The trend in electronic research administration (eRA) continues to grow, with many federal agencies and other sponsors requiring proposal and award management through their particular eRA system. The PI is required to register with each relevant agency. The proposal package must be uploaded into RAMSeS by the administering department for final review and submission five to seven days prior to the agency’s application deadline date to allow for corrections and approval by a signing official for the University. The Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) is responsible for approval and submission of applications from the Med School and the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) is responsible for all others. Terry Magnuson, Vice Chancellor for Research, should be listed as the Grants Officer in all applications.

OSR has developed the following guidelines for various sponsors and their eRA systems. For more information about developing the actual contents of proposals, refer to the OSR Research Toolkits. serves as the centralized point of assess for 26 Federal grant-making agencies, allowing organizations to electronically find and apply for competitive grant opportunities. serves as the central portal for submitting grant applications, which are then forwarded to the respective funding agencies. Those listed below each have electronic research administration systems for maintaining data on proposals and awards.

Because applications must be submitted by OSR and SPO on behalf of the PI, the University is already registered as an institution and you do NOT need to register with as an individual. It will be necessary to register with the appropriate individual federal agency, however, to track your submitted proposal and any subsequent award information.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

With NSF’s electronic research administration system, FastLane, PIs can prepare proposals and save them as works in progress. Fastlane comes with a comprehensive guide and introduction to the system for new users.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH uses eRA Commons to facilitate the exchange of information between NIH and applicant organizations. In addition, NIH provides answers to Commons FAQs and eRA Commons Help Desk.

OSR has produced an outline for preparing NIH electronic applications used by PIs and departments when completing institutional information and processing the application package for submission. Other helpful materials include:

Defense Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

DARPA is the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense or DoD. DARPA opportunities are found in, the central portal for applications by federal buyers and vendors. Registration requires the University’s DUNS #. PIs must for register each time they submit an application to a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) or Request for Proposal (RFP).

U.S. Department of Education (ED)

US ED uses two systems to submit and track electronic grant applications: e-Grants and

The application package specifies which system is required for submission, and in some cases, if paper applications are allowable in lieu of electronic submissions.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

NASA’s eRA systems is NSPIRES, the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System, which follows the proposal from initial solicitation through the final publication of results. A relatively newer system, NSPIRES provides extensive help in getting started and a comprehensive listing of solicitations.

FedBizOpps provides a listing of opportunities for federal buyers and vendors for support and procurements exceeding $25,000. Many agencies provide for electronic submission through this site.


ProposalCENTRAL is a cooperative e-grantmaking website shared by its members from many government, non-profit, and private grant-making organizations, including the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, Arthritis Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Lance Armstrong Foundation and countless others.

American Heart Association (AHA)

As of January 2009, the AHA will begin accepting electronic submissions for its current funding opportunities through the web-based system, Grants@Heart. Paper submissions are no longer accepted. Deadlines by the AHA occur closely to NIH deadlines for new and non-competing applications, so a large volume of grant activity takes place each January. Thus, it is particularly important to expedite review and approval of internal budgets and all completed administrative components of applications (including “Other Support”) well in advance of the final package upload in RAMSeS.

North Carolina Biotechnology Center

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center provides research and education grants to help researchers leverage larger amounts from federal agencies or venture funding groups. On-line proposal preparation and submission is available for a variety of funding types.

For information about other funding opportunities, visit the Funding Information Portal.