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General Information for CRC Investigators – Electronic Submission

Preparing to Use Grants.gov:

  • Download and Install a compatible version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader software.  Please pay careful attention to the information posted on the Grants.gov website regarding currently compatible versions. Using a version of Adobe Acrobat Reader other than the ones listed will cause errors in your application package. You may not be aware of the errors until OSP attempts to submit your application package to Grants.gov. Grants.gov has created a test application package that allows you to verify whether or not your computer has a compatible version of Adobe Reader.
  • Use the “Find” feature of Grants.gov to browse for the appropriate application package.
  • Download the application package and save it to your computer.

Filling Out Your Application:

  • Complete the application by filling in the forms and uploading the required attachments into the application package. Fields required by Grants.gov are highlighted in yellow.
  • The agency to which you are applying should provide detailed guidance regarding information required by the agency and the necessary formatting and file type of attachments. For example, the NIH and the NSF have published detailed application guides for use with Grants.gov.

When Your Application Is Complete:

  • Print a paper copy of the application and circulate it through the internal approval process to obtain required signatures.
  • The electronic version of your application must be transmitted to the OSP for institutional submission through Grants.gov. To facilitate this process, OSP and University Information Systems (UIS) have created a secure server environment that allows faculty to transfer their Grants.gov application packages to OSP conveniently and safely. In addition, the server provides an environment in which faculty members and OSP ADs can work collaboratively on applications as needed. Each faculty member has his or her own folder on the OSP server. Folders are accessible only to the faculty member and appropriate members of the OSP staff. If they choose, individual PIs may also grant access to their folder to a departmental administrator assisting in preparing proposals. Instructions for accessing the OSP server are below. If you need any assistance regarding your folder on the OSP Server, please contact Kate Sokol (ksokol@bu.edu) at X3-4365.
  • Drag and drop a copy of your application package into your folder on the OSP server.
  • Contact the OSP Proposal Development Assistant Director (AD) assigned to your school or department to indicate that your proposal is ready for review and submission.
  • Please refer to the BU/BMC Deadline Policy on Application Submission Deadlines.

Using the OSP Server

  • OSP and UIS have developed a secure server environment that will allow you to transfer your Grants.gov application to OSP for submission. You have been assigned a folder on the OSP server for your use in the application preparation and submission process. The only individuals who are able to access your designated folder are you, OSP staff and, if you determine that it is appropriate, your departmental research administrator. No other faculty or staff members will be able to access your folder. When your application is ready for review and submission, you can move your application package into your folder on the server. You may continue to work on your application while it is on the OSP server – your application will not be submitted until you determine that it is ready for submission.
  • If you would like to provide your departmental administrator with access to your folder, please contact Kate Sokol (ksokol@bu.edu) at X3-4365. Please provide your full name, your e-mail address, your department name, and the name and email address of the departmental administrator.
  • Please Note: Once you have moved your application into your folder on the OSP server, you must communicate carefully with the OSP AD assigned to your school or department as well as with your departmental research administrator. Only one person should be making changes to your application at any given time. If more than one person has your application open, only one set of changes (those made by the last person to close out of the application) will be saved.


  • Before using your folder on the OSP Server for the first time, you must synchronize your Kerberos password to your Boston University Active Directory account through WebNew. This synchronization allows PIs to log into the OSP server using their e-mail user name and their Kerberos password. Please follow the steps below to synchronize your account:
  1. Open a web browser and go to https://www.bu.edu/computing/accounts/ad/kpw
  2. Click on the KPW folder
  3. Enter your Last Name and your BU ID number (found on your University ID card), click continue
  4. Enter your BU E-mail Login name and Kerberos password, click continue

This is a one-time-only process – you do not need to repeat this step to use the OSP server.

Connecting to the Server

  • If you do not know the path to your folder on the OSP server, contact Kate Sokol (ksokol@bu.edu) at X3-4365.
  • You will be required to enter your E-mail Login name and Kerberos password to access your folder.
  • Connecting to the Server for Windows Users
  1. Open the Start Menu
  2. Select Run
  3. Type in the pathway provided to you by OSP
  4. Click OK – this opens your folder on the OSP server

** If you are prompted to enter a user name and password, in the username field type ad\ and then type your E-mail user name. In the password field type your Kerberos Password.

  • Connecting to the Server for Mac Users
  1. Open the Go Menu
  2. Select Connect to Server
  3. Enter the Server Address: smb://osp-srv1/
  4. Click on connect
  5. Make sure the workgroup/domain is AD; enter in your E-mail user name and Kerberos Password
  6. Click OK
  7. Select the name of your college or department parent directory (contact OSP if you aren’t sure what this is)
  8. Click OK. A server icon (looks like a globe on top of a drive) for your department or College will appear on your desktop
  9. Double click this icon to open the server connection
  10. Double click on your personal folder (your e-mail user name) – this opens your folder on the OSP server.
  • For your convenience, you may wish to create a shortcut to your folder on the OSP server by following the steps listed below. Once you have created a shortcut, you can easily drag and drop documents into your folder.
  • To Create a Shortcut for Windows users:
  1. Open your folder on the sever
  2. Go up one level on the server by clicking on the “Up” button (folder with an up arrow)
  3. Right click on your personal folder
  4. Left click on create shortcut
  5. Right click to cut and paste the shortcut from the server onto your desktop.
  • To Create an Alias (Shortcut) for Mac Users:
  1. Open your department or college’s server icon
  2. Highlight but do not open your personal folder
  3. Press the Command and Option keys (bottom left of keyboard) while you drag your folder icon to your desktop.

Support and Resources:

Kate Sokol (ksokol@bu.edu) is available to provide assistance with the use of the Grants.gov system and the OSP server, although questions about the installation of Adobe Software should be directed to IT staff at the department or college level. The Grants.gov Help page provides a detailed User Guide, tutorials, a helpful Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document and other support.