The Division of Sponsored Programs (DSP) has created an institutional role, the Pre-Award Research Administrator (PARA), to assist campus in managing access to pre-award data and systems. The role is managed using the University’s Institutional Roles Application.

DSP assigns Org level Pre-Award Research Administrators for each Org. In turn, Org level PARAs need to assign Departmental PARAs and either can assign sub-department Pre-Award Research Administrators, if desired. Click here to see who is currently assigned the institutional role of PARA.

Why is DSP using this institutional role?

  • The institutional role of Pre-Award Research Administrator allows collegiate and departmental administrators to have direct control over who has access to their collegiate or departmental records on Tracker and who receives Award Activation Authorization Notice (AAAN) emails, along with other access described below. 
  • The Institutional Roles Application automatically removes access for individuals when they change departments or when they leave or retire from the UI.
  • DSP has decommissioned an older system for research administrator contacts that required ad hoc manual maintenance and updates based on departmental or collegiate requests.

What the Pre-Award Research Administrator role’s authorizations enhance:

  • Providing access to records on the DSP Research Tracker

A research administrator can be added as a Pre-Award Research Administrator at the org/department/sub-department level to gain access to those records on Tracker.  Access can be granted and removed on an ad hoc basis; for example, as access is required for large collaborative projects or training grant proposals.

  • Award Activation Authorization Notice (AAAN) email distribution

AAAN emails go to individuals listed as org, department, and sub-department Pre-Award Research Administrators. This means that administrators in colleges and departments have direct management of individuals who will receive AAANs rather than having to contact DSP every time there is a change of personnel in those roles.

  • Provide Automatic Access to the DSP Data Analytics and Insights (DAI) Reporting

The new role’s authorizations include access to the DSP DAI Reporting on UI Campus Data. Anyone in the role of Pre-Award Research Administrator (regardless of org/department/sub-department) will get automatic access to the reports on the DSP portal without having to request access. Access to the DSP Tabular Solution still requires a specific request access via a workflow form in UI Campus Data.

  • Approval for Workflow Forms

Some DSP workflow forms will use the Pre-Award Research Administrator role as a required approver. Currently, these forms are the following:

  • PI Departure, Request for Grant Transfer, or Request for Approval of Adjunct, Visiting, Emeritus or Retired Faculty as PI
  • Request for an Unrestricted Fund Account
  • Departments and Orgs have the option of using the PARA role in the approval path of the new proposal routing form
  • What the role will be used for in the longer term
    • When the revised non-monetary routing form is deployed, orgs and departments will have the option to add the new institutional role to the forms’ workflow paths.
    • DSP will share pertinent compliance-related emails with the Pre-Award Research Administrators.

For questions, contact Nate Cook,, or Wendy Beaver,

FAQs for Pre-Award Research Administrator Roles

Reviewed May 2024