Instructions for Approvers/Reviewers

Using the University of Maine Proposal Approval Routing System (PARS)



The PARS system was designed as a tool to aid faculty and ORA staff in securing required University approvals prior to submitting proposals to sponsors. It is not meant to replace the necessary communication between faculty, administration, and ORA staff during proposal preparation , but rather to provide a central location where all of the information and approvals can be accessed and acted upon by those who need to do so. Each department and college still retains the right to impose additional requirements such as in-person interviews, document signatures, personnel scheduling, etc. deemed necessary for the administration of their own operations.


Getting Help

Each of the major screens at the PARS site has a help screen associated with it. Click the "Help" link at the top right side of the page. The help text will load in a separate window so that the session will not be interupted. [Note: some popup blockers may disable this feature until configured to accept popups from the PARS site.] In addition, ORA staff will be glad to answer any questions by phone. For technical issues or suggestions for improvement of the site, call or email (581-1419).


Step 1 - Register

Faculty and Administrators may register by filling out the registration form at the PARS website ( A valid e-mail address and an affiliation with the University of Maine is required. Staff may use the login of Deans, Chairs or Faculty (with their permission) to assist in preparing or approving proposals and should not register separately. Contact Matt McSpadden (207-581-1419) or Robin Crocker (207-581-1471) at ORA to determine the best configuration for your college or department. Registrants must complete an online Financial Conflict of Interest training. For more information go to


Step 2 - Log in

Open a web browser and go to . Enter the login and password obtained in Step 1. The first time you log in, you will be asked to review the biographical information and email address on file at ORA. Subsequent logins will take you directly to the User Activities Menu. Sessions are automatically terminated after 5 minutes of inactivity.


Step 3 - Click the “Respond to request for approval or certification” button on the User Activities Menu


Step 4 - Select a proposal to review/approve

Click the title of the project that you want to review or approve. A list of the other approvers associated with the proposal and the status of their actions appears at the top of the page. This is followed by a list of links to the Budget, Budget Justification and Project files uploaded by the preparer, then a synopsis of the proposal information. To get more detail, click the "Proposal Information" link at the top right of the screen, which provides a printable detailed version of the responses to each of the proposal information section. If you are approving cost sharing, click the “Your cost sharing details” to view or edit the information about the cost sharing that you are authorizing. If you are a cost share administrator or closing account administrator, the information in those sections must be complete (including PeopleSoft chartfield information) before you will be able to approve.


Step 5 - Take action

Indicate your decision by changing the selection in the "Approval Status" box:

            1. Pending - awaiting your decision

            2. Approved  - equivalent to your signature

            3. Not Approved - you will not approve under any circumstances

            4. Return for Modifications - generally means that approval will follow if modified to meet specified concerns

There is a space for including a message to the PI concerning your action. Use this area to explain modifications you require as a condition of approval if you selecte “Return for Modifications”.#. Upon submission of your action, the PI will be automatically notified via email, which will include your message. The proposal will remain on your list until all approvals have been made.