Prior Approval - $500K Request

NOTE: Both PIs and SOs may respond to $500K requests but only an SO can submit them.

If you are an applicant planning to submit a grant application with $500,000 or more in direct costs in any one budget year (excluding consortium F & A costs), you are required to contact your program official (PO) and obtain approval from the funding agency six weeks prior to application submission.

What Grants are Eligible for $500K Request?

If the program official (PO) determines that you want to facilitate the request through an electronic process, the PO initiates an invitation to the principal investigator (PI), which opens up a 500K request in the Prior Approval module. The PI and the Notice of Award contact for the organization/application will receive an email notification of the invitation.

NOTE: The option to submit a $500K request is not visible in the Prior Approval module of eRA Commons until the PO has initiated the invitation.

Go to the Prior Approval module in eRA Commons to begin the process. You cannot initiate a 500K request; only the program official can. Once the request is in progress, you can look it up in Prior Approval and respond to it with appropriate documentation and justification.

To Respond to $500K Request from PO:

  1. Find the request in Prior Approval; see Searching for and Modifying Existing Prior Approval Requests.

  2. After opening the 500K request, you see the following details screen.

    500K Request Form

  3. Be sure to fill out all required fields (with a red asterisk). You can drag and drop a PDF file from your file system onto the Drop file area, or click Browse to locate and select a file.

  1. To view or remove a file you have uploaded, click the three-dot ellipsis menu and select View or Delete. If you upload the wrong file, you must delete it in order to upload another, as only one file is allowed to be uploaded.
    Three dot ellipsis menu for viewing or deleting an uploaded file


  • Anticipated Submission Date - The date the application is expected to be submitted. This date may not be in the past, or more than 120 days in the future.
  • Justification - This is a brief description of the justification to submit for over $500K.
  • If the $500K request is being submitted for a Renewal (Type 2) application, the user may also provide the Activity Code and Serial Number of the grant family.

After modifying a $500K request, the PI or SO can route the request to the other role; see Routing a Prior Approval Request.

Upon a successful submission, the system sends an email notification the submitter, as well as to the associated PI, informing them that the request was submitted to the agency. $500K requests cannot be deleted.

Also see:

Submitting the Request to the Agency

Saving a Request

Canceling Changes to a Request

Viewing History of a Request

Routing a Prior Approval Request