Reviewed August 2023

 

What is Cayuse?

Cayuse is a commercial web-based "system-to-system" platform for submitting federal proposals through Grants.gov , Cayuse users log in to the Cayuse website and create their own Grants.gov application by selecting the specific agency announcement and using the Cayuse interface. Cayuse offers many user-friendly features, such as:

  • Error checking, using NIH Commons (or other federal agency) standards, PRIOR TO submission
  • Creating a PDF file of the ENTIRE application (including attachments) for review PRIOR TO submission
  • Storage of PI biosketches and profiles for automatic loading into the application
  • Excellent budget support and error checking
  • Automatic loading of UI institutional grant information (names, contact info, etc.) into your proposal
  • Convenient sharing and delegation of proposal access for viewing and editing by investigators and administrators

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Am I REQUIRED to use Cayuse for my Grants.gov application from the UI?

Yes.  Cayuse is required for all UI federal Grants.gov applications*   If you cannot find your specific Grants.gov application package in Cayuse, or if the package has a technical problem that is preventing completion of your application, please contact the UI Sponsored Programs Office immediately (dsp-era@uiowa.edu; 319-335-2123) to report the problem.  In all but a few cases, a Cayuse solution is available.

*Exceptions: for NSF proposals use Research.gov and NASA use NSPIRES

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Has The University of Iowa purchased Cayuse?

The University of Iowa is currently licensed to use Cayuse thanks to critical financial support through the UI Office of the Vice President for Research and the UI-based Institute for Clinical and Translational Science.

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What should I do if I don't see the specific grant application package I need after I log into Cayuse?

Cayuse can be used for nearly all federal Grants.gov applications. If you don't see your specific Grants.gov application announcement in Cayuse after you log in follow the directions below or contact dsp@uiowa.edu in the UI Division of Sponsored Programs.

Login in to Cayuse

 From the “Opportunities” tab:

 

  1. Search for the announcement number using the filter box

  2. If the announcement is not found,  Click on the “Download Opportunities” Button at the top, right of the screen

  3. Type or paste the Opportunity Number or CFDA number into the appropriate box and click “Download Opportunities”

 

From the “Proposals” tab:

 

  1. Click on the Create New Proposal button

  2. Choose the type of proposal

  3. Search for the announcement using the filter box

  4. If the announcement is not found,  click on the “Download Opportunities”  button under the opportunities list

  5. Type or paste the Opportunity Number or CFDA number into the appropriate box and click “Download Opportunities”

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How do I add a Senior/Key Person who is not from The University of Iowa, and whose institution is not listed on the current list of non-UI institutions in Cayuse?

Ask the Division of Sponsored Programs to create an institutional profile for the non-UI institution, so that the institution will appear on the Cayuse institution list.  

  • E-mail dsp@uiowa.edu, specifying the complete, "official" name  and URL of the non-UI organization in question.
  • Please provide the institutions UEI# and F&A rate.

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When I compare the PDF file generated in Cayuse with the PDF I see on the NIH Commons, they are not identical -- The Cayuse PDF has more forms/pages than the NIH Commons version. What's going on?

The Cayuse PDF is never 100% identical to what the funding agency reviewer will see. If you generate a comprehensive PDF in Cayuse (click on the Cayuse printer icon and select all forms and attachments) the PDF will include some forms that don't actually transmit to the funding agency. For example, the Cayuse application offers both the modular budget form and the detailed budget form, but the transmitted application should include only one or the other -- whichever the applicant has selected. In addition, the Cayuse PDF will not contain a table of contents, nor will it show headers and footers, both of which are generated in the application PDF you'll find in the Commons.

Prior to submission applicants should always use the Cayuse PDF to check for typographical errors, wrong attachments, poorly placed figures, and other content errors. Such errors cannot be fixed once applications have been submitted.

Following submission, applicants should always check the proposal as it appears directly on the NIH Commons. This is the only way to see exactly what the NIH reviewers will see.  We can fix "transmission errors" that are discovered.  A "transmission error" means that what we sent to NIH looked 100% correct, but what ended up on the NIH Commons contains errors, so something was garbled in the submission process itself.  Note:  Missing a typographical error is not a "transmission error" if the typographical error is in the original material we submitted.

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How do I create Portable Document Format (PDF) files for Cayuse attachments?

You cannot use Adobe Reader to create PDF files. Adobe Reader is just a "viewer" that let's you read PDF files that have already been created. (Certain Grants.gov-Compatible Adobe Reader Versions can also be used to fill out and save the "free" Grants.gov Adobe application forms, but these PDF forms are NOT used in Cayuse). To create PDF files of your documents (made from MS Word files, etc.) for attachments in Cayuse you need to purchase Adobe Acrobat or CutePDF Pro, or you can obtain at no cost CutePDF Writer (PC users only). Some text editors (e.g., some versions of MS Word) have "Print a PDF File" (or similar) button already available, so you would not need to purchase or install additional software to create a PDF file, if you already have that feature.
 

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There appears to be a "lock" on my Cayuse proposal. How can I get rid of it?

This is probably caused by an "improper exit" from Cayuse by a user who was editing the proposal. Cayuse users MUST use the Log Out under their name in the upper right of the screen when exiting Cayuse. If a user simply closes the browser window without signing out, the Cayuse session remains active and the proposal will remain locked by that user. To unlock the proposal, the user who left Cayuse without clicking Log Out must log back into Cayuse and re-exit correctly, by clicking the Log Out under the person's name icon. If this doesn't work, contact dsp@uiowa.edu for assistance.

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How are subawards (a.k.a. subcontracts) to non-UI institutions created and attached to the UI proposal in Cayuse?

The following information offers guidelines for creating a subaward, that is, when a UI application for federal funding includes a portion of funding for a subcontractor. In other words, the funding path would be:

Federal Agency Funding ==>
                  University of Iowa Prime Award ==>
                                          UI Subaward to a Non-UI Institution.

There are three (3) ways to attach a subaward budget to a UI Cayuse application:

  1. Subawards Created in Subawards.com

    The non-UI institution can use the free Subawards.com service to create the subaward budget. Subawards.com, a free service from Cayuse, simplifies proposal preparation between research institutions collaborating on federal grant proposals. The subawardee creates its own subaward attachment (including Key Person Profiles, Biosketch attachments, and Budget Justification) in Subawards.com, and then e-mails the subaward file directly to the UI Principal Investigator (PI) who heads the prime (UI) proposal. The subaward file will be easily identifiable, having a .cayuse file extension, and can be easily integrated into the UI prime proposal by clicking the Cayuse Import Subaward button.

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  2. Subawards created in Grants.gov Adobe forms

    For those collaborating institutions that do not subscribe to Cayuse, and do not want to use Subawards.com, UI Cayuse applications can now import subaward data directly from the "free" Grants.gov Adobe forms. The non-UI subawardee can use one of the free Grants.gov Adobe subaward budget attachment forms, which must be completed using a compatible version of the Adobe Reader.

    Adobe subaward budget attachment form

    The subawardee completes the subaward budget form, saves it as a PDF file, and e-mails it to the UI PI for import in the the UI Cayuse application. The UI PI goes to the RR Subaward Budget Attachment module in the main UI Cayuse application, clicks Import Subaward, and browses to the PDF subaward file sent by the subawardee.

    Note: If the subaward budget is created by this method, using one of these Grants.gov Adobe subaward budget attachment forms, the Cayuse system will import the budget data into the main UI proposal -- the subaward numbers will flow into the prime UI Cayuse proposal and roll up to the prime (UI) budget.  However, using this method, the Adobe attachment will not include the other required subawardee components -- the subawardee Key Person Profiles and Biosketches.  (These two components are included if you use the free Subawards.com feature.  Also, if you use the Grants.gov Adobe forms for the subcontract the subcontract will not be subject to the sophisticated validations and error corrections performed by Subawards.com.)
     

  3. Subawards created by the UI PI, for the subawardee, in UI Cayuse

The University of Iowa PI can create the subaward budget for the subawardee in UI Cayuse, and then link it to the prime UI Cayuse proposal. There are two ways of doing this.

i. Create a subaward outside of your UI Cayuse proposal. The UI PI simply:

    a) Logs into Cayuse;

    b) Click the "Proposals" tab

    c) Clicks the "+Create Proposal" button at the top of the page;

    d) Clicks the "Subaward Proposal" option

    e) Using the information obtained from the subawardee, completes all subaward components -- including the subaward budget, subaward Key Person profiles/biosketches, and subaward Budget Justification;

    f) Links the subaward information to the UI prime Cayuse proposal:

  • In the Cayuse UI proposal menu, clicks on the RR Subaward Budget Attachment form.

  • Then clicks the Link Subaward button, which presents a list of unlinked subawards. Information in the selected subaward will automatically roll up into the UI Cayuse proposal.

    g) If subaward budget changes need to be made after linking, the PI clicks the "RR Subaward Budget Attachment" form and selects the subaward that requires the edits.  The edits are then made in the subaward, and the changes show up automatically in the UI Cayuse "prime" application.

ii. To create a Subaward WITHIN the UI Cayuse proposal. The UI PI simply:

     a) Logs into the UI Cayuse proposal;

     b) Clicks the RR Subaward Budget Attachment form in the UI Cayuse proposal menu;

     c) Clicks the "+ Create Subaward" button at the top of the page, creating a subaward that is automatically linked to the proposal; and

     d) Using the information obtained from the subawardee, completes all subaward components -- including the subaward budget, subaward Key Person profiles/biosketches, and subaward Budget Justification.

     e) If subaward budget changes need to be made after linking, the PI clicks the "RR Subaward Budget Attachment" form and selects the subaward that requires the edits.  The edits are then made in the subaward, and the changes show up automatically in the UI Cayuse "prime" application.

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How can a PI delegate permissions in Cayuse, allowing others to view and edit the PI's proposal and professional profile?

If a PI wants another Cayuse user to have full rights to  view and edit all of his/her Cayuse applications:

The PI can name that user a Cayuse Delegate by opening the PI's Professional Profile in Cayuse and clicking on the Routing Profile button. A Cayuse PI Delegate then has read, edit, change permissions and other rights to all proposal under that specific PI.

The PI (or PI Delegate) can authorize any number of Cayuse Delegates by going to the PI's Professional Profile in Cayuse and clicking on the Routing Profile button. If the person you wish to select as a Cayuse Delegate is not on the list, e-mail dsp@uiowa.edu and the DSP staff will assist.

When a Cayuse proposal is started and a PI selected from the UI Cayuse PI list, that PI and all of that PI's Cayuse Delegates will automatically have access and full rights to view, list, read, write, change/add permissions, route, etc. that proposal.

PI Delegates will have full rights to each proposal, but will not automatically have rights to subaward information within that proposal or to information contained in the PI's Professional Profile in Cayuse. Such rights can be specifically assigned to each subaward and to the PI profile  using the  "Orange Key Icon" Permissions list, as described in the section below.

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"Orange Key Icon" Permission Rights

The "Orange Key Icon" allows the PI to tailor access rights and permissions in relation to his/her proposals. Using the Orange Key, the PI can limit user access to a single proposal, and can delegate only certain permissions within that proposal.

The "Orange Key Icon" also appears in the upper right corner of every Cayuse Professional Profile. To edit a PI's professional profile, a Cayuse user (including the PI's Cayuse Delegates) must be included in the "Orange Key Icon" list of permissions.  The PI's Cayuse delegates do not have automatic access to the PI's Professional Profile.

Likewise, PIs must use the Orange Key Icon to authorize delegates -- even PI Delegates -- to access any subawards associated with a particular proposal. Permissions must be individually assigned, in relation to each subaward.

Permissions Lost at e-Routing

Note: Some PI, PI Delegate, and Orange Key Icon permission rights are automatically lost when the application is e-routed to DSP for review. After the PI or delegate checks the box next to the PI's name on the Routing & Approvals page of the Cayuse application, permissions for all users -- PI, PI Delegate, and individuals listed on the Orange Key Icon Permission Page -- are, in relation to that specific application, reduced to the following:  List, Read, Attach, Break Lock, Print. This loss of access prevents changes while the proposal is under review in the Division of Sponsored Programs.

If DSP sends the application back to the PI for edits, by unchecking the PI box on the Routing & Approvals page, assigned rights are restored to the PI, PI Delegate, and Orange Key Icon individuals, until the application is again e-routed to DSP.

NOTE: Since the ability to Add User/Groups to a specific Cayuse application is lost after the application is e-routed, only the DSP can add Cayuse users to specific proposals post-routing. If you need to add a user after e-routing, e-mail nih@uiowa.edu and the DSP will assist.

The PI can, however, still designate additional PI Delegates even after the proposal's e-routed. Doing so will give these new PI Delegates access to not only the proposal just routed, but to the PI's other Cayuse proposals as well.

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What are the various ways to handle Consultants on an NIH application in Cayuse?

There are two main types of Consultants to consider: 1) Non-UI Employee Consultants; and 2) UI Employee Consultants. Information on each case is outlined below.

1.  Non-UI Employee Consultants

Consultants based outside the UI are, by far, the most common type, and may serve in various capacities in any given project.

Can they be appropriately listed as "Senior/Key Personnel?"  -  YES

Unless otherwise specified in an agency announcement, Senior/Key Personnel are defined as individuals who contribute in a substantive, meaningful way to the scientific development or execution of the project, whether or not salaries are requested. Senior/Key Person effort is generally defined and measurable. Consultants should be included if they meet this definition.

Costs

Consultant costs for a Non-UI Employee Consultant who is designated as a Senior/Key Person should be entered under section F.Other Direct Costs/3.Consultant Services  if using the R&R Detailed Budget Form, or figured into a module if using the PHS 398 Modular Budget form.

Note that R&R Detailed Budget Form Section A is reserved for UI Employees. See UI Employee Consultants below.

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Can they be appropriately listed as "Other Significant Contributors?" -  YES

Unless otherwise specified in an agency announcement, OSCs are individuals who will contribute to the scientific development or execution of the project, but are not committing any defined effort that can be measured in person months; these individuals are typically presented at effort of zero person months or as needed.  Consultants should be listed as OSCs if they meet this definition. Note that OSCs should be listed after all Senior/Key Persons in the "RR Senior/Key Personnel form.

Costs

Non-UI Employee Consultant OSCs are not paid, so they have no consultant costs. Therefore, OSC consultant costs do not appear anywhere in the detailed budget or modular budget. (An OSC can be deleted from the detailed NIH budget in Cayuse, without generating an ERROR, ONLY IF the OSC is listed in the RR KEY PERSONS with "Project Role" = "Other" and the "Other Project Role Category" = "Other Significant Contributor" ) 

Biosketch

The Non-UI Consultant biosketch is attached to the RR KEY PERSON Professional Profile.

Letter of Support

Provide a letter of support from the consultant, including the rate/charges for services, as Research Plan/Attachment 14, Letters of Support.

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Is it possible they may not be considered a Senior/Key Person or an Other Significant Contributor? - YES!

It is not necessary to list as consultant as a senior/key person or other significant contributor. Some consultants may not meet the definition of either. In such cases, consultants are handled as follows.

Costs

Consultant costs for a Non-UI Employee Consultant who is not considered a Senior/Key Personnel or  an Other Significant Contributor (OSC) should be budgeted under Section F.Other Direct Costs/3.Consultant Services if using the R&R Detailed Budget form, or figured into a module if using the PHS 398 Modular Budget form.

Biosketch

A biosketch is not required and shouldn't be included if the consultant isn't listed as a Senior/Key Person or an Other Significant Contributor.

Letter of Support

Provide a letter of support from the consultant, including the rate/charges for services, as Research Plan/Attachment 14, Letters of Support.

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What if, at the time of application, I don't know who the consultant will be?

If the consultant is "to be named later," enter the estimated consultant costs in F.Other Direct Costs/3.Consultant Services within the "detailed" RR Budget or as part of a module for the PHS 398 Modular Budget.

In the budget justification, describe the type of consulting work you are going to need.

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2. UI Employee Consultants

Wait a minute! Do you really want a UI employee to be a consultant on your UI grant application? Unless the UI employee consultant wants to be paid over-and-above his/her current UI salary, he/she should probably be listed as a "co-investigator" or a "researcher," and not as a "consultant."

If you do wish to list a UI employee as a consultant on a UI grant application you must also meet some additional regulations, such as the following:

NIH Grants Policy Statement
Allowability of Costs/Activities—Selected Items of Cost—Consultant Services

Consultant Services
...In unusual situations, a person may be both a consultant and an employee of the same party, receiving compensation for some services as a consultant and for other work as a salaried employee as long as those separate services are not related to the same project and are not charged to the same project. For example, consulting fees that are paid by an educational institution to a salaried faculty member as extra compensation above that individual’s base salary are allowable, provided the consultation is across departmental lines or involves a separate or remote operation and the work performed by the consultant is in addition to his or her regular departmental workload.

UI Policy Manual

6.2 CONSULTANT AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR ON GRANTS AND CONTRACTS.

University Consultants.
If the consultant is an employee of the grantee institution, the consultation should be across departmental lines and in addition to regular duties; or it must involve a separate or remote operation, and the work performed is in addition to the consultant's regular departmental workload. 

 

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Why and how would I "Copy/Transform" a Cayuse proposal?

The Cayuse "Copy/Transform" function is extremely useful if you are resubmitting a previous, unfunded application; redirecting an application-in-progress to a different funding mechanism; or, having inadvertently used the wrong set of forms, transferring an in-progress application to a different application packet. By copying/transforming an application, you transfer existing information to a new application -- there is no need to start from scratch.

"Transforming" is simple, taking just a few seconds:

  1. From your Cayuse proposal listing, identify the existing proposal you wish to copy/transform.
  2. To the far right of that title, click the icon resembling a sheet of paper with green shadow, which is the copy/transform function.
  3. Under the Copy Proposal? menu that appears, select the new funding opportunity of interest.
  4. A new "copy" of that proposal will appear in your Cayuse proposal list.

 

For the "detailed" NIH RR Budget, should I enter the NIH Salary Cap amount or the investigator's actual salary amount?

When an investigator's actual salary exceeds the NIH Salary Cap, you have two options:

(1) Use the NIH Salary Cap Amount (Recommended by DSP)

If using the investigator's actual salary would cause your budget to exceed the $499,999/year direct-costs limit, while using the NIH Salary Cap amount would keep the total direct costs at or below $499,999/year, you should choose to use the NIH Salary Cap amount.

  • Should the NIH salary cap amount be escalated (for example, by 3% per year)?

It is the department’s choice. If the escalations are over the NIH Salary cap at the time of the award, NIH will only allow for the salary cap to be used and the department will have to re-budget. There is no way to predict whether the cap will escalate or not in future years, therefore DSP recommends to abide by the approved cap and adjust in future years.

(2) Use the Actual Salary Amount*

You may budget the actual salary amount. However, be aware that NIH will only fund up to the salary cap at the time of funding. Also be cognizant of the $499,999/year direct costs limit. Re-budgeting each year will allow you to apply any updated Salary Cap amounts to personnel salaries.

* If you already have NIH's written permission to exceed the $499,990/year direct-costs limit, or if you do not care about large salary amounts appearing in the budget, you can use the actual salary amount.

Additional Information:

  • The NIH salary cap is legislatively imposed by Congress each year as part of the NIH appropriation bill.
  • It is not possible to project the salary cap for upcoming years.
  • If adequate funds are available in active awards, and if the salary cap increase is consistent with the institutional base salary, grantees may re-budget to accommodate the current Executive Level II salary level. However, no additional funds will be provided to these grant awards.

When is my Cayuse proposal due at UI Sponsored Programs, for review and submission to the sponsor?

As with all UI proposals for external funding, 100% completed Cayuse proposals, and the corresponding UI Proposal Routing Form, are due at UI Sponsored Programs five business days prior to the sponsor deadline.

For details about internal UI deadline policies:

What to do if you see a Cayuse message saying "The opportunity for this proposal is no longer available"

If you are working on an application in Cayuse and it displays the message “The opportunity for this proposal is no longer available,” you will need to “transform” the existing proposal in order to eliminate that message and enable the Division of Sponsored Programs to submit. DSP will not be able to submit an application that is displaying the “original opportunity unavailable” message.

By transforming an application, you transfer existing information to a new application form – there is no need to start from scratch. The new proposal will not show the error message, and will leave DSP in a position to submit.

"Transforming" is simple, taking just a few seconds:

  1. From your Cayuse proposal listing, identify the existing proposal you wish to transform.
  2. To the far right of that title, click the icon resembling a sheet of paper with green shadow , which is the copy/transform function.
  3. Choose to “Transform Proposal.”
  4. Within the Transform Proposal form:
    • Enter the same funding opportunity number originally used;
    • Assign a new Proposal Name, starting with the word “Transform,” to distinguish the transformed proposal from the original;
    • Be sure the “Copy Attachments?” box is checked;
    • Enter the application due date; and
    • Click “Transform Proposal.”

NOTE: Your transformed application will likely show ERRORS and WARNINGS that you may have corrected prior to the transformation.  So, you will have to check the proposal again for ERRORS and WARNINGS, and make sure the corrections are made again, on the transformed version.    Note that the PI BOX on the Cayuse "Routing & Approvals" page has changed automatically to NOT CHECKED after the transformation.  After completing all corrections, the PI must check the PI BOX again in the Cayuse "Routing & Approvals" page, which sends the proposal back to UI Sponsored Programs for review and submission to the funding agency.

Note that you must transform your application in Cayuse only if it has not yet been submitted. If your application has been submitted, you needn’t take any action in response to the Cayuse message.

If you need assistance in transforming your proposal, please contact the Division of Sponsored Programs at 335-2123 or dsp@uiowa.edu.

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