April 29, 2022
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH)
The purpose of this Notice is to provide updated guidance to the NIH extramural community regarding the registration and renewal process in the General Services Administration (GSA) System for Award Management (SAM). On April 4, 2022, the federal government transitioned from the Dun & Bradstreet DUNS Number to the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI).To align with this transition, GSA implemented a new process in SAM.gov to validate entities as a first step to requesting a UEI and for completing SAM.gov entity registration. This entity validation process includes verifying the entity name and address. Due to high demands on their systems, the GSA experienced delays in the SAM process used to update or renew an entity registration. See https://sam.gov/alerts and this Federal Service Desk (FSD) FAQ for more information.
Note: Any entity registration that was set to expire between March 18, 2022 and April 18, 2022 was automatically granted a 60-day extension to renew its registration in SAM.gov. See this FSD FAQ for more information.
What does this mean for NIH applicant organizations?
Organizations that do not have an active SAM registration cannot be issued an NIH award. Under normal circumstances, the NIH Late Application Policy does not allow late submissions due to failure to complete or renew required registrations. At this time, SAM.gov is experiencing system challenges that have the potential to impact all applicants and recipients across the Federal government. Due to the scope of these challenges, NIH is making an exception to the Late Application Policy until the issue is resolved. The extramural community will be notified when this issue is resolved and exceptions to the Late Application Policy will no longer be made for this reason.
Effective immediately, if an entity does not have a current SAM registration or renewal at the time of the application submission due date, NIH will accept late applications within the two-week late window as long as the entity has submitted all SAM registration or renewal documentation at least two weeks prior to the application due date and all other aspects of the application are compliant and consistent with the funding opportunity announcement requirements. To be considered under this special accommodation, the entity's application Cover Letter must include documentation, such as a confirmation email or screenshot, demonstrating that the SAM registration or renewal request was submitted prior to the application due date.
Requests for accommodations beyond the two-week late window will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Permission to submit late will not be given in advance. Therefore, applicants must ensure their Cover Letter attachment documents a good faith attempt to resolve SAM issues in a timely manner and includes any relevant correspondence with GSA.
As a reminder, NIH encourages prospective applicants to start registration as early as possible, as it can take six weeks or more to complete all required organization registration processes. See the NIH Grants and Funding Register and Organization Registration pages for more information and FAQs on registrations.
For more information and FAQs on the SAM registration process go to https://sam.gov/content/home.
NIH Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)
Systems Policy Branch