Research Affairs (ORA)

The mission of the Office of Research Affairs at Penn State College of Medicine is to provide investigators with expertise that helps to promote, foster and sustain excellence in basic and clinical research.

Specifically, the office oversees the proposal submission process and negotiates contractual terms and conditions of awards.

The team assists researchers and staff with all pre- and post-award activities, including budget and grant development, cost recovery, compliance and institutional reporting.

A banner says Proud to Support Penn State Research on three lines, with research in very large letters.

The team is committed to providing continuous training and education opportunities to all faculty, trainees and research administration professionals on research compliance, grant preparation and development, contract review and emerging research trends.

In collaboration with other offices, the office strives to provide leadership that promotes the protection of human subject volunteers, the safety of research personnel, the humane treatment of research animals, the stewardship of research funds and the highest standards of ethics, integrity and objectivity in the research process.

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Stay Connected

Latest News from Research Affairs Expand answer
Research Operations and Administrative Rounds (ROAR) Expand answer

Research Operations and Administrative Rounds (ROAR) meetings are conducted monthly by the Office of Research Affairs and collaborating offices (College of Medicine Clinical Trials Office, Controller’s Office, Research Quality Assurance, Center for Medical Innovation, Human Subjects Protection Office) to provide research adminstrators and clinical research study teams with time-sensitive information and policy/procedure updates related to research administration practices at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health.

Upcoming ROAR Meetings

Research Quality Assurance (RQA) Expand answer

The primary mission of the Research Quality Assurance Office (RQA) is to support the planning and conduct of both clinical research and basic laboratory research being conducted at the Penn State College of Medicine.

Learn more about RQA

Working Through the Research Cycle

Understanding Roles and Responsibilities Expand answer

In addition to the Office of Research Affairs, a number of other entities across Penn State College of Medicine and the University are responsible for parts of the grants and contracts lifecycle.

See the full roles and responsibilities matrix

Find Funding Expand answer

The College of Medicine and Penn State offer numerous methods to find grant, contract, foundation and internal funding opportunities.

Explore funding opportunities

File an Intent to Submit a Proposal (ISP) Expand answer

Intent to Submit a Proposal information is submitted in REDCap. When opening REDCap using the link below, look for the ISP under “My Projects.”

File an Intent to Submit

ISP Tips

  • When REDCap training is completed and access has been activated, begin to enter all upcoming grant submissions to external sponsors (grants that will be reviewed/submitted by the Office of Research Affairs).
  • Do not enter LOIs or pre-applications at this time. Wait until it is known that the PI has been invited to submit a full proposal and then complete the ISP with the full proposal deadline.
  • For multi-project grants (“P,” “U,” etc.), only enter one ISP.
  • For Department of Defense full applications, enter the log number in the remarks section.
  • For new incoming subawards, the sponsor deadline is the date the submitting institution needs the final documents. This will never be the prime sponsor deadline. It will always be a date in advance of the actual prime sponsor deadline.
  • For non-competing continuations, i.e. RPPR (not final RPPR), the ISP Type of Submission is “Non­Competing Continuation” and the Funding Mechanism is “Other,” then specify type by entering RPPR.
  • When sponsor is NIH, please type NIH. Do not spell out or use the specific NIH institute.
  • New records for each upcoming grant are always “Pending.” The only time this should be changed would be to choose “Not Submitted” if a principal investigator changes their mind.
  • If a principal investigator changes their mind after work has already been done and is not submitting at all, change from “Pending” to “Not Submitted” and enter reason in Remarks section.
  • If a principal investigator changes their mind and is submitting a different type of grant (for instance, R21 instead of R01) or at a later date, do not create a new record; edit the existing record and add notes in Remarks section.
  • For principal investigators with continuous submission, enter original sponsor deadline. Then edit the record to change the date to the anticipated submission date provided by the principal investigator. Enter notes in Remarks section.
  • Once all information is entered into the ISP form, mark it as “Complete.” This applies to the record, not the grant. Marking it complete does not lock the user out or prevent any necessary edits in the future.

For questions or assistance, contact the appropriate grants officer.

Get an Account for eRA Commons, NSF FastLane, SIMS and/or IAF Expand answer

To request an account for NIH eRA Commons, NSF FastLane and SIMS/IAF, email noting the type of account needed. Include the full name of the person who needs the account.

Prepare a SIMS Budget/Cayuse Package Expand answer

SIMS, Penn State’s Strategic Information Management System, provides reporting capabilities for sponsored research data and proposal budgeting tools for research administrators. Budgets are prepared in SIMS.

The Office also uses Cayuse, a web application designed to simplify the creation, review, approval and electronic submission of most federal grant proposals.

Learn how to create a SIMS budget and a Cayuse package

Create an Internal Approval Form (IAF) Expand answer

The electronic Internal Approval Form (IAF) is a required internal form used by the College of Medicine to provide a summary of pertinent administrative and fiscal information about a proposed sponsored project. The IAF is initiated by the department administrator after the SIMS budget is created.

Learn how to create an IAF

Submit to Proposal Central Expand answer

If applicable, proposals should be submitted to Proposal Central.

Negotiate an Agreement Expand answer

The contracts unit of the Office of Research Affairs is dedicated to facilitating collaborations with sponsors and is responsible for the negotiation and acceptance of:

  • Industry- and foundation-sponsored basic science research agreements and amendments
  • Industry- and foundation-sponsored clinical trial agreements and amendments
  • Federally funded clinical trial subawards, subcontracts and amendments

See the appropriate contract negotiator by department.

It is the responsibility of the principal investigator to read and understand the terms and conditions of the agreements.

How to Submit

Issue and Manage an Outgoing Subagreement Expand answer

The Office of Research Affairs at Penn State College of Medicine oversees the process of issuing external subawards and subcontracts.

Learn about the outgoing subagreement process

Submit a Data Use Agreement (Incoming or Outgoing) Expand answer
Submit a Confidentiality Agreement Expand answer

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA), also known as Confidentiality Agreements (CDA), Proprietary Information Agreements, Secrecy Agreements, etc., are commonly requested when two or more parties wish to enter into initial discussions about specific processes, methods or technology for the purpose of determining the potential for a future relationship.

For assistance with confidentiality agreements for grants or contracts, contact the Office of Research Affairs at or call 717-531-4196.

Confidentiality agreements for intellectual property/licensing are handled through the Center for Medical Innovation.

Learn More and Submit a Confidentiality Agreement (CDA) for Grants or Contracts

Submit a Visiting Scholar Agreement Expand answer
Manage Awards Expand answer

A number of resources are available for successful post-award management.

Financial Resources

Non-Financial Resources

Ensure Essential Compliance Expand answer

Ensuring compliance with proper protocols is an important part of the research process. Several programs at the Penn State College of Medicine help with this oversight.

See Research Compliance Overview

See All Tools and Forms Expand answer

Tools are listed alphabetically in each category.

Penn State Software Login Pages



A number of checklists for award management are available in a Box folder (Penn State Access ID login required).

This folder includes:

  • Just-in-Time Checklist
  • Incoming Subaward Checklist
  • Outgoing Subaward Checklist
  • RPPR Checklist
  • F30 Dual Doctoral Degree Checklist
  • F31 Predoctoral Checklist
  • F32 Postdoctoral Checklist
  • SF424 Forms E Checklist
  • SF424 K01 Checklist
  • SF424 K08 Checklist
  • SF424 K23 Checklist

Additional Resources

Checklist for New Faculty Entering the Institution Expand answer

Incoming Penn State College of Medicine faculty engaged in research must complete specific tasks regarding funding, compliance, data, trainees, intellectual property, laboratory setup and more.

See the research support checklist for new faculty

Checklist for Departing Faculty Expand answer

Outgoing Penn State College of Medicine faculty engaged in research must complete specific tasks regarding funding, compliance, data, trainees, intellectual property, laboratory closeout and more.

See the research support checklist for departing faculty

Commonly Requested Information for Contracts Expand answer

Industry-sponsored clinical trial contracts, basic science contracts, non-disclosure/confidentiality agreements and data use agreements may ask for the following information. Parts in [brackets] should be filled in accordingly.

Binding Party for Clinical Trial Contracts and Data Use Agreements

The Pennsylvania State University and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (collectively “Institution”).

[Investigator name] will act on behalf of Institution as “Investigator.”

Binding Party for Basic Science Contracts and Non-Disclosure/Confidentiality Agreements

The Pennsylvania State University (“Institution”).

[Investigator name] will act on behalf of Institution as “Investigator.”


500 University Dr.
P.O. Box 850
Mail Code H138
Hershey, PA 17033


  • Checks should be made payable to The Pennsylvania State University.
  • Tax ID is 24-6000376.
  • Payment should be mailed to:
    • By U.S. Postal Service (standard mail):
      Penn State College of Medicine
      Controller’s Office
      P.O. Box 850
      Mail Code A470
      Hershey, PA 17033
      Attention: Erlee H. Meyers
    • By ground delivery (FedEx or UPS):
      Penn State College of Medicine
      Controller’s Office – Mail Code A470
      Academic Support Building, Suite 4100A
      Hershey, PA 17033
      Attention: Erlee H. Meyers
  • Forward copy of invoice or detailed remittance for each payment, and reference principal investigator and protocol/study number. If sending electronically, documentation should be emailed to Erlee Meyers at


Any notices required to be given under this Agreement shall be in writing and delivered by overnight mail, first-class mail or fax addressed to the parties as follows:

For institution:

Office of Research Affairs, Room C1604
Penn College of Medicine/Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
P.O. Box 850
Mail Code H138
500 University Dr.
Hershey, PA 17033

717-531-4196 (phone)
717-531-0040 (fax) (email)

For institution’s principal investigator:

[Investigator Name]
Penn State College of Medicine/Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Department of [Department Name]
500 University Dr.
Hershey, PA 17033

[email address] (email)

Contracts Address

Office of Research Affairs
Room C1604
Penn State College of Medicine
500 University Dr.
Hershey, PA 17033

717-531-4196 (phone)
717-531-0040 (fax) (email)

Commonly Requested Information for Grants Expand answer

Authorized Signature Information: The Pennsylvania State University

  • Name: Jennifer Feeman
  • Title: Assistant Vice President for Finance and Business; Associate Controller, College of Medicine

Authorized Signature Information: Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

  • Name: Eric J. Strucko, MPH, MPP, MPA
  • Title: Senior Vice President; Chief Financial Officer

Authorized Signature Information: Penn State Health

  • Name: Stephen Massini
  • Title: Chief Executive Officer

Authorized Signature Information: Penn State Health Community Medical Group, LLC

  • Name: Stephen Massini
  • Title: Secretary/Treasurer

Authorized Signature Information: Proposals

  • Name: Sheila L. Vrana, PhD
  • Title: Associate Dean for Research
  • Name: Stephanie Johnson
  • Title: Director, Grants Administration
  • Name: Kristi Bracale
  • Title: Assistant Director, Grants Administration

Frequently Used Numbers

  • Federal ID – Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center: 25-1854772
  • Federal ID – The Pennsylvania State University: 24-6000376
  • Federal ID – For NIH Applications: 1246000376A3
  • Legal Name for All Federal Applications: Pennsylvania State Univ Hershey Med Ctr
  • Congressional District: PA-010
  • DUNS Number: 129348186
  • NAICS Code: 611310 (special instructions: use instead of SIC Code for Small Business Program Reps and Certs)
  • CAGE Code: 7W765
  • Commonwealth of PA Vendor ID: 141597-011
  • CEC Number: 00-340-3953-62-174-881D
  • NRC: 37-13831-01
  • NSF Code: 0068130000
  • FICE Code: 006813

Assurance Information

Human subjects assurances

Animal PHS assurances

  • Assurance number: D16-00024 (A3045-01)
  • Effective through: 07/31/2022
  • Signatory official: Sheila Vrana, PhD

Frequently Used Dates

  • Agreement with ONR for F&A: 07/16/2019
    Cognizant Agency Information – Office of Naval Research (ONR), Chicago Office, Phone: 312-886-5423
  • AAALAC Approval Date: 03/16/2018

Salary Cap

  • Executive Level II: $192,300
  • Awards Effective: 01/06/2019


Last revision: Aug. 1, 2019

Department of Defense Tip Sheet Expand answer

When working with Department of Defense submissions, these tips and reminders can help prevent common errors.

Key Points

  • LOIs must list Stephanie Johnson as Business Official using
  • The firm submission deadline is 5 p.m. on deadline day. The Office of Research Affairs does not support submissions after this time.
  • Different types of Department of Defense applications have varied components and requirements; they are not all the same. Investigators and submitters are encouraged to read them very closely.
  • Pay attention to “blind” application requirements, where no reference to the principal investigator (or anything that identifies the PI) is allowed.
  • The email address used in the pre-application and full application must match the PI’s email used to register in eBRAP for the pre-app and application to link together.
  • PDF upload filenames are very specific and must be exact.

Submitting the ISP

  • Enter a new ISP in REDCap and contact the appropriate grants officer to obtain the correct checklist for the specific funding opportunity.
  • Submitters must use two sets of instructions – the funding announcement and the guidelines.
  • When creating budget in SIMS, enter the word “Army” in the Sponsor field to query, then choose U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command.
  • When creating the Grants.Gov proposal in Cayuse, use the log number acquired during the pre-application process in the “Proposal Name” field.
  • Also enter the log number in 4.a. “Federal Identifier” field.
  • Select Stephanie Johnson as the Authorized Representative using email address of
  • When importing budget into Cayuse, select ALL for Base Salary Information Inclusion.
    • Note: This will produce a warning in Cayuse that says “[Budget period 1 A, Key Person 1][Cayuse] Base Salary is not equal to either Calendar Salary or Academic +Summer Salary. Is this your intention?” This is OK.
    • The Department of Defense does not utilize the NIH salary cap unless specifically stated in the guidelines. Use full salaries.
    • On the “Senior/Key Personnel” page, the Credential Agency Login is the username from the eReceipt system (used for pre-app), not the eRACommons username.
    • NIH bios can be used, or the Department of Defense form.
    • Department of Defense applications require detailed “other support” sections (more than for NIH; see specific guidelines for each application).


    • After the Office of Research Affairs submits, the principal investigator will receive an email to log into eBRAP and verify application.
    • Not all pre-applications will be invited to submit a full proposal; check with the principal investigator for status.

    Any questions can be directed to the departmental grants officer.


    Last updated Aug. 7, 2019

How to Forward email to Email Expand answer

Many University systems used when working with the Office of Research Affairs will automatically send emails to the email address for the principal investigator or research administrator.

Faculty or research administrators who do not regularly check their email should make sure they have set up their email to forward to their address.

To set up this forwarding:

  • Visit and log in with the appropriate Penn State Access ID (generally initials and some number, such as xyz123).
  • At the bottom, in the center, click “Change your e-mail forwarding address.”
  • Under email forwarding, choose “Internal server” and enter your email address (such as
  • Hit save.
  • Test the forwarding by emailing your email from a personal (non-work) email address and making sure it appears in the email.

Contact the Office of Research Affairs

A large group of people are seen standing in two rows around a statue of the Penn State Nittany Lion outdoors. Two people are kneeling on either side of the statue.

Team members from the Office of Research Affairs and affiliated research support programs under the director of Dr. Sheila Vrana, Associate Dean for Research, are pictured in September 2018.

Email, contracts:

Email, grants:

Phone: 717-531-4196

Staff Directory Expand answer
Award Contacts by Department Expand answer

The Office of Research Affairs maintains a directory of contact information by department for those people who are part of the pre-award and post-award grant and contract support process at Penn State College of Medicine.

This includes Office of Research Affairs personnel as well as departmental pre- and post-award teams.

See contacts by department