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NIH has identified generic business rule checks (i.e. validations) that are applied against all applications submitted to NIH. These generic validations may apply to all mechanisms (e.g. all applications must include the eRA Commons username for the Principal Investigator in the credential field of the R&R Senior/Key Person Profile form) or they may apply to all applications for a specific activity code (e.g. “Renewal” is not a valid application type for R21 applications).
There is a limited set of mechanism specific validations that, although standard values are assigned, NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) may choose not to have eRA systems enforce applicant compliance with these standard values in order to allow alternative values specified in a Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) to be accepted. For example a specific R18 FOA may allow a 30 page Research Strategy instead of the standard 12 page limit. When this happens we call it "opting-out of limited validations". In order to "opt-out" an IC must provide appropriate justification for why the standard values are not sufficient for the opportunity and gain special permission to change them.
The following table shows the limited validations that ICs have some flexibility over and the standard values for each. Under normal circumstances, the eRA system will check the application against the standard values and provide an error/warning if the standard value is exceeded. For “opt-out” opportunities, the eRA system still checks the application against the standard value, but if the value is exceeded a special warning message is provided indicating that the applicant should check the FOA and be sure to comply with the values specified. Remember, warnings will not stop the application submission process.
In “opt-out” FOAs, differences from the standard values for limited validations are listed in Section IV. Application and Submission Information.
|R18, U18||R25||R33||R21/R33||R34, U34||F|
|Research Plan page limit (pgs.)||12||25||12||12||12|
|Candidate Information and Research Plan page limit (pgs.)||6|
|Direct cost threshold warning||$500k/yr.||$500k/yr.||$225k/yr., $450k total|
|Project period warning (yrs.)||3||5||3|
|Warning if applicant organization is foreign||Yes||Yes|