, and pivot grids. There has been significant use of Page and Field Configurator and event mapping to tailor the system without invasive customizations.

Customer comments


Simon Fraser University (SFU) is a public research university in British Columbia, Canada, with three campuses: Burnaby (main campus), Surrey, and Vancouver. SFU went live in February 2022 with PeopleSoft Grants Management. This project was the first phase of the four-phase Research Enterprise System (RES) Program. The RES Program was established in 2019 to support SFU’s strategic vision. It will improve the way they manage the approximately $150 million and growing research portfolio and reduce administrative burden for faculty so that researchers can focus on conducting research. The program will aspire to improve how research projects are supported throughout the research life cycle and improve service to researchers while controlling risk to the university.

SFU chose SpearMC Consulting as their PeopleSoft Grants implementation partner. At the start of the Phase 1 implementation, SpearMC provided SFU not only with PeopleSoft Grants Management project team training but also a training on “de-customizing” PeopleSoft using the latest PeopleTools features and PUM updates. The Phase 1 implementation of Grant Management utilized the following delivered tools to improve the user experience and reduce customizations:

  • Page and Field Configurator was utilized to make fields required or to relabel fields to more Canadian specific terms. For example, the CFDA field was relabeled to "Program / CFDA" since "CFDA" applies to US Federal awards while many large Canadian sponsors use the term "Programs".
  • We also used Page and Field Configurator to handle certain security requirements, such as hiding or disabling entry on specific pages with sensitive information.
  • Other new functionality like event mapping was used extensively to automate field defaults as well as entry of new data. Some examples of event mapping include turning on standard activities for a project regardless of project type, defaulting certain Journal Header values, defaulting certain ChartFields on the Grants Project Budget page, and automating the creation of SpeedCharts when setting a project to “open”.

Grants configuration example - Award setup and BU definition

Award setup and BU Definition page

Page and Field Configurator example

Page and field configurator page

Award profile – SFU (with Page and Field Configurator)

Grants workcentre page

Award profile – Demo (Image 42)

Grants management page

Page and Field Configurator example – Hide field and disable entry

page configurator

Grants professional data – SFU (with Page and Field Configurator)

professional data

Grants professional data – SFU (without Page and Field Configurator)

professional data without configuration

Event mapping example – Standard activities

manage event mapping

configure event mapping

As a part of the Phase 1 Grants project, we also expanded the use of WorkCentres and pivot grids to facilitate communication and handoffs between teams. Shortly before the Phase 1 project, SFU had upgraded their PeopleTools and rolled out fluid homepages with custom tiles. Since SFU users are used to accessing tasks and pages via WorkCentres, custom fluid WorkCentre tiles were created for each functional area (end user, AP, financial management, GL, procurement, and auditor.) For Phase 1, an additional Grants WorkCentre fluid tile was rolled out. The WorkCentre was configured using delivered configuration to include MyWork, Links, and Queries sections including an “Awards Ready for Activation” pivot grid which is used to hand off grants from the Research Services pre-award department to the Research Accounting post-award department.

Fluid homepage and tiles

fluid homepage and tiles

Grants WorkCentre and pivot grid

grants workcentre

pivot grid drilldown

It’s impressive what the SFU PeopleSoft team has accomplished! Not only have we adopted the latest features and functionality to “de-customize” our implementation, but we have also delivered tremendous value with the Phase 1 project by expanding payroll encumbrances. We are using the integration between PeopleSoft Payroll and PeopleSoft GL/Project Costing to create not only current year payroll encumbrances but also future year payroll encumbrances for research projects!