Route & Submit

The Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) is the only institutional unit legally able to submit proposals to external entities for financial support in the form of a contract, grant, or agreement, and legally able to commit the University on behalf of the Board of Regents in the event an award is made.

Process of Submitting a Proposal

Departments are responsible for verifying the proposal is complete and creating the mandatory internal document known as the Proposal Routing Form (PRF). The PRF summarizes the project and is used to obtain the required University approvals (e.g., approval from the department head and dean).

Once all materials are complete, submit the PRF and proposal to SPA. SPA will review the proposal to ensure the budget items are allowable, properly calculated, and adequately justified. SPA will also review additional proposal documents for compliance with sponsor and University requirements. If errors exist, SPA will work with the principal investigator (PI) department to resolve them.

After the proposal has been fully reviewed by SPA and no errors exist, SPA will officially submit the proposal to the sponsor. SPA is the only legally authorized institutional unit that may submit a proposal on behalf of the Regents of the University. Should questions arise from the sponsor, SPA will work with the PI/department and sponsor to address questions and perform any needed negotiations.

For a more detailed outline of the responsibilities of principal investigators (PIs)/departmental administrators and SPA when submitting a proposal for electronic submission, read this PI Quick Guide.


Use the SPA Deadline Calculator to ensure that you are initiating your work with enough time for the process to be completed.

Late proposal spreadsheets:

Proposal Routing Form (PRF)

The Proposal Routing Form (PRF) is a University document that captures the University’s internal approvals required to submit an application or negotiate an agreement for external funding; it is never transmitted to a sponsor. The PRF is routed through the department and college prior to proposal submission to:

  • provide the department head, dean, and/or other central administrators basic information regarding the project
  • act as a checklist to ensure that all compliance obligations have been considered and are met, or have been submitted and are pending approval
  • provide the departmental and/or collegiate approvals necessary to submit an application
  • provide information for institutional databases on grants and contracts

The PI should work with their department’s (pre-award) research administrator to prepare the PRF and any other required submission documents (i.e. budget, scope of work). The completed PRF is routed to the PI's department head (or his/her designee) and dean’s office for review and approval.

After the PRF has been approved, the PRF package (including all proposal documents and any sponsor provided guidance materials/documents) is submitted to SPA. SPA then reviews the PRF package and submits the application to the sponsor. When necessary, SPA will also work with the sponsor to perform any negotiations and submit (with the assistance of the PI) any additional documents that may be required.

Find a PRF approver for your unit.

The submission/receipt of the approved PRF is the starting point for SPA's official activities. Until the PRF has been submitted to and received by SPA, it cannot be logged and therefore it will not have a tracking status within SPA. SPA manages its work load through this tracking.

PIs who intend to submit a proposal should begin the communication process with their department head and SPA well in advance of the sponsor’s deadline. Advance notification to the SPA grant administrator enables SPA to assess potential impacts, raise questions before the proposal’s final processing, and make any necessary arrangements. If you desire SPA’s assistance, please contact your assigned SPA grant administrators to make an appointment well in advance of SPA published deadlines. This advance communication does not change the requirement for the approved PRF package prior to the proposal submission or commencement of agreement negotiation.

If you only need to prepare a Proposal Routing Form (PRF; to submit with a proposal that was not created in EGMS), click the EGMS Forms link on the EGMS Home Page, log in, and use the Make a Request link to choose the online form that you want to complete.

Submission Errors & Questions

Answers to some of the more common PRF questions.