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Top R15 Submission Errors

These are the top five eRA Commons errors during R15 submission

Developing an NIH R15 grant application requires a lot of hard work and multiple steps. Once you've written your application, you must be able to successfully submit it electronically and error-free so NIH can review it.

Applicants and grant offices should review these top five eRA Commons Submission before your next submission. Doing so will help save precious time and ensure your application moves forward for review.

Also refer to the annotated SF424 forms to help you prepare your application field-by-field. /grants/ElectronicReceipt/files/app_form_tips.pdf

The Federal Identifier on the Cover Page should include only the IC and serial number of the prior grant number

  • Federal Identifier: If box 1=Application and box 8=New, then leave blank
  • If box 1=Changed/Corrected and box 8=New, then enter previous tracking number
  • Otherwise, use Institute and serial # of previous NIH grant/app (e.g., use CA987654 from 1R01CA987654-01)

Each Senior/Key Person listed must include effort of value > 0 in calendar months, or academic and summer months

  • It's okay to put 0 dollars (no salary), but NOT 0 effort.
  • Be sure to describe the source of key personnel funding in the Budget Justification if $0 salary is listed.

All application attachments must be in PDF format

  • Use simple PDF-formatted files (no Word files)
    • Do not use Portfolio or similar feature to bundle multiple files into a single PDF
    • Disable security features such as password protection
  • Keep file names to 50 characters or less and use only letters, numbers, underscore, hyphen, space and period
  • Use meaningful filenames (e.g., not "NIH grant final 2C") and follow guidelines for fonts and margins
  • Do not include headers or footers

NIH does not use the role of Co-PI

  • Use collaborator, consultant, or subcontractor for those who will not be serving as Multiple PD/PI.
  • For Multiple PI, use PD/PI role for each. Remember each must be eligible for an R15.

eRA Commons username must be supplied in the Credential field of Senior/Key Person Page

  • For multiple PD/PI applications, select the PD/PI role for each PI and provide their eRA Commons username in the Credential field of Senior/Key Person Page
  • This field is required for NIH grant submissions.