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Office of Sponsored Awards Management

Cayuse FAQs


For additional reference material, including step-by-step procedures and visual guidance, please check out the Cayuse 424 User Guide (pdf).

Cayuse 424, or Cayuse, is a commercially available "system-to-system" alternative to the PDF application forms previously used at the University of South Carolina. Instead of using sponsor submission systems (FASTLANE, ASSIST, INSPIRES, etc., or, Cayuse users log in to the Cayuse website and create their own application by selecting the specific agency announcement and using the Cayuse interface. Cayuse offers many user-friendly features, such as:

  • Error checking, using NIH Commons (or other federal agency) standards, PRIOR TO submission
  • Creating a PDF file of the ENTIRE application (including attachments) for review PRIOR TO submission
  • Storage of PI biosketches and profiles for automatic loading into the application
  • Excellent budget support and error checking
  • Automatic loading of UofSC institutional grant information (names, contact info, etc.) into your proposal
  • Convenient sharing and delegation of proposal access for viewing and editing by investigators and administrators

Yes. Cayuse is recommended and eventually will be required for all UofSC applications unless there is some technical problem that prevents the use of Cayuse for your particular application. If you cannot find your specific application package in Cayuse, or if the package has a technical problem that is preventing completion of your application, please contact the Sponsored Awards Management Office immediately to report the problem.

No. Cayuse can be used for electronic submissions to all federal agencies. If you don't see your specific funding opportunity in Cayuse now, just let us know by contacting your SAM Administrator.

Yes. If you are not able to log into Cayuse because you do not have a UofSC network username and password yet, please complete the Cayuse New User Account Request Form to have an account set up.

Cayuse can be used for nearly all applications. If you don't see your specific application announcement/solicitation either by using the Search feature (upper left-hand corner in Cayuse) or the Download Opportunities button (upper right-hand corner) in Cayuse, then contact your SAM Administrator for assistance.

Contact your SAM Administrator and ask him or her to add the institution so it will appear on the Cayuse institution list. 

Please submit your request as early as possible to allow sufficient time to process this request.

This is not a glitch. The Cayuse PDF is never 100% identical to what the funding agency reviewer will see. If you generate a comprehensive PDF in Cayuse (click on the Cayuse printer icon and select all forms and attachments), the PDF will include some forms that don't actually transmit to the funding agency. For example, the Cayuse application offers both the modular budget form and the detailed budget form, but the transmitted application should include only one or the other, whichever the applicant has selected. In addition, the Cayuse PDF will not contain a table of contents, nor will it show headers and footers, both of which are generated in the application PDF you'll find in the Commons.

Note that, compared to the Adobe forms, which do not permit you to generate a PDF of the entire application and attachments, the Cayuse PDF feature is extremely useful and convenient. Applicants can easily create a single, comprehensive PDF file, including all forms and PDF attachments.

Prior to submission, applicants should always use the Cayuse PDF to check for typographical errors, wrong attachments, poorly placed figures and other content errors. Such errors cannot be fixed once applications have been submitted.

Following submission, applicants should always check the proposal as it appears directly on the NIH Commons (link is external). This is the only way to see exactly what the NIH reviewers will see.  We can fix "transmission errors" that are discovered.  A "transmission error" means that what we sent to NIH looked correct, but what ended up on the NIH Commons contains errors, so something was garbled in the submission process itself. Note: Missing a typographical error is not a "transmission error" if the typographical error is in the original material we submitted.

There are various ways to convert a document to pdf format. The most common method for converting a document to PDF is described below. (Because steps might vary among PDF generators, please follow the instructions provided with the PDF generator you selected).

  1. Open the document you wish to convert (i.e., in MS Word if this is an MS Word document)
  2. Select “File – Print” from the menu. A "Print" dialog box will appear.
  3. Click on the drop down list arrow for the printer "Name" field. A list of printers will appear.
  4. Select the printer listed as "Acrobat PDF" (or other pdf-generator). Click on "Ok."
  5. A "Save PDF File As" dialog box appears. Type in a name for the PDF file and click "Save." The conversion will begin. When the process is complete the pdf file will open in separate window, ready for you to view.

CAUTION: When naming your PDF file, ensure the file name has no extraneous characters e.g., no spaces, brackets, hyphens, underscores, commas, quotes etc.

This is probably caused by an "improper exit" from Cayuse by a user who was editing the proposal. Cayuse users MUST use the blue "Sign Out" link in the upper right corner of the screen when exiting Cayuse. If a user simply closes the browser window without signing out, the Cayuse session remains active and the proposal will remain locked by that user. To unlock the proposal, the user who left Cayuse without clicking the "Sign Out" link must log back into Cayuse and re-exit correctly, by clicking the "Sign Out" icon.

Please request the DUNS number directly from the subaward entity.

Senior/Key Personnel

Unless otherwise specified in an agency announcement, Senior/Key Personnel are defined as individuals who contribute in a substantive, meaningful way to the scientific development or execution of the project, whether or not salaries are requested. Senior/Key Person effort is generally defined and measurable. Consultants should be included if they meet this definition.


Other Significant Contributors (OSCs)

Unless otherwise specified in an agency announcement, OSCs are individuals who will contribute to the scientific development or execution of the project, but are not committing any defined effort that can be measured in person months; these individuals are typically presented at effort of zero person months or as needed. Consultants should be listed as OSCs if they meet this definition. Note that OSCs should be listed after all Senior/Key Persons in the "RR Senior/Key Personnel form.


The non-USC Consultant biosketch is attached to the RR KEY PERSON Professional Profile.

Letter of Support

Provide a letter of support from the consultant, including the rate/charges for services, as Research Plan/Attachment 14, Letters of Support.


Other Consultants 

It is not necessary to list a consultant as a Senior/Key Personnel or other significant contributor. Some consultants may not meet the definition of either. In such cases, consultants are handled as explained below.


Consultant costs for a Non-UofSC Employee Consultant who is not considered a Senior/Key Personnel or an OSC should be budgeted under Section F.Other Direct Costs/3.Consultant Services if using the R&R Detailed Budget form, or budgeted into a module if using the PHS 398 Modular Budget form.


A biosketch is not required and shouldn't be included if the consultant isn't listed as a Senior/Key Person or an OSC.

Letter of Support

Provide a letter of support from the consultant, including the rate/charges for services, as Research Plan/Attachment 14, Letters of Support.

If the consultant is to be named later, enter the estimated consultant costs in F. Other Direct Costs/3.Consultant Services within the "detailed" RR Budget or as part of a module for the PHS 398 Modular Budget. In the budget justification, describe the type of consulting work you are going to need.

The Cayuse "Copy/Transform" function is extremely useful if you are resubmitting a previous unfunded application, redirecting an application in progress to a different funding mechanism or, having inadvertently used the wrong set of forms, transferring an in-progress application to a different application packet. By copying/transforming an application, you transfer existing information to a new application and there is no need to start from scratch.

"Transforming" is simple, taking just a few seconds:

  1. From your Cayuse proposal listing, identify the existing proposal you wish to copy/transform.
  2. To the far right of that title, click the icon resembling a sheet of paper with green shadow, which is the copy/transform function.
  3. Under the Copy Proposal menu that appears, select the new funding opportunity of interest.
  4. A new "copy" of that proposal will appear in your Cayuse proposal list.

When an investigator's actual salary exceeds the NIH Salary Cap, you have two options:

1. Use the NIH Salary Cap Amount (Recommended)

If using the investigator's actual salary would cause your budget to exceed the $499,999/year direct-costs limit, while using the NIH Salary Cap amount would keep the total direct costs at or below $499,999/year, you should choose to use the NIH Salary Cap amount.

2. Use the Actual Salary Amount*

You may budget the actual salary amount. However, be aware that NIH will only fund up to the salary cap at the time of funding. Also be cognizant of the $499,999/year direct costs limit. Re-budgeting each year will allow you to apply any updated Salary Cap amounts to personnel salaries.

* If you already have NIH's written permission to exceed the $499,999/year direct-costs limit, or if you do not care about large salary amounts appearing in the budget, you can use the actual salary amount.

An error-free Cayuse proposal and the corresponding completed USCeRA proposal, are due to your SAM Administrator a minimum three business days prior to the sponsor deadline (pdf).


Office of Sponsored Awards Management

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