Office of Research, UC Riverside
Sponsored Programs Administration

Steps for Submitting Proposals (Excluding NIH) via

Step 1 - Prepare

  • Download a compatible version of Adobe Reader (version 8.1.3 or higher) onto your computer, if you have not previously done so. You may click here to verify if your Adobe software version is compatible with  The compatible version of Adobe Reader is available to download for free on the Download Software page.  Note:  If you have Adobe Acrobat Professional software, it may be used; however, it must be comparable to the compatible version of Adobe Reader.
  • Please note that UCR has already completed the registration process, so you don't need to complete that step.

Step 2 - Locate Grant Opportunity and Download Application File

  • Locate grant opportunities offered by the twenty-six federal grant-making agencies on at, and then download the complete Grant Application Package and proper application instructions for the grant opportunity. There are two ways to find and download an application package:
    • Find the grant opportunity for which you wish to apply by entering specific search criteria, and click the Application button in the grant opportunity synopsis to download the complete Grants Application Package and proper application instructions; or
    • Click the Apply for Grants link found under For Applicants in the left-hand navigation bar and choose Step 1 - Download a Grant Application Package.  Enter the appropriate Funding Opportunity Number (FON) or Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CDFA) Number to download an application package.

Instructions on how to open and use the forms in the Grant Application Package are on the application package cover sheet.  Agency specific instructions are available for download when you download your Grant Application Package, which will include required information for your submission.

  • Save the downloaded Grant Application Package and proper application instructions to your desktop.

Step 3 - Complete

  • Read all of the application specific instructions and complete the application offline. Be sure to save any changes to your application as you go since will NOT automatically save changes.
    • Enter a name for the application in the Application Filing Name field.  This name is for use solely by the applicant for tracking the application through the submission process.  It is not used by the sponsoring agency.
    • Open and complete all of the documents listed in the Mandatory Documents box.  Complete the component titled SF424 (R&R) first.  Data entered in this component populates other mandatory and optional forms where applicable.
    • As required documents are completed, move the document(s) from the Mandatory Documents box over to the Mandatory Documents for Submission box by clicking on the document name and then click Move Form to Completed.
    • As optional documents are completed, move the document(s) from the Optional Documents box to the Optional Documents for Submission box by clicking on the document name and then click Move Form to Completed.
    • The name of a pdf file attachment must be less than 50 characters and shall not contain any special characters (e.g., ampersand, dash, or asterisk).  The file name should contain a period or space within it; and an underscore may be used.
  • After you have completed all of the required and optional documents in the Grant Application Package, and attached any required documents, click the Check Packages for Errors button to ensure that you have successfully completed all required data fields in the Adobe Reader forms.  If any of the required fields are not completed, you will receive an error notice which will indicate where revision is needed within your package. 
  • When no errors are present, click the Save button at the top of the application cover page.
  • Complete UCR's electronic Campus Approval Form (eCAF).  The eCAF is used for the routing, approval and submission of proposals to Sponsored Programs when seeking extramural funding.  The eCAF contains critical information needed by several UCR constituents, such as PIs, Co-PIs, Chairs, Deans, and Research and Economic Development staff. It also documents certain mandatory PI certifications and assurances.
  • Note:  An eCAF can be initiated by either a PI or a Contract & Grant Analyst.  Whichever the case, preparing an eCAF is a joint endeavor by a PI and a Contract & Grant Analyst, both of whom have an important role in the process (see eCAF Approval Process). You may create an eCAF by selecting it from your Authorized Applications section in R'Space.  For further assistance and information, see eCAF.

Step 4 - Submit

  • Submit your eCAF, FON, and electronic application file to Sponsored Programs.
  • Sponsored Programs reviews the full proposal package and may provide comments and/or request corrections.  It is recommended that you provide Sponsored Programs with such documents for review at least three (3) full business days prior to sponsoring agency's deadline (or seven (7) full business days in the event this is a non-standard proposal involving subcontracts or mandatory cost sharing), and work with the office on clarifying issues during this time.
  • Sponsored Programs submits final application to and a confirmation screen will appear on the computer screen of the authorized institutional official once the submission is complete. Sponsored Programs e-mails the confirmation (including the tracking number) to the Principal Investigator.


Step 5 - Track Status of Submitted Application

  • Once your application has been submitted, you can check the status on the Track My Application page using the tracking number.
  • The system will return a status with details for VALID tracking numbers only.
    • Until status is available for valid tracking numbers, the following message will be returned by the system: Tracking number(s) entered currently being processed, please check back later.
    • For invalid tracking numbers entered, the system will return the following message: The tracking number(s) entered are not valid. Please make sure you entered the correct tracking number(s).
  • The following status information is provided:
    • Date/Time/Files Received - The date and time received your application and, if hyperlinked, the list of forms and files received by for your application submission
    • Status - (Application Status Messages Include):
      • Received - has received the application, but the application is awaiting validation.
      • Validated - validated the application and it is available for the agency to download.
      • Received by Agency - The agency has confirmed receipt of the application package.
      • Agency Tracking Number Assigned - The agency has assigned an internal tracking number to your application. This is the last status that tracks. Updates beyond this must be checked with the sponsoring agency directly.  Note: All agencies do not assign tracking numbers.  If you do not see an agency tracking number, this does not infer that the agency did not receive or process your application. The assignment of tracking numbers is based on the policy of a particular agency.
      • Rejected with Errors - was unable to process your application because of an error(s) and cannot accept the application until you correct the errors and successfully resubmit the application. You will receive email notification with information on how to address the error(s).
    • Status Date - The date and time, your application status was updated.
    • Agency Tracking Number - A Tracking Number assigned by the agency, if applicable.
    • Submission Name/Files - Includes the Application Filing Name and a listing of the forms and files received.

Step 6 - Review/Correct

  • If the application contains errors, the applicant must make required changes/corrections to the original application file.
  • If the application contains warnings, decide whether or not the warnings warrant submission of a corrected application.
  • Repeat Steps 3-5 for submission of corrected applications prior to the proposal submission deadline.  Error-free applications must be submitted to by 5 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization) on the submission/receipt date. If the submission/receipt date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the date will automatically extend to the next business day.