Electronic Research Administration (eRA) Systems


The University utilizes hundreds of electronic systems for the administration of research in the areas of:

  • Proposal submission
  • Award acceptance
  • Report submission
  • Invoicing

When working with electronic systems, there are two major considerations to be aware of:  1)  accepting terms or conditions associated with the system; and 2) who is authorized to create an account.  Please review the information below and then proceed to the System Review Guidelines section for instructions.


Electronic Acceptance of System-Related Terms or Conditions

Many electronic systems require the acceptance of terms and conditions that relate specifically to the access and use of a portal or site.   These terms are sometimes apparent and obvious to the user, but other times they may be hidden in an embedded link that can easily be overlooked. Here are a few common examples:

  • Terms of Service
  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Supplier Code of Conduct

Users should be aware that acceptance of electronic terms or conditions is restricted under FNG02.  


Who is authorized to create an account?

Depending on the system, there may be a restriction on how many user accounts the University is authorized to have.  In many cases, there is a limit of one single account for the entire University.  In those cases, the account must be created centrally and not by the individual researcher or College/Unit.  Care must be taken to identify these restrictions BEFORE creation of an account.


System Review Guidelines

The University recognizes that most electronic systems will contain some form of electronic terms and conditions before a user can create an account.  In an effort to ensure the timely submission of proposals and acceptance of awards, “University-Wide Delegations” have been granted by the University Controller’s Office which permit users to accept system-related terms and conditions without a separate review, subject to certain limitations.  These University-Wide Delegations are meant to facilitate the expeditious conduct of University business while weighing the institutional risk.

Note:  System-related terms and conditions are distinctly different than terms and conditions that would apply to a subsequent award.   If a user is being asked to accept terms and conditions at proposal stage that will apply to a subsequent award, the user must request a review of those terms and conditions from the appropriate Central Processing Office PRIOR to proposal submission.

  • Step 1:    Please refer to the eRA Systems with University-Wide Delegation list for a current listing of pre-approved systems.  Users must follow the Authorized Individuals, Instructions and Contingencies sections carefully.  If any of the outlined contingencies cannot be met, the University-Wide Delegation cannot be used, and the user will need to instead request a One-Time Delegation from the Office of Central Procurement (see below for instructions).
  • Step 2:  Please review the solicitation or other documentation provided by the sponsor to determine if multiple accounts at the University are permitted.  If it’s not clear in the solicitation/guidelines whether or not multiple accounts are permitted, the user will need to contact the sponsor for clarification.

    • If multiple accounts per institution are permitted, the user can proceed with creating their own account, subject to Step 1 aboveHELPFUL TIP:  When creating an account, please avoid using alias email accounts (ex. johndoe@psu.edu), or departmental-specific accounts (ex. johndoe@engr.psu.edu) and use your standard email address (ex. abc123@psu.edu).
    • If only one account is permitted per institution, a central office must create the account.   Depending on the intent and use of the system, a determination will need to be made as to which central office would be most appropriate to create and maintain the account.  For example, if the system will be used solely for invoicing, Research Accounting may want to establish the central account.  Please contact the appropriate Central Processing Office below for assistance in making this determination.


Requesting a One-Time Delegation

If any of the Contingencies outlined in the eRA Systems with University-Wide Delegation list for the system in question cannot be met, the University-Wide Delegation cannot be used, and the user will need to instead request a One-Time Delegation from the Office of Central Procurement in accordance with FNG02.   Please follow the steps below.

  1. Request a review of the system’s electronic terms and conditions by completing the Procurement Contract Request Intake Form which is a ServiceNow form.
    Expediting Tip for Electronic Research Proposals:  Confirm in the brief description field on the Contract Request Intake Form whether: (1) there is any banking information collected as part of the submission and (2) if the terms of the award itself are being accepted as part of the proposal submission terms.  In the event that any award terms or conditions must be accepted as part of the proposal submission, a separate review by the applicable Central Processing Office will be required. 
  2. After attaching any supporting information to the completed Contract Request Intake Form, be sure to click the “Order Now” button in ServiceNow to submit to Central Procurement.  Please indicate any deadlines and be sure to provide as much lead time as possible.  These reviews can take some time and there may be additional information needed.
  3. Once reviewed, the Office of Central Procurement will respond with any questions.  If there are no issues, you will be provided a one-time delegation authorizing the employees identified in the submission to accept the electronic terms and conditions on behalf of the University to proceed using the system.


Central Processing Office Contacts:

For University Park and all other Colleges/Campuses except College of Medicine and Applied Research Laboratory, contact:

Office of Sponsored Programs


For College of Medicine assistance, please contact:

Office of Research Affairs


For Applied Research Laboratory assistance, please contact: