You are here

Route & Submit Proposal

Who Does What?Who does what when routing and submitting a proposal?

How do I work with eResearch?

You can find useful eRPM Documentation on the ITS website for working with your proposal, award, or agreement.

eRPM is used to electronically:

  • Create, route, and approve a Proposal Approval Form (PAF) to submit funding proposals to external sponsors, including
  • Manage an Award record (AWD)
  • Route an unfunded agreement (UFA) for processing (e.g., Non-Disclosure Agreement, Material Transfer Agreement, etc.)
  • Create and route Clinical Trial Routing Forms (CTRF) 

Login to eRPM

To successfully use eRPM, consider:

Create a Proposal Approval Form (PAF) within your unit and via the eResearch Proposal Management (eRPM) system. Once internally complete and correct, route to ORSP for submission four days in advance of the sponsor deadline. 


In this phase, while you are developing your proposal, you create an electronic record for the proposal --a Proposal Approval Form (PAF) -- with U-M's eResearch Proposal Management system (eRPM) system. You route and submit your PAF to ORSP for approval. Keep our deadline policy in mind when preparing.

  • Proposal development happens within the U-M departments or units of the various schools, colleges, or institutes. 
  • Proposal submission happens with ORSP when you route and submit your proposal via University of Michigan's eRPM system. Rarely, but sometimes, particularly with smaller federal sponsors, your proposal must be submitted in Workspace within

Federal and state regulations and U-M policies guide the processing of proposals and submission to potential sponsors, as well as the subsequent handling of projects resulting from successful proposals.


  • Before working with ORSP to route and submit your proposal through eRPM, first, confirm that it is a sponsored project
  • Any research or scholarly project proposal with outside funding must be processed through ORSP and documented in eRPM.

Proposal Approval Form (PAF)

The PAF is completed and routed electronically with each proposal in eRPM. The person submitting the proposal and PAF must obtain approval of the appropriate department head, dean, or unit director before sending the proposal to ORSP. More detail about what is covered by the PAF is available, as is information on routing the PAF in eRPM.

All sponsored projects must be submitted through ORSP via eRPM. The proposal is routed through U-M via the eRPM system with an accompanying Proposal Approval Form (PAF), created in eRPM, which documents university commitments to the project at each level from the department to the central administration.

Below are questions you might encounter when submitting your project through eRPM. After you have developed your proposal with your project team, a best practice is to submit it to ORSP at least four business days in advance of the deadline for a thorough review.

Processing the Proposal

Learn more about processing the proposal along with deadlines, and how the PAF is prepared in eRPM system (including what it looks like and how to fill it out in eResearch).  You may also need:

Services provided by ORSP

Once your PAF is finalized (and complete and correct), you can route to ORSP. ORSP will then:

  • review the proposal according to our PAF and Proposal Checklist;
  • route the completed proposal, the PAF, and necessary accompanying documents to the appropriate University offices for the required endorsements, signatures, and certifications, and
  • submit to the potential sponsor.

ORSP requires a finalized PAF and final proposal four business days before the sponsor deadline and time.  

See the Standard Operating Procedure 200.01 on Proposal Review by ORSP for further guidance.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures

When the PAF is first submitted for approval, the project director must determine if a financial conflict of interest disclosure is required. The conflict of interest disclosure asks about management or financial interests in outside entities held by key investigators or by their spouses or dependents that may impinge upon the proposed sponsored agreement. To assure full disclosure, this requirement should be interpreted broadly. See Conflict of Interest and Commitment for further instructions.

If the disclosures are negative (that is, if it is determined there are no "significant financial interests" related to the proposed project), the Project Director will so certify by signing the Proposal Approval Form (PAF) in eRPM. The proposal and the PAF will then be further processed.

Note the procedures for proposals with sponsors following the Public Health Service Financial Conflict of Interest regulations.

Disclosures that may trigger State Law or are otherwise above the threshold of significant financial interests must be forwarded, along with a copy of the PAF, for review by the Conflict of Interest Review Committee. Proposals may be submitted to external sponsors in order to meet established deadlines with the understanding that the review process must be completed satisfactorily before a sponsored award can be accepted.

Federal Projects and

The majority of U-M submissions are completed in eRPM via a system-to-system transmission. Sometimes you may need to use Workspace when working with smaller sponsors.



ORSP must do the actual submission. The proposal is submitted in a system-to-system process (eResearch >> by ORSP. In some cases, an office with delegated authority can submit directly to (e.g., the Medical School Grants Office that can submit to NIH only). To get the proposal submitted, it is the responsibility of the project team to finalize their submission in eResearch. ***We recommend submitting to ORSP four business days prior to the sponsor deadline, but only if it's final.***

To submit a proposal to a sponsor, you will use a Proposal Approval Form (PAF). Be sure to identify and work with your department research administrator. To find your administrator, visit the Blue Pages. To complete the PAF and sponsor application materials via eResearch (eRPM). A best practice is to check the Proposal Routine Checklist created by the Research Administration Schools (RASC) Committee. 

No. Individual Principal Investigator registration in is not required. The University is fully registered for the submission process.

An SF-424 form, or "Standard Form 424," is the application packet used by federal agencies for grant submissions. Most standard information (DUNS, EIN, FWA numbers, etc.) is pre-populated in the required SF-424 forms when completing the application in eResearch (eRPM). If you find your application is not supported by eResearch you can find the standard information on the Frequently Required Proposal Data web page.

In order to give your proposal a full review it is strongly recommended that you deliver it in final form within four (4) business days of the sponsor deadline. We will do what we can given the shortened time frame, but you run the risk of a submission that fails to pass the and agency validations. When a proposal is routed late we make every effort to execute it, but we mark it as "Insufficient Time for Review."

Yes, you can find information about the eRPM Proposal Preparation and Unit Review course (taught via Zoom) on the Navigate Program Instructor-Led Courses web page.

ORSP recommends using system-to-system submission (or other agency systems such as NSF's Fastlane or a unique sponsor system) whenever possible. This is integrated in the University of Michigan eResearch system. Note that some agencies specify that paper applications are required, and some will require only Adobe. Those are the only circumstances in which system-to-system should not be used.

No, ORSP project representatives can provide guidance, but your first point-of-contact is your department administrator who can help with system and forms.

Check the Resubmission application (Box 2) and enter the previously submitted NIH grant number (such as GM123456) in Box 4.

No, not through 
The Principal Investigator (PI) may be able to access this information using his/her login credentials for NIH eRA Commons or NSF Fastlane (or others). The status information that is available will vary from agency to agency. 

eRPM provides status on proposal submission for proposals submitted via system-to-system. To check the content of your electronically submitted proposal for selected agencies including NIH, use eRA Commons. For NSF, submitted proposals can be viewed in FastLane.

When on the Research....(see screenshot ) page. Upload the additional Additional Key/Senior Profiles by selecting the button on the lower left.

References and Resources

"Who Does What?" Roles and Responsibilities in the U-M Research Project Lifecycle

eResearch Help