Return an Application

Note: the same dialog displays for Approvals and Returns. For details on approving, see the Approve an Application article

Occasionally, you must return an application to the campus preparers so they can make corrections, provide more information, or mark the proposal “ready to submit.” When you return an application, it stops routing, and becomes editable so that the eGC1 owner or preparer can make the changes you request. The system add your return comments to an email notification to the PI, Administrative Contact, Pre-Award Budget Contact, and eGC1 Preparer.

Note: Do not return an application if the only change needed is to add an ad hoc reviewer to the Approval Flow. Preparers cannot add ad hoc reviewers when the eGC1’s status is Returned or Withdrawn. Instead, you could use the Auto-Generated Document “Application Review Notice” to request the change to the Approval Flow.

To return an application

  1. From the open Application, click Approve/Return in the left navigation menu.
  2. Under OSP Notes, enter any comments about why you are returning the application. You must enter comments when you return an application. The system includes them in the email notification to the research team.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the window, and click Return to PI.

When you complete the return process:

  • The application status changes from “In OSP” to “Returned”;
  • The OSP node on the approval graph changes to pink and the application displays a pink “Returned” banner on its pages;
  • The system sends an email notification to the application owners (PI, preparer, contacts) with your changes comments.


  • To monitor activity on a returned application, adjust your Application tasklist to display applications with a status of “Returned.”
  • E-mail Notifications: When you return an application, the system includes your comments in the email notification sent to the owners to alert them to the needed changes. Owners are the eGC1 preparer, PI, Administrative Contact, and Pre-Award Budget Contact.
  • Owners may only add an ad hoc reviewer when an eGC1 is in routing or in OSP, so do not return an eGC1 if the only change needed is to add an ad hoc reviewer to the approval flow. 
  • Changes in Assignments
    • When the preparer re-completes a returned or withdrawn application, the system re-evaluates the group/team assignment.
    • The system does not change the assigned person so that the item returns to the person who last worked on it, and who can then reassign it if needed.