New to Research Admin?

As a grants administrator, you play a central role in supporting Princeton’s teaching and research mission, facilitating some of the most important research projects in the world. The sponsored research lifecycle is inherently nuanced, from developing proposals to ensuring compliance with University and sponsor protocols. 

ORPA has gathered these resources to help you get started.

Grants Administration 101

Who is my ORPA contact?

Specific ORPA team members are assigned to Departments and Offices throughout the University. See our complete list of Departmental Assignments to identify who can provide guidance as you plan and manage your sponsored research project.

Contact us if you need help identifying who can best assist you.

Roles and Responsibilities

Numerous parties play a role in sponsored research at Princeton.

Principal Investigator (PI)  

PIs have been judged by the University to have the appropriate level of authority, expertise, and responsibility to direct a sponsored project or program. To determine if your PI is eligible, please see the University’s PI Qualification Chart. For additional information, visit the Dean for Research website.

Departmental Administrator

As a Departmental Administrator, you are central to sponsored research management, from proposal to close-out. You’ll work in concert with PIs, ORPA, SRA, and others to develop proposals, manage awards, and ensure that all projects remain compliant with sponsor and University policies.

Office of Research and Project Administration (ORPA)

ORPA is here to assist you and your team throughout the sponsored research lifecycle. We submit proposals on your department’s behalf, and also help ensure compliance from award initiation through close-out.

Sponsored Research Accounting (SRA)

SRA manages the financial requirements related to your department’s sponsored research awards, including invoicing and financial reporting.

Other Parties

Depending on the nature of the project, a range of other groups may be involved.

  • Corporate Engagement and Foundation Relations (CEFR)
  • Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)
  • Office of Technology Licensing (OTL)
  • Lab Animal Resources (LAR)
  • Procurement
  • Research Integrity and Assurance (RIA)
Princeton ERA and Prime

These are two of the key systems used to submit, track, and manage your Department’s sponsored research proposals.​​​​​

Princeton ERA

New to the system? See the Forms library for the Princeton ERA Access Request form. Once you receive access, we welcome you to view our Princeton ERA page to launch the system and review helpful documentation and training materials. Along the way, ORPA is here to assist.


Prime is the University’s financial management system, used to manage funding and create financial reports. To get started, view the following helpful resources.

Sponsor-Specific Information

Depending on your department or project, sponsored research funding may be sourced from a variety of entities. A large portion of Princeton’s research funds come from federal sources. However, funding may also be secured from organizations, foundations, corporations, and others.

Visit our Sponsors page to learn more about Princeton’s funding partners, and to find links to their respective websites.

Professional Organizations

In addition to the resources available to you at Princeton, a number of national organizations exist to support you as a departmental or grants administrator.

National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA)

Society of Research Administrators International (SRAI)

Other Organizations