from Pat Hawk, Director of Sponsored Programs

Author’s note:  Although this blog is not limited to an OSU audience, we felt a discussion about our electronic research administration (eRA) progress would be helpful.  Many of our Principal Investigators and other staff involved in proposal preparation have had questions.  Instead of using a mass e-mail communication, we felt the” Spin on Research” would be a better way to disseminate this type of information.

Believe it or not, Cayuse SP has been at OSU for more than one year!  You may recall that the Research Office implemented Cayuse 424 in May 2011 and Cayuse SP in April 2012.  Paper-based proposal submissions ceased June 30, 2012.


Every day, faculty and staff have become more familiar with Cayuse 424 and Cayuse SP, but I’d like to provide some key hints and tricks.

  • Since OSU did not implement the two systems at the same time, OSP staff are often asked “What’s the difference between Cayuse 424 and Cayuse SP?”  I think of Cayuse SP as the web-based or electronic version of the transmittal form, and will be used for every proposal.  Cayuse 424, however, represents the Federal form set that’s found in


  • Designing the proposal routing in Cayuse SP is a little different than Cayuse 424.  While Cayuse 424 would add in the Dean’s Office for a respective college, Cayuse SP’s routing chain used to require manual addition of the dean for a respective College. I’m happy to tell you that a routing enhancement has recently been added to Cayuse SP, and now the system will now automatically add the dean’s signature to the routing chain.


This will allow you to take advantage of one of Cayuse SP’s best features—concurrent routing.  The lead PI and the lead PI’s unit head must approve the proposal, but all other approvers can receive notification simultaneously.  All you have to do change the “routing sequence” to 2 in the drop-down menu in the “Approving Departments” tab.  Cayuse SP automatically adds OSP to the last position on the routing chain, so you don’t have to remember to add us to your routing.


  • Routing can become confusing for faculty in certain Colleges.  As an example, Extension faculty also have academic appointments.  It is very important that the PI correctly select the “Award Admin Department” that is on the first screen in Cayuse SP.  The department selected is the one that will manage the award for the PI.  This listing in Cayuse SP is alphabetical, so please make sure the proper department is selected.  Some departments have very similar names.  As an example, there are three different departments names for the Microproducts Breakthrough Institute—one for CBEE, one for MIME and one for EECS.  If you are unsure of which department to select, please contact us as 7-4933 or  We’ll help you select the correct department.


  • You can also copy Cayuse SP (think routing form) records.  If you frequently submit to the same agency, use the “copy” feature in My Proposals.  Cayuse 424 (think federal form set) will allow you to “transform” proposals for re-submissions or submissions to other agencies.  This is another very powerful feature.  While this has been a FastLane feature, that feature goes away on August 2.  As of that date, we will only be able to copy proposals submitted under the current NSF Grant Proposal Guide.


  • Future improvements are coming later this calendar year and early next calendar year as well.  Some items being investigated are a more detailed budget on SP’s budget tab and better “push-pull” between Cayuse SP and Cayuse 424 so that you don’t have to “double-enter” certain data.


  • OSP will be doing Cayuse training a little differently this year.  We are going to develop more tips and FAQs.  Training will also be focused on individuals that specifically work with faculty on proposal preparation at the college level, and those efforts have already begun.  We are also going to do some annotated screen shots to help better describe what information goes in certain fields.   We’ll also provide some screen shots that will help you determine where your proposal is in the routing cycle.  We will be starting on this additional information later this summer, and we welcome your comments and feedback.
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