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Pre-Award Frequently Asked Questions

Proposals involving Animal subjects

My grant proposal includes a subrecipient, and only the subrecipient will be using animals in the research. Do I need to mark "Yes" on the face page of my application to indicate that animals are being used, even if no animals are being used on this campus?

Yes. If the grant involves animal research, the pass-through entity (UTHSC, in this case) must mark "yes" and include the animal welfare assurance number on the face page. The protocol must be submitted to the UTHSC IACUC for approval, even though no animals are being used on this campus, if the project involves a subrecipient that will be using animals.



When is the submission deadline?
  • The deadline is no later than 5:00 pm on the date on which the proposal is to be submitted to our sponsor.
  • That is frequently the date listed in the solicitation, but in many cases, such as when UT is a subcontractor, a deadline may be set by the lead institution that is earlier than the date in the solicitation. The deadline may be earlier if the research team will be unavailable and would like to submit early.
Do holidays count as business days? 
No, holidays are considered the same as weekends and are not included in the business-day count.
What if OSP returns my proposal for required changes? How does that affect the five days?
The five days begin when OSP receives the proposal for the first time. This review window allows time for corrections. PI requested changes are not allowed after the five-business-day deadline.
Does the submission mechanism matter?
No, all proposals, whether new applications, continuations, resubmissions, or revisions, must be entered into Cayuse and received by OSP five business days prior to the agency deadline. The policy also covers other material that must be submitted to a sponsor by AOR or requiring AOR approval, such as Just-In-Time, RPPRS and Post Submission Material.

Are paper applications exempt from this policy?

No, all proposals need to be received by OSP prior to the five business days before the agency deadline.

Do non-federal proposals need to be submitted to OSP five days before the agency deadline?

Yes, all proposals should be received by OSP five business days before the agency deadline.
Why do we have the five-business-day policy?
The five-business-day policy was approved by the UT Faculty Senate. The five-business-day total review/submission window ensures full institutional review and approval of all proposals prior to submission. Please be advised that applications are reviewed by OSP in the order in which they are received. We cannot guarantee that an application received outside of the stipulated review window will be submitted. An excessively high proposal volume may preclude on-time submission of any proposal that arrives late.
What if I have a subcontractor, consultant, or other external collaborator on my proposal?
  • All documents (needed by the sponsor and /or the University) must be included in the finalized UTHSC Cayuse routing, which should be received by OSP 5 business days before the deadline.
  • Note- documents cannot be accepted from the individual collaborators and must be officially authorized by the institution’s Authorized Official or Sponsored Programs Office.
  • It is important to notify collaborators early so they can work through their internal processes in time for OSP to receive their documents.  

What if I’m submitting to another institution who is leading a proposal?

  • It is important to establish the date in which the lead institution needs UT’s institutionally reviewed and approved documents.
  • That date will be the deadline entered in Cayuse and used to create the internal timeline for review and submission.
  • Please include any previous communications about the proposal submission needs of the lead institution.
Do “pre-proposals” (letters of intent, white papers, preliminary proposals, etc.) have to meet the 5-business day deadline?
  • Yes - the five-business-day deadlines applies to all documentation that requires Pre-Award review and/or approval, including letters of intent, Just in Times and RPPRs.
  • Any pre-proposal that requires institutional approval must be routed and approved via Cayuse.
    • Common indicators of needing institutional approval are references to the university’s research office (AOR/SRO/SPO) needing to review, approve, submit, sign, etc.
    • Common language seen in solicitations are, but not limited to:
      • Submission required by a person with "submit privileges"
      • "Institutional countersignature" required
      • "I certify that I am authorized to submit"
      • "I have reviewed and agree to terms and conditions".
  • Any proposal the requires OSP action must be routed through Cayuse as the institution must have official record of what was submitted to a sponsor. Please contact for solicitation specific guidance when you identify a “pre-proposal” opportunity.  

What happens if I do not know about a funding opportunity until late?

  • Most funding opportunities, especially federal, have published deadlines such that the internal deadline policy can be followed.
  • Please contact for solicitation specific guidance when you identify a “pre-proposal” opportunity. 
Where can I find the NIH Due Dates?
Deadlines for FOAs using “Standard due dates” can be found on the NIH Standard Due Dates webpage. Some opportunities will follow non-standard due dates- every federal funding announcement will clearly identify the due dates for the opportunity.
I am trying to meet the 5-working-day advance deadline for an electronic grant submission, but I am not finished with the science. Is it okay to send the package over for the 5-day-advance deadline, continue working on it, and then send a revised package later?
No. Unfortunately about 90-95% of the applications received in OSP have SOME errors. The OSP staff needs this time to correct the errors and submit the packages before the agency deadline. If a new package is sent over, the entire package must be reviewed again, increasing the opportunity for errors to be overlooked. If errors are noted by the PI on a specific section after submission to OSP, please contact for guidance.
Why must I submit the final version of my grant 5 days before the deadline? I would like to have more time to read it over again and make corrections.

On any given deadline, the OSP receives many applications that must be processed. Each application takes time; if the PI sends another version, then the review process must start over. If the PI sends additional files via e-mail, there is a risk of error due to the possible confusion of the new and old versions. The only time-corrections can be made is when the reviewer (Claire, Michelle, or Shannon) requests corrections to ensure the grant follows the guidelines. The five-day deadline is also necessary for submissions to allow time for resubmissions in the event there is an error that must be corrected. All applications must be submitted error-free by close of business which is 5:00 p.m. CST.

If I keep up with all the standard NIH deadlines, can I assume that the Office of Sponsored Programs is not busy during other times?

No. In addition to the standard NIH deadlines, which now fall about every two weeks, NIH RFAs and RFPs can be due almost any day. In addition, many other sponsors, including federal (e.g., NSF, HRSA, DOD), state, and private (e.g., AHA, CFRI, other foundations), have deadlines that fall on various dates throughout the year. 

Helpful Links:

NIH Standard Due dates

Electronic grant packages

For NIH grants, why does the application package list both a modular and a detailed budget form in the optional document section? Am I required to complete these ‘optional' forms?
Yes, you do need to complete one of the budget forms for each submission. Both budget forms are in the optional section so you may use the type of budget form specified in your package instructions; in most cases, this will be the modular budget form
For electronic submissions, what should I list as the site of my NIH grant?
The site should be the campus address: 62 S. Dunlap, Suite 300, Memphis, TN 38163. More than one location may be listed in cases where co-investigators are working at other institutions.

I have not had an opportunity to attend a training session on electronic grant submission. Will the OSP prepare the grant package for me if I send the scientific portion over electronically?

No. Unfortunately, OSP does not have the staff time to prepare grant applications for faculty. Departments should be working with faculty to be sure that everyone has the proper training and/or staff support to manage the electronic grant preparation process. Preparing the 424 package is no more difficult than filling out the Adobe forms; although it requires careful attention to detail. Training sessions for individuals or departments may be arranged upon request during non-deadline periods.

When submitting an electronic grant application, is it okay if I send a partial package to OSP by the internal deadline date and then send additional sections later, to allow more time for me to write/review/correct the scientific sections or get collaboration letters, etc.?

No. If the package is not complete and in final form by the internal deadline date, wait until it is final to route it in SP. The risk is that you may miss a deadline. On any given deadline, OSP has many grant applications, and does not have sufficient time to review two or three versions of each nor, unfortunately, is there time to insert the various scientific portions in the proper places of the package without neglecting review of other grants proposals that have been submitted correctly and timely.

I need to submit a proposal through Proposal Central. Is UTHSC registered there?

Yes, UTHSC is registered in Proposal Central. Dependent on the sponsor, the Proposal Central forms can have different requirements such as the requirement for institutional signature and/or approval. It is important to carefully review the requirements for the specific opportunity you wish to submit to.

All proposals requiring submission via Proposal Central must be routed through Cayuse for internal routing, review, and approval prior to the sponsor’s deadline. A full, finalized PDF copy of the Proposal Central forms must be attached to the Cayuse SP prior to routing.

Proposal Central registration can be completed by the investigator and does not require institutional approval.

All applications made via Proposal Central should identify the following individuals for the following common proposal roles:

Grants Officer/ Business Official/ AOR: Brenda Murrell ( Associate Vice Chancellor for Research 

Fiscal Officer: Raaj Kurapati, Executive Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration and Chief Operating Officer (

Technology Transfer Officer: Tinieka Thrailkill, University of Tennessee Research Foundation (

I am submitting a grant which requires electronic submission by the PI. Do I have to let anyone know

Yes, all externally funded grant proposals should be routed in SP for review and approval by department, college, and institutional offices prior to submission to the funding agency. For sponsors that only allow for submission by the PI, the assigned Pre-Award reviewer will provide written authorization to submit once a proposal has been approved by an Authorized Institutional Official.

Electronic Routing

I am not able to log into Cayuse 424 and SP. How can I gain access?

Contact your department business office. They will need to enter information into the human resources data base to allow you access either as a "researcher" or "administrator." If you need to be included on proposals as a member of the project team, you should be identified as a "researcher." Here is the IRIS transaction to be used:

ZSESATAUTH000 - IRIS User Tools -> User Access -> Satellite System User Request

Business staff simply enter personnel number and request access type (researcher or admin); use the "researcher" designation for anyone who will be paid from a sponsored project.

Additional information on IRIS transactions


When I complete my NIH Progress Report (RPPR) in Commons, to whom should I route it?
PIs should work with their department to prepare and review RPPRs before routing to OSP. Please ensure you complete a “Check for Errors” in eRA Commons and correct any detected issues prior to routing. When finalized, route the report to Shannon Guyot, who will review it and route it to Brenda Murrell for final submission. Shannon will contact the PI if there are any corrections that need to be made.

General Information

Is UTHSC a tax exempt institution?

The University of Tennessee is an educational agency of State of Tennessee, exempt from federal income tax as a state agency, under section 170(c) of the IRS Code.

UTHSC's IRS determination letter

UTHSC is NOT a 501(c) 3 organization; however, it is tax exempt (see above). Investigators wishing to respond to opportunities that require the applicant to hold 501 (c ) 3 status must work with the university of Tennessee Foundation ( POC: Greg Harris Assistant Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives & Advancement Services (901.448.4975 to establish if the submission can be made. Proposals approved by UTF must also be routed in Cayuse for institutional review and approval prior to the internal 5 full business day review window. OSP strongly recommend contacting both UTF and OSP as soon as you are aware of the submission.

Is UT a 501(c) 3 organization?
UTHSC is NOT a 501(c) 3 organization; however, it is tax exempt (see above). Investigators wishing to respond to opportunities that require the applicant to hold 501 (c ) 3 status must work with the university of Tennessee Foundation ( POC: Greg Harris Assistant Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives & Advancement Services 901.448.4975 to establish if the submission can be made. Proposals approved by UTF must also be routed in Cayuse for institutional review and approval prior to the internal 5 full business day review window. OSP strongly recommend contacting both UTF and OSP as soon as you are aware of the submission.

Grant Application Process

I'm working with another institution (e.g., St. Jude) to submit a proposal to a federal agency (e.g., NIH). What entity should I list as the "funding agency" in Cayuse SP
The "funding agency" should be the entity from which UTHSC will receive funds. In the case of a proposed sub-award for a grant that will be issued to St. Jude, the "funding agency" should be listed as "St. Jude." NIH should be listed as the Prime funding agency.
Must the electronic version of grants that are due in OSP five working days in advance be the FINAL version, or can I still be working on the grant while it's under review?
The FINAL version must be submitted to OSP five working days in advance to allow time for review, submission, and correction of any possible errors found during the submission process
I hope to apply for a grant that requires a letter of intent (LOI) first. Does that LOI need to be routed in Cayuse?

You need to route it only if:

  • the letter of intent requires institutional signature,
  • the LOI requires a budget, OR
  • an institutional official must submit the LOI.


Transfer Grants


I think I may have developed a new invention. What should I do?
Management of Intellectual Property falls under the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF). To report an invention that arose in the course of university employment, complete a technology disclosure in IDEA. Questions regarding IP should be directed to UTRF.
If I'm not being paid from a grant or other research project, but am PI or participating in the project, should I list it on my "Other Support" page? If so, what % effort should I list?
NIH requirements state that all external support of research must be included and that percent efforts be shown, even if no salary support is covered by that project. The percent effort should match the amount of effort that is being expended on the project; if an individual is a PI on a project, he or she must be spending some effort on that project. Also, if a grant application listed an individual with a greater percent effort than the amount of salary support, the "Other Support" page should reflect the EFFORT, not the salary percentage.
My NIH grant application received a score that appears to be in the fundable range. I have checked the NIH Commons for information about my grant application, and it is listed as "JIT." Should I submit the Just-in-Time information now?
No. Just-in-Time (JIT) information is submitted only at the request of the agency. When the agency is ready to receive the information, they will send an e-mail to the PI and the UTHSC officials requesting JIT information. Some grants may show up in Commons with a "JIT" status, even though they may not be approved for funding. OSP Pre-Award recommend using the JIT link to start reviewing requirements for standard “JIT” requests, such as Other Support, to facilitate a faster, smoother submission of materials when requested.

NIH Multiple PIs (MPI)

NIH Public Access Policy

I am submitting a journal article reporting the results of a study funded, in part, by the NIH. Do I have to submit the article to PubMed?

Yes, NIH requires that all articles be submitted to PubMed. Since some journals take care of the PubMed submission, the author is advised to check with the Journal or check the list of journals that submit to PubMed.

Additional information about submission of NIH-funded articles can be found on the NIH Public Access Policy website or the UTHSC Library reference.


For Pre-Award questions not addressed above- please email .

Mar 19, 2024