The Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP) initiative links the NIH with universities in the graduate level training of students. Their website is intended to encourage prospective candidates to apply and to act as a resource and a community to current graduate students here at NIH.
While the GPP website had already been through two iterations, a major restructuring was needed to better serve the needs of the core audience. The previous version of the site had two sections that linked to external databases: one that allowed candidates to apply on line; the other managed information about NIH researchers who act as mentors to GPP students. These two functions needed to be incorporated into the new site.
Both outside systems were evaluated to determine the best method for integrating them into the new site, resulting in different recommendations. Since the on-line application only required information collected in the form to be passed to the existing system, it made little sense to redevelop this functionality. However, the current system in place for managing researcher data was cumbersome and placed a great deal of the burden for updating on the GPP staff. Using the strengths of CMS to build a better method for collecting and displaying this data was recommended.
Individual researchers are able to log in and update their own information through their web browser freeing GPP staff from managing over 300 pages. While a single page exists for each researchers, users can drill down to individual research information three different ways: by Institute/Center, by Research Interest, or by Last Name.