Office of Research, UC Riverside
Sponsored Programs Administration

Electronic Research Administration Overview

Description was developed as the single point-of-contact for the grant community to access grant opportunities for all Federal grant-making agencies that award over $400 billion in grants each year. The establishment of was the result of the President's Management Agenda E-Government initiatives, and is intended to provide a simple, unified electronic storefront for interactions between grant applicants and the Federal agencies that manage grant funds. will provide:

  • A single source for finding grant opportunities.
  • A standardized manner of locating and learning more about funding opportunities.
  • A single, secure and reliable source for applying for Federal grants online.
  • A simplified grant application process with reduction of paperwork.
  • A unified interface for all agencies to announce their grant opportunities, and for all grant applicants to find and apply for those opportunities.

Functionality Available to UCR Investigators

There are currently two available modules in - FIND and APPLY.

  • FIND - Effective November 7, 2003, all 26 Federal grant-making agencies were required to post funding opportunity announcements in the FIND section of The purpose of the FIND module is to provide prospective applicants enough information to decide if they are interested in reading the full funding announcement, directions on how to obtain the full announcement, and to provide one commons website for potential applicants to search all existing funding opportunities. Many of the Federal grant-making are also continuing to use other avenues of advertising their funding opportunities such as the National Institutes of Health's Guide for Grants and Contracts or the National Science Foundation's Active Funding Opportunities website.
  • APPLY - The APPLY module allows applicants to download Grant Application Packages and Application Instructions. Applications are completed off-line, at the location of the Applicant's choosing. Completed application packages are submitted to the Office of Research Administration for review, approval, and submission to the sponsor. Each Federal grant-making agency is responsible for implementing as their grant application procedure, with conversion to taking place through 2006 and 2007.

Preparation and Submission of Applications

As is intended for use by all Federal grant-making agencies, a commons set of forms was developed for use. The SF424 Research and Related (R&R) forms are the primary set of application forms required for use by all agencies. Due to the special data collection needs of some types of grant programs, agencies may also receive approval from the Office of Management and Budget for additional agency-specific forms to be included as part of the application process. This new set of forms, including both the SF424 R&R forms and the agency-specific forms, will replace existing application packages currently available from Federal grant-making agencies. This includes the PHS398 application used by the National Institutes of Health and FastLane used by the National Science Foundation. Each Funding Opportunity Announcement will explicitly state which set of application forms to use for each application during the transition phase.

It is important to download a Grant Application Package and Application Instructions directly from each Funding Opportunity Announcement. Each Grant Application Package may contain different forms required for completion. In addition, each set of Application Instructions may provide deviation authorization for use of non-standard fields or inclusion of certain forms normally required by a particular sponsor.

Four sets of instructions are available to assist you when completing an application package:

  • Agency Instructions - These are agency specific application package instructions and must be downloaded separately from the application package.
  • Application Package Cover Sheet Instructions - These are additional instructions providing information about how to complete application package forms. These instructions are located on the cover sheet of the application package.
  • Application Package Instructions - These are located at the bottom of the application package and provide information about filling out the application.
  • Field-Level Instructions - These instructions are available by selecting the field-level help button and provide specific information about each field on the application.

Once the application has been completed, route the application for institutional approval the same as you would for any other application submitted for review and endorsement within your coordinating point. Proposals submitted to Sponsored Programs Administration for review and endorsement should include in the electronic Campus Approval Form (eCAF), the application instructions or Funding Opportunity Announcement and an electronic copy of the application. SPA will submit the completed application to using the institution's registration and the authorized official's password. It is recommended you allow additional time for review and submission of proposals being submitted via

Please note that submission through does not negate any additional requirements an agency may have for electronic submission of post-proposal submission requests or post-award administration notifications and requests. Many agencies will continue to use electronic research initiatives such as the NIH eRA Commons or NSF FastLane to conduct business related to sponsored programs.

See for FAQ’s pertaining to proposal submissions via 

System Requirements

Users must have a software package that allows the creation of pdf documents. (See for Adobe software compatibility information.) Files uploaded to application packages, regardless of platform used, are required to be in pdf format.

Registration Requirements

There is no registration requirement for UCR Principal Investigators, faculty, staff, or other UCR community members. Anyone can access the website and access Grant Application Packages or Application Instructions, provided the computer being used contains the above system requirements.

In order to submit applications through, UCR was required to register and designate authorized representatives with delegated authority to submit proposals on behalf of the organization. Persons with the authority to submit applications through are staff in Sponsored Programs Administration.  You need only create your username and password. (Please use UCR's DUNS Number 62-779-7426.) Thereafter, SPA will confirm your roles request. Provided Assistance Customer Support
1-800-518-4726 (Voice) maintains a customer support website that includes a Tutorial, User Guide, Quick Reference page, Glossary, and Technical Library. The website is available at

The Introduction to Video Series covers the complete application process, from registering and creating a account to finding funding opportunities and completing an application package.

Special Consideration: Proposals to the National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has provided supplemental instructions for proposals submitted for consideration by NIH through

It is suggested applicants utilize the NIH eRA Commons to review submissions transferred from the site to the NIH. This review must be conducted within 48 hours of the application being made available in the NIH eRA Commons, and the file will be located using the Status bar. No further action will be required unless the PI would like to reject the application and resubmit. Rejection must be coordinated with the Contract and Grant Officer in SPA assigned to your unit.

As PIs are no longer required to use the NIH eRA Commons to perform an electronic signature due to a change in business practices at the NIH eliminating the need for PI signatures on application forms, the PI will be required to provide SPA with a written assurance as part of UCR's proposal review and approval process. This requirement is fulfilled when the PI approves the eCAF.