We are beginning to ramp up our sponsored research proposal efforts as many of the popular NSF, USDA, EPA, and NIH annual solicitations are opening back up.  As such, is seems an appropriate time to unravel some of the mysteries of Cayuse.

One quick reminder: the CayuseSP module is internal to OSU.  This is basically the new, electronic version of our proposal transmittal form (the old blue sheet for those of you that remember).  This is information that will be kept in our Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) but not distributed out to the sponsor or to any other institutions.


Now, let’s tackle some of the common areas of confusion:

General Info” (aka “Start New Proposal”) –

  1. The “Funding Agency” is who will provide funds directly to OSU.  This causes some confusion when we are a subawardee; in that case, we would list the other institution (i.e. University of Washington) and then utilize the “Prime Funding Agency” to list the sponsor of the program funds (i.e. NSF).  Otherwise, this “Prime Funding Agency” field can be left blank.
  2. Be sure to select an “Activity Code.”  It isn’t a required field for saving, but is required by OSP.  This isn’t the activity code we associate with indexes but rather whether the project is applied research, basic research, development, other sponsored activity, or research training.
  3. Award Admin Dept” should be your home department (not college); this will be the first to receive your proposal for routing and should match what is listed under your department in the “Investigators/Research Team” section.
  4. Please identify a primary administrative contact who will manage this project should it be awarded:” – in most cases, this would be the name of the lead PI.


Investigators/Research Team” –

  1. You must add the name of the lead PI first (required of the system).
  2. Be sure to check the “Dept.” that auto-populates with your name…these can sometimes be incorrect or outdated.  Please change it if necessary.  Remember that the department of the lead PI should match that listed under the “Award Admin Dept” in the “General Info” section.
  3. As an FYI: You only need to list the names of those required to electronically sign-off on a proposal transmittal form; that would be anyone listed as a co-PI on the application package.  Other key personnel are not required to be listed here.*
  4. Person Months” are the cumulative amount of months that you will dedicate to this project.  This would be a combination of both your “Sponsored Effort” and your “Cost Shared Effort” over all years.  This would need to match what you list on a Current and Pending Support document; not just what you are requesting the sponsor fund.
  5. Sponsored Effort %” is amount of FTE requested of the sponsor (your paid effort).  It is calculated by dividing the # person months by the # project months (i.e., 1 month per year x 3 years = 3 divided by 36 = 8.3% Sponsored Effort).
  6. Cost Shared Effort %” is the FTE that you will devote to this project in excess of that funded by the sponsor.  Again, reference that Current and Pending Support document required of many agencies.  If you list an effort of 10% on this pending project but only request funding support of 0.05 FTE/year.  You would have an additional 0.05 FTE/year (5%) in this “Cost Shared Effort” category.  Do note that anything listed at 5% or above in this “Cost Shared Effort %” cell will have to be tracked internal for auditing / compliance purposes.  But, more on that later (as it is rather complicated).  Just be true to the project proposed.  If you are dedicating 1mth/year to the project but aren’t asking for full funding of that month, list the difference under this “Cost Shared Effort.
  7. Allocation of Credit %” is not used here at OSU so can be left blank

*One tricky aspect is that only those listed in the “Investigators/Research Team” section can see your proposal before routing begins.  If you need administrative assistance with your CayuseSP file, be sure to add that person and select a “Role” of either “Proposal Editor” or “Other Participant (no routing)”.  That individuals “Person Months,” “Sponsored Effort %,” and “Cost Shared Effort %” should all be zero.


Wow – that was a lot of information already and I only covered two sections.  I’ll break there and provide more next week.  Although, I’ll leave with a promise that those two sections likely cause the most confusion so the rest will be a piece of cake.

As always, contact me at any time with questions, comments, or concerns.