Requirement for the Appropriate Signatures on NIH Forms and Official Documentation

Notice Number: NOT-OD-16-071

Key Dates
Release Date: February 25, 2016

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)


National Institutes of Health grants and cooperative agreements are subject to requirements intended to ensure that recipient organizations handle their Federal awards responsibly. Recipients are required to adopt and enforce policies that minimize the opportunity for improper research and financial conduct on the part of their organization, employees and collaborators. In upholding the high ethical, health, and safety standards in both the conduct of the research it funds and the expenditure of public funds by its recipients, NIH requires the signature of the AOR on the application as certification of compliance for the applicant organization.

The purpose of this Guide Notice is to inform NIH applicants and recipients that as of the effective dates reflected in table below, NIH will no longer accept forms or other documentation bearing generic departmental signatures or their electronic equivalent (e.g., Department of Sponsored Research). All forms and documentation submitted to the NIH must reflect the name of the individual, electronic or otherwise, with the appropriate institutional authority to submit such information (i.e., Authorized Organizational Official (AOR), Signing Official (SO), Business Official (BO), Principal Investigator (PD/PI)).

Type of Application

Effective on and after

Competing application

June 1, 2016

Non-competing continuation

June 1, 2016


June 1, 2016

JIT/Pre-Award Materials

June 1, 2016

Post-Award materials (e.g.,Trainee Appointment Forms, Termination Notices, etc .)

June 1, 2016

For a complete detailed list of all eRA Commons roles, please refer to Definitions of roles in eRA Commons.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Division of Grants Policy
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)
National Institutes of Health
Telephone: 301-435-0949