UW Research

New to UW Research

Welcome to the University of Washington! 

W logo sign with Drumheller fountain in background

A warm welcome to our new faculty at the University of Washington. You are among a distinguished group of research leaders in one of the top research institutions in the world. The UW receives more federal research dollars than any other U.S. public university and is home to seven Nobel Prize winners; 19 MacArthur Fellows; numerous members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and fellows in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and many other major awards. You are joining a university with a culture of collaboration and interdisciplinary research with opportunities for Global Engagement, external collaborations including industry, and internal collaborations with faculty from 184 departments and three UW campuses: Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell.

The Office of Research aims to create an outstanding climate of support for UW researchers to enable innovation and impact. On this site, you will find support resources to orient you to research at the UW, whether you are new to research, new to the UW, or both.

Getting Started in Research at the UW

Z Yan Wang (she/her) microscope
Research at the UW happens everywhere, from classrooms to far-flung remote sites, through mentored research experiences for undergraduates and graduate students, to multi-institutional, interdisciplinary extramural funded research. Research at the UW can be funded or unfunded, and there are resources to accelerate every kind of research. Here is a guide for getting your research started at the UW.

For All Researchers/Investigators

Identify Department Support Resources

Your department and school/college will be supporting you in multiple ways; both through mentoring and providing administrative support. Schedule time with your mentor, department chair, and/or dean to discuss your research goals, agenda, and potential funding sources. These questions can help you get started. If you are transferring a research portfolio to the UW, refer to the Transferring Your Research webpage for the most applicable information.

Questions to ask your departmental administrative leadership:

  • What college/school resources exist to support my research?
  • What is the process for purchasing, travel, budget management?
  • What support is available from central units (Office of Research units) vs. the department?
  • How do I create my faculty and research webpages?
  • Who can help me set up/install equipment in my lab?

Questions to ask your mentor:

  • Who should I get to know for collaboration?
  • What funding sources for research might exist in my area of interest?

Questions to ask advising staff:

  • How can I hire students?
  • What guidance/rules/procedures are there for working with students?

Learn About UW Central Resources

Corporate and Foundation Relations (Private Funding Resources)

Clinical Trials

Innovations, Startups, and Licensing

  • CoMotion: partners with the UW community on innovation, providing tools and resources to transform ideas into economic and societal impact.

Research training–Scholarly and Sponsored

Shared Research Infrastructure

Sponsored Research Resources

Office of Research (OR)

Translational Research

UW Libraries

Onboarding Guide for Sponsored Research

Factors that can improve the competitiveness of a proposal include:

  1. Planning time for a thorough review by departments and central units.
  2. Taking advantage of guidance.

Review this material in preparation for meetings with your department and then start preparing your proposal.

First Steps

  1. Confirm with your department your PI eligibility.
  2. Develop your required training plan and track progress using MyResearch Training Transcript. Your department administrator can assist you with planning and tracking.
  3. Identify potential funding sources.
    • Meet your mentors and colleagues to discuss the best agency or foundation matches for your research interests.
    • Look for funding opportunities for external and internal funding on the Office of Research Funding Opportunities.
  4. Meet with your mentor, chair, and/or dean for guidance on what can make your proposal competitive.
  5. Learn about ORCID iDs and their benefits. The University of Washington strongly encourages researchers to register for their unique iD.

Plan Your First Proposal

  1. Review the Step by Step Proposal Submission Quick Guide to get a general understanding of the submission process.
  2. If appropriate, meet with your departmental staff to build a plan for proposal development and submission.
  3. Verify with your departmental leadership that you can fulfill the project requirements within the constraints of your department/school.
    • For instance, equipment, graduate students, wet bench space, or items such as cost share and travel not paid for by the sponsor.
    • Work with your department to provide documentation of support in these areas of the proposal.
  4. Budget

Additional Considerations at Proposal Time

  1. Does your research involve animals, human subjects or Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) considerations? Review Additional Considerations for questions you should consider in these types of research. You will want to meet with the Office of Animal Welfare, Human Subjects Division, EH&S as appropriate.
  2. Are you collaborating with other institutions?
  3. Are you collaborating with other countries? Review Foreign Interests in Sponsored Programs and Foreign Influence Through the Research Lifecycle. Watch the Foreign Influence in Sponsored Programs video.
  4. Will you be doing classified or restricted research? Review Classified or Restricted Research.
  5. Do you need to include a Data Management Plan? Review NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy Requirements and Resources, and the UW Libraries Research Data Services.
  6. Where are you going to publish? Build publishing fees into your budget as needed. Review Scholarly Publishing and Open Access.
  7. Do not submit a proposal without getting department, school, and OSP approval through the UW’s SAGE system according to the UW’s deadline policy.

Award Acceptance

Pre-award Sponsor Requests

Reach out to the UW’s Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) when you receive pre-award sponsor requests for additional materials and information. Review guidance on responding to pre-award requests from sponsors for details.

Advance Spend

If approved for pre-award spending, use the SAGE Advance Request tool to request an Advance Award.

Award Acceptance and Setup

  • When you receive an award notification, review PI/Campus Steps to Create an Award Set-up Request (ASR) under How to get an award set up at the UW.
  • Review award notification & make appropriate updates to the proposal budget in SAGE Budget, and link to the ASR. After the ASR is submitted, OSP will review for acceptance.
  • OSP is the only office with delegated authority to accept sponsored awards on behalf of the UW. If an award is made, OSP handles all negotiations with the sponsor and accepts the award on behalf of the university.
  • Provide Compliance Information: A variety of compliance areas need to be reviewed and approved before funds can be released. See Communicating Compliance Information.
  • An award becomes available in the UW’s financial system after both OSP and Grant & Contract Accounting (GCA) have reviewed and approved the Award Setup Request in SAGE.
  • You’ll learn more about other PI, OSP, and GCA responsibilities that occur throughout the life of an award in the required Grants Management for Investigators course.

Preparing for Award Management

Consult with departmental staff to confirm administrative & compliance procedures are in place for:


Records management

Data privacy and security

Invoicing and reporting schedules

Hiring and Training Personnel

  • Start early to fill any positions that result from an award. Hiring processes are often tough to navigate and take time.
  • All federally funded projects require effort and project certification. Familiarize yourself and your team with the UW’s Employee Compensation Compliance (ECC) system for meeting this compliance requirement.
  • Make sure you and your team have completed all required training and set up appropriate delegations for safety plans and safety training. In your role as PI, it is your responsibility to ensure that all members of your research team document the completion of all required training. MyResearch Training Transcript (MRTT) tracks most required training.

More guidance and resources on the Manage and Closeout stages of the research project lifecycle.