Tools for Proposal Development and Grant Administration

Proposal Development

Managing Grants

Applying for Grants

Interacting with Sponsors


eResearch Proposal Management (eRPM) is a web-based system used to coordinate the electronic routing, approval, and submission of proposals to external sponsors.

The PAF (Proposal Approval Form) is a standard routing and data-entry form used at all 3 University of Michigan campuses to obtain institutional approval for external grants and contracts. It is used for all proposals and pre-proposals, no matter the sponsor or collaborating institution. It is important that you provide accurate information. Carefully review the questions in section 5 that relate to human subjects, restrictions on publication, and conflict of interest as these are important regulatory issues that must be known to your chair, dean, Dearborn Research Director, and Ann Arbor ORSP.


Let us know when you are planning a proposal, and we'll get your PAF started.


IMPORTANT:  Review the deadlines policy and allow sufficient lead time for the processing of your proposal.


6 Steps to a Proposal Approval Form (PAF) in eResearch :

1. REQUEST:  send an email to dbn-research or complete this form, and we will create a PAF for your project. An ORSP staff member will reach out to you to assist with your proposal.

2. LOG ON:  to eResearch using your Uniquename and Kerberos password, or by following the link in a notification email that will be sent to you.

3. REVIEW:  click "edit PAF" at the left margin of your screen to review all information and documents. Move through the pages using the "continue" button at the top or bottom of the window; when done click "finish."

4. SIGN: The PI/PD (Principal Investigator or Project Director, i.e., faculty member) must be logged in to eResearch; from the main page of the PAF, look down the gray margin at the left and under "Activities" click "PI Sign PAF." In the pop-up, check the appropriate Conflict of Interest box, then check the "Sign PAF" box. Click OK.

5. ROUTE: Once the PI signs the PAF, and it is ready, an ORSP staff member will route it for unit approval. This action sends the PAF to all relevant chairs, deans, and the Dearborn Research Office for approval and electronic signatures. Once the complete and final proposal are uploaded to the PAF, it is then routed it to Ann Arbor ORSP for a final review, approval, and often submission.

6. GO BACK LATER: Your PAF will remain in eResearch indefinitely, with any and all changes recorded; if awarded, a PAN (Project Award Notice) email will be issued, containing related award documents for your reference.

NEED HELP?  Click here for the Step-by-Step Quick Reference Card for PI/Project Team

Annual Reports

Archived Annual Reports for the Dearborn Office of Research and Sponsored Programs: Fiscal Year (July 1--June 30)*

*Must use U-M login.

Archived Calendar Year Annual Reports (January 1--December 31)

Indirect Cost Return Reports

  • Please contact for more information.
NIH R15 AREA Grant Tips

NIH Academic Research Enhancement Awards (AREA)

The Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) program was designed to stimulate research in institutions that provide baccalaureate or advanced degrees for a significant number of the Nation's research scientists, but that have not been major recipients of NIH support. AREA grants create opportunities for scientists and institutions that would otherwise be unlikely to participate extensively in NIH research programs. AREA grants are intended to support small-scale research projects proposed by eligible institutions, to expose students to meritorious research projects, and to strengthen the research environment of the applicant institution.  

Tips for NIH AREA Proposals

Things you need to do:

1) PI's must be registered in eRA Commons to submit a proposal to NIH.

2) Post-docs with one month or more of effort on NIH grants must also register with eRA Commons.

3) Review these Guides:

Formatting Guide (abridged for AREA proposals from the NIH Application Guide)

Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15) - NIH Guide Program Announcement 

NIH AREA FAQ (NIH website)

NIH AREA Program Resources (NIH website)

List of NIH Agencies for determining which Institute/Center to send your proposal to

Documents Checklist for AREA proposal applications

Guide from San Francisco State University

Meet the Experts in NIH Peer Review for AREA/R15 Grant Applications (webinar)

Presentation: "Experiences with the AREA Program" by Eli Hestermann, Furman University, at the Society of Toxicology 2010 Annual Meeting (includes tips on things the instructions don't tell you)

Presentation: "NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award Grants" by Mike Humble, PhD, Program Administrator, NIEHS at the Society of Toxicology 2010 Annual Meeting (includes information on the review process.)

Forms: Biosketches: required for all senior/key personnel. You must use the NIH biosketch format (link incudes instructions & samples)


The AREA specific programmatic features are extremely important in an application. The experience of the investigator in working with students, the suitability of the institution for an award, and the impact of an AREA grant on the institution are part of the review criteria on investigator and environment. Failure to discuss these criteria will lower the enthusiasm of the reviewers.  These features are:
--support of meritorious research,
--strengthening the research environment of the institution, and
-- exposing students to research

AREA Grant Budgets:  Allow direct costs up to a total of $300K allowed for a period of 1-3 years

Start Dates:

For proposals submitted in

Earliest start date is









Office of Research

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