Reminder: NIH/AHRQ/NIOSH/FDA Return to a Two-day “Error Correction Window” for Grant Applications Effective May 8, 2010

Notice Number: NOT-OD-10-088

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

  • November 24, 2010 (NOT-OD-11-021) - This Notice serves as a reminder of several policies affecting the submission of NIH grant applications for the January 25, 2011 due date and thereafter. 

Key Dates
Release Date:  May 3, 2010

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

This notice supersedes NOT-OD-10-042.

Effective May 8, 2010, NIH, AHRQ, NIOSH, and FDA will return to a two (2) business day “error correction window” (i.e., the time allowed after the submission deadline for an applicant to address NIH system-identified errors/warnings) for electronic and competing paper-based PHS 398 grant applications. Errors on electronically submitted applications must be corrected within the two business days following the submission deadline; paper applications must be corrected and postmarked/e-mail date stamped within two business days of the date that NIH staff contacts the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) and Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) via e-mail to alert them to an issue with the use of correct forms and instructions (whether or not receipt of the e-mail is acknowledged). 

The temporary extension from two to five days, announced in NOT-OD-10-042 and clarified for competing paper-based PHS 398 applications in NOT-OD-10-050, was implemented in order to accommodate the transition to new application forms and instructions as part of the Enhancing Peer Review initiative. The temporary extension provided additional time to correct errors for applicants who submitted using incorrect forms or who exceeded the new page limits in applications intended for submission deadlines on or between January 25 and May 7, 2010—the first cycle in which the new forms and page limits were mandated.

As always, in order to take advantage of the error correction window and still be considered “on-time,” an application must meet the following criteria:

  • All required registrations must be complete prior to the initial submission.
  • The initial submission to (for an electronic application) must have a timestamp on or before 5:00 p.m. local time of the submitting organization on the submission deadline.
  • Errors/warnings must be corrected within the two business days following the submission deadline.
  • The Authorized Organization Representative is expected to enforce that all application changes made within the window are restricted to those necessary to address system-identified errors/warnings. NIH may reject any application that includes additional changes.
  • If submitting a changed/corrected application after the submission deadline (i.e., within the error correction window), the applicant must include a cover letter attachment that provides proof of “on-time” submission (e.g., original tracking number and/or help desk ticket numbers that confirm a system issue) and documents the changes made to the application.
  •  This return to the two-day error correction window does not affect the two-day viewing window, which allows applicants to view an assembled electronic image of their application in the eRA Commons upon submission of an error-free application.

Remember: Applicants who experience problems with or the eRA Commons that threaten the timely submission of their application or the ability to obtain the tracking number and timestamp necessary to verify on-time submission should follow the directions and adhere to the policies outlined on the “Need Assistance?” page of the NIH Applying Electronically Web site.


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