Guidance for utilizing Grants.Duke for electronic application submission

The Grants.Duke web app provides the Duke School of Medicine and campus community with the ability to submit grant proposals electronically to federal sponsors. The Sponsored Projects System (SPS)  grant proposal populates the Grants.Duke system to allow users to attach supporting documents to the grant proposal, then release the proposal for submission. Grants.Duke electronically transmits the proposal to, then on to the federal sponsor.

When a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) (also known as solicitation, RFP, PA) is Grants.Duke eligible for electronic system-to-system submission, department staff may coordinate with the PI on completing the SPS record and Grants.Duke application. The electronic system-to-system (S2S) process links the administrative data completed and approved in the SPS record to populate into the Grants.Duke system which allows the PI to submit the application through the portal to the sponsor's electronic database portal.


Editing and Uploading Documents to a Grants.Duke Application

Once the flag for S2S has been checked and the SPS record has been saved in an Initialized state, the PI may log-in to the Grants.Duke system, and locate the associated SPS record to begin working on the scientific components of the application. The Attachments tab within Grants.Duke will provide all the sections available to the selected FOA to allow users the ability to distinguish which sections will be pertinent for completion with their specific scientific scope of work.

The PI may add delegates under their Preferences tab to assist with the upload of files; however, assigned delegates CANNOT submit applications. Grants.Duke accepts PDF files for upload with naming conventions limited to 50 characters. Remember to check for sponsor requirements regarding naming conventions to ensure compliance is met (e.g., DOD CDMRP program applications have specific naming convention rules).

During the routing of the SPS record the linked Grants.Duke application will have certain sections locked during the review process. 


Reviewing the Grants.Duke Application

It is best practice for the PI to review the application by utilizing the 'Print Preview' icon within their Grants.Duke application. 'Print Preview' will generate a PDF image mirroring the sponsor forms. The PI should use this image to check for page limitations and other sponsor format restrictions prior to releasing the application for submission. When the Print Preview icon is pressed, a generation box will appear indicating the amount of time needed to upload the sponsor form image by percentage. Users may select the "I'll get my PDF later (using 'My Printouts' link above)" link to have the system load the image for review at a later time. The printout will then be stored in the 'My Printouts' section within the Grants.Duke application for retrieval when the user is ready to review.


Validating and Submitting the Grants.Duke Application

When ORA has completed and approved the administrative review of the application, the SPS record of the application will be set to the Awaiting Submission (AS) state. At this stage the SPS record is released to facilitate the linked application in Grants.Duke for submission. Once all the required documents have been uploaded within the Grants.Duke application, the PI may click on the Check tab to perform a validation check for errors and/or warnings. If errors are found in the validation check, they will need to be corrected before submission is possible. If warnings are found in the validation check, they should be reviewed for compliance to determine if the warning is necessary or not to correct. Therefore, warnings do not hinder the submission process. The PI may click on the Release tab to initiate the submission once warnings and errors have been addressed. It is on the Release tab that the PI may click on "I Accept / Release for Submission" to certify towards the assurance statement and submit the application through the Grants.Duke portal.

At the "I Accept / Release for Submission" action Grants.Duke will collect and transmit the application. Processing time may take a few minutes. Please be patient and do not use the Back button or click Release again. If it is clicked again, the action will create a duplicate submission to the sponsor.


Checking the Grants.Duke Submission Status

After the submission of the Grants.Duke application, the following may be expected:

  • If is available, a time/date stamp will be received as well as a tracking number. This will become the receipt of the application. Please save for record retention purposes - important for possible errors at the receipt of the sponsor electronic database portal.
  • If is not available (e.g., server is busy), a message will be provided to check back later. The S2S Tracking Status tab will need to be checked for tracking of submission within Grants.Duke.

Please note: Grants.Duke requires up to 48 hours to process through to NIH for validation. Due to known connectivity issues and delayed processing times with, it is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to release / submit the application as soon as possible. In addition, please remember that NIH, AHRQ, and NIOSH have eliminated the application error correction window for applications submitted after January 25, 2011 - refer to the Notice NOT-OD-10-123. Take away message - delaying the release/submission of the Grants.Duke application jeopardizes receipt at NIH and other sponsoring agencies.

Known Issues Preventing Successful Transmission:

Formatting errors

  • Missing files (e.g., if use of humans or animals are indicated as "yes", the requisite fields in Grants.Duke must be uploaded in the application)
  • Exceeding page limitations
  • Use of apostrophes in file naming conventions
  • Identification of Key Personnel in Detailed Budgets with zero effort
  • Form error - if this occurs, save the PDF document to desk top and reprint the PDF to flatten the file, then upload again within Grants.Duke.

 * If errors persist in Grants.Duke, please contact the assigned ORA Research Administrator immediately. If it is after business hours, please contact RAD by calling the appropriate Service Desk.
School of Medicine and School of Nursing Service Desk:
DHTS Service Desk: 684-2243
Campus Service Desk:
OIT Service Desk: 684-2200