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Research Administrators' Toolkit

Without question we recognize the impact that research has on technology and society. U-M 's contributions are significant, and strong support for sponsored research activity and creative innovation of our faculty are key to our success.

Managing the business aspects of research takes a team of experts. The process of finding funding, effectively developing a proposal, ensuring compliance and electronically submitting a proposalmanaging a project if awarded and closing out the project in a manner that furthers the research as well as reconciling the financial books and compliance milestones takes keen business acumen and expertise.

The Research Administrators' Toolkit attempts to bring some of these resources to the fingertips of those doing this important work.

While faculty researchers focus on the science, those in research administration help ensure the other business processes are met, whether it be proposal submission, managing project milestones, compliance reporting, or financials. 

References and Resources

Other Internal U-M Weblinks

Compliance Resources

Conflict of Interest/Outside Interest Disclosure Forms

  • M-Inform Disclosure System M-Inform is the university’s online outside interest disclosure system. As an employee, you use this system to complete and submit the disclosure form(s). This may include reporting that you do not have outside interests related to your employment or reporting an interest in more than one entity.
  • Letter of Commitment to Establish A Subrecipient Agreement [fillable pdf]

    A completed Letter of Commitment (LOC) is required when requesting a subcontract if the sponsor of the PAF/parent project follows the PHS financial conflict of interest regulation. Use the template below to collect the information from the subrecipient institution that UM needs to establish the subcontract, including their Conflict of Interest Policy Certification option.

  • Outside Interest Disclosure form (Word) used by individuals who are external (i.e., not affiliated with, employed by) to the U-M, but are participating on a project (e.g., investigators from a subcontracting organization; investigators on a human subjects study).

Finding Funding Resources

Manage Project Resources

  • Post Award Change Request Guidelines w/ Form
  • NIH/eRA Commons The eRA (electronic research administration commons) Commons website, by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provides principal investigators and their research staff with online features and tools including the abilities to: View a full application Review current status of an application Check for errors View application assignment information Obtain PDF copies of applications Access copies of previous Notices of Grant Award Get current information on the program official and the grants management specialist
  • Finance Budget Reallocation Process (formerly 7471 Form) Functionality to submit budget reallocations is available online using M-Pathways. (This replaces the Project Budget Allocation-Form 7471, which will be phased out beginning 1/5/15.) The functionality incorporates workflow to ensure that the proper approvals are obtained per Sponsored Programs. For assistance with processing budget reallocation transaction in M-Pathways, see: Create a New Budget Reallocation in M-Pathways - Step-by-Step Procedure Approve a Budget Reallocation in M-Pathways - Step-by-Step Procedure Budget Reallocation Presentation at 11/19/2014 Unit Liaison Meeting - Recording and Powerpoint slides. If you have any questions about budget reallocations, please contact your Sponsored Programs Customer Service Coordinator.  
  • Paying research subjects: Human Subject Incentives Program (HSIP) Human subjects often are paid a fee for their participation in research projects. Protocols for the use of human beings in research, teaching, or testing are reviewed and approved, according to federal, state and university policies. (See: Human Research Protection Program). For payment policies and details on paying subjects, see Standard Practice Guide 501.7-1. Also see the University's Human Subject Incentive Program at or email

Other U-M Campus Workshops and Training

  • Communications Best Practices

    Communication Best Practices is a two-part guide to post at your desk with:

    • Part 1: General Tips  
    • Part 2: U-M Research Administration Tips -  (Help determine when to Post a Comment, when to Request ORSP Action, when to pick up the phone, and more. )

    Download and print both!

Proposal Development Resources



If you have a link or resource you'd like to recommend for inclusion in the RA Toolkit, please contact Constance Colthorp ( Thanks!