Skip to content

Procedure Library

Sponsored Projects

New Department Administrator Checklist


Checklist to assist department administrators with pre- and post-award tasks and duties.


Department Administrators who are new to the University or new to a department and/or have never worked with sponsored projects (fellowship, grant, or contract). For additional details, review the relevant procedure or web page, or contact OSP.



  1. eProposal is a system for the electronic preparation, routing, review and approval, including email notifications, of the Document Summary Sheet (DSS). Using the term "an eProposal" is synonymous with a "DSS".  The University uses eProposal for Document Summary Sheet (DSS) approvals and internal routing. As the new administrator, you will be able to access eProposal and initiate/create a new DSS if you have a University Network ID (uNID).
    1. If you are the preparer/creator of a DSS, you will have full access to this information and the ability to make changes until it is submitted for approvals.
      1. When preparing the DSS, the pre-award and post-award contacts will receive the email notifications from PeopleSoft. These notifications also go to the PI and provide updates on OSP activity.
    2. If you aren't the preparer/creator of a DSS, the PI can make you a Proxy and delegate security access to a DSS.
    3. If your department wants you to be an approver and provide a budget and/or administrative review of the DSS as part of the approval process, the Approval Administrator in your department will need to set you up. Detailed instructions can be found in the Reporting Roles procedure.

Research Portal:

  1. Research Portal is an activity management tool for the University that pulls reports based on PeopleSoft data. If you want a big picture of all the research activity in your department, you can query proposals, awards, or both. You can also filter by uID, sponsor, and date ranges.
    1. Note: You will get a full report but individual access to PeopleSoft data, which is used to generate these reports, is based on the security levels for Management Reports. See the Reporting Roles procedure for information on assigning a new department liaison/post-award contact in Management Reports.

Granting Financial Authority:

  1. Granting Financial Authority (GFA) is the current method for listing authorized signatories on a project. The process replaces the signature authorization form.
    1. A PI is always an authorized signatory as is the College Dean, Vice President, and President.
    2. Department/college procedures dictate that other authorized signatories be added for financial transactions. Find out from your department whether you should be added as an authorized signatory.
    3. Once a digital signature for a desired authorized signatory is captured in the GFA system (using a stylus), department administrators manually enter any additional people needing signatory authority.
      1. The PI must approve these individuals using an electronic process tied to their uID.


  1. The Purchasing Card (PCard) allows for the direct procurement of non-travel small dollar related purchases by the department.
    • If you are going to be a PCard holder, you will need to submit a purchasing card application.
    • All cardholders and reallocators must obtain training before the PCard can be picked up.
    • In order to be able to use a PCard to pay for things like lab supplies, conference registrations, etc. and charge these expenses to a project, the project chartfield will need to be added to each department PCard holder. This is done through Purchasing using the PCard Update Form.

Cayuse 424:

  1. The University uses Cayuse 424 for proposal submissions to In most cases, Cayuse is required to be used instead of, with the exception of NSF proposals.
    • New employees need to register with OSP. To register, send an email with your name uNID and email address in your request.
    • Review the information on Cayuse 424 Help & How-To, Log-In and Profiles, and Granting and Removing Access/Permissions.
    • Take the Electronic Federal Grant Application using Cayuse 424 training.

eRA Commons:

  1. eRA Commons is a National Institutes of Health (NIH) interface where signing officials, PIs, trainees and post-docs can access and share administrative information relating to research. eRA recommends that you access the Commons interface using an eRA recommended browser.
  2. In order to use Commons, administrators must register with NIH and have a valid eRA Commons ID. 
    • If you don't already have an eRA Commons account affiliated with the University of Utah, you will want to request one through OSP (see procedure). Department Administrators should request the Assistant (ASST) role. The ASST is delegated access by a PI to his/her account to assist with data entry, reporting, administrative supplements, and xTrain function. ASSTs can also view grant status, if delegated.
    • Read the eRA Commons User Guide (pdf) to learn more about Commons functionality
    • Review eRA Commons FAQs

NSF Fastlane:

  1. Fastlane is a site which facilitates business transactions and the exchange of information between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and organizations doing business with NSF. Using the system requires an institutionally assigned ID/password.
    • If any of your department faculty submit to NSF, they will need to register for an account (see procedure). Department Administrators should register and request the Other Authorized User (OAU) role.
    • If you are new to Fastlane, see NSF's Introduction to Fastlane and explore the Fastlane Demonstration Site.

IACUC Notifications:

To receive the approval/exemption emails, PI's need to list their department administrator in their application as an email contact. To be sure you receive these notifications, please coordinate with your faculty.

IRB Notifications:

To be listed as a contact and receive application/notification emails, department administrators need to complete CITI training and register with the ERICA System. After you have completed the training and registered in ERICA, you can be listed as a contact during the IRB application process. Please coordinate with your faculty.


  1. OSP Department Administrator training is intended for new and experienced beginners working in grant and contract administration. The training addresses numerous aspects of pre- and post-award administration and provides a strong foundation of training related to the life cycle of sponsored projects.


  • Subscribe to @theU and review the Research Resources.
  • Sign up for VPR updates from the Vice President for Research Office.
  • Join the Research Administrators' Network (RAN), a forum for colleagues to share ideas and offer general peer support and guidance.
  • Consider joining and/or attending training from the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA), the Society of Research Administrators International (SRA), and/or the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP).


Related Policies and Procedures

Be notified of page updates

Procedure Library Feedback

Do you have comments or suggestions for this procedure?

Last Updated: 12/1/22