Space FAQs

General Space Rules for what to enter on the Proposal Approval Form (PAF).

Please read the attached PDF summary document that indicates the appropriate way to reflect and capture space on a PAF with a Medical School administrative home. These procedures have been adopted to give departments the most flexibility with space allocations to sponsored projects. If you would like detailed information, you may wish to read the long version.


What does the space on a PAF represent?

For the purposes of the Medical School, it indicates that we internally agree that the space represented to the sponsor is adequate to conduct the proposed project. And for the school, it records who is responsible to provide space for the project in the instance that something goes awry. The PAF can also be seen as the internal understanding with the PI that space will be available for the work proposed, should it be funded.

Many award applications include a section on available facilities and resources. The information on the PAF should correspond to that section and include all the activity space indicated.

What space should be listed on the PAF?

The rule of thumb is: List the space where the work will be done. Access to appropriate space needs to be “promised” to the project team in order for the work plan to be completed.

Should the PI’s office always be listed? What about Co-I? Coordinators?

Normally this will be lab or clinical space. Office, when incidental to the lab or clinical space, does not need to be listed. However, when it is the main location of work (training grants, computer-based research, conference coordination, etc.) offices should be listed.

Beyond these situations, space should be listed if you are promising dedicated resources available to the project either to the sponsor in the application or to the project team as part of institutional resources.

Does the space need to be listed if services are being paid for as a central service? (for instance: MCRU, core facilities, etc.)

When a core service is paid for (usually on a recharge rate), the space used is considered incidental to the service purchased. In this case, space would not need to be listed on the PAF. In some cases (e.g., if MCRU space is the only space used for the project), space should be listed as it is the sole location of the project.

When entering space on a PAF in eRPM – what are the conditions that require an override?

Most common: When entering space on a PAF in eRPM, an override should be made if the space is clinical in the Hospitals & Health Centers (HHC) and being managed by that department. Normally the department name will appear as UMH of CW at the beginning of the Dept ID name. Please note the space override should be completed prior to routing the PAF.

Less common: An override should be made on a PAF in eRPM when the space entered differs from department listed. Examples include: space that was previously under renovation and now assigned to a department; space that is managed by one department but occupied by a unit guaranteeing access to appropriate facilities.

Who may sign for space in the hospital?

This requires the involvement of the clinical department’s Clinical Departmental Administrator’s (CDA). In 1996, the hospital allowed for this authority to be assigned to clinical CDAs as they reported directly to the hospital and would likely know the clinic load in the identified space and be able to address the appropriateness for assigning additional research.  More recently in 2018, we agreed that notification to the CDA was adequate for moving forward with the routing of the project.

This notification can be demonstrated by

  • Use of the Ad Hoc Approver activity on the PAF to specifically add the CDA (but approval is not necessary)


  • The CDA’s approval, either by unit approval of the PAF or an uploaded email from the CDA. (Email must include PAF #, specific space used and an indication of approval uploaded under the PAF documents on the PAF).

What information should be provided when requesting approval for space?

Most times, space will be approved through the unit approval on the PAF. In the case of clinical space overrides where the CDA will not be signing the PAF as the Unit Approval, notify the CDA by adding them through the Ad Hoc activity in the PAF workspace OR upload an email from the CDA which indicates the PAF #, specific space used and an indication of approval.

Is there a requirement to obtain approval for space before it is routed? Or can the departments’ approve space when they review after routing?

All Medical School space must be approved and clinical space must be notified prior to routing the PAF to the Medical School’s Dean’s Office.   Space approvals may happen as part of the participating unit’s approval of the PAF. The administrative home department should be sure all needed notifications are completed and required approvals are attached to the PAF prior to approving and routing to the Medical School.

Also, space overrides (especially those for UMH and CW clinical space) should be entered prior to the project team routing the PAF for approval in order to avoid misrouting the PAF.


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