Cost Sharing, AAR, and PDF Application Package Retirement
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Research Community Updates - September 2017

Read on for a few key updates for the Research Community on clarified business processes and forthcoming updates to ORSP web content and the eResearch Proposal Management (eRPM) System
  • Cost Sharing Updates - Clarified Terms and System Updates
  • Agreement Acceptance Requests
  • PDF Applications for Federal Proposals Are Retiring

Cost Sharing Updates

Changes in Terminology & eRPM System

A cross-campus workgroup, charged by the Research Administration Advisory Council (RAAC) Executive Committee has completed its update of Cost Sharing terminology and system recommendations. Visit the ORSP Cost Sharing Requirements and Reference Sheets webpage to find the new definitions and context for any work you do in eRPM. New enhancements will be released on Monday, October 2, 2017. Read more about those changes here.

Agreement Acceptance Requests

Sometimes awards require additional approvals. Prior to accepting an award on behalf of U-M, ORSP reviews it to ensure that the notice of award or contract does not introduce certain requirements that had not been approved at the time the original Proposal Approval Form (PAF) was routed. If there are changes, ORSP will route an Agreement Acceptance Request (AAR) via the eResearch Proposal Management System (eRPM). Learn about AARs and the changes that trigger one.

The basic steps for completing an AAR are:

  1. An ORSP PR initiates the AAR in eRPM. The AAR then appears in the Project Team’s eRPM work queue. 
  2. The Project Team/PI edits the AAR as needed.
  3. The PI, the Department Chair and (sometimes) the Dean approve or decline the AAR, in that order. 
  4. If for a publication restriction, the final approval of AARs rests with the Vice President for Research.
ORSP PRs will provide input and advice in the preparation of an AAR. 

PDF Applications for Federal Proposals Are Retiring

On December 31, 2017, will officially retire PDF application packages as a method to apply for federal grants.

For most of you, the fact that PDF application packages are going away should not be a concern. The eRPM system is used by most project teams as U-M’s preferred system-to-system solution for submitting proposals directly to It is is robust, well supported by the institution, and works for just about any proposal you might encounter.

Although infrequent, there will be occasions when eRPM cannot be used to submit proposals to because the proposal application package contains a form that is not supported by eRPM.  Unsupported forms are
rare, but do appear in a few funding opportunities from a small subset of Federal sponsors (e.g., U.S. Economic Development Administration, Bureau of Justice Administration, Bureau of Justice Statistics).

To date, when there have been unsupported forms, you've seen the following message in eRPM directing you to use an Adobe PDF package:
Screenshot of eResearch when an unsupported form is requested

Starting December 31, 2017, the Adobe PDF application packages will no longer be available.

For situations where eRPM is not an option, offers an alternative online solution called Workspace. With Workspace, forms can either be (1) completed online within a web browser or (2) downloaded individually as PDF files, filled out, and uploaded back into Workspace. ORSP can help guide you through the process of initiating a proposal in Workspace.


If you are one of the few impacted, what can you do now to prepare?

First, stop using PDF application packages from Take heed and transition now. If you are working on a proposal that will be submitted after December 31, 2017, convert and complete the proposal in eRPM now to avoid unpleasant surprises. If you need any eRPM support there are eResearch job aids as well as some training. You can also call 4-HELP and press option 3. Second, if you are working on a proposal in eRPM and encounter an unsupported form, contact your ORSP Government Team Project Representative before beginning an application in Workspace. We want to partner with you early in the process to provide guidance and avoid unnecessary risks.

We'll look forward to providing you with more updates for the upcoming transition!
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