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Grant Period Options in UFunds - Knowledgebase / Business Systems / UFunds - OIT Service Center

Grant Period Options in UFunds

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Important note: In order to ensure that once a grant period opens everyone who applies gets the same form and treatment, once a grant period opens, most of the options for the grant period will no longer be editable. In particular, all forms get locked down and can not be changed. 

Top/Basic Settings

  • Grant Period Name: Your grant period name can be anything you want, but keep in mind that it will always be displayed in conjunction with the grant name. This means names such as “2018 Academic Year” may be appropriate, where alone it might be too vague.
  • Grant Period Description: The Grant Period Description is made available to applicants on their application screen. Again, this can contain whatever is appropriate for your particular opportunity.
  • Ad hoc Only: Select this option if you are giving awards without there being an application and review process in UFunds. For example, this is appropriate for prizes where departments are selecting awardees without the student’s knowledge.
  • Workflow:
    • Default - approved/rejected: This is appropriate for most opportunities offered in UFunds. It assumes that applications will ultimately be either approved or not. While a financial component is typical, that is not a requirement to use this workflow.
    • Nomination - Nominated/Not Nominated: The end result of this workflow is a decision to either nominate the applicant or not. This is most used where there is a Brown process tied to an external award, but the ultimate approval decision is outside of UFunds.
    • Rating: Unlike the other two workflows, the Rating workflow does not end in any up or down decision. Instead, the end result is simply a rating. Much like the Nomination workflow, this is most often used in conjunction with an external application process.
  • Open, First Submission Deadline, Close date/times: These fields define the dates when the grant period is open to accept applications. The grant period will be visible to users once the Open date/time passes, and until the First Submission Deadline. After the First Submission Deadline, no new applications will be accepted for the grant period. However, revisions to submitted applications can be made up to the Close date/time.

    Important: When first creating a grant period, we recommend that you set the Open date far enough in the future that it won’t sneak up on you. Wait to set the Open date to the “real” date until everything else in the grant period is ready to go. This will prevent you from getting locked out of editing the grant period.

    The First Submission and Close date/times remain editable up to two weeks after the current Close date/time, so that you may offer extensions to your grant period as desired.
  • Award Options:

The following three items are all related. In particular, you cannot require a budget or requested amount from applicants unless you designate an award as financial.

  • Awards are financial: Select this option if the end result of an approved application will be some amount of money given to the applicant. This will enable the following two options, and also flag the grant period for financial administrators.
  • Budget is required: Select this option if you want UFunds to present a simple two-column interface (description and amount) for a budget. UFunds will require at least one non-zero amount item in this budget. If you expect applicants to upload a more elaborate budget, you can leave this unchecked.
  • Requested Amount is required: Select this option if you want your applicants to submit a requested dollar amount as part of the application. Applicants will be held to within the minimum/maximum amounts set below. If your grant period has fixed award amounts or you determine them in some other way, you can leave this unchecked.

Amounts provided in the budget and requested amount are not validated against each other. Applicants can request an amount greater or less than their indicated budget amount.

Minimum Amount, Maximum Amount: If enabled, setting the minimum and maximum amounts will restrict applicant requests to that range. However, approvers for the grant period can give out any amount they wish.

Account Number: If funding for this award comes from a single or default account number, you may specify that here. When you approve an application for payment, this will be the default account number selected.

Funding Type: The funding type is for AFA use. Check with your Financial Administrator for the proper value here, or leave it “unspecified.”


By default, the grant period will be open to the entire Brown community. If you want to restrict applications to a particular subgroup, you may check the appropriate boxes to allow those populations to apply. Most of the options here should be self-explanatory, but there are three worth calling out:

  • Invitation Only: If you select this option, then only users you list in the Eligibility Overrides field will be able to apply for the grant period. This selection overrides all other selections.
  • Currently Enrolled Only: There may be times when a student may qualify under one of the class year designations, but the student is not actually enrolled in classes. You may select this option to further restrict eligibility.
  • Non-Brown Users: Select this to allow non-Brown users to apply. Note that such users will require an invitation before they can use UFunds. See “Inviting Non-Brown Users” for more information.

Eligibility Overrides: There may be times when the eligibility rules set for a grant period block someone who should be allowed to apply. When that happens, add them to the Eligibility Overrides list. This will then allow them to apply normally.

Targeted Messages: If the grant period has special rules or considerations for a particular group, you can create messages aimed at that group here. The list of groups available are the same as in the “Eligibility” section. For example, if you have an award that is open to both undergraduates and graduate students but there are special instructions for undergraduates, you could select the undergraduate group and create a message that only they see.


UFunds has a recommendation mechanism to allow applicants to request supporting documentation from other users. If enabled for the grant period, applicants will be able to specify some number of users to complete a recommendation. UFunds will automatically send an email to selected recommenders, and will also provide an interface to collect those recommendations. Note that applicants never see the recommendation form. They will only see whether their selected recommenders have responded to the request.

Recommendation Counts: If your grant period includes recommendations for the applicant, indicate the appropriate range of recommendations accepted here. If recommendations are optional, set the minimum to zero. If both the minimum and maximum are set to zero, then no recommendation interface will be provided to applicants. 

Non-Brown Recommendations: By default, UFunds only allows recommendations from members of the Brown community. If you want to allow recommendations from non-Brown users, check this option. Non-Brown recommenders will still use UFunds, but instead of logging in normally they will be asked to confirm their email address.

Recommendation Form: Define the recommendation form here. This is required if the max recommendation count is at least one. This will be the form that recommenders will complete. 

Tip: While the recommendation form can have any number or kind of questions, it is common for this to be a simple file upload or single paragraph prompt. In particular, having a file upload is the only way to capture documents on official letterhead.


Application Form: This form is required. It is the form that your applicant will fill out to apply for the grant period.

Application Support: This form is optional. It is designed for documents such as transcripts where the applicant does not provide them directly. Instead, the applicant will indicate from where the documentation is coming. The associated form will be completed by the approver based on materials from the external source.

Additional Support Setup: This is the grant period set up to collect transcripts. The applicant will provide the institution name, but the approver will be the one to upload the file.

Application Support in Application Form: The applicant responds to the prompt as defined in the application support set up.

Approval Interface: On the approval side, each application support item will use the prompt and response as the header. Here the form is a simple file upload, which the approver will complete.

Review Forms: Review forms are optional, and only used by your committees or subcommittees. If you plan on subcommittees or individual review assignments having specialized review forms, you can create those here as well.

Post-Application Forms: The Post-Application form is intended as a way to collect additional information from or about applicants, separate from the application form. For example, it can be used to collect a post-project summary, or to prompt applicants for supplemental documentation such as acceptance forms or waivers.

Editing Forms

All grant period forms are edited via the same interface. Click the Edit link to trigger a pop-up window. From here, you may select any of the available form elements to add to your form. You can flag questions as required or not, and drag them to change the item order. When you are done editing the form, click Save at the bottom of the pop-up. You must also click Save on the main form before the form is saved to the database.

Note: Most users can ignore the template options at the top of the pop-up. Templates are designed to allow users to share the same form across grants and grant periods. However, in the majority of cases forms are only shared between different grant periods under the same grant and the “duplicate” function provides a much easier way to do that.

Message Templates

There are three states for which UFunds will draft an email: “Revisions Requested,” “Approved” and “Not Selected.” UFunds has a minimal message for each of these, but you can customize the templates as you like here. When processing an application, these will serve as the initial draft message. The approver will have an opportunity to edit these messages before they are sent to the user.


The “Approvers,” “Readers,” and “Financial Administrators” here are all user search fields. You can have as many of each role as you need for your grant period. See the “Available Roles” section for more details on what each of these roles can do.

Committee Members, aka “Reviewers”, are edited via the Committee management screen.

The “Primary Contact” is optional, and should contain the email address you want applicants to communicate with if they have questions. This is visible to applicants on the main UFunds browse screen.



  • Notify reviewers when status set to “Under Review”: Normally, UFunds sends no communication to committee members. This is on the assumption that timing of committee reviews is independent of individual application submission. However, if your grant period requires more timely processing, you can select this option to send an email and link to your committee members when you change the status to “Under Review.”
  • Allow applicants to submit multiple applications: By default, UFunds only allows one application per applicant per grant period. Select this option to allow multiple applications from an applicant. Note that there are still restrictions in place unless the option below is also selected. Once an application has been received, an additional application cannot be created until all previous applications have reached an end state of “approved” or “not selected.” 
  • Allow multiple simultaneous applications: If this option is selected, the above restriction on application statuses is removed. Applicants will be able to submit additional applications no matter what the status of other applications for the grant period are.
  • Include “on behalf of” field (default workflow only): This option is mostly for student groups. All UFunds applications are tied to a single person. If applications are expected to be for groups, this enables a field to collect that information.

Approval Highlights:

Here, you may select specific questions from your application form and make them available in either the “Application Submitted” email notification to approvers (the checkbox column with the envelope icon), or in the Approvals lists available to either Approvers or Financial Administrators (the checkbox column with the magnifying glass icon). File uploads are not available for selection here.

Temporary Close: Use this option to pause an open grant period. If you selected, the grant period will still be visible to users, but no applications will be allowed for it. This should only be used after a grant period has opened, not as a way to prevent a grant period from opening in the first place. Once a grant period opens, forms will be locked regardless of the “Temporary Close” status.

Notes: Notes are strictly for the grant manager. Anything entered here is only visible on the grant period editing screen.

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