Reminder and Clarification on NIH/AHRQ/CDC/FDA Transition to Adobe-based forms for SF424 Research and Related (R&R) Electronic Submissions through

Notice Number: NOT-OD-09-020

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

  • December 5, 2008 - See Notice (NOT-OD-09-026) NIH Announces the Availability of Adobe-Based Grant Application Forms.

Key Dates
Release Date: November 21, 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 updated details and dates pertaining to 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.

In September 2008, NIH announced its plan to transition to the new electronic Adobe-based grant application forms (Guide Notice NOT-OD-08-117). Most electronic submissions to NIH for receipt dates on or after January 1, 2009 will be required to use the new Adobe-based forms. Please see the full Adobe Transition Timeline for specific dates and details.

NIH initially intended to accommodate multiple form changes during January’s move to Adobe; however a delay in receipt of the revised forms has necessitated modifications to this plan. Thus, there will be two rounds of form updates. The first round will take place in December 2008 and will convert the present Pure Edge forms to Adobe. The second round of form updates will be implemented for receipt dates in May 2009 and beyond and will include updates resulting from OMB renewal of the PHS 398 form set, OMB renewal of the SF424 (R&R) form set, and the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA).


  • NIH is moving forward with the transition as scheduled and the Adobe-based application forms will become available after December 5, 2008. Applicants should access the FOA for which they are applying and download the new application forms after December 5. FOAs that have been published in the past few months without a forms package will have the Adobe forms added after December 5.
  • Adobe based application forms will be updated again in March/April 2009. Applicants will need to access their respective FOAs at that time to download the latest version of the application forms for receipt dates in May 2009 and beyond.
  • requires a specific version of Adobe Reader in order to open, download, save, and submit an Adobe application. Compatible versions are listed on the site and are updated as they are produced (see the Download Software page). To ensure a smooth transition, everyone who will work on an application must download Adobe Reader version 8.1.3 or later available at no cost from and use it to open and complete their application(s).

The following bullet printed in Guide Notice NOT-OD-08-117:

  • Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) with non-standard submission dates expiring on or before January 31, 2009, can use PureEdge until the expiration date (except RFA-AI-08-053 and RFA-RM-08-029, which use Adobe).

Should read:

  • 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.

All other elements of the notice remain unchanged.

A listing of the FOAs Expiring 1/1/2009-1/31/2009 using PureEdge can be found on the Electronic Submission Web Site.

Although the software has changed, the electronic submission process has NOT. The Adobe forms will look very similar to Pure Edge forms, and applicants are reminded that the overall process of finding opportunities, preparing forms and submitting applications will remain the same. (See a side-by-side comparison of the forms here.)

Applicants may work on all of the PDF attachments for the Research Plan and other components of the application now. These components of the application are not affected by the new Adobe forms.

NIH will continue to make information available on the Resources for Adobe Transition Web page on the Electronic Submission of Grant Applications Web site at:

Related Guide Notices:


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