Sponsor Electronic Systems

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NIH eRA Commons
NSF Research.gov and FastLane
Federal Business Opportunities
Arizona Procurement Portal

Federal grant making organizations and many other sponsors require proposal submission and award management through specific electronic research administration systems. Many require that investigators register as individuals prior to submitting a proposal; others require institutional registration, or both institutional and investigator. Individual investigators and department staff should not register the University for any electronic system. Please contact Sponsored Projects Services (SPS) with questions.

Authorizations for electronic system users are role specific. It is important to determine what role an investigator will play in the grant application, award, and management process and request appropriate authorization:

  • Dean / Associate Dean for Research / Unit Director
  • Principal Investigator
  • Administrative Support

Two other roles are: 1) Authorizing Official; and 2) Signing Official. These titles are reserved for SPS who have been granted institutional-level authority.

If the University of Arizona is not an authorized user of a sponsor electronic system, SPS will establish an account as needed. Contact SPS with questions about whether the University of Arizona is authorized to use a particular sponsor electronic grant management system.


Grants.gov centralizes grant programs across all federal grant-making agencies. It provides standardized grant information, application packages, and processes for finding and applying for federal grants. Users can search for grants at Search Grants.Grants.gov applications are submitted via the Workspace module, which requires an investigator account.


Obtaining a Grants.gov User Account

Individuals self-register for an account from the Grants.gov home page and affiliate their individual account using the University of Arizona DUNS number. A Grants.gov system notification prompts SPS to assign a Workspace role when a user becomes affiliated with the University of Arizona.

See the Grants.gov Guidance page for more information.

NIH eRA Commons

eRA Commons is the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) online interface for electronic application and award information. Currently, investigators can view submitted applications, summary statements, maintain their profile, maintain publication lists, submit just-in-time (JIT) information, and submit annual Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) and final project reports through Commons. Commons also provides access to the Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) system for submission of electronic applications and human subjects information. SPS uses Commons to view submitted applications, approve JIT information, approve RPPRs, submit annual/final financial and invention reports, initiate grantee-approved no-cost extensions, and to check the status of pending applications and awards. SPS does not have access to the summary statements posted on Commons.

Obtaining an NIH Commons User Account

New investigator accounts are created by SPS. For investigators with prior support from the NIH or who have applied to the NIH in the past, SPS may be able to find the existing Commons account with only the investigator's full name. At the least, they will need only the investigator’s e-mail address. If the investigator has never applied to NIH, use this form to request a new eRA Commons User ID.

NSF Research.gov and FastLane

Research.gov and FastLane are the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) sites for all electronic proposal and award business. Using these systems, investigators can prepare, revise, and withdraw proposals, submit annual and final project reports, prepare supplemental funding requests, view award letters and make requests for Postaward items (such as: extensions, rebudgeting, PI changes, etc.).

Obtaining an NSF User Account

Individuals self-register for an account and request a system role from the Research.gov home page. NSF electronically notifies SPCS of role requests for institutional approval.


NSPIRES (NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System) supports the entire lifecycle of NASA research solicitation and selection, from the release of solicitation announcements through Notice of Intent and proposal submission, the peer review and the decision process.

Obtaining an NSPIRES User Account

Individuals self-register for an account if they will be included in the Proposal Cover Page or Grants.gov forms as a team member. NSPIRES electronically notifies SPS to confirm the user affiliation with the University of Arizona.

Federal Business Opportunities

Defense Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and other federal opportunities are found at Beta.SAM.gov. Proposals may be submitted through Grants.gov or by other means, as instructed in each proposal announcement.


proposalCENTRAL is used by many foundations and societies. The University of Arizona is registered as an institution in the system. Principal investigators self-register with ProposalCentral and complete a professional profile in order to create proposals and upload necessary files. Typically, SPS must sign a cover sheet for the investigator to upload into the application.

Arizona Procurement Portal (APP)

The Arizona Procurement Portal (APP) is the State of Arizona’s online procurement portal that many state agencies use to solicit proposals (ABRC, AZDES, AZDHS, etc.). Open soliciations (funding opportunities) are accessible without a user account and APP access is limited to SPS administrators. Please contact SPS for additional details regarding a specific solicitation. See the ABRC Guidance page for more information about Arizona Biomedical Research Commission proposals.


This is not an exhaustive list of sponsor electronic systems used for proposal submission. If you encounter other systems or solicitation submission instructions that are unclear, please don’t hesitate to contact Sponsored Projects Services for clarification.


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