eRSO Portal FAQs

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About the Research Portal

ERSO (Electronic Research Services Office) is a database for the digital management and reporting of internal and external research funding and certifications. The ERSO Researcher Portal is an expansion module that offers faculty and researchers online access to the ERSO database to create, collaborate, manage, submit, edit, review and make determinations on applications, supported by the efficiency of an electronic workflow, including approvals by your department and faculty. More information on this topic can be found in the ERSO Research Portal User Guide

You are encouraged to read the ERSO Basic Researcher Guide and then the User Guide specific to your role in the application process as a first step. 

The Office of Research and Innovation Services will offer regular online and, where permitted, in person training sessions. Contact for further instructions in setting up a group or individual training sessions.

Read the ERSO Research Portal User Guide

View step-by-step video tutorials


ERSO Portal Access 

As a web-based tool, the Research Portal does not require high-end computer system specifications. Either Windows or Mac operating systems may be used.

Compatible browsers are:
    1. Google Chrome (Mac and Windows)
    2. Mozilla Firefox (Windows)
    3. Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge (Windows) - please note that IE/Edge compatibility is marginal and may malfunction!
    4. Safari (Mac)

The ERSO Researcher Portal is integrated with the University of Windsor's single sign-on authentication. To access the ERSO Researcher Portal, navigate to and click Log in to ERSO. You will be prompted to enter your UWin ID and password. On your first login, you may also have to enter a code per your single sing-on setup. If you are not sure how to find your UWin ID, or you are an external research collaborator, contact and staff will assist in creating an account for you.

If you are a University of Windsor researcher, you will be required to use your UWin ID and password to access the researcher portal. If you forgot your password, contact your IT Services or submit a ticket to manage you UWin ID. External researchers should contact to reset lost passwords.

Users can update some parts of their profile in the Research Portal. To update your profile, select 'My Profile' on the Portal Home Page. This will ensure that your changes apply to all future applications. To make changes to your profile on just one application, open the application for editing and make changes on the Project Team Members tab. Note however, that changes made from within an application remain specific to that application and so will not be applied to subsequent applications.

Certain elements of your profile cannot be edited by you as the end user because they are supplied by the Human Resources office of the University of Windsor. If these fields are incorrect, please contact us at

You cannot change your department affiliation and email address for data integrity and security purposes, however if you have a cross-appointment, you can select the relevant appointment on a per-application basis. If your affiliation is not correct, contact

Since multiple users/roles can view one file simultaneously, only one user can edit a file at any given time. While the file is being edited, ERSO locks the file to other users. Once the user saves and exits the file, the file unlocks and is accessible to other users for additional edits.However, when the file is not saved and closed properly, the file remains locked and has to be manually unlocked by the either the user who locked the file or the ERSO Research Portal’s System Administrator.

Start by contacting the user that the database shows as having locked the file. If they are not actively editing the file, ask that they log in again, access the file, and then save and close properly. 

Should it not be possible to contact that team member and you urgently need to access the file, please send an e-mail to

To prevent locking out your collaborators, ensure you save and close all application files before exiting your browser.

Your departmental and faculty signing authorities are assigned via a designation that comes from the Human Resources office. When you create a new file it will be automatically sent to your Department Head and Dean for approval before being sent to ORIS. If you are a Signing Authority who is not receiving applications for approval, or if you need to delegate your signing authority, please contact


Managing your ERSO files

Every new grant proposal you submit must have internal approval from your Department Head (if applicable) and your Dean. The ORIS External Funding Checklist is the tool you will use to obtain this approval. Access the Checklist by logging in to the ERSO Research Portal, clicking on APPLY NEW, and selecting the Checklist from the available forms. The Checklist requires you to submit key information in the ERSO Research Portal, which will be used by your signing authorities to confirm:

  • That you are eligible for funding by virtue of your employment contract in accordance with University of Windsor policy and that your application the requirements of the Sponsor
  • That they are aware of proposed activities, and confirm that space, basic facilities and resources for carrying out the research are available. 
  • That they approve any commitments from your unit
  • That you have the necessary time and facilities to carry out the research.

You must complete your ORIS External Funding Checklist at least five (5) days before the submission deadline for your grant, unless otherwise announced by ORIS. Please note that your Department Head or Dean may have an earlier internal deadline for their review.

Submitting an ORIS External Funding Checklist establishes your ERSO file for the project you are proposing.

You will need to have a new ERSO file for each funding application you submit, as the approval of the file constitutes the approval of your submission to move forward. It is best to start your ERSO file as early as possible and to populate it with information as it becomes available. We recommend submitting your ERSO file a minimum of five days before your submission to the external funding agency.

ERSO files are required for all funded research projects, including:

  • Grants from any external agency or foundation
  • Grants from internal UWindsor sources (such as internal programs from ORIS or the Centre for Teaching and Learning)
  • Seed money from your Faculty or Department
  • Projects that will involve lab fees
  • Research contracts
  • Sub-grants from other institutions
  • Awards or recognitions that include cash prizes
  • Stipends where funds will be used for research purposes

You should also submit an ERSO file for projects that do not require setup of a new research grant account if:

  • You are receiving in-kind support from a partner organization
  • You are receiving access to equipment or resources at another institution and no cash will be transferred to UWindsor
  • You are collaborating on a research project that has funding elsewhere and no cash will be transferred to UWindsor
  • UWindsor is signing off on any kind of research agreement with any other institution or organization, regardless of whether the work is funded or not
  • There are no initial funds, but you will invoice for work later

This ensures that we are able to keep track of partner organizations and collaborations outside the University, as well as the smooth management of intellectual property, agreements, and other legal matters.

If your project will require the setup of a grant account for any reason, a new ERSO submission is required. No grant account will be opened unless a file has been established and approved.

Any project team member can initiate and work on a new ERSO file, but only the Principal Investigator can submit the file for approval. If the PI for your project is at another institution, submit with yourself listed as the PI, and enter the external collaborator's name in the Project Comments field.

Although a Project Team Member can start and add materials to the ERSO file, only the Principal Investigator of the of the project can submit the application. This is because ultimate responsibility for the accuracy of the file rests with the Prinicpal Investigator and the file must be approved by their Department Head and Dean. The submit button is only visible to the Principal Investigator.

If you are working with an external Principal Investigator, list yourself as the PI for purposes of submission, and given information in the Comments field of the Project Team Info tab noting the name and contact details of the PI. This will be updated by your Research Coordinator once the file has been approved by your Signing Authorities.

Yes, the ERSO Research Portal is set up to allow project team members to initiate or complete the majority of the application forms. You can change the Principal Investigator role but remember to add yourself back into the project team under the Project Team Info tab (Add New).

As a project team member, you can complete all of the necessary information included in the file. Please remember to save regularly along the way. If you close out of the file, it will now appear under your Role Block of Project Team Member.

It is important to remember that when you change the role of Principal Investigator, the nominated PI is now the only person who will be able to submit the file to the appropriate signing authorities. As a project team member, you will be able to edit the information up until the PI submits the file for approval.

NO, never share your login credentials with anyone even if it is your research team. The ERSO Portal uses Multi-Factor Authentication meaning that you will be using your affiliation login credential to access the researcher portal. Your UWinID is connected via Human Resources and Financial Information, and more. So, don’t share sensitive information with others.

Data loss and error messages can result from a small handful of actions when completing a form in the ERSO Research Portal.

To avoid data loss, follow these simple rules:

-       Do not open multiple sessions of the Research Portal.

-       Use only the navigation buttons in the Research Portal and avoid the use of your browser’s back and forward navigation buttons.

-       Do not enter the symbols "<" and ">" when entering data into the Researcher Portal.

See the ERSO User Guide for further details.

First select the option “Agency not Listed”. Then on the comment section, write the details of the agency you’re looking for. After you submit the application, our ORIS staff will create and add the agency records to the file.

Many agencies include Research Grant and Research Contract as program options, to be selected when there is no specific program name. If these options are not included in your agency's drop-down list, select the closest available option, and make a note in the comment box requesting for them to be added. After you submit the application, ORIS staff will create and add the program name to the file.

To withdraw an application pre-submission, click on Applications: Drafts from within the Principal Investigator Role Block. When you have located the specific application, click "Edit" to enter the file, then click "Withdraw." 

Any documentation that you wish to include with your application can be uploaded using the Attachments tab, which is availabe on every new file that you create. .

ORIS maintains a master record of investigators who can be associated with projects. All UWindsor faculty, including adjuncts with active appointments, should be available in this listing, which can be accessed via the Other Project Team Members Info section on the Project Team Info tab. A list is also maintained by ORIS of external researchers who are working with, or have worked in the past with UWindsor researchers. This is called the Investigator Master Record (IMR).

Project team members must be in the IMR for the Research Portal in order to be associated with any given file.When adding project team members, first use the 'Search' tab to determine if your team member is already in the IMR. If a project team member does not appear in the search results, please enter detailed information (name, institution, contact details, et cetera) about them in the comment section. After you submit the application, the ORIS Staff will add the team member the IMR and to your record.

Note: You won't be able to add students as Project Team Members.

All Deans and Department Heads are desginated as signing authorities in ERSO, as well as directors of research institutes. Researchers are automatically assigned to a signing authority via a data feed that comes from the Office of the Provost. Deans and Department Heads may delegate their signing authority per the ERSO User Policy. Once a researcher submits a new ERSO file, it will automatically be routed to their Department Head and Dean to be approved, and the researcher will receive an email each time a file is approved. This approval is required in order for your grant application to move forward, and no funds can be disbursed without it!

Before the launch of the ERSO Research Portal, approvals were obtained by taking a paper copy of the ORIS Information Sheet and Checklist to your signing authority's office. One of the key functions of the Portal is to replace this form and streamline the process of obtaining approvals.

If you have generated a disbursement table under the Project Sponsor Info tab, you will notice that the 'awarded amount' columns have been greyed out. These fields are filled out by ORIS staff members, as part of the process to open your account.

Enter requested amounts (if applicable) and leave a note in the comments box above the disbursement table, identifying the awarded amount. Attached your Notice of Decision, or any other documentation that confirms the amount of the award.

After your application is approved, your awarded amounts will be added.