AURA Grants Training Videos

All new users requiring access to AURA Grants must complete the AURA Grants e-learning courses available on Canvas. The live, instructor-led AURA Grants trainings have been condensed into three 10–30 minute, self-paced learning videos. Once all three modules have been completed, the user can be assigned the appropriate access role in AURA Grants.

To enroll yourself or other departmental staff in the Canvas courses, please contact AURA Help. After they enroll you, you will see three courses.

For additional research administration training, please view URA Training’s current offerings, training archives, and more on the University Research Administration Intranet.

User Guides

Frequently Asked Questions


Who should be listed as Administrative Contact?

This should be the departmental grants administrator responsible for developing and routing the Funding Proposal.


How are changes made to the original Funding Proposal (FP)?

If changes need to be made to the FP, the Pre-Award Specialist assigned to the proposal will route the proposal back to the department using the “Specialist Requests Changes” activity. The proposal will be routed back to the Administrative Contact, who will be allowed to make changes to the FP and/or budget.


Can multiple approvers be in the FP record at the same time?

Yes, multiple approvers can be in the record at the same time. If there are multiple approvers at Approval Step 1, all approvers will receive the task in their inbox, and whoever approves the record first moves it forward. If there are approvers at multiple steps, the Step 1 approver must approve the record before the approver at Step 2 can approve.


Is Principal Investigator (PI) approval required in the AURA Grants system to submit a Funding Proposal?

No, systematic PI approval is not required in AURA for submission. However, PIs are required to submit FP Assurances for each proposal, and Administrative Contacts should have PI approval before completing the “Ready to Submit” ancillary review activity. It is recommended that the Administrative Contact uploads the PI submission concurrence to the FP.


The “Create Resubmission” or “Create Renewal” link is not available to me. Why?

If you are not listed as the Administrative Contact, the “Create Resubmission” or “Create Renewal” link will not be available to you. Contact AURA Help for assistance with the record.


What do I do if my PI cannot complete the Assurances before the submission date?

If your PI(s) will be unavailable and cannot complete the Assurances, complete the “Send E-mail” activity within AURA and contact the Pre-Award Specialist. The Pre-Award Specialist will be able to bypass the Assurances on a case-by-case basis and will provide the department/PI with the PDF version of the form to complete and upload to AURA. This should be rare, done only in extenuating circumstances, and will be determined by URA on a case-by-case basis. This cannot be done in place of regularly following processes and procedures. It is recommended that Administrative Contacts create an FP and request completion of the FP Assurances as soon as the PI confirms they plan to submit.


Why are other universities coded as “foundation” in AURA?

Universities are coded as “foundation” in AURA to signify that they are non-federal institutions. While AURA has limited functionality in categorizing sponsors, Business Objects reports will have additional information about the types of sponsors.


How do I notify URA that a proposal is a unit submission, or where do I enter specific submission information when it is a URA non-S2S submission?

Submission instructions should be included in box 12 of the “Additional Proposal Information” page of the FP. Please also ensure that URA has been granted access to the proposal in the sponsor portal, if allowable/applicable.


How do I identify multiple University of Chicago PIs on a project with a federal PHS agency (i.e., NIH, AHRQ, CDC, etc.)?

In the Additional Proposal Information section of the FP, #6 should be answered “Yes,” and “Multi-PI” should be noted as this is used for reporting purposes.


When do I upload the final proposal I submitted to the sponsor? 

Once the proposal has been submitted, the Administrative Contact must execute the “Add Attachments” activity on the left-hand side of the main Funding Proposal page and attach the submitted proposal to the Final Submission Non-S2S Documents section. After uploading, the Administrative Contact must complete the Ancillary Review to indicate the final proposal has been uploaded.


The Personnel Compliance tab indicates my PI does not have automatic PI eligibility. Why is this?

If a PI is listed as “no” or as not having “automatic PI eligibility,” this means that the individual is not faculty and does not have blanket PI status. In the event this section is marked “no” for the PI, then the Administrative Contact should upload the approved PI Status Request Form to confirm PI eligibility for this submission. The approved form or confirmation of approval should be uploaded via the “Add Attachments” activity and uploaded to the “Other Internal Documents” section. If a PI is listed as “yes” or as having “automatic PI eligibility,” then nothing more needs to be uploaded to show PI eligibility. If you believe this status is incorrect, contact AURA Help for assistance.


What is a consolidated budget?

The consolidated budget is the cumulative budget of all created budgets. By including each budget in the consolidated budget, all budgets are summed into one. Refer to the Pre-Award User Guide for information on when it is appropriate to use more than one budget.


Why can’t I change the base salary from year to year?

When adding personnel to the budget, if “yes” is selected to apply inflation on the Personnel Costs Definition page, the base salary will automatically inflate from year to year using the rate established on the General Budget Information page. To manually change the base salary in each year, select “no” to apply inflation for all personnel and manually edit the salary on the Personnel Costs page.


How do I handle effort/salary for periods shorter than 12 months?

Ensure the “Budget Periods” within the Funding Proposal are set to the correct number of months. Calculate the personnel’s base salary for the appropriate number of months and use that in the Personnel Costs Definition page as the base salary. For example, for a faculty member with a calendar month appointment and a base salary of $200,000, the base salary for a 7-month period would be $200,000/12*7. This method will ensure that the appropriate effort commitment will be reflected in the budget.


How do I enter salary for personnel who will be over the salary cap in future periods but not currently?

On the Personnel Costs Definition page, select “no” for inflation for the person in question. On the next page, manually enter the base salary for each year, inflating manually until the person is at or over the salary cap. Enter the salary cap as the base for all periods in which the person is at or over the salary cap.


How do I enter salary requests for personnel who will recover both academic and summer salary from the grant?

To add personnel with both academic and summer salary, add one row for the person with “Academic” or “9 months” listed as the appointment type and then add another with “Summer” or “3 months” listed as the appointment type. This will ensure both salaries are captured within the budget.

If this application will be submitted via S2S, the individual will be listed twice in the R&R budget. It is recommended to combine the information for that individual into one row and remove the duplicate entry, if possible.


What should be done in AURA when I need to create an NIH modular budget?

Answer “yes” to question 6 (“Modular Budget?”) in the Budget Periods and Key Dates section of the AURA Funding Proposal. Consider creating a detailed budget (either via the AURA Budget Grid or upload as an Excel document) for your department’s use, including salaries, equipment, supplies, graduate student tuition, etc., for every year of funds requested. While the NIH will not ask for these details, they are important for you to have on hand when calculating your F&A costs base and writing your justification, and for audit purposes. In order to determine how many modules you should request, subtract any consortium F&A from the total direct costs, and then round to the nearest $25,000 increment. In general, the modules requested should be the same per year or nearly the same per year, unless there is a large variation, such as an equipment purchase in a single year. Please note that if your direct costs exceed the maximum number of modules for a given budget period, it will default to a detailed budget. You must budget at, or below, the maximum number of modules in a given budget period.


What do I do with old documents from the Parent FP/Original FP that carry over to a newly created renewal/resubmission/revision FP?

Please review all documents that loaded automatically to the Attachments tab and delete any items that are outdated or do not apply to the renewal/resubmission/revision FP.


Where do I enter submission information: FOA link, FOA title, direct sponsor contact?

You do not have to enter this information on the Submission Information page; this should all be entered under “Additional Proposal Information” #s 7-15, as applicable. The Submission Information page would include the funding opportunity for purposes of selecting the application package for an S2S submission.


What type of information would be entered in Additional Proposal Information #12: Specify any special instructions, requirements, restrictions, or comments related to this opportunity?

This is not an exhaustive list, but some examples:

  • Minimum/maximum effort requirements
  • Deviations in standard IDCs (see
  • Any other budgeting restrictions, such as effort recovery, fringe recovery, unallowable costs, required costs, etc.
  • Mandatory cost-sharing or cost-matching
  • URA or unit submission and/or what portal
  • Approval/endorsement of terms and conditions, FAR clauses, contractual obligations at proposal stage
  • Inclusion of plan addressing NSF Safe and Inclusive Working Environments for Off-Campus or Off-Site Research. (Plan must be attached for routing.)


Does my application budget need to match the AURA Budget Grid?

When it comes to S2S applications, yes. They must match exactly, given that the AURA Budget Grid will map the information to the SF424 R&R Application Package.

If you are manually entering a budget into a sponsor portal/system/form, figures may differ, but this should be within reason and not have egregious discrepancies.


What if I must make budget adjustments in an application?

If your proposal has already been approved, any change may result in the proposal being sent to the beginning of the review process (i.e., back to Department Review state).

If you’re working on an S2S application, the AURA Budget Grid and SF424 budget must match exactly, given this information maps from the FP to the 424. If there are major changes, you may consider utilizing “Create-Update SF424” to ensure the budget grid and SF424 budget match.


Can a PI include protocol numbers in an application?

Typically, this should be avoided, as the protocols have not yet been amended to include the application in question (i.e., not yet approved for the project in question).

If a PI has an active IRB and/or IACUC protocol and they insist on including the protocol number in their application, it must be stated in a way to denote that, while the protocol has been approved overall, it has not yet been amended to include the proposal in question.


Can I recycle an old FP that is still in Draft status?

If an FP was created but never routed or routed but never submitted, it should be withdrawn to remove it from the queue of forthcoming/future applications. Recycling FPs should not occur, as there may have been changes that would affect many aspects of the “new” proposal being prepared.


What should occur when a non-federal sponsor enforces a salary cap?

If a non-federal sponsor requires adherence to a salary cap and any personnel budgeted on the project has a base salary that exceeds the salary cap, the cost difference (“cap gap”) must be cost-shared.

Enter the salary cap in the AURA Budget Grid under General Budget Information #5, and the true salary base for the applicable persons. This will generate a salary overage. A cost-sharing budget would then be created to account for the cost difference (see the Pre-Award User Guide for instructions on creating a cost-sharing budget). All other applicable cost-sharing memos/approvals would need to be provided in the FP Attachments.


What type of access to an award is needed to request a modification?

Anyone with review or editing rights on the award can request a modification.


What if I see an error in my award data?

Contact your Post-Award Research Administrator. The Administrator will review the award and determine if a request needs to be made to fix the issue.


I don’t see my modification request in the “Attachments” tab.

The “Attachments” tab will only show final, approved documents. Partially executed documents or drafts will remain within the Award Modification Request or Award Modification.


How can I request a new account for a new award?

URA will request an “Account Setup” Ancillary Review upon receipt of a new award. The department should provide the following account setup information:

  • Authorized Signers
  • Account Administrators
  • Guarantee Account
  • If the award requires associated accounts, please include the number of accounts requested and a short justification for each account.
  • If a revised budget is needed, please attach it here.


How do I request additional associate accounts after award setup?

Create and route an Award Modification Request. The Post-Award Grant Specialist will review the request and determine if the additional account is allowable and process an Award Modification to add it to the account.


How will URA know how to enter and reconcile my budget?

Budgets will be entered per the award agreement. If the agreement allows for rebudgeting, the Administrative Contact can provide a revised detailed budget with their “Account Setup” ancillary review.


How do I route a progress report?

If URA endorsement is required for a progress report (i.e., RPPRs), create and route an Award Modification Request with the Modification Type of “Other.” URA will “Approve” the request upon endorsement/submission. When URA receives the next increment of funding, they will process an Award Modification to award the funds.


What if I have two related prior approval requests?

If the requests are related, for example, a change in PI and a rebudget, the requests can be routed in one Award Modification Request.


Who initiates changes to outgoing subawards?

Once URA approves a modification to an active award with subawards, the Subaward team will be notified and will automatically begin the subaward routing process. If a change needs to be made to an outgoing subaward at another point in time or if additional subawards, not included in the original award, will be added, process an Award Modification Request.


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