Announcing Transition Schedule for NIH/AHRQ/CDC/NIOSH/FDA to Adobe-based forms for SF424 Research and Related (R&R) Electronic Submissions through

Notice Number: NOT-OD-08-117

Update: The following updates relating to this announcement have been issued:

  • January 28, 2009 - See Notice (NOT-OD-09-043).
  • December 9, 2008 - See Impact of NIH Transition to Adobe Forms on Appointed Members of NIH Chartered Study Sections (NOT-OD-09-028).
  • December 1, 2008 - See NIH to Migrate Approximately 100 FOAs in Early Dec; Applicants Will Receive Automated E-mail from (NOT-OD-09-022).
  • November 21, 2008 - See Notice (NOT-OD-09-020) Reminder and Clarification on NIH/AHRQ/CDC/FDA Transition to Adobe-based forms for SF424 Research and Related (R&R) Electronic Submissions through
  • October 8, 2008 - See Notice (NOT-OH-09-001) CDC/NIOSH Set Transition from PureEdge to Adobe Application Forms for December 2008 and Plan Subsequent Transition of PAR-08-070 to Electronic Submission.

Key Dates
Release Date: September 22, 2008

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH),
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ),
Center for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, (CDC/NIOSH)
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA),

This Notice provides the Transition Schedule for NIH/AHRQ/CDC/NIOSH/FDA from PureEdge to Adobe-based grant application forms for electronic submissions of SF424 Research and Related (R&R) applications. Please note the importance of this schedule, as will not accept PureEdge applications after the transition dates noted below. 

Most electronic submissions to NIH on or after January 1, 2009, must use Adobe application forms, except:

  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR [R41/ R44])/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR [R41/R42] and Conference (R13/U13) grant applications for the January 7, 2009, AIDS submission deadlines.
  • Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) with non-standard and standard submission dates expiring on or before January 31, 2009 will use PureEdge until the expiration date. (Updated November 21, 2008 Per NOT-OD-09-020)

NIH Transition Schedule to Adobe for Standard Submission Dates

The following table provides the final standard submission dates for PureEdge applications, along with the first Adobe submission dates.

Grant type

PureEdge Submission Date

First Adobe
Submission Date

C06/UC6, R18/U18, R25, Gs, S11, S21, S22, SC1, SC2, SC3


1/7/2009 (AIDS)



1/7/2009 (AIDS)



1/7/2009 (AIDS)

R03, R21, R33, R21/R33, R34, R36


1/7/2009 (AIDS)


 1/7/2009 (AIDS)


R41, R42, R43, R44

1/7/2009 (AIDS)


  • The overall electronic submission process of finding opportunities, downloading application packages, preparing forms, preparing attachments, and submitting applications remains the same.

  • Although the new Adobe forms have a slightly different look and feel from the PureEdge forms, the changes are mainly cosmetic.


  • It is crucial that applicants check the FOA in December to download the new Adobe application forms: Between now and December, NIH will publish new FOAs without accompanying application forms. We expect to have the forms for posting from by early December 2008; NIH will issue a Guide Notice when the Adobe forms are available. Adobe forms for small business applications and conference applications will be posted in early February 2009. 
  • NIH currently has FOAs that are active for three years; these are also transitioning to Adobe.  Adobe forms will replace PureEdge forms in the December 2008 timeframe.  PureEdge forms will not be accepted by the system after the transition to Adobe.
  • requires a specific version of Adobe Reader in order to open, download save and submit an Adobe application.  The latest versions are listed on the site and are updated as new editions are produced (see the Download Software page). 

    • CAUTION:  Applicants should make sure they are using the recommended versions of Adobe Reader.  Versions earlier than 8.1.2 should not be used and may corrupt when the completed application is uploaded. 


  • Applicants currently working on a PureEdge grant application to be submitted in January 2009, are advised to continue to develop their research plan components and other parts of the application that will be uploaded as attachments, but wait to complete the application forms until the Adobe forms become available in December (unless it is exempted as noted above).

More details will be provided in the coming weeks on the Resources for Adobe Transition Web page on the Electronic Submission of Grant Applications Web site at:

During the transition to Adobe forms, applicants should follow the usual process for seeking support with any electronic submission issue. Questions on form functionality or submission of the forms to should be directed to the Contact Center.  If you encounter a technical issue that threatens NIH’s timely receipt of your application, work with the Contact Center and be sure to contact the eRA Help Desk at NIH to document the issue and provide us with the Contact Center tracking number.

Related Guide Notices:
Adobe Pilot Application Guide Available (August 1, 2008)
Pilot for Transition from PureEdge to Adobe-based forms (July 2, 2008)
NIH/AHRQ Set Transition to Adobe for Dec. 2008 (May 23, 2008)


Questions about this Notice should be directed to:

Grants Information
Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
Phone: 301-945-7573
TTY: 301-451-5936