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Route & Submit Proposal


Cayuse SP is the University’s official repository for proposal and award information. The system is designed to manage research operations and provide a framework to track and report sponsored project activities. The Office of Research and Economic Development manages the life cycle of sponsored projects with Cayuse SP, from pre-award through post-award. All proposals requiring Sponsored Projects Office review and approval must be submitted using Cayuse SP.

If you are submitting your first proposal, you will need to establish a Cayuse account before creating a Cayuse SP record. To create your account, contact Cayuse Support.


Documents Required in Cayuse

Pre-award Research Administrators (RA) assist with the creation of Cayuse SP records and preparation of proposal packages that meet sponsor and intuitional requirements.

  1. Sponsor’s RFP or Invitation to Submit (in writing)
  1. Appropriate Financial Conflict of Interest form
  1. Final budget (internal budget template) and budget justification.
  1. Required signature form, such as the Multi-campus agreement form, subrecipient commitment form, and/or Institutionally authorized letter of commitment.
  1. A complete proposal packet in one PDF file (final administrative sections and draft technical sections. No placeholders for the administrative sections).
  1. Other attachments when applicable (Upload as separate attachments) :
    1. International Engagements Disclosre form.  To fulfill the federal government's expectations of institutions receiving federal research funding, UCM must ensure that all Senior/Key Personnel provide complete and accurate information about their international engagements. This obligation extends to federal proposals, including subaward proposals where a federal agency serves as the primary sponsor (collectively referred to as federal proposals). Complying with these federal agency disclosure requirements is crucial for UCM to maintain eligibility for federal research funding. Any personnel considered "Senior/Key Personnel" (including PIs) must complete this form.
    2. IDC policy exception request. Required when a sponsor's policy restricts IDC recovery and the allowable rate is different than the campus federally negotiated rate. An IDC policy exception request is required for California State agencies whose rate deviates from the UCOP website's rate. The request for a waiver needs to include the information outlined under UCOP Guidance #306.
    3. Exceptional PI status request or approval. Required when the proposed PI does not meet the University’s definition of Principal Investigator.
    4. Subaward documents. Required when the proposed project includes subcontractors. Required documents include Subrecipient Commitment Form, the scope of work, detailed budget and budget justification, and any other required documentation for submission.
    5. Vendor commitment letter. Required when the proposed project includes work completed by an external vendor (including consultants and contractors). The letter should briefly describe the work to be performed and should include a charge rate and/or total dollar commitment. The letter should be signed by a vendor representative.
    6. Cost share back up documentation. Required when the proposed project includes any type of cost-share commitment. Cost-share letters should clearly state the total commitment ($) and the funding source (FAU). Letters must be signed by the person authorized to commit (generally school deans and ORU directors).
    7. Equipment quotes. Required when the proposed project includes equipment expenditures. Formal quotes from suppliers are preferred (and sometimes required by sponsors), but internet quotes can sometimes be substituted.
    8. Late submission request or approval. Required when the Cayuse proposal record will be routed with less than five (5) business days before the sponsor’s submission deadline.


Deadline Policy

For a proposal to receive a full review, the Cayuse record must be authorized/certified and routed to a Contract & Grant Officer (CGO) five (5) business days before the submission deadline. Proposals routed to CGO with less than five (5) business days before the submission deadline are subject to approval by the Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR). A VCR Late Proposal Request Form must be included in the Cayuse record before routing to the CGO. CGOs will coordinate signature from the VCR. In general, the VCR special approval will be limited to one (1) late proposal submission per PI per fiscal year.


Letter of Authorization

Contract & Grant Officers (CGO) have delegated authority and are responsible for proposal submission to sponsors. In most cases, including all,, eRA Commons (and most federal agencies) applications, CGO submits the proposal to the intended sponsor electronically. However, some sponsors may require or have the option for Principal Investigators (PI) to submit proposals directly through the sponsor’s portal or via email. When this option is available, and the PI chooses to submit the proposal directly to the sponsor, SPO will provide a Letter of Authorization for submission after reviewing the final version of the complete proposal. A PI must first obtain a Letter of Authorization regardless of whether the sponsor requires the letter. Despite the submission method, every research proposal (requesting extramural support – funded or non-funded) or fellowship application is required to be reviewed and authorized by a CGO in SPO.


Levels of Review

Contract & Grant Officers (CGO) will provide a full review for proposals routed on time (five (5) business days before the submission deadline). Proposals receiving a full review will receive priority processing and submission over late proposals. If the final version of the proposal (including technical sections) is not provided eight (8) hours before the submission deadline, CGO will not perform an additional review to confirm if the required revisions are incorporated, and the proposal will be submitted as is.

Contract & Grant Officers (CGO) will provide a limited review for proposals routed late (less than five (5) business days before the submission deadline). CGOs will only review institutional issues that could create financial, audit, and /or policy risks for the University. All other proposal sections will be submitted to the sponsor as is. Late proposals will be submitted after the on-time proposals that are due the same day. If a late proposal is awarded, CGO may request the PI to provide any missing administrative information or required forms normally collected at the proposal stage. Sometimes a re-budget will be needed before the award can be released.


Summary of Service Levels Table

Service Level Standard Full Review (At least five (5) days prior to submission deadline) Limited Review (Less than five (5) days prior to submission deadline)
Proposal checked for compliance with University requirements X X
Proposal submitted by sponsor deadline X X
Proposals checked for compliance with sponsor guidelines X  
Terms & Conditions binding upong award reviewed for acceptability X  



Preliminary Submission

Sponsors sometimes require a Pre-proposal, White Paper, or Letter of Intent to manage the review process and invite a Principal Investigator (PI) to apply for the full proposal. A PI is required to submit a preliminary proposal to SPO if the sponsor requires:

  • Institutional authorization; or
  • A detailed budget; or
  • Agreement to terms and conditions

There may be other types of preliminary submissions. SPO will review each type on a case by case and process them following the sponsor’s guidelines.


Limited Submission

Limited submission programs restrict the number of proposals, applications, or nominations an institution can submit to a funding agency. These programs require institutions to conduct an internal solicitation and review process in which school deans and directors of organized research units (ORU) nominate pre-proposals for internal review.  A review committee chooses the proposal(s) that will go to the funding agency. If you apply to a limited submission solicitation, you must first obtain written approval from the Office of Research Development (ORD). The proposal selection announcement must be included in the Cayuse proposal record.

For more information regarding the limited submission, please visit ORD’s website, or email them directly (


Proposal Submission FAQ

What if there is no RFP?

In cases where there is no formal RFP or solicitation, the sponsor needs to provide a list of documents they require to consider the proposal for funding. A deadline also needs to be provided so that SPO can plan and organize accordingly. Some documents (e.g., budget and budget justification) are institutional requirements and will need to be provided even if the sponsor has not listed them as required documents.

For incoming subcontracts, the prime sponsor’s RFP/solicitation cannot substitute for the Pass-Through Entity’s (PTE) requirements. The PTE must provide a list of documents they require along with a submission deadline.

The list of required documents and deadline can be provided in an email.


What if the project is not subject to a competitive solicitations process?

 Sometimes, funding opportunities don't follow the usual channels. Instead, a sponsor might directly approach a researcher (PI) based on their expertise, leading to project discussions before any formal paperwork. By the time the pre-award research administrator gets involved, the PI and sponsor may already be nearing the agreement stage.

In these cases, where things started with a conversation, don't skip establishing a Cayuse proposal record. It's still crucial to document everything!

What to Include in the Cayuse Proposal Record:

Gather all the required documents listed in Cayuse, except for the complete proposal packet (requirement 5). Instead, if you have a draft research agreement from the sponsor, attach it to the Cayuse record as an "Award Attachment".

Why it Matters:

Even if things started informally, having a record in Cayuse keeps everything organized and accessible. It ensures all critical steps and documents are captured, facilitating smooth progress from conversation to signed agreement.


The sponsor indicated that no budget is necessary. Do I still need to complete the internal budget?

Some documents (e.g., budget and budget justification) are institutional requirements and will need to be provided even if the sponsor has not listed them as required documents. CGOs will not approve proposals until all institutional requirements have been fulfilled. Many sponsors upon award want to have a financial accounting of how the money is spent, and we need to have a way to capture it.


The sponsor provided their own budget justification template. Do I still need to provide the internal versions?

If the sponsor provides a budget justification template that captures all of the information necessary for the CGO to review institutional issues, the budget justification template does not need to be provided.


I am submitting a proposal or have received an award for a University of California funded grant. Do I need a Cayuse record? Does my proposal need to be authorized by SPO? Does the award need to be setup by SPO?

The University of California has various research funding programs that support UCM faculty, staff, and students. To determine when the Sponsored Projects Office is required to be involved in UC funded projects, consider the following:


  Yes No
Proposal Application Requires SPO Authorization? If the proposal application requires SPO's authorization, a Cayuse record will need to be developed according to the proposal submission guidelines. If the proposal does not require SPO's authorization, the PI/Fellow/Applicant does not need to follow the proposal submission guideles and can submit independently of SPO.
Notice of Award or Award Agreement Requires SPO Certification? If the award document requires SPO's certification, a Cayuse award record will need to be created and linked to the corresponding proposal record. A Research Administrator will need to management post award activity. If the "award" document does not require SPO's certification and the document does not indicate that SPO needs to manage the funding, the department will need to manage the financial activity. Some "award" document require certification from Deans/Directors and/or the PI/Fellow/Applicant