LIRA Resources and Learning

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Welcome to the LIRA Learning page! This site houses training resources for how to use Lehigh's Integrated Research Administration (LIRA) system for proposal development & submission, sponsored agreement initiation, and award administration.

The sections below offer training materials and "How-To" videos for completing functions in LIRA across the lifecycle of a sponsored project.

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Interest (COI) Training Materials

The COI module in LIRA is used to collect all required disclosures per the university’s Conflict of Interest policy and the fCOI Related to Research and Sponsored Programs Policy. Contact for questions about submitting COI disclosures. 

Resources - Completing an Annual Disclosure:

Resources - Completing a Sponsored Program Disclosure:

Virtual Office Hours:

If you have questions about using LIRA’s COI Module, please join our virtual office hours on:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023: 2 - 4 pm
  • Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023: 9:30 - 11:30 am
  • Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023: 2 - 4 pm
  • Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023: 9:30 - 11:30 am
  • Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023: 2 - 4 pm
  • Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023: 9:30 - 11:30 am

You must be logged into your Lehigh Zoom account to access the meeting.

You may also email to schedule a meeting by appointment. 

LIRA Basics

Accessing LIRA and LIRA User Roles

LIRA is available via single sign-on to all Lehigh personnel with responsibility in sponsored research. Faculty, research staff, department leadership, and ORSP all access the LIRA system and can carry out different functions depending on their assigned role(s).



LIRA User Roles Defined
System User Roles Module System Responsibility

Study Staff

Grants, Agreements

Creates and submits Funding Proposals, Award Modification Requests, and non-funded agreements.

Note: All users in LIRA have these roles

Department Reviewer


Reviews, requests changes (if necessary), and approves a Funding Proposal before it is forwarded to ORSP for final review, approval, and submission



Manages proposals, awards, and award modifications

Note: ORSP will have this role

SF424 Specialists


Additional role given to ORSP Contract and Grant Specialists that allows them to submit an SF-424

Award Approver


Activates and approves awards or award modifications in Final Review

Note: ORSP will have this role

Agreements Reviewers/Managers


Manages and Negotiates Agreements and Agreement Amendments

Note: Lehigh Faculty and Staff have LIRA system access. Lehigh students do not have access to LIRA.

LIRA Dashboard and Navigation

After logging into LIRA, you will land on the system dashboard. The video below details how to navigate within the LIRA dashboard space.

TIP: When searching in LIRA, utlize the "wild card" function to return search results that contain your text within any part of the results' name. To use, add a "%" in front of your search term.

LIRA Terminology
LIRA System Terminology
Term Definition Notes


Actions that can be executed by a user to update a record



A record created in LIRA after a sponsor has indicated they will fund the research submitted in the Funding Proposal

Awards have separate IDs from their associated Funding Proposal record

Funding Proposal

A record created in LIRA that contains submission information for a research project that will be submitted to a sponsor for funding



Auto-generated identification number created by LIRA for each record created in the system (e.g., FP00000001, AWD00000003)



Dashboard for users that contains a "to-do" list. 

Your inbox contains records that you have to take action on


A submission created within LIRA. Examples include funding proposals, awards, award modification requests, award modifications, agreements, and subawards



The application for federal assistance. When submitting for a federal opportunity using System-to-System (S2S) capabilities within LIRA, an electronic SF-424 is created and eventually submitted from LIRA directly to



A series of pages completed with information about the record (e.g., funding proposal, award, agreement, etc.)



The status of a record in LIRA



The process through which a record passes from beginning to end

This is the approval chain for a record


Contains key information associated with the record (State, Title, ID, etc.) and contains various activities a user can take on a record



Introduction to SmartForms

LIRA SmartForms are utilized throughout the system and capture only the necessary information for a particular record. If additional information is needed, SmartForms will adjust to capture all required data. Below is a video to introduce you to LIRA SmartForms:


General Proposal Information

Creation and submission of grant proposals exists in the Grants Module of LIRA. The videos below offer an introduction to Funding Proposals in LIRA.

Additional Resources
Adding a new sponsor to a LIRA proposal

If the appropriate sponsor is not listed in LIRA, please complete the following form for them to be added to the system:

Please note: it may take up to 1-2 business days for the new sponsor to be available.

REU Supplements and Additional Proposal Types
Proposal Submission Process

LIRA allows for proposals to be submitted to the grant sponsor in two ways: system-to-system( S2S) and non system-to-system. 

System to System (S2S)

S2S is the process for a proposal that is submitted from a submission platform (LIRA) to The sponsoring agency then accesses the submitted proposal from

Anything submitted from LIRA to is considered a S2S submission and will include an SF424 Forms package. Please review the video below for instructions on how to manage an SF424 application package:

Most federal grant opportunities are available to be submitted via and, subsequently, system-to-system. The following are common exceptions applicable to Lehigh:

Non System-to-System (non-S2S)

Non-S2S is the method of submission for all non-federal proposals that will be submitted. Below are common proposal submissions that will be submitted non-system-to-system:

  • Incoming Subawards (Proposals where Lehigh is the sub) - Tip: Reivew the Incoming Sub Award Quick Guide
  • Foundation Grants
  • Professional Affiliation Awards
  • State Grants
  • Select Federal Grants
Uploading Proposal Documents to LIRA

Proposals submitted non-S2S should include all sponsor-required documents in the "Attachments" tab of the LIRA workspace:

Graphical user interface, text, application, email  Description automatically generated

Sponsor Portals

For non-S2S submissions that must be submitted via a sponsor portal (e.g. American Heart Association, Collaborative NSF proposals submitted through, study staff are responsible for initiating their proposals in the applicable portal. For any questions about this process, please reach out to your assigned Contract and Grant Specialist.

Proposal Review Process

Proposals in LIRA are required to go through two review states within the funding proposal workflow in LIRA - Department Review and Specialist Reivew. Ancillary review is conditionally required.

To understand what is required of the PI/Study staff at each stage of review, please reference the Proposal Workflow Checklist

Department Review

Department Review is conducted by the chair and/or their delegates of the responsible department. To learn how to submit a proposal for department review, please review the video below:

Note: For Lehigh's process, the SF-424 section of the proposal does not need to be completed before submitting for department review, it only needs to be created.

Departments are required to review the following elements of a funding proposal:

  • Space/Location where research will be performed
  • PI Effort
  • Cost Share 
  • Equipment

For a step-by-step guide of completing a Department Review, please see the instructions below:

Specialist Review

Specialist Reivew is conducted by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. A proposal enters the Specialist Review state after being approved by the department level review. Your Contract and Grant Specialists in ORSP will then review the full proposal and submit to the sponsor.

Ancillary Review

Ancillary Review is required for proposals that include key personnel from outside of the submitting PI's department. In these instances, an ancillary review should be assigned to the chairs of the additional departments. 

Review the following resources to understand how to submit and respond to an ancillary review:

Responding to Requested Revisions

As a proposal routes through the review process, both department and specialist reviewers can request revisions to the proposal:

When a reviewer requests changes, automated notifications will be sent via email to the PI of the proposal record.

Review the video below for information on how to respond to requested revisions:

LOIs, Pre-proposals and Concept Papers

Grant opportunities will sometimes require submission of documentation prior to a full proposal submission. These submissions– be it a concept paper, a letter of intent, etc– are all pre-proposal submissions.See the guide below to understand how to manage a pre-proposal submission in LIRA:

LOIs and Preproprosals Guide

JIT and Post-Submission Actions

After a proposal has been submitted to a sponsor, PIs will often be notified when the sponsor needs additional information before an award can be issued.

For NIH, this process is called Just-in-Time (JIT). In LIRA, there are actions modeled after the JIT process that Lehigh ORSP will use for all changes or updates requested by the sponsor in between proposal submission and award stage.

Post-Submission: Notification of Requested Documents/Information

After a proposal has been submitted to the sponsor, the FP record in LIRA will be in a “Pending Sponsor Review” state.

Upon receipt of requested information or documents from the sponsor, notify your ORSP representative with the “Send Grants Status Update” action from within the LIRA FP record:


Include a copy of the sponsor request in the documents field of this pop-up.

Provide JIT documentation

Once notified, your ORSP representative will coordinate with study staff on the proposal to provide the required documentation for the JIT request.

JIT documentation often includes Current and Pending Support, compliance information, and budget revisions.

ORSP will submit the JIT information and update the FP record once everything has been submitted to the sponsor.

Notification of Funding Decision

After a proposal has been submitted, any updates to the funding status should be reflected in LIRA.

If you receive a notification from the sponsor that a proposal has not been funded (or any other update about the status of the proposal), utilize the Send Grants Status Update action in the proposal workspace of LIRA:


A pop-up will appear for you to provide a copy of the correspondence received from the sponsor, where applicable, and a comment box to communicate the needed update.

Once notified, your ORSP representative will take action to update the LIRA record.

Student Fellowship Proposals

All student fellowship proposals should be submitted and routed through LIRA by the student's mentor and/or the supporting department. Specifics on what is required for fellowship proposal in LIRA can be found in our Fellowship Proposal Process Guide:

LIRA Fellowship Proposal Process Guide


Budget Overview

The LIRA budget module serves as a budget of record on a sponsored project. It includes capabilities to include cost-share budgets and subaward budgets.

When developing grant proposals, please utilize Lehigh's internal budget spreadsheet. Once finalized, the internal spreadsheet will need to be uploaded to the LIRA record. The final budget numbers will then be entered into the LIRA budget workspace by the PIs and/or Department Study Staff prior to submitting the proposal for Department Review. ORSP is available to advise on the budget as needed.

As an introduction to the budget workspace in LIRA, please review the budget navigation video below:

Budget Development Tool
Additional Resources
  • LIRA Proposal Budget Development (Training PPT)
Completing a Budget

The following section includes important budget information to help guide the budget devleopment process in LIRA.

Below is a video that offers a demonstration of completing a budget in the LIRA module.

For each budget category, the LIRA budget module includes a tab in the SmartForm for the costs as well as a cost definitions.

Use the cost definition tab to:

  • Provide a description of the include cost
  • Create sub-categories
  • Provide a base dollar value

Use the costs tab to:

  • Modify the base dollar value included in the cost definition tab across different years of the project
General Information

The General Information section of the budget SmartForm captures information about your budget. Review the Budget Checklist for information about how to answer the questions on this tab of the SmartForm:


The personnel costs section of the LIRA budget module should account for all Lehigh personnel with measurable effort on the project.

Subaward key personnel should be listed separately from the budget workspace in the Proposal SmartForm. Other external individuals, like consultants, should be listed in the General Costs tab further down the SmartForm.

When entering personnel information, note that both effort and salary should be annualized in LIRA:

Annualization is the reporting of effort and salary for an entire calendar year rather than in academic or summer terms. To this point, the appointment period in the budget personnel profiles should always be selected for “12 months''. The appointment period is located within the Personnel Costs Definition tab of the budget workspace, which is described in the “Entering Personnel Information” section of this page below.

Annualizing Effort

Percentage of annual effort is expressed as a percentage of months dedicated to the project out of months in a year (12):

1 month effort = (1/12)*100=8.33%

In the LIRA budget module for personnel costs, effort and requested salary should always be congruent unless there is personnel cost-share (See cost share section below).

Annualizing Salary

To annualize salary, use the Lehigh budget spreadsheet. The spreadsheet has an embedded annualization tool. For questions about how to annualize salary, reach out to your ORSP representative.

Entering Personnel Information

To better understand how to enter personnel information, please review the video below starting at the timestamp 3:48:

The following Lehigh-specific practices should also be observed:

Non-Key Personnel

Personnel without the designation of “key personnel” should be listed as To Be Determined.

Graduate Students

Graduate students are the only exception for listing a 12-month appointment length in LIRA. Grad students should be listed consistently with their academic appointment:

Graduate Student - Summer Only 3 - month appointment in LIRA
Graduate Student - Academic Year Only 9 - month appointment in LIRA
Full Year (12) month Graduate Student

Enter twice in LIRA

  • 1 x 3 month
  • 1 x 9 month

This is to appropriately capture Summer FICA

Travel Costs

The travel costs tab becomes active when Question 4 of the General Information tab of the budget SmartForm is answered “yes”.

As with other categories, there is a travel costs page and a travel cost definition page:

Use the travel cost definition page to:

  • Detail the cost per person for each type of travel
  • Provide a description of the travel costs
  • Create multiple entries of travel for trips that have different base costs

Use the travel cost page to:

  • Modify the number of personnel on each trip
  • Modify the number of trips per year
  • Modify the years in which each type of travel is needed
General Costs

Use the general cost definition page to:

  • Sub-categorize budget categories
  • Provide detail of the expense

Use the general cost page to:

  • Modify the cost per year for each budget category

Please see the guidance below for common general cost categories that require additional attention:

Trainee Costs

Trainee Costs are synonymous with participant support costs. These costs include stipends and other training costs for participants of a training program. Trainee costs are only allowable if specified by the funding opportunity announcement for the program.

Tuition for Students

Tuition for grad students must be labeled “Other” from the drop down list of categories in the cost definition page.

In the description for the cost, list “Graduate Student Tuition” and select “no” on Question 4 for applying inflation costs.

Cost-Share in LIRA

Cost share is the term applied to any cost on a sponsored project that is not directly paid for by the sponsor of the project. It can also be referred to as cost matching.

Cost share is required to be documented in LIRA in the following circumstances:

  • Salary support is not fully covered due to a sponsor salary cap
  • Unfunded effort is committed to a project as mandated by sponsor
  • The sponsor requires cost share

Cost share resulting from a salary cap or unfunded effort is automatically triggered in LIRA. Any modifications to personnel costs in a cost share budget should be made on the primary budget.

To create a new cost share budget, review the video below:

Note that at timestamp 0:48, the video refers to institution specific questions. In LIRA, these questions are the same as in the example video.

Complete the remaining fields of the SmartForm as described in the budget guide with the following exceptions:

General Budget Information
  • Question 3: review and confirm the auto-populated F&A allocation
  • Question 4: Always select “no”
  • Question 5: Always select “no”
  • Question 6: Always enter “0”
General Costs Definition

When entering a general cost in a cost share budget, you must specify the type of funds and the source of the funds in the description (Question 3) of the cost definition. This text box should include a description of the cost item, the type of funds used, and a source of the funds. For instance, “Cash - Industry Partner / In-Kind - Air Products”.

Questions 4 and 5 for each itemized cost should always be answered “no”.

Required Documentation

The following circumstances always require documentation to confirm cost share:

  • Third-party funds: the third party should provide a signed letter confirming their commitment to providing the funds
  • Unfunded effort for personnel not within the PI’s department: the chair or dean from the other department(s) should confirm approval for the cost share in writing. Email documentation is acceptable.

In the Attachments tab of the cost share budget, upload supporting documentation for the cost share.

TIP: To export the cost share budget to Excel, click the cost share budget within the Funding Proposal, and then click Export Budget within the cost share budget workspace. The budget will then be available in Excel format under the History tab within the cost share budget workspace.

Outgoing Subawards

“Outgoing subawards” refer to funds awarded to Lehigh and then dispersed to external subrecipients.

Subaward budget information should be entered within the budget workspace of the proposal. The instructional video below details how to enter a subaward budget:

For more information about outgoing subawards, including non-budget information, see the guide below:


General Award Information

LIRA will support Lehigh's funded award process. While the process is predominately a function of ORSP, PI/Study Staff will update the Award record with the following information to aid in the setup process:

  • Building name(s) room number(s) where research will be performed
  • IC Distribution %
  • Authorized Signers
  • Personnel with Banner Viewing Access
  • Personnel with Payroll Access in Argos

This data will be captured and tracked via an Ancillary Review sent from ORSP. 

Additional Resources
Requesting Award Modifications

When you need to request a change to an active award, LIRA supports that process through Award Modifications. You will use the system to request an award modification that will be sent to your CGS in ORSP. They will review your request and, if approved, will submit the request formally to the sponsor. ORSP will finalize the award modification in LIRA to ensure the award record is updated appropriately. 

Here is a video on the Award Modificaiton Process: 


Agreements Training Materials

LIRA is where you will initiate and manage the following Agreements types:

  • Business Associate Agreement (BAA)
  • Data Use Agreement (DUA)
  • Outgoing Subawards
  • Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)
  • Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
  • Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA)
  • Research and Testing Agreement
  • Testing Services Agreement

The chart below shows the agreement type and the associated Responsible Office who will be in charge of reviewing, negotiation, routing, and signing the agreement. If you have questions about a submitted agreement, please reach out to the following contacts from the appropriate Responsible Office: 

Agreement Types and Responsible Offices
Acronym Agreement Type Agreement Initiator Notes Responsible Office
CDA Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement PI/Study Staff Also known as: Non-Disclosure Agreement, Confidentiality Agreement, Confidential Disclosure Agreement, Proprietary Information Agreement, or Secrecy Agreement Tech Transfer
DUA Data Use Agreement PI/Study Staff Also known as: Data Trasfer and Use Agreement LTS
MTA Material Transfer Agreement PI/Study Staff   Tech Transfer
BAA Business Associate Agreement PI/Study Staff Dictated by HIPAA, BAAs outline the responsibility of another party when it comes to Protected Health Information (PHI) LTS
SRA Sponsored Research Agreement ORSP Also known as: Research Funding Agreement, Grant Funding Agreement, Grant Support Agreement ORSP
SUB Outgoing Subaward ORSP Also known as: Outoing subcontract, outgoing subagreement ORSP
RTA Research and Testing Agreement PI/Study Staff   ORSP
TSA Testing Services Agreement PI/Study Staff   ORSP


Please review the videos below on how to create and submit an Agreement in LIRA:

Additional Resources