UW Research



The majority of UW’s sponsored funding comes from US federal agencies in the form of grants, cooperative agreements, fellowships, contracts, and intergovernmental personnel agreements (IPAs).

The Uniform Guidance (UG) is the regulatory foundation for federal grants and cooperative agreements.

Be aware of requirements and restrictions which may impact set up and management of federal awards.

Some examples include:

To apply for a grant or cooperative agreement, you respond to a funding opportunity that contains instructions on how to apply.


An Open Researcher and Contributor iD (ORCID) is a unique digital identifier that helps link researchers to their grants, publications, and other research-related work. ORCID iDs are maintained by the nonprofit ORCID. The University of Washington strongly encourages researchers to register for an ORCID iD. Review the UW’s ORCID iDs: An Overview for Researchers.

Proposal Submission Methods

Federal agencies have a variety of systems used for external funding administration. Some are used strictly to submit proposals to the agencies and others are for pre-award and post-award management of the application and award.

In addition to following sponsor instructions and guidelines, the UW has internal deadlines and proposal submission requirements that must be followed.

Review more information and links for various Federal Agencies  after the Grants.gov section on this page to get started.

Federal Proposal Submission Options

Method Considerations
SAGE Grant Runner Submit Specific NIH Opportunities in Grant Runner. Reduces duplicate entry and routes with eGC1. Grant Runner includes a single PDF of full sponsor form set & all NIH validations.
Sponsor Specific Systems NIH ASSIST, NSF Research.gov, NASA NSPIRES, etc…

Many federal agencies have sponsor specific systems for proposal submission. Links and details are available within the federal agency sections of this page.

Grants.gov: Workspace May be used for all other federal submission opportunities.

Review Grants.gov guidance for proposal submission at the UW.


  • NSF proposals should NOT be submitted via Grants.gov.
  • NIH proposals should be submitted via Grant Runner or ASSIST.

Federal Contracts

The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and agency-specific supplements are the regulatory foundation for federal contracts. To apply for a federal contract, you apply to a solicitation that contains specific requirements and the anticipated terms and conditions for a resulting contract. It is especially important to start early when preparing a federal contract proposal.

These proposals are lengthy, extremely detailed, and require additional review by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP).

Requirements in federal contracts will impact your budget, plan ahead. For example, the Department of Defense requirement in contracts effective 11.30.2020, for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC).

Industry Sponsored Clinical Trials

For industry sponsored clinical studies and trials review Industry Clinical Trials.

Animal Research Considerations

Most federal funding agencies have specific requirements for research using vertebrate animals. A few of these need to be addressed at the planning/proposal stage. More information can be found on the OAW website.

Human Subjects Research Considerations

Most federal funding agencies have specific requirements for human subjects research. A few of these need to be addressed at the planning/proposal stage.

Single IRB

Beginning January 20, 2020, all federal funding agencies, except the Department of Justice, require the use of a single IRB to review the human subjects activities for collaborative or multi-site studies. This has significant staffing and budget implications.

Emergency Medicine Research

Federally funded emergency medicine research must meet some special compliance requirements. These have budgeting and staffing implications.

Non-discrimination laws

Federal non-discrimination laws must be considered when developing subject inclusion/exclusion criteria. Specifically, participants cannot be excluded from a study on the basis of age, gender, race, ethnicity, disability, or not speaking English (in a domestic study), unless there is a scientific rationale for doing so.


If you are not using a sponsor-specific system (e.g. NIH ASSIST, NSF Research.gov, NASA NSPIRES, etc.) and Grant Runner is not an option, Grants.gov is a source to find and apply for federal grants. OSP is registered as an institution in Grants.gov and submits proposals on behalf of the UW after they are routed to OSP and reviewed.

Need to register in Grants.gov? Review UW specific instructions for Grants.gov Registration.

eGC1 preparers need to include the Workspace ID# and upload a PDF of the entire application with form fields completed including all attachments from Workspace to the eGC1.
Review Grants.gov guidance on the Workspace View Application Tab for details.

NIH & NSF Proposals and Grants.gov:

NIH proposals should be submitted via Grant Runner or ASSIST. Review more NIH proposal preparation guidance. Check to see if your specific NIH opportunity can be submitted via Grant Runner.

NSF proposals should NOT be submitted via Grants.gov. Review more guidance for NSF proposal preparation.

Grants.gov Registration

To create a Workspace, you must use one of the UW Unique Entity Identifier’s (UEI) and register as an Organization Applicant. DoEd applications use UEI# NFJ3CMQ4B418, all other Federal agency applications use UEI# HD1WMN6945W6.

  • To Create a Workspace Package, you must register as an organization applicant.
  • To edit or view a Workspace, register as an applicant.

Review Grants.gov information on How to Apply for Grants

After you register as an Organization Applicant, the OSP Central Operations Team receives an email and will authorize your “Manage Workspace” role, which allows you to create Workspaces.

Need to prepare both DoEd and other federal agency proposals? Link your account to both UEI numbers.

Be sure to create your Workspace under the correct UEI number. You cannot change UEI numbers on a Workspace. The only way to correct a UEI number is to create a new Workspace.

Department of Commerce

Includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

For error-free submission to eRA Commons on Dept. of Commerce applications, additional information is required in the SF-424 form beyond the Grants.gov validation requirements.

  • In field “4. Applicant Identifier”, PD/PI eRA Commons User ID must be included.
  • The applicant organization’s UEI is required in field 8c.

See: Dept. of Commerce Application Submission Process Guide

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Department of Defense (DoD)

UW receives funding from various Department of Defense agencies, specific agency information is included here.

DoD: Foreign Interests in Sponsored Programs

Review UW guidance on Foreign Interests in Sponsored Programs.

Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)

AFOSR issues funding opportunities called “Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs)”. AFOSR uses Grants.gov for submitting grant and cooperative agreement proposals.

Post-award reporting is submitted via an online form.

US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC)

US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA) is the grants and contracts office for the USAMRMC. See site for terms & conditions and reporting information.

Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) is a DoD grant program, managed by USARMC and USAMRAA.  The application process requires a pre-application in the Electronic Biomedical Research Application Portal (eBRAP), a full application via Grants.gov, and application verification in eBRAP. Contact osp@uw.edu for access to eBRAP.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

DARPA funds both grants and contracts using program-specific funding opportunities and broad agency announcements (BAA). Check your funding announcement closely for submission instructions.

DARPA has a Foreign Influence policy and a Risk Rubric they will use to review disclosures from all proposed Senior/Key Personnel.

Review DARPA for Universities:

    • Senior/Key Personnel Foreign Influence Risk Rubric
    • Countering Foreign Influence Program (DARPA Policy)
    • Countering Foreign Influence Program (CFIP) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Cooperative Agreements: DARPA uses Grants.gov for submitting grant and cooperative agreement proposals.

Contract proposals: Follow funding announcement instructions, contract proposals may need to be submitted via hard-copy or DARPA BAA.

DARPA BAA Account Instructions:

PIs need a DARPA “Extranet Account” and a separate submission account for each proposal. Accounts are only issued to the PI.

If the PI does not already have a DARPA Extranet Account or it has expired,  there is a two-step process the PI needs to complete.

  1. Register using the “Account Request” link, then
  2. Create your user account for DARPA BAA Submission website by selecting the “Register your Organization” link.

Once an account is created the PI can view solicitations, submission instructions, and upload/finalize executive summary.

We recommend logging into your DARPA account periodically to keep the account active. DARPA “Extranet Accounts” are deleted after 60 days of inactivity.

BAA Proposals:

  • Proposals are created in two volumes and must be encrypted per DARPA instructions.
  • Prepare and submit an eGC1 in SAGE and route to OSP.
  • After OSP review of the eGC1, the PI submits the proposal in the sponsor site.
  • Once submitted, the PI receives an email indicating that the submission account is deactivated.

Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)

DTRA’s application process consists of Phase I, Pre-application White Paper and Phase II, Invited Proposal.  Review the funding opportunity carefully. Submissions can occur via Grants.gov or the DTRA submission system, depending on the opportunity.

There is only one UW account for the DTRA submission system.

  • OSP uploads proposal documents in the DTRA submission system
  • PI or departmental designee reviews and approves the uploaded materials with their OSP reviewer.
  • OSP submits the proposal.

Office of Naval Research (ONR)

ONR proposals are submitted via Grants.gov. Login to Grants.gov and look for the Opportunity Number desired and download the proposal package. Search Grants.gov Department of Defense Agency-specific opportunities.

Department of Education (DoEd)

The DoEd typically accepts grant applications via Grants.gov and has a Grant Management System, G5, which OSP uses to retrieve awards and submit changes. The UW Unique Entity Identifier for DoED is NFJ3CMQ4B418.

When creating Grants.gov Workspace for DoEd, be sure to use your Grants.gov account that is linked to the DoEd UEI number.

Department of Energy (DOE)

UW PIs must forward their DOE proposals to OSP for submission.

The DOE has an online funding opportunity and application portal called Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Funding Opportunity Exchange. DOE has other funding opportunities that are submitted via Grants.gov.

Review DOE financial assistance guidance and regulations.

The Portfolio Analysis and Management System (PAMS) is used to submit pre-applications, letters of intent, revised budgets, and receive merit reviewers’ comments for the DOE Office of Science.

The DOE Office of Science requires research proposals to include a Promoting Inclusive and Equitable Research (PIER) Plan  as an appendix to the proposal narrative.

DOE: Foreign Interests in Sponsored Programs

Review UW requirements related to Foreign Interests in Sponsored Programs. The DOE does not allow participation in the Foreign Talent program by its employees or contractors. Additionally, when the UW receives DOE awards that reference Order 486.1A, the PIs and other participating UW personnel must complete this Foreign Government-Sponsored Talent Recruitment Programs (FGTRP) Disclosure form.

Department of the Interior (DOI)

Use Grants.gov for competitive proposal submissions and GrantSolutions for non-competitive or mandatory applications.

Review the UW instructions to request a GrantSolutions account.

Department of Justice (DoJ)

DoJ grants run through the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and use Grants.gov for proposal submission.

DOJ award management runs through their JustGrants system.

Review DoJ Application Submission Training resources and other JustGrants Training resources.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Use Grants.gov for proposal submission. The EPA also provides a variety of material to support applicants and recipients:

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Many agencies that fall under the HHS use eRA Commons to capture proposals after submission through Grants.gov or ASSIST, such as National Institutes of Health (NIH), Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality (AHRQ), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

eRA Commons

NIH, AHRQ, CDC, FDA, SAMHSA, and the VA all use eRA Commons.

Review eRA Commons roles at the UW and follow specific agency and funding opportunity guidance for your proposal submission.

The PI role is needed to complete the grant administration process or to delegate this responsibility to another individual. PI’s can only access information about grant(s) on which they are the designated PI.

If you need to update or change your eRA Commons login or account credentials for yourself or member of your UW team: Contact your department administrator with eRA Commons ‘AO’ role. If no local administrator is available, contact osp@uw.edu.

More select agency guidance is available below.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

HRSA Electronic Handbook (EHB) single access point for all HRSA grant and non-grant programs for grant submission and administration.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH proposals should be submitted via Grant Runner or ASSIST. Check to see if your specific NIH opportunity can be submitted via Grant Runner.


Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

The VA uses eRA Commons for proposal submission.

Note, that while the VA follows the Federal Outside Employment and Activities rule:

  • The UW can receive funding from a non-Federal source (such as SIBCR) for VA research work.
  • If a Federal sponsor awards funds to the UW and a VA researcher performs and receives compensation on that award, the payment is allowed, subject to any separate Federal sponsor limitations.

Review more information about setting up Intergovernmental Personnel Act Agreements.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES)

Researchers must register in NSPIRES and request affiliation with the University of Washington. OSP confirms or denies affiliations.

Review more information on NASA Regulations and Guidance such as the NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Manual, as well as the NASA Proposer’s Guidebook.

NASA UW Application Process:

  • Complete all elements in NSPIRES, including Proposal Summary, Business Data, Budget, Program Specific Data, and Proposal Team.
  • Upload the final proposal as an attachment and link the proposals to allow OSP to view.
  • To allow OSP to submit, lock the proposal in NSPIRES.
  • Download a PDF copy of the application from NSPIRES and attach it to the eGC1. This is used during the review process and meets audit requirements.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

UW proposals to NSF should NOT be prepared in Grants.gov. UW proposals to NSF should be prepared via Research.gov. If you are responding to an NSF Broad Agency Announcement submit via BAAM as indicated in the Solicitation or Program Announcement.

Some NSF funding opportunities require pre-proposals or letters of intent. Most are submitted by OSP within the sponsor system, but some are submitted by the PI. Check the funding opportunity. If OSP is submitting a pre-proposal, an eGC1 is required and internal deadlines apply.

Instructions for NSF Proposal Submission

Make sure you have registered with NSF and that you request an appropriate role and affiliation with the UW.

  1. Review NSF guidance About Research.gov Account Management
    1. Video: View and edit your NSF Account & Role information
  2. Confirm you have the appropriate role:
    • PI/Co-PI should have the PI role
    • All other proposal preparers /reviewers should have “Other Authorized User” (OAU) role
  3. Review proposal preparation instructions in NSF’s Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG).
  4. Prepare the proposal in Research.gov.
  5. Resolve errors/warnings from the sponsor system validations on your proposal.
  6. Give OSP ability to review the proposal in NSF’s system
    • Click on “Proposal Access for SPO/AOR”
  7. Download a PDF copy of the application that was prepared in the sponsor system and attach it to your eGC1. This PDF is used during the review process.
  8. OSP reviews the proposal in SAGE and in the sponsor system
  9. OSP submits the final proposal in the sponsor system.

NSF Collaborative Proposals

When the UW is not the lead institution on an NSF proposal, we may submit our portion of a collaborative proposal ahead of the lead institution.

Review more UW Guidance on Current and Pending or Other Support.

When the UW is the lead institution follow:

NSF Pre-Award Updates /Revisions

Send an email to osp@uw.edu for NSF pre-award updates/revisions items after a proposal is submitted and before an award arrives at the UW.