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Federal grant making organizations and many other sponsors require proposal submission and award management through their specific electronic research administration systems. Many require that investigators register as individuals prior to submitting a proposal; others require institutional registration, or both institutional and investigator.
Authorizations for electronic system users are role-specific. It is important to determine what role an investigator will play in the grant application, award, and management process and request the appropriate authorization:
- Dean / Associate Dean for Research / Unit Director
- Principal Investigator
- Administrative Support
Two other roles are: 1) Authorizing Official; and 2) Signing Official. These titles are reserved for personnel within Sponsored Project & Contracting Services (SPCS) who have been granted institutional-level authority.
In the event that the University of Arizona is not an authorized user of a particular electronic system, SPCS will obtain proper authorization. Investigators should contact SPCS if they are not sure if the University of Arizona is authorized to use a particular sponsor’s electronic grant management system. If necessary, SPCS will obtain the necessary authorization. Individual investigators and department staff should not register the University for any electronic system. Please contact SPCS with questions.
Grants.gov centralizes grant programs across all federal grant-making agencies. It provides standardized grant information, application packages, and processes for finding and applying for federal grants. Users can search for grants at Search Grants. Individual researchers do not need to register with Grants.gov. Completed Grants.gov application packages are e-mailed to Sponsored Projects & Contracting Services at email@example.com for review and submission by SPCS (with a fully routed proposal in UAccess Research. See Proposal Submission).
See the Grants.gov Guidance page for more information.
eRA Commons is the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) online interface for electronic application and award information. Currently, investigators can view submitted applications, summary statements, maintain their profile, maintain publication lists, submit just-in-time (JIT) information, and submit annual Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) and final project reports through Commons. SPCS uses Commons to view submitted applications, approve JIT information, approve RPPR progress reports, submit annual/final financial reports and invention reports, initiate grantee-approved no-cost extensions, and to check the status of pending applications and awards. SPCS does not have access to the summary statements posted on Commons.
Obtaining an NIH Commons User Account
Accounts are created by SPCS. For investigators with prior support from the NIH or who have submitted an application to the NIH in the past, SPCS may need very little information to set up the account in Commons. At the least, they will need only the investigator’s e-mail address. If the investigator has never submitted an application to NIH, SPCS just needs First/Last name and email address.
FastLane is the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) site for all electronic business on proposals and awards. Using FastLane, investigators can prepare, revise, and withdraw proposals, submit annual and final project reports, prepare supplemental funding requests, make requests for Postaward items (such as: extensions, rebudgeting, PI changes, etc.), and view award letters. The FastLane Help System provides an introduction to Fastlane.
Obtaining a Fastlane User Account
Fastlane accounts are set up through Sponsored Project & Contracting Services.
NSPIRES (NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System) supports the entire lifecycle of NASA research solicitation and selection, from the release of solicitation announcements through Notice of Intent and proposal submission, the peer review and the decision process. The Guidebook for Proposers provides information the process for responding to a NASA Research Announcement.
Obtaining an NSPIRES User Account
Every individual mentioned on the Proposal Cover Page or in the Grants.gov forms as a team member must be registered with NSPIRES. Potential users register with NSPIRES, which then contacts SPCS for confirmation that the user is affiliated with the University of Arizona.
Defense Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and other federal opportunities are found at FedBizOpps.Gov. Proposals may be submitted through Grants.gov or by other means, as instructed in the proposal announcement.
ProposalCentral is used by many foundations and societies. The University of Arizona is registered as an institution on the system. Principal investigators register on the system and completes a professional profile. A proposal is created by entering required information and uploading any necessary file(s). Typically, SPCS or Contract & Research Support must sign a coversheet to be uploaded into the application. The Member Organization site contains a complete list of member organizations.
ProcureAZ is the is the State of Arizona’s online procurement portal that many state agencies use to solicit proposals (i.e. ABRC, AZDES, AZDHS, etc.). Access is only granted to SPCS administrators so if you are planning to apply for a solicitation via ProcureAZ, please contact SPCS. See the ABRC Guidance page for more information about Arizona Biomedical Research Commission proposals.
The above is not an exhaustive list of sponsor electronic systems used for proposal submission. If you encounter other systems or solicitation submission instructions that are unclear, please don’t hesitate to contact Sponsored Projects & Contracting Services for clarification.