Viewing and Initiating Requests

When you open the Prior Approval module, you see a list of requests that are in progress. If they are not yet submitted, you can modify in progress requests. You can also search for grants that are eligible for each request type and initiate a new request.

Depending on your role, you can perform different tasks in Prior Approval. Because signing officials (SO) can potentially see dozens or hundreds of grants, they have options for searching and narrowing the results. Principal investigators (PI), who will see fewer grants, can use toggles for quickly narrowing the results with three different criteria.

Initiate a Prior Approval Request

To initiate a Prior Approval Request:

  1. Log in to eRA Commons; see Logging into eRA Commons.
  2. Navigate to the Prior Approval module.
  3. On the Prior Approval landing page, select the type of request from the dropdown at the top of the screen and click the Go button.
Initiate Prior Approval dropdown for PI and SO
All grants under your jurisdiction that are eligible for the request type you selected are listed. Help topics for each request type lists eligibility criteria; see the topic links at the bottom of this topic .

NOTE:  SO only: In the list of results, you can narrow the results to find a grant by typing text in the search criteria at the top of the screen and clicking Search:
The SO can search within results after selecting a request type by entering criteria and clicking Search.

  1. Click the Initiate link for the appropriate grant.

Initiate link for a grant eligible for the selected type of Prior Approval request

If the grant selected already has a request already pending in Prior Approval, you see a message, which contains a linked pending request number and option to initiate another request. (Closedclick to view)
Error message when a request is already pending

The request details screen opens for the type of request you initiated. For details on editing a specific type of request, see:

Prior Approval - No Cost Extension (SO only)

Prior Approval - Other Request (SO only for FDA grants only)

Prior Approval - Withdrawal Request (SO or PI)

Prior Approval - Carryover Request (SO only)

Prior Approval - Change of PD/PI on a Grant (SO only)

Prior Approval - $500K Request (SO or PI)


Prior Approval for Signing Officials

If you are a signing official (SO), you see Closeda list of all requests for your institution on the Prior Approval landing page, along with a Search for Requests button to narrow the results.

SO Landing Page for Prior Approval

On the main Prior Approval screen, if you are an SO, you can:

Prior Approval for Program Directors/Principal Investigators

If you are a program director/principal investigator (PD/PI), then on the Prior Approval landing page you see Closeda list of all requests made for your own applications/grants or those that have been routed to you.

PI Landing Page for Prior Approval

On the main Prior Approval screen, if you are a PI, you can:

  • Initiate a Withdrawal Request or respond to a 500K invitation (if one exists); see Initiate a Prior Approval Request. 500K requests appear only under certain conditions; see Prior Approval - $500K Request.

  • Modify an in progress request by clicking the three-dot ellipsis icon and selecting Modify.

  • View an in progress request that is currently assigned to someone else. For instance, if you worked on a Withdrawal or 500K request and then routed it to the SO, you can still view the request, but you cannot modify it. In this case, you would by click the three-dot ellipsis icon and select View.

  • Use the Grid tool Rows per page icon to determine how many rows of in-progress requests are listed per page.

  • Limit the list of in progress requests to only certain statuses by clicking the appropriate toggle: In Progress SO (assigned to the SO, either by SO initiation or routing from a PI), In Progress PI (assigned to the PI, either by PI initiation or routing from a SO) or Submitted to Agency. Submitted requests cannot be changed, but you can view their history or view the PDF of the final information submitted.