RELEASE DATE:  February 05, 2004

NOTICE:  NOT-OD-04-024

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Effective January 1, 2004, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 
invites all Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) members to 
participate in its NIH electronic Research Administration (eRA) 
electronic Streamlined Non-competing Award Process (eSNAP) pilot. 
eSNAP, a component of the NIH eRA Commons system, enables extramural 
grantees to submit an electronic version of the SNAP Type 5 (non-
competing) progress report through a Web interface.

Currently, 46 of the 780 Commons-registered organizations are 
authorized to submit SNAP progress reports via the Commons. Since the 
start of the eSNAP pilot in November 2003, users have transmitted a 
total of 762 eSNAPs to the NIH. To access the eSNAP Web interface, 
institutions and users first must enroll in the Commons. Once an 
institution is registered, an authorized business official needs to 
request eSNAP functionality from the NIH eRA Commons Helpdesk by e-
mailing or calling (toll free) (866) 504-9552.

As part of the eSNAP pilot, NIH is testing potential changes in certain 
SNAP progress report business processes. Therefore, before granting 
eSNAP access, NIH requires that the participating institutions agree to 
test these new business processes through an up-front agreement.

Business process changes that are unique to eSNAP include:

o Progress Report Submission:  The current paper process requires 
submission of progress reports 60 days before the budget start date.   
eSNAP submissions are due 45 days prior to the budget start date, thus 
providing the PI & institutional administrative officials an extra 2 

o Research Accomplishment & Other Significant Changes:  Continues to be 
an integral part of the progress report narrative; however, in the 
eSNAP system, the capability for this data to be uploaded separately 
has been developed.  Eventually this will allow for periodic electronic 
updates throughout the budget period, not just annual submission.  One 
goal here is to provide NIH programmatic officials with information 
that could be easily accessible for science highlights and/or 
congressional justifications.

o Citations:  If a citation is published in a journal available online, 
the PI can include the link to the on-line journal in lieu of 
submitting a hard copy of the reprint.

o Vertebrate Animal IACUC and Human Subjects IRB Approval Dates:  One 
significant difference being tested in eSNAP involves the reporting of 
vertebrate animal and human subjects approval dates. In the electronic 
process, these dates are not captured at the time of eSNAP submission.  
Instead, participating grantees agree to provide this data on a 
retrospective quarterly basis. NIH will provide each institution with a 
spreadsheet listing all progress reports submitted via eSNAP that 
involve vertebrate animals and/or human subjects. The institution will 
be responsible for entering the approval date for each project and 
returning the spreadsheet to NIH by the specified due date. The 
immediate goal of this type of data collection is to continue to assure 
full compliance. Once data has been collected and analyzed from a 
larger population of eSNAP participating grantees, NIH expects the data 
to support a permanent change to the business process; i.e., 
eliminating routine reporting of approval dates for SNAP progress 

o Key Personnel Report:  Still required with every progress report; 
however, the eSNAP system stores the electronic submission to allow for 
easy access and update in future years.

o Submission Authority:  The eSNAP system provides the capability for a 
grantee institution to delegate the authority to submit an eSNAP to the 
PI.  This authority can be selectively granted; i.e., it need not be 
granted to all PIs.  When a PI has been delegated this authority and 
submits an eSNAP to NIH on behalf of the grantee, an e-mail 
notification is sent to the authorized organizational official.  It is 
important to note that the delegation of submit authority to a PI in no 
way lessens the responsibility of an authorized organizational official 
to comply with required assurances and certifications.

Users are welcome to visit the eRA Commons demonstration site at to simulate the 
entire eSNAP process from initiation through final submission. An eSNAP 
users guide is also available online at:

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