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GFS Redesign Streamlines Management of Graduate and Postdoc Financial Support

Friday, September 14, 2018

Close to 1,000 Stanford staff are benefitting from a redesign of the tool that facilitates the management and approval of financial support for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. 

After a discovery process that included input from stakeholders from across the university, a team led by University IT's Administrative Systems rolled out a refreshed PeopleSoft module called GFS, which stands for Graduate Financial Support. This module was custom-built in 2002 and had remained largely unchanged since then.

GFS is used for managing the full picture of financial support for each Stanford graduate student and postdoctoral scholar, including assistantships, salaries, tuition support, and fellowships. This financial support furthers the academic mission of the university by enabling grad students and postdocs to make efficient progress toward their degrees and training.

The first phase of the redesign, which rolled out in March, focused on the user interface. A second phase of the GFS redesign is currently underway and will be implemented in phases this fall. The focus will be to to increase data visibility and reporting capacity for financial managers by enhancing the GFS Oracle Financials interface. 

GFS administrators and approvers are already experiencing many benefits from the redesign, including:

  • Modern, intuitive entry screens.
  • Integration of all data elements needed to manage student support on a single page (no clicks).
  • Separation of discrete populations to allow for increased automation and better application of unique business rules.
  • Alerts of pending actions and updates without having to seek out this information by revisiting entries.
  • New role-specific training modules.
  • The addition of meaningful summary details to support financial analysis and decision-making.

In addition, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars can now view a GFS Snapshot in My Axess to see a summary of their current financial support package. The GFS Snapshot includes all financial support that has been entered, along with the approval status of each item.

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