Electronic Submissions

Most federal agencies and several non-profit foundations now require that proposals be submitted electronically. The graphic below depicts the various methods of submission at VCU along with the required routing and approvals.

summary of electronic proposal submission

Determining which method applies to your proposal is sometimes the hardest part! If you have questions, please feel free to contact your team leader at ospblue@vcu.edu, ospgreen@vcu.edu or ospgold@vcu.edu for assistance.

Grants.gov submissions to NIH for the following mechanisms at VCU:

  • D Mechanisms
  • F Mechnaisms
  • K Mechanisms
  • R Mechanisms
  • S Mechanisms
  • U Mechanisms
  • X Mechanisms

Most NIH proposal submissions at VCU will be completed through the use of the VCUeRA database. The VCUeRA database can be accessed via the portal here.

Training sessions for use of the system are held monthly. Further information, including enrollment process, is available here.

Specific questions regarding the proposal preparation in the system can be sent to erahelp@vcu.edu

Proposal Submissions to NSF:

Most proposals to National Science Foundation (NSF) will be completed through the use of NSF’s Fastlane electronic system You can access Fastlane via the Fastlane Portal. You will need to have a VCU issued Fastlane account in order to access the system. Contact your team leader at ospblue@vcu.edu, ospgreen@vcu.edu or ospgold@vcu.edu for assistance.

Grants.gov Submissions to agencies other than NSF and NIH

Proposals submitted to all agencies except NSF and NIH (with a few exceptions) will be submitted using the system developed by Grants.gov. Grants.gov uses Adobe forms. Refer to the Grants.gov website for the correct and compatible versions of Adobe Reader or Professional to use. The application package attached to the opportunity announcement in Grants.gov will determine which forms are required for that opportunity. Please look at the package for your corresponding opportunity announcement.

Electronic proposals submitted via Grants.gov, or any other web-based sponsor interface (NSF Fastlane, Proposal Central, etc.):

Electronic proposals being submitted to Grants.gov portal or any other web-based sponsor interface should arrive to our office five business days before sponsor deadline for guaranteed on-time submission. There are two parts to this type of submission that should arrive simultaneously to OSP: (1) Completed Adobe forms uploaded and sent via VCU's FileDrop and (2) Signed IAF, COI forms and internal budget delivered to OSP in hard copy OR sent to us at dirospa@vcu.edu. If you are delivering signed IAF, COI and internal budget to us at dirospa@vcu.edu, please include the following subject line: (PI Name) Electronic Application is Ready for Review and Approval. All sections of the proposal must be final at the time the package is sent via FileDrop. OSP FileDrop instructions are available here. The only individuals authorized to submit to Grants.gov are designated signing officials in the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Adobe Application Assistance


Proposal Submissions to Foundations

American Heart Association
Proposal Central

Click here for a free download of Adobe Readerpdf logo
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