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Care New England Research

Proposal Review and Submission

Submitting a proposal to a sponsor is a collaborative process between the Department and SPRA. Below you can find information on the submission process and how to avoid common pitfalls along the way. 


Electronic Submissions

When electronic submission by the institutional or authorized official is required, SPRA will submit the proposal. In some instances, PIs may be able to submit proposals after institutional signature. A signature by the institutional or authorized official indicates the organization can complete the work as described in the proposal and complies with sponsor and governmental regulations. Only the institutional signing official has the legal authority to bind the OU. PIs and research administrators cannot sign grant applications or contracts on behalf of the signing official.

During the proposal review and submission process, you will work closely with the SPRA pre-award team to ensure an error-free, on-time submission. 

To ensure SPRA has adequate time to review and submit applications, PIs should be prepared to provide the budget for review up to 14 days prior to sponsor deadline and the completed, final application up to 3 business days prior to sponsor deadline. 

Once submitted, the PI and SPRA will again work together to verify the application was received by the sponsor and if errors occur, troubleshoot those issues. 

Many electronic submission systems require that investigators register for a system account in order to submit applications electronically. 

Financial Conflict of Interest

Paper Submissions

If paper submissions are required by your FOA/RFP, please move your institutional deadlines back 5-10 days to allow for postal transit time. 

Mailing of the application can be done by either SPRA or the investigator depending on PI/investigator preference. Clarify who will send the paper submission well in advance of the sponsor deadline. 

Common Assist Errors
Federal Applications

Before you change your application status from “work in progress” to “ready for submission” you should always validate to check for errors. Below are some of the common errors that may occur.

  • Does the UEI number on the SF424 (R&R) cover form match the UEI used for Grants.gov & Commons registration?
  • Did you include the eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the R&R Sr/Key Person Profile form for all PD/PIs, project leads of multi-project components and the sponsor on Fellowship applications?
  • If submitting a Multiple-PD/PI application, did you give all PIs the PD/PI role on the Sr/Key Person Profile form? Only the PD/PI role is recognized by NIH as the correct designation for all PIs on a multiple-PD/PI application. 
  • Did you include Organization name for all Sr/Key listed on the R&R Sr/Key Person Profile form?
  • Did you include all required attachments?
  • Are all your attachments in PDF format and have you avoided special characters in file names?
  • Did you follow the page limits specified in the FOA and application guide?
  • Did you include effort > 0 for all Sr/Key listed in Section A of the R&R Budget form?
  • Did you follow all special instructions noted FOA?
  • For revision, renewal, or resubmission applications, is federal identifier field filled in and accurate? The federal identifier consists of only IC and serial number of the previously assigned application or award number. For example use AA123456 from 1R01AA123456-01A1.


What does SPRA look at when they review my grant submission?
  • Budget
    • Confirm all salaries and fringe/IDC rates
    • Confirm calculations
    • Confirm budget matches justification
  • Confirm PI assurances complete
  • Review all documents requested by sponsor
    • Confirm the format and accuracy of biosketches
    • Confirm uploads conform to sponsor guidelines
What if I realize I made a mistake on my application after submission?

Please see the NIH guide on changed/corrected applications.