Coeus: Navigating Proposal Type

Ask any research administrator their thoughts about COEUS, and the majority of responses will likely include words such as “clunky,” “convoluted,” and others that are not fit for the ears of a tortoise.  However, for better or worse, COEUS is what drives the award process in many schools, and thus it’s imperative that everything in a proposal record be accurate to ensure accurate processing.

One of the most common mistakes that invariably slows down review is a wrongly-chosen proposal type, which results in rejected records and a delay in your grants or contracts associate being able to review the attached documents.  Even the most seasoned COEUS users and research admins can be confounded by this selection, so here is a quick explanation of some of the most common proposal types that we hope will alleviate at least some of the confusion:

Administrative Action – Only used for existing awards, these are workflow docs that require additional action or signature approval, such as a no-cost extension or a change in PI.

New – Applications submitted for funding for the first time, and also includes multiple submissions attempts within the same round.

Renewal – Projects for which previous years of funding have elapsed.  At JHU, these generally receive a new SAP grant record.

Continuation – Progress reports that are submitted to receive an increment of funding from a previously awarded amount.

Supplement – Proposals that request additional funding, equipment, time, etc., to expand the scope of work for a current award.  (Note that NIH considers these “Revisions.”)

Revision – Documents relating to a Sponsor’s request to revise a previously submitted application before moving forward with a funding decision.  These are NOT considered competitive proposal submissions, but rather a sponsor-initiated action on a previously submitted application.

Resubmission – The second or third attempt at getting a project funded.  (Attempt #1 was noted as “NEW.”)

Task Order – Proposals requesting funds for work or services conducted under an existing Master Agreement.

Pre-Application – A quasi “Pre-Proposal” that includes a brief research plan and estimated budget, which is submitted to the sponsor for its consideration to allow the applicant to submit a full application.  (Note that this proposal type should NOT be used for Grants.Gov submissions, which instead should be termed “New.”)

If you have any questions as to which selection you should toggle, we strongly suggest you contact your grants or contracts associate BEFORE filling out the COEUS record, as it is much easier to correct mistakes on the front end.