Routing & Roles

There are seven discrete roles in the eCAF system, five of which are mandatory for every submission. The other two (Co-PI and Dean) are required only in certain circumstances. The seven roles are:

  1. PI/Submitter
  2. Contract & Grant Analyst
  3. PI/Approver
  4. Co-PI
  5. Chair
  6. Dean
  7. Office of Research and Economic Development (RED) Officer

A major benefit of an eCAF is that it is electronically routed to everyone who needs to provide review or approval. Having logged in with your NetID and password, you are able to affix your electronic signature when you submit an eCAF to the next person.

Once a specific eCAF has been opened, clicking on the “Approvals” tab will reveal a graphical representation of the entire potential eCAF routing system, with a white box highlighting its current location on the path.

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All proposals have at least one Principal Investigator, who is referred to as the PI. A PI is a qualified person designated by an applicant institution to direct a research project or program and who usually writes the grant application. PIs oversee scientific and technical aspects of a project and the day-to-day management of the research.

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Contract & Grant Analyst

All eCAFs must be either initiated by a Contract & Grant Analyst or, if initiated by a PI, reviewed and approved by a Contract & Grant Analyst. C&G Analysts are responsible for ensuring the budget’s accuracy and for certifying that all other administrative components of the eCAF are completed and in order. If the PI has initiated the eCAF, it will be routed next to the Contact and Grant Analyst, who will, upon completing his or her part, route back to the PI.

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After the Contract & Grant Analyst has finished with an eCAF, s/he will route it to the PI. The eCAF system will then require the PI to submit it to any UCR Co-PI(s), if applicable. Some eCAFs must be routed through the unit’s Dean when special concerns/issues have been identified with the proposal such as cost sharing beyond faculty effort, use of non-standard or non-approved F&A cost rates, space renovations, etc. If there is no Co-PI and the Dean’s office does not need to be involved, then the PI will submit the eCAF directly to the department Chair. However, if the Co-PI finds an error, s/he must comment and return the eCAF to the C&G Analyst.

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The Co-PI approval is only requiredif a UCR Co-PI has been named on an eCAF. A Co-PI has the same obligation as the PI to provide authorizations and certifications on the “PI Research Integrity” tab. When the Co-PI(s) have finished their approvals, they will submit the eCAF w to the appropriate Chair (or Chairs if the Co-PI is from a different department than the PI.) However, if the Co-PI finds an error, s/he must comment and return the eCAF to the C&G Analyst.

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The Chair (or designee) is required to approve all eCAFs submitted by PIs or Co-PIs from his or her department. The Chair will have two options: (1) to approve the eCAF and send it on to the Office of Research and Economic Development, or the Dean, if appropriate, or (2) to provide comments and return the eCAF to the Contract & Grant Analyst for changes. Note that sending the eCAF back to the C&G Analyst necessitates new approvals and certifications from PI and any UCR Co-PIs, and any other Chairs. If multiple Chairs must review an eCAF, because of one of more Co-PIs on the proposal, the eCAF will move to the next routing step (the Dean or the Office of Research and Economic Development) only after the last Chair approves it.

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The Dean (or designee) approves eCAFs that require exceptional approval. Click HERE for eCAF business rules relating to Dean's approval and routing. If an eCAF requires approval from multiple Chairs, the dean will receive it only after the last Chair has approved it. 

NOTE:  This role is authorized by the Institutional SAA.  Send requests to

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RED Contract & Grant Officer.

The Office of Research and Economic Development (RED) which is the final step in eCAF routing, receives eCAFs only after the approval of the Chair(s), (or Dean(s) if appropriate). The assigned Officer either provides approval or directs questions or suggestions to the appropriate person.

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