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During the 2018 spring semester, ORP will be initiating our required implementation of the Research Foundation’s Pre-Award and Compliance System (PACS) Grants module on campus. Most faculty are already familiar with PACS in some capacity, as we currently use this software to conduct Conflict of Interest certifications. The Grants module is another component of PACS, and includes all aspects of the ORP proposal process including the proposal documents, compliance questions, budgeting and proposal approvals. Logging in to access the Grants module is the same process as logging into PACS for the COI module, and will require your RF login credentials.


Transitioning to this cloud-based software will be beneficial to our proposal development process for a variety of reasons. Once fully implemented, PI’s and CoPI’s will be able to:


  • Have the ability to initiate and edit their proposals;
  • Enter the internal cover sheet questions online;
  • Sign off on their proposals electronically;
  • Route their proposal to CoPI’s and Department Chairs electronically (eliminating the need for internal cover sheets and paper work);
  • Have access to all of their proposals in this system; and
  • Generate a report of their proposals.


Another major benefit of this software is its capability of routing online approvals, which will eliminate the need for physical PI/CoPI/Department Chair signatures on ORP’s internal cover sheet. ORP will begin testing the routing portion of this software mid-March and will begin training PI’s/CoPI’s/Department Chairs to approve proposals via PACS Grants. Once this phase is fully implemented, PI’s will be able to electronically sign off on their final proposals and PACS Grants will automatically route the proposal for CoPI and Department Chair approvals. ORP will be forth coming with additional information regarding routing as we get closer to the routing phase.


To kick off the first phase of the implementation of this software, ORP is currently testing and inputting all required proposal information into the Grants module for each proposal. A portion of this required information includes compliance questions, which ORP typically collects in the proposal coversheet packet. Oftentimes, proposal coversheets are gathered after proposal submission. In order to aid the transition to the online module, we are requiring this information at the outset. Attached are three documents, which will require PI completion, prior to budget development. Also attached is an anticipated timeline for campus implementation.


Starting March 1st, Sponsored Programs Assistants (Sue Benoit, Kate Edwards and Lisa Schwabenbauer) will send these documents to PI’s, upon notification of an upcoming proposal submission. SPAs will require this information so they can initiate the proposal in PACS Grants and create a budget for PI/CoPI edits.


Please recognize that the implementation of the PACS system is being required by The Research Foundation for all SUNY campuses. Additionally, RFSUNY is mandating all campuses to implement the PACS Grants module by 7/1/18. While we believe the Grants module will provide the above stated benefits as everyone become familiar with the system, we understand there will be a learning curve with many questions. ORP is prepared to provide training and assistance as needed to help during that transition.


If you should have any general questions about PACS Grants, please contact Lisa Schwabenbauer at lschwab@esf.edu or 315-470-4877.