UPDATE OF THE PHS 398, 2590 AND 416 FORMS
RELEASE DATE: August 29, 2003
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
In response to comments and suggestions from the research community on how
NIH can continue to improve the application forms to make them more user-
friendly, NIH has made several formatting enhancements to the PHS 398, 2590
and 416 forms. Applicants who are experiencing difficulties with earlier
versions of the forms are encouraged to use the recently updated forms. IF
YOU HAVE NOT ENCOUNTERED PROBLEMS, AND YOU DOWNLOADED THE FORMS TO YOUR
PERSONAL COMPUTER, YOU MAY CONTINUE USING THE SET OF FORMS PREVIOUSLY POSTED.
Following is a summary of the recent enhancements. The forms are now more
compatible with existing software and Microsoft Word (MS Word) files. In
addition, forms links in the instructions have been updated to reflect these
changes. Institutions may want to link to the PHS 398 Forms and Instructions
page rather than maintaining copies of forms on internal web sites, to be
sure the most current forms are available for applicants.
O Microsoft Word (MS Word) files have replaced previous versions of Rich Text
Format (RTF) files due to a problem experienced by some users of Word XP
(a.k.a. Word 2002), where the single-page RTF forms display and print on more
than one page, or the font in the text form fields changes. For more
information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article #332114,
describes this problem documented by Microsoft.
O Minor formatting adjustments have been made to the PHS 398 forms to provide
greater usability, as follows:
O Microsoft Word files:
- Headers and Footers were removed from the form pages. The previous
forms needed to be unprotected to edit the headers and footers, but
needed to be protected to enable the form field function. Removing
headers and footers eliminates the need to unprotect and re-protect
the forms, which sometimes led to loss of data.
- Table row heights were restricted to prevent the form layout from
- Biographical Sketch and Continuation Page were removed from the
combined form files. These pages are not designed with form fields
and do not need to be protected. These can be used as multi-page
files with headers and footers.
O PDF files:
o Scrolling in text form fields was disabled (on previous versions,
fields allowed text to scroll out of view).
is disabled or not supported, the forms fields will print with
shaded backgrounds, rendering them unable to be scanned by NIH
o Help message added to print forms without 'shrink' option (to
maintain font size).
O PHS 398 Face Page, Form Page 1, "Item 11 DUNS NO. (If available)":
"If available" was removed in order to comply with the 6/27/03 Federal
Register policy change which now requires that effective October 1, 2003, use
of the Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number
will be required when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements.
See NIH Guide Notice dated August 14, 2003 and the DUNS Q&A (MS Word)
document for more information.
NIH will continue to inform the public of notable changes to the documents
and forms through the "NIH Guide" and the "NIH Forms and Applications Page"
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm.) Applicants are urged to always
check the PHS 398 and PHS 2590 websites to download the most current versions
of the instructions and forms prior to submission of an application to NIH.
For other inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or
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