Portal FAQs

About the Portal.

What is the ROMEO Researcher Portal?

ROMEO is a database for the digital management and reporting of internal and external research funding and certification.

The ROMEO Researcher Portal is an expansion module that facilitates online access to the ROMEO database, allowing researchers and administrators to create, collaborate, manage, submit, edit, review and determine applications, supported by the efficiency of an electronic workflow.

More information on this topic can be found in the Basic User Guide.

How do I get training in using the Portal?

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

You may also contact Researcher.Portal@dal.ca for further clarification or to schedule a training session.


Portal Access.

Can I use any Operating System and Browser?

As a web-based tool, the Researcher 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)
    4. Safari (Mac)

How do I access the Researcher Portal?

Dalhousie affiliates can log in using their NetID and password. The Researcher Portal will be found under the Quick Links menu on the right side of the myDal homepage. If you do not have an account, fill out the Registration Request form on the Portal Home Page.

If you are external to Dalhousie, staff will provide you with a separate login page. Fill out the Registration Request form on the Portal Home Page, and this link will be sent to you, with instructions to set your password.

What are the Password requirements?

*Note that this is not applicable for those signing in with their NetID*

To enhance system security, the ROMEO Researcher Portal employs strict password rules.
User passwords must meet the following minimum requirements:

    • 8-16 characters in length
    • 1 uppercase letter (A-Z)
    • 1 lowercase letter (a-z)
    • 1 numeric base 10 digit (0-9)

It is recommended that you change your password on a regular basis.

I forgot my Password. What do I do?

If you are internal to Dalhousie and have forgotten your password, you may reset your password at https://password.dal.ca/.

If you are external to Dalhousie and no longer have the previously emailed link to reset your password, send an email to Researcher.Portal@dal.ca to request a new one.

How do I update my Profile information in the Researcher Portal?

Users can update most aspects of their Profile from either of two locations.

  • Within an application: Users can alter aspects such as their ‘Rank’ for project purposes, their primary address or their contact number if that differs for the project period. Note however, that changes made from within an application remain specific to that application and so will not be applied to subsequent applications.

  • Portal home page: Changes made at this location will be applied to all future applications unless subsequently amended. Select 'My Profile' in the top right corner of the Portal home page and update fields as appropriate.

    Note: For security and data integrity purposes, the department affiliation and email address of each User must be set and stored by the Portal’s System Administrator. (You will notice that these fields are greyed out in the 'My Profile' window). In order to change these aspects of your profile, please email Researcher.Portal@dal.ca.

The file I wish to work with has been locked. What should I do?

Although multiple users can view one file simultaneously, only one user can edit a file at any given time. While the file is being edited, ROMEO 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 Portal’s System Administrator.

In the first instance, it is advised that you contact your team member and ask that they log in again, access the file, unlock it and then save and close properly

Should it not be possible to contact that team member and you have an urgent need to access the file, please send an e-mail to Researcher.Portal@dal.ca.

What is the Portal inactivity timeout period?

For security reasons, the timeout setting for the Portal is set for 2 hours.
If you experience a system timeout before the 2-hour window, first verify that you are not experiencing intermittent or weak internet connectivity and that you have disabled sleep mode on your device.

If the issue persists, please contact Researcher.Portal@dal.ca for assistance.

How are Signing Authorities added to the portal?

Signing Authority permissions are managed by portal staff on request. Any profile in the system can be designated as a signing authority.

Notifications of a new checklist are typically sent to the individual Dalhousie email addresses of the Department Head and the Dean/ADR. Multiple emails can be listed at the Department and Faculty levels. All emails will receive a notification, but only one approval is required to move it to the next level.

It is up to the discretion of the Faculty and Department on how they wish to structure the signing authority process. Options include individual emails, or email handles that are shared by signing authorities.


Working with Applications.

Who can submit an application?

Only the Principal Investigator listed on the application form is able to submit the application.  When the PI submits the application they are accepting all responsibility for the contents of the application and the research.

I have prepared a grant application for our Principal Investigator but can’t submit it. Why?

Any project team member can initiate a new application, complete the full application form and upload any necessary documents. However, they must then change the role of PI to the officially designated researcher and then add themselves as a Project Team Member to continue working on the project application. (Refer Project Team Info tab.) Only the Principal Investigator can see the Submit button.

Can I start an application and then change the Principal Investigator?

Yes, the Researcher 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 application form. Please remember to save regularly along the way. If you close out of the application, 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 application to the appropriate signing authorities. As a project team member, you will be able to edit the information up until the PI submits the application.

Can I share my Portal login credentials ?

The login for the Researcher Portal is connected to your Dalhousie NetID and password.  Your Dalhousie NetID and password connect you to your email, MyDal services, personal information such as salary and benefits management, and more.  Sharing these credentials carries considerable risk and is not permitted.

I saved my work but still lost information. Why?

Data loss and error messages can result from using unsupported navigation symbols when completing a form in the Researcher Portal. To avoid data loss, follow these simple rules:

  • Do not open multiple sessions of the Researcher Portal.
  • Use only the navigation buttons in the Researcher 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.

Please refer to the Basic User Guide for more information.

What is the difference between a File Number and a Reference Number?

All newly created applications are automatically assigned a reference number (ex. 4556). Once an application has cleared all signing authority approvals, the reference number turns into a 7 digit file number (ex. 1023567).

The reference number is assigned at the pre-approval stage and the file number is assigned at the post-approval stage.

What should I do when the Project Sponsor agency doesn't appear in the list?

At the top of the agency list is the option **Agency Not Listed**. Select this option and make a note in the comment box, identifying the agency name. Also identify the program name if one exists. After you submit the checklist, and it has passed through the review and approval process, ORS staff will create and add the records to your file.

What should I do when my program doesn't appear in the list?

If you've selected an agency, and your program does not appear in that agency's drop-down list, select the option **Program Not Listed** at the very top. Leave a note in the comment box, identifying the missing program. After you submit the checklist and it reaches the ORS office, staff will create and add the program to your file.

I'm applying for a research grant or contract with no program name. What do I select for the program option?

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 **Program Not Listed** option, and make a note in the comment box requesting for them to be added. After you submit the checklist, and it reaches the ORS office, staff will create and add the program to your file.

I need to upload an attachment that is bigger than 10MB. How do I do that?

The maximum size per file is 10MB. If your file is larger than that, try ‘zipping’ the file or saving it as a compressed PDF document. If this is not sufficient to meet the file size restriction, simply break the file into pieces equal to or less than the maximum size accepted by the Portal, clearly label each piece (e.g., ‘Part 1 of 5 – Attachment 2 ’) and upload.

To ensure successful uploads, please note the following:

  • Do not attach files that include the following characters in the file name: “ , # % & * : < > ? / { } | ~
  • Do not use the period character in the middle of a file name, or at either the start or end of a file name
  • File names should not exceed 128 characters and best practice is to follow the file naming schema outlined here: (Last Name First Initial Agency Program Date FileType). Example: Laing S_NSERC_DG_Nov 2018_Full App

When I export my application to a Word or PDF document, is everything exported?

Only the information from the Project Info tab, Project Team Info tab and the Application’s Custom Questions (Investigator Checklist) tab will be included in the exported file.

Attachments included in the application form must be individually downloaded from the Attachments tab in the researcher Portal.

Will my application be accepted without a signature?

The Researcher Portal uses electronic signatures in the context of a secure log in framework. By logging in to the Portal using your unique identifier, you are recognized as having endorsed a document or an action from the moment you select the “Submit” button.

Similarly, Signing Authorities are recognized as having endorsed/approved a document or taken a formal action in respect of an application when they select the “Submit” button on the Workflow Action dialogue box of the Approval Process.

(For this reason, and others, it is imperative that users NOT share their login details.)

Can I withdraw my application once it has been submitted?

After submission, the PI must contact the Researcher Portal team to withdraw an application.

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." 

Where do I put my letters of support or additional supporting documentation?

Any documentation that you wish to include with your application can be uploaded using the Attachments tab of the Investigator Checklist.

Please note the specific requirements for uploads, including naming conventions, file type and size restrictions, discussed elsewhere in these FAQs.

How do I add research team members who are not in the current Investigator database?

All non-PI project team members are added via the "Other Project Team Members Info" section of the Project Team Info tab. Project team members must be registered in the Investigator Master Record (IMR) for the Researcher Portal in order to be associated with any given file.

When adding project team members, first use the 'Search' facility to determine if the member is already entered in the IMR.

If a project team member does not appear in the search results, please ask them to submit a Registration Request form, available on the Portal website.

What is the difference between using the Portal for a Grant project and a Contract project?

When the researcher submits the Investigator Checklist for a grant project, the process can be viewed as the internal application. You are requested to upload a draft application and other supporting documentation to the Attachments tab. Office of Research Services staff will receive the application for internal review. Submitting the application through the funding agency Portal remains a separate process.

For contract projects, agreements are often received and reviewed before the researcher is asked to submit a checklist. In these instances, the Portal checklist is essentially a replacement for the paper checklist. Researchers are still encouraged to upload supporting documentation for Signing Authority review and ORS records.

I am applying for (or have received) internal University funding. Where do I enter that?

Dalhousie University is available for selection as a funding agency. The program drop-down list includes Faculties, Departments, affiliated Research Institutes, and more.

The Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation is its own separate agency.

Do I need to download the Research Accountability Statement to sign it?

No. Selecting the radio button at question 5.1 of the Investigator Checklist tab to indicate that you have read the statement and agree to be bound by it, is legally sufficient due to the nature of the secure login to the Portal with your unique identifier (Dal NetID).

The link to the Dalhousie Research Accountability Statement is provided in the Researcher Portal for ease of reference only. 

How do I change the Principal Investigator after the file has been submitted to the Signing Authorities?

Prior to submission, the Principal Investigator can be changed anytime using the "Change PI" button under the Project Team Info tab. If the PI needs to be changed after the file has been submitted, then a new file will need to be created.

To prevent starting from scratch, the previous file can be cloned using the following steps:

  • The current PI logs into the portal, and goes to "Applications: Under Review".
  • Locate the relevant file and click the clone button on the left-hand side. Check-mark the information you want to copy over.
  • The new application will now be sitting under "Applications: Drafts". Go into that file using the "Edit" button.
  • Go to the Project Team Info tab and select the 'Change PI' button to add the other person. Add yourself back in as a project team member, so the system will let you save the changes.
  • Close out of the file and if necessary, remove yourself as a project team member under "Role: Project Team Member" > "Applicants: Drafts". If you remove yourself as a Project Team Member, you will no longer have access to the file.
  • New PI can now submit the file.
  • Contact Researcher.Portal@dal.ca with instructions to delete the old file. Make sure to provide the reference number (4 digits) or file number (7 digits).

Can I use the portal to submit internal applications to the Office of Research Services?

Yes. For some competitions, the Office of Research Services establishes an internal deadline (usually about a week before the agency deadline) to allow facilitators to review and provide feedback on an application.

When you submit your checklist through the portal, you can simultaneously view the process as the internal application, by uploading your draft/final application via the Attachments Tab. 

If your application is updated after you've used the portal, you can email the newest version to your researcher facilitator, and they will upload it to your ROMEO file.

I was approved for funding, but I can only enter requested amounts?

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 ORS staff members, as they administer the opening of your account.

Enter requested amounts (if applicable) and leave a note in the comments box above the disbursement table, identifying the awarded amount. After your application clears the approval process and lands in the staff database, the staff will add your awarded amounts.