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GENERAL APPLICATION GUIDE FOR NIH AND OTHER PHS AGENCIES
SF424 (R&R) - Forms Version E
Released: September 25, 2017

G.110 - Application Process

Prepare to Apply and Register

Systems and Roles

Learn about the main systems involved in application submission and the role you and your colleagues play in the submission process. The main systems are Grants.gov, eRA Commons, and ASSIST.

Register

Determine your registration status. Organizations, organizational representatives, investigators, and others need to register in multiple federal systems in order to for you to submit a grant application. Registration can take six weeks or more to complete. Start today! See NIH's Registration website.

Understand Funding Opportunities

Identify the right funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for your research and learn about key information you will find in the FOA.

Types of Applications

Are you submitting a new, renewal, revision, or resubmission application? Learn about the different types of applications and special submission requirements.

Submission Options

Determine which system is most convenient for your application submission: NIH's ASSIST web-based application submission system, Grants.gov downloadable forms, Grants.gov Workspace, or, if applicable, your organization's own submission system.

Obtain Software

Applicants must have the free Adobe Reader software, a PDF generator, and a web browser to submit an application. Learn which versions are compatible with our systems.

Write Application

Write Your Application

Read tips for developing a strong application that helps reviewers evaluate its science and merit.

Develop Your Budget

Learn about the kinds of costs you may include in your budget submission, the difference between modular and detailed budgets, and more about how to develop your budget.

Format Attachments

Follow these requirements for preparing the documents you attach to your application. Requirements include criteria for the PDF files, fonts, margins, headers and footers, paper size, citations, formatting pages, etc.

Rules for Text Fields

Learn the rules for form text fields - allowable characters, cutting and pasting, character limits, and formatting.

Page Limits

Follow the page limits specified in this table for your specific grant program, unless otherwise specified in the FOA.

Data Tables

Find instructions, blank data tables, and samples to use with institutional research training applications.

Reference Letters

Some types of programs, such as fellowships and some career development awards, require the submission of reference letters by the referee. Learn about selecting a referee and find instructions for submission.

Biosketches

Biosketches are required in both competing applications and progress reports. Find instructions, blank format pages, and sample biosketches.

Submit

Submit, Track and View

Learn how to submit your application, and about your responsibility for tracking your application and viewing the application image in the eRA Commons before the application deadline. If you can't view your application in eRA Commons, we can't review it.

How We Check for Completeness

Your application will be checked at Grants.gov, by eRA systems, and by federal staff before it is referred for review.

Changed/Corrected Applications

You will need to submit a changed/corrected application to correct issues that either you or our systems find with your application. Learn how and when you may submit a changed/corrected application.

Related Resources

Due Dates and Policies

Due Dates

View standard due dates for competing applications. The FOA will identify whether to follow standard due dates or whether to follow an alternative due date.

Submission Policies

Learn the nuances of application submission policies, including when late applications might be allowed, what to do if due dates fall on a weekend or holiday, whether we allow post-submission materials, how to document system issues, the rules around resubmission applications, etc.

Dealing with System Issues

Are you experiencing system issues with ASSIST, Grants.gov, System for Award Management (SAM), or the eRA Commons that you believe threaten your ability to submit on time? NIH will not penalize applicants who experience confirmed issues with federal systems that are beyond their control. You must report the problem before the submission deadline.

After Submission

Receipt and Referral

Understand how and when applications are given an application identification number and assigned to a review group and an NIH Institute or Center (IC) for possible funding.

Peer Review

Learn about our two phase peer review process, including initial peer review, Council review, review criteria, scoring, and summary statements.

Pre-award Process

Learn what happens between peer review and award for applications that have been deemed highly meritorious in the scientific peer review process. Be ready: if you received a great score in peer review, you'll have to submit Just-in-Time information.

Post award Monitoring and Reporting

If you receive a grant from the NIH, you will need a lot of information to be a successful steward of federal funds. This page provides a brief overview of grantee monitoring and reporting requirements.

Resources

News - Items of Interest

The NIH eSubmission Items of Interest page provides comprehensive information, in an informal format, on the changes impacting application development and submission.

Annotated Form Sets

These handy documents are a great visual resource for understanding many of the validation checks we will run against your submitted application.

Contacting NIH Staff

NIH staff is here to help. We strongly encourage NIH applicants and grantees to communicate with us throughout the grant life cycle. Understanding the roles of NIH staff can help you contact the right person at each phase of the application and award process.

Contacting Staff at Other PHS Agencies

Applicants are strongly encouraged to communicate with agency staff throughout the entire application review and awards process.

Systems

ASSIST

eRA Commons

Grants.gov

Information Collection

Authorization

The PHS Act establishes the authority with which NIH and other PHS agencies award grants and collect information related to grant awards.

Paperwork Burden

The paperwork burden provides the estimated time for completing a grant application.

Collection of Personal Demographic Data

NIH collects personal data through the eRA Commons Personal Profile. The data is confidential and is maintained under the Privacy Act record system.