Most competing grant programs at NIH require electronic application submission. Since 2005 NIH has been receiving "simple" (aka "single project") applications electronically (e.g R01, R03, etc.). Applicant organizations submit single project applications to Grants.gov, and must track their application as it moves from Grants.gov to the eRA Commons, NIH's system for grants administration, to complete the submission process.
In 2013 NIH has started to accept "multi-project" (aka "complex") applications electronically (e.g. P50, P01, etc.), see transition timeline for more information). A new electronic system, ASSIST is used to submit these multi-project applications. Each funding opportunity will clearly state whether electronic submission is required and will link you to the appropriate submission method.
Electronic Application Process
Make Sure To…
- Register early! Registration at both Grants.gov and eRA Commons is required, can take 8 weeks or more and MUST be completed before the submission deadline. Learn more.
- Verify that your organization is registered with the new System for Award Management (SAM). You must maintain an active entity registration. This registration must be renewed annually through the SAM.gov web site. Use the SAM.gov "Manage Entity" function to manage your entity registrations. See the Grants Registrations User Guide at https://www.sam.gov for additional information.
- Carefully follow the requirements found in the application guide and funding opportunity announcement. Instructions in the FOA supersede those found in the application guide.
- Check your application for common errors before you submit (use our Annotated Forms for extra tips).
- Correct any errors or warnings before the submission deadline.
- Verify that your application is viewable in the eRA Commons. If you cannot view the application in the Commons, NIH can't review it!
- Submit early. The best way to reduce stress and ensure successful submission is to submit well ahead of the due date.
History of move from paper to electronic applications. (PDF - 31 KB)