NIH Announces Initial Plans to Transition to the SF424(R&R) Application and Electronic Submission through

Notice Number: NOT-OD-05-067 (NIH adjusts timeline, see NOT-OD-06-035)

Key Dates
Release Date: August 19, 2005

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (

This Notice announces NIH's initial plans to: 1) transition from the PHS398 application to the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) application; and, 2) simultaneously transition to electronic submission via by the end of 2007.


The Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-107) and the President's Management Agenda have been driving Federal Agencies to simplify Federal financial assistance application requirements and create a single website to apply for Federal assistance. ( has been designated by the Office of Management and Budget as the single access point for all grant programs offered by 26 Federal grant-making agencies. It provides a single interface for agencies to announce their grant opportunities and for all grant applicants to find and apply for those opportunities.

To simplify the application process further, Federal Agencies involved in research and research-related grant funding have developed a common data set the SF424 Research and Research Related Related (R&R) application form. NIH has developed the following plan to transition from the PHS 398 application form to the SF424 (R&R). This transition will occur in conjunction with the electronic receipt of competing applications through

NIH Transition Plan

The simultaneous transition to electronic submission and a new set of application forms is a huge initiative involving numerous funding mechanisms and tens of thousands of applications ranging widely in size and complexity. The transition relies upon many pieces for its success: technical development of eRA and systems; trans-agency resolution of policy and operational issues; communication, training and outreach; and the acceptance of the change by our research partners in the extramural community. NIH is committed to doing all it can to make this happen.

NIH will transition to the SF424 (R&R) form and electronic submission through by individual research program/funding mechanism. Funding Opportunity Announcements (also known as Request-for-Applications and Program Announcements) will be issued in the NIH Guide and posted in as mechanisms are transitioned. The transition by mechanism will include all active Funding Opportunity Announcements for that program/mechanism. Applications in response to these announcements will require electronic submission through

Initial plans/milestones for submission dates and mechanisms are as follows:

December 1, 2005 Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs (STTR) (R41, R42, R43, R44)

December 15, 2005 Support for Conferences & Scientific Meetings (R13 & U13)

January 25, 2006* Academic Research Enhancement Awards (AREA) (R15) (*Changed to February 25, 2006 per NOT-OD-05-080)

June 1, 2006 Small Grant Programs (R03) & Exploratory/Development Research Grant Awards (R21)

October 1, 2006 Research Project Grant Program (R01)

NIH will continue to communicate transition plans for other programs/mechanisms as they evolve and will provide the community with ample notice of impending events. In general, announcements will be made in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts at least 4-6 months before the transition of a particular funding mechanism/research program.

Getting Started & NIH eRA Commons Registration

To provide a secure environment, the submission of electronic applications to NIH and AHRQ will require organizations to register with both and the NIH eRA Commons (Commons) ( registration provides the ability to submit applications electronically to 26 Federal grant-making agencies. Commons registration allows NIH to receive applications submitted through It also provides a way for NIH and registered users to communicate electronically after submission.

Organizations are encouraged to prepare themselves by completing registration in both and the NIH eRA Commons now. Registration requires a one-time registration. If an applicant organization has already completed registration for another Federal agency, they can skip this section and focus on the NIH eRA Commons registration steps noted below. For those applicant organizations still needing to register with, registration information can be found on the Get Started website ( It can take some time to fully complete the registration process so applicant organizations are encouraged to start early .

Please direct questions regarding registration to the Contact Center at tel.: 1-800-518-4726 Contact Center hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

NIH eRA Commons Registration

In addition to registration, applicant organizations planning on submitting applications to the NIH must also complete a one-time, two-step Commons registration.

  1. Commons Registration for the Organization : Organizations may verify their current registration status by running the List of Commons Registered Organizations query found at: Organizations not yet registered can go to for instructions. It generally takes several days to complete this registration process. This registration is independent of and may be done at any time.

  2. Commons Registration for the Principal Investigator (PI): The individual designated as the PI on the application must also be registered in the Commons. The PI must hold a PI account and be affiliated with the applicant organization. This registration must be done by an organizational official or their delegate who is already registered in the Commons. It is recommended that this registration process be completed at least 2 weeks prior to the submittal date of any submission. To register PIs in the Commons, refer to the eRA Commons User Guide found at:

Please direct questions regarding the Commons registration process to the NIH eRA Service Desk at phone: 301-402-7469/866-504-9552 (Toll Free); 301-451-5939 (TTY) business hours M-F 7am-8pm Eastern Standard Time.


For additional information concerning this change contact:

Grants Info:
Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
Phone: 301-945-7573

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

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