Organizations interested in creating System-to-System (S2S) solutions to submit grant applications to NIH should first work with Grants.gov to establish S2S connectivity with the Grants.gov system. The Grants.gov website provides the basic information required to get started. When setting up an account in Grants.gov’s test environment S2S Trading Partners should request that Grants.gov set them up under the DUNS number they will use in NIH’s test eRA Commons. Otherwise, Grants.gov will provide an all-zero DUNS. Once the S2S solution is tested with Grants.gov you will want to do further testing with NIH to ensure the solution can successfully submit applications that pass the NIH validations process.
Preparing for Complex Multi-Project Applications
General information on multi-project applications including application format, data set, application image and application instructions clarifications.
This Grant Image Document contains specifications for generating grant images for complex electronic applications being submitted through ASSIST (Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking) or Applicant S2S Service.
NIH will use style sheets for the application images of multi-project applications. These style sheets are in draft and may change prior to our transition.
For the successful transition from paper to electronic submission of Complex, Multi-Project Applications, significant testing must be completed before moving to production. The NIH Complex Test Opportunities document provides sample FOAs available in the AT07 environment. This will allow you to prepare and submit test applications to Grants.gov. Some of the test FOAs will stop at Grants.gov and others will be processed by NIH and the results made available in Ext-UAT eRA Commons.
General information regarding NIH eRA Web Services can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/system_webserv.htm. The Draft S2S Client Transaction Guide updated for Complex Applications is listed again here for convenience.
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Accessing the Testing Environment at NIH
- NIH’s test environment (https://public.uat.era.nih.gov/commons) accepts test applications through Grants.gov’s Acceptance Test Web environment (http://at07web.grants.gov/).
- You will need to set up a test and production environment at your end.
- To access the NIH test environment [also called External-User Acceptance Test (Ext-UAT) environment], you will need a Commons account:
- If you are the owner of a production Commons account that you would like activated in NIH Ext-UAT, please email S2SSupport@mail.nih.gov
- Requests to activate accounts in NIH Ext-UAT that you do not own will require an email from the account Signing Official (SO) to S2SSupport@mail.nih.gov for implementation.
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NIH’s eRA systems check all electronic grant applications against application guide instructions and instructions found in the funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). These system checks are called validations. When an application fails to pass a validation (i.e., is found to be non-compliant with the instructions found in the application guide and the FOA), the eRA systems generate errors and/or warnings.
The following document provides system-to-system partners with a comprehensive list of current eRA validations (form by form and field by field). The document also includes new validations tentatively planned for eRA’s next software release, so that S2S developers can prepare their systems to parallel the upcoming changes to the eRA systems.
Validations document for system-to-system partners (changes are indicated by bold or strikethrough text and the word “NEW!” in the Comments column):
Previously updated validations with accepted changes:
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NIH-identified eSubmission System Issues
NIH has identified a small number of ongoing eSubmission system issues that may affect applications submitted using a System to System provider. eRA plans to address these issues as soon as possible. Plans/timing for resolution will be communicated once this information has been approved. In the meantime, read about these system issues and how to avoid them in your S2S submissions.
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- Below are listings of NIH Test Opportunities available in the Grants.gov AT Web environment. The test opportunities are posted under the ‘NIH Stage’ agency. NIH will pick up and process these test applications just as it does in production. All the usual Grants.gov and eRA Commons email notifications will be sent. You can view the results of the submission in Commons stage.
NIH Application Forms and Activity Code Mapping (Excel)
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Software Deployment Window
- NIH has set a standard deployment window for the Ext-UAT environment as Monday-Friday 7-10 a.m. ET. This does not mean that Ext-UAT will experience daily deployments. It does mean that when deployments are necessary, NIH will make every effort to stay within this standard window. As agreed upon, NIH will only provide notifications to the NIH_ESUB_SYS2SYS-L listserv of deployment activities that fall outside the standard window.
If for some reason it is critical that Ext-UAT be available during the standard window (e.g., to do a demo), please send an email to S2SSupport@mail.nih.gov within 3 business days of the date in question and we will do our best to coordinate with you and the NIH technical team.
Every few years, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires the update and renewal of federal wide forms. This summer Grants.gov, NIH and other federal granting organizations will be updating their systems to accommodate the most recently approved form versions. Specifically for NIH, the agency-specific PHS 398 forms and the SF 424 RR forms used federal-wide will be updated. In addition, we will be transitioning the Inclusion Enrollment Report and Targeted/Planned Enrollment Table attachments on the PHS 398 Research Plan to actual forms requiring discrete data entry. The current implementation plan calls for all these forms to be in place in the production environments by July 19, 2013. This is to accommodate those opportunities that will be due on or after September 25, 2013. All submissions for due dates after this time will be required to use the new forms.
Technical details regarding these forms can be found in the Grants.gov Form Repository in AT07.
NIH will roll out these forms in future NIH packages with COMPONENT IDs of FORMS-C. A full set of 'FORMS-C' test FOAs will be posted once our processing support is in place (targeting mid-June). In the meantime, the test FOA NIH-UBER-4-1-2013 including all the new forms can be used for your development efforts.