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Starting a Proposal

All grant proposals to external sponsors must be approved by the university prior to submission. Cayuse SP is the platform for obtaining that institutional approval for your project. We recommend starting a proposal record as soon as you think you will be applying for a grant. If you would like assistance creating your Cayuse SP record, please complete the Proposal Intake Form.

In Cayuse, select "Cayuse SP" and navigate to "My Dashboard" and "Start a New Proposal." Enter the following information to save your new proposal record:

  • Sponsor: If the sponsor’s name does not show up in the search, choose “Sponsor Not Listed” and e-mail us to add the sponsor to the database.
  • Short Project Name: This is for internal use only.
  • Project Start and End Date: If you are not sure when the project will begin, choose reasonable dates (e.g., beginning of the fiscal year, academic year, calendar year).
  • Award Admin Department: This should be the lead principal investigator's department.
  • Primary Administrative Contact/Fiscal Agent: Usually the principal investigator or unit head (e.g., department chair or director). This person will be the individual responsible for approving and managing grant expenditures.
  • Sponsor Deadline: The date and time the proposal is due.
  • Title of Project: The current descriptive title for your project to be stated on your grant application.

After you save your Cay use record, a pre-award manager will be assigned to your proposal. Your pre-award manager will contact you and may request a short meeting to discuss your project.

Completing your Cayuse SP Record

Once the proposal record is saved, there will be a checklist of the internal information that needs to be completed. The Cayuse SP sections are:

  • General Information
  • Investigators/Research Team
  • Budget
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Subcontractors (use this section only for any Subawards/Subrecipients)
  • Export Control
  • Intellectual Property
  • Community Benefits
  • Location of Sponsored Activities
  • Proposal Abstract
  • Proposal Attachments (include ALL documents required by sponsor):
    • Sponsor guidelines
    • Scope of work or proposal narrative
    • Internal budget spreadsheet (provided by your pre-award manager)
    • Budget justification
    • Other documents as required
  • Approving Departments (review the automatically generated list for accuracy and completeness)
  • Submission Notes (optional)

Routing your Cayuse SP Record for Approvals

Once complete and no later than five business days before the sponsor deadline, contact the pre-award manager assigned to your proposal. If you are unsure of your pre-award manager, email The pre-award manager will check your Cayuse record and proposal documents for accuracy and completeness. The pre-award manager may recommend or require changes for the following reasons:

  • To comply with university policies
  • To meet funding opportunity guidelines
  • To improve the proposal’s competitiveness in terms of clarity, accuracy, and sponsor fit

The pre-award manager will contact the PI with instructions for routing when the proposal is ready. Do not route your proposal for approval prior to receiving that confirmation.

After all approvals are secured and a final review, your pre-award manager will submit your proposal.

Proposal Submission

Non-System-to-System Submissions

Proposals for sponsors other than the U.S. Federal Government should be created only using the application provided by the sponsor.

The proposal will be submitted to the sponsor on your behalf by your pre-award manager.

System-to-System Submissions

Proposals to federal agencies (accepted by should be created in Cayuse 424. Each Cayuse 424 proposal should have a corresponding proposal record in Cayuse SP.

The Cayuse 424 portion will contain the actual proposal to be sent to the sponsor on your behalf by your pre-award manager.

Visit Cayuse 424

Proposals to National Science Foundation

Proposals to National Science Foundation (NSF) should be created in

The proposal will be submitted to NSF on your behalf by your pre-award manager.