MN-GEMS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

These FAQs, along with MN-GEMS Training materials, will help research staff navigate the new MN-GEMS System.

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G001.  Will PeopleSoft Financials still be used in MN-GEMS?

Yes. The UMN financial system will remain PeopleSoft Financials with no changes to current reporting out of EFS. The MN-GEMS system will interface with Peoplesoft Financials to expedite award setup.

G002. Will REPA be filed in MN-GEMS?

No. REPA remains separate from proposal preparation and will continue to be prepared and reviewed as currently exists. The REPA status will, however, be able to be viewed in a funding proposal by clicking on the REPA Status activity in the left hand Proposal navigation bar.

G003.  For users to receive emails from the system, do they have to use their UMN email address?

MN-GEMS does not have the ability to send emails to external emails outside of the UMN system. Anyone with an x500 will be able to receive an email out of MN-GEMS. If the employees prefer using their external emails, they could set up their UMN emails to auto forward those emails to their preferred emails, but they will have to log in to MN-GEMS using their x500. In general, university business should be conducted using the university-assigned email.

G004.  Can we use departmental emails in MN-GEMS?

No, MN-GEMS does not allow for departmental or “group”  X500 accounts because we are bound by the PeopleSoft HR feed. All system users must be real individuals with x500s. 

G005.  Is MN-GEMS affiliated with the University's GEMS Informatics platform?

No. MN-GEMS has a similar-sounding name, but it is not affiliated with the GEMS Informatics platform.

Funding Proposals

P001.  Will the proposal routing form (PRF) from EGMS still be used in MN-GEMS?

No. The PRF will no longer be used, but the same information (plus more) will be captured in MN-GEMS.

P002.  Will SPA still need three business days for review of proposals?

Yes. Once you have entered a sponsor due date into a proposal, the system will calculate and display the date the proposal is due to SPA as the “Internal Submission Deadline” on the summary information at the top of your Proposal Work Space. The due time of 9:00 am on that day remains unchanged. 

P003.  Is there a way for a PI to indicate a different administering department than their home department on a proposal in MN-GEMS?

Yes. There is a field under the Personnel tab that indicates administering department. This auto populates to the PI's dept but can be changed at time of proposal. Once the proposal has been submitted to SPA, this unit should not be altered unless all parties agree to the change (typically via an award modification process.) 
[Note: Individual “child” projects within a proposal or award may continue to be owned by different units as was the case before MN-GEMS.] 

P004.  Is there a way to designate a backup/alternate approvers or editors in MN-GEMS?

MN-GEMS does not have "alternates" in the same way that EGMS did; however, alternate approvers can be established for a department or college and multiple departmental research administrators can be established to see all new MN-GEMS activity within a department.  All department and collegiate reviewers, their designated alternates, and designated departmental research administrators were named by the units themselves and set up as part of the conversion to MN-GEMS. An official change process is being established, but email if a change is needed before that is announced. The department head (for departmental editors or approvers) or collegiate research associate dean (for collegiate approvers) should approve the change (email is fine).  An alternate way to manage department research administrators on projects is to add multiple people as administrators with either view or edit access. They will have access to adding comments, sending emails, and making edits (if edit access has been granted.) 

P005.  May I use an agency proposal preparation system (e.g. NIH Assist or NSF instead of MN-GEMS?

Not instead of MN-GEMS, but yes you may do so in conjunction with MN-GEMS. Proposal records must be entered into MN-GEMS (think of this as a PRF equivalent) and unit approvals obtained for the submission of the proposal. See also FAQ P006. The actual proposal may be housed within the agency’s proposal preparation system, and once a proposal is approved for submission, SPA staff will submit it to the agency in the same way as previously. 

P006.  Do I have to re-enter my budget in MN-GEMS if it is already housed in an agency proposal system?

Certain budget information must be entered into MN-GEMS to allow the costs to calculate correctly for the official record and to provide necessary information to proposal approvers (e.g., personnel costs charged or cost-shared, effort percentages), subaward costs, equipment costs or other costs that need to be excluded from F&A. At least a bottom line number for other “General Costs” must be included; however, entry of individual cost items for general costs may be deferred and a budget uploaded in the attachments section of the budget. If this option is selected, and an award is subsequently made, the detailed data entry of costs will need to be undertaken by departmental staff at time of award (and will likely slow award processing.)

Awards & Modifications

A001.  If nothing changes from proposal budget to award budget, does the dept person need to reconcile the budget in MN-GEMS at award time?

The department will still be afforded the opportunity to review the information to verify that nothing has changed. However, this review is likely to occur quickly if there is no change between proposal and award.


S001.  Do all subaward documents need to be completed prior to submission to SPA?

Yes, they should be. Subaward documents are considered part of a complete proposal by SPA. MN-GEMS has only limited validations around subawards (e.g., a subaward budget was added but the subaward question in the FP didn't include a subrecipient.) If those documents have not been received prior to submission to SPA, then the only way to get them added to a FP is by sending them to the SPA GCO/Specialist since the FP will be frozen unless it is sent back with clarifications requested.

Funding Agreements

Coming soon!

Unfunded Agreements (UFRAs)

Coming soon!