Sponsored Projects at Berkeley provides a common website for federal agencies to post discretionary funding opportunities and for grantees to find and apply to them. Workspace: Be Prepared is changing! The application package and the forms currently in use will be phased out after December 2017, and will be replaced by Workspace, a new way to create a federal grant application.

Federal agencies that previously required organizations and individuals to use to apply for federal funds in the past will require applications to be submitted via Workspace after the New Year. Note: After the New Year, proposals to NSF still may be submitted using FastLane. NIH proposals still must be submitted via ASSIST. NASA proposals will continue to be submitted using NSPIRES.

What do PIs need to do now?

All that Principal Investgators (PIs) need to do now (beginning August 2017) is register as an “Organization Applicant.” To do this, the PI will need Berkeley’s DUNS number: 124726725. (Do not enter any dashes between numbers.) After registering, the PI should give their username to the campus Research Administrator (RA) who will be helping the PI with future applications in Workspace.

What do RAs need to do now?

Before an RA can help a PI with a future application in Workspace, the RA must obtain a “Manage Workspace Role.” To do this, the RA will need to register in Workspace as an Organization Applicant as described above, and SPO will need to approve the RA’s “Manage Workspace Role.”

All campus RAs planning to be involved in proposal development after the New Year should have registered in Workspace by September 15, 2017. SPO will approve the “Manage Workspace Role” for all campus RAs that have registered by this date before October 1.

RAs who register after October 1, 2017 should contact their assigned Contract and Grant Officer (CGO) to secure the necessary role. You will find the CGO assigned to your unit by using the search box on the SPO staff list.

Tips Before You Start

  • Start early! This is very important especially if you are using for the first time. If you have any problems with a application, contact a SPO Contract and Grant Officer (CGO). You will find the CGO assigned to your unit by using the search box on the SPO staff list.
  • The Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number for the University of California, Berkeley is 124726725. UC Berkeley is already in the System for Award Management (SAM); do not re-register the institution.
  • It is the responsibility of Principal Investigators (PIs) and campus staff to prepare applications, but only SPO CGOs are authorized to submit these applications to federal sponsors via

Steps for Using the Application Package

Identify and Download the Application Package

  • Each application package is specific to a specific grant program and deadline and cannot be used for other grant programs.
  • Use the Search to search for and identify the grant program you want to apply for, and click the Application Package tab.
  • Or, if you know the program-specific Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number or Funding Opportunity Number, go to the Get Application Package page, type in the number, and download the application package and instructions. You can search for CFDA numbers on the CFDA web site.

Creating a Proposal Application Package

  • Carefully read the instructions to ensure you are following proper submission procedures for that program; some agencies may be using alternates to for application submission.
  • provides resources for learning and using the system, including For Applicants and Learn Grants.
  • Please make sure you are using a compatible version of Adobe Reader or Acrobat Professional before working on your application. For information, see Adobe Software Compatibility.
  • Specific Guidance (Note: Such guidance is subject to change):
    • Set the Adobe Reader page layout options to “Continuous” instead of “Single Page” to ensure all features function properly. To do this, choose View > Page Layout, and then choose the “Continuous” option.
    • Open the application package with a compatible version of Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader.
    • Complete all required fields (yellow with red outlines), or the application package will not be validated. If a yellow field doesn’t apply, answer with a zero or N/A.
    • For the SF424(R&R) form, the DUNS for UC Berkeley is 124726725, the Employer Identification number (EIN) is 94-6002123, and the Congressional District is CA-013. See Standard Institutional Information for Proposals.
    • Do not use the Document>Attach function in Adobe Reader to attach the file. Upon submission, will remove any files attached in this manner. Use only the “Add Attachment” buttons on the forms to attach files.
    • suggests limiting the size of the entire grant application package including all attachments to 200MB and naming all attachments with different names.
    • Attachment file names should be 50 or fewer characters.
    • After all required documents are completed and any required or optional documentation is attached, click on the “Check Package for Errors” button. If any of the required fields are not completed, an error notice which will indicate where revision is needed within the package. Correct any errors.
    • When no errors are found, click the “Save” button to save the final copy of the application.
    • Make sure that the “Save & Submit” button is now active, although you will not be able to submit the application. (The SPO Applicant Organizational Representative (AOR) is the only official with the authority to submit applications through
    • If you revise the application, you must repeat the last three steps.

Submitting a Application to SPO

Submit applications to SPO for review and submission using Phoebe Proposal, the UC Berkeley system for proposal approvals and routing from departments and units to SPO and the Industry Alliances Office (IAO).

After Submission to

  • After the application is submitted, the SPO administrator will receive emails from and the agency confirming receipt of the application and whether or not the application passed or failed data verification. The SPO administrator will forward the pertinent email to the CSS/Department research administrator and the PI.
  • If there are errors in submission, you must correct them and replace the application in Phoebe so that SPO can resubmit it. If this occurs too near the application deadline, the proposal may not be able to resubmitted by SPO in time to make the agency deadline. This is why it is very important to submit your proposal at least five working days before the proposal is due and to have the final application ready for SPO review by the time designated by the SPO administrator.
  • Once the proposal has been accepted by the agency, it is no longer in The only way to check on its status is to query the agency (for example, eRA Commons for NIH proposals).