Proposal Submission

There is a 2-step process to submit proposals  (click link to jump down to the relevant section):

Special instructions:

Submit an After-the-Fact (ATF) proposal
(this links to another page)


When is a proposal required to be routed through the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) for review and approval?

    • All full proposals must be submitted through SPO. University policy requires that proposals in any other form — letters of intent (LOIs), preliminary proposals (pre-proposals), white papers, supplemental requests, etc. – be submitted to the Sponsored Programs Office for review and approval prior to being submitted to a sponsor (organization or entity) when the sponsor requires:
      • a budget
      • agreement to terms and conditions (at proposal phase)
      • institutional approval, endorsement or signature
    • This requirement is broadly defined in UCOP policy UC-RG-12-0014.

Note: Clinical trials funded entirely by private industry (i.e., pharmaceutical companies) are processed by UCDH Clinical Trials Contracts in a different manner than described below. Also see: Clinical Trial Agreements

Step 1: Route proposal internally for required approvals and review

Route via Cayuse SP:

    • The electronic proposal routed in Cayuse SP is called the Internal Processing Form (IPF). It is routed internally at UC Davis for:
    • To begin an IPF, first select Cayuse SP, then in the Proposals Dashboard at left, select Start New Proposal
    • As described in Overview: Proposal Review and Submission, submit early (approx. 10-14 days before sponsor deadline) so that the certified and authorized IPF arrives in SPO 5-7 days in advance of the sponsor’s deadline.
      • The length of time between when the IPF is assigned to a SPO analyst and the sponsor’s deadline will determine the Type of Proposal Review.
    • Minimum documents required in Cayuse SP for analyst assignment
      • The certified and authorized IPF
      • A Budget spreadsheet (ideally an OR Budget Template)
      • A Budget Justification
      • A Scope of Work for the project (draft acceptable)
        • The Scope of Work does not need to be final at time of routing in Cayuse SP.
    • If needed, request new user access to the Cayuse Research Suite (for yourself or another) by writing [email protected]. Provide the following information:
      • Full Name
      • Kerberos ID
      • UC Davis Email (for some, this differs from the Kerberos ID)
      • Home Unit
      • Will you/they be acting as a PI?
      • Employee ID#
    • Each registered Cayuse user has the access and responsibility to keep their Professional Profile information updated.

Helpful resources:

Visit these pages for additional guidance:

Step 2: Submit the Proposal to the Sponsor

Once the IPF is routing to the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) in Cayuse SP, copy the content of the proposal into a sponsor-approved submission system.

If is allowable for submission (most federal sponsors), use Cayuse 424 which links system-to-system and speeds the process.

Proposals to most State of California agencies must be submitted using the Model Agreement Template.

Start early when registering for a new submission system. Some registrations take up to a week.

For submission systems other than Cayuse 424, when possible grant access for your SPO analyst to view the proposal (and often, submit it on your behalf).

    • Guidance for some common systems:
      • Assign your SPO proposals analyst the following role(s):
        • (NSF): provide general access to the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO)
        • SmartSimple (UCOP): Add your SPO proposals analyst as a PI Assistant to have access.
      • If you do not yet have an assigned SPO proposals analyst, you may try using [email protected] as the contact email, but this doesn’t work for all systems (such as CIRM).
      • Contact [email protected] for additional guidance on providing SPO access.

Please ensure that there is at least one contact person (department administrator or PI) available prior to the sponsor deadline.

    • Occasionally, small errors such as exceeded page limits or missing information will cause a proposal to be automatically rejected by a sponsor’s proposal submission system.
      • In these cases, your assigned SPO proposals analyst will alert the contact person so that errors can be corrected.

Generally, your assigned SPO proposals analyst will submit the proposal directly to the sponsor on behalf of UC Davis.

    • Sometimes, however, the Principal Investigator is required to submit the proposal.
      • In these cases, SPO will provide reviewed and approved submission materials to the PI for submission.
      • Submit the proposal as approved by SPO and provide SPO a copy of the final submission.

Electronic Research Administration (eRA) system resources: