Start now! It can take six weeks or more to complete the registration process.
This page outlines the required organization registrations needed to apply for NIH grant funding.
- System for Award Management (SAM) – required to do business with the U.S. government
- SAM will issue a 12-character unique entity identifier (UEI) used to complete your full SAM registration and which serves as the official organization identifier in other federal systems
- eRA Commons – required to do business with NIH and some agency partners
- Grants.gov – required to submit grant applications through the federal-wide grant portal
- Small Business Administration (SBA) Company Registry – required to participate in SBIR and STTR federal funding programs
Note: Different systems may use different terminology – “organization”, “institution”, “company”, and “entity” can be used interchangeably.
SAM Registration - Allow three weeks or more for initial registration and two weeks for yearly renewal
Required to do business with the U. S. government. Your organization (referred to as an “entity”) must have a valid and active full SAM registration at time of application and award.
- On April 4, 2022, the federal government transitioned from a DUNS number issued by Dun & Bradstreet to a 12-character unique entity identifier (UEI) created in SAM.gov as the official entity identifier for federal systems. If your entity is registered in SAM.gov today, your UEI has already been assigned.
- You must identify an entity administrator (chief financial officer or other authorizing official) to own and manage your organizations information and authorize additional users.
- The entity administrator must complete a yearly renewal process to verify entity information and retain the ability to apply for or receive an award.
- Quick Start Guide for New Grantee Registration - a short reference guide on what you must know to register your entity for grants and federal assistance in SAM
- Quick Start Guide for International Registrants - a short reference guide on what you must know to register your international entity in SAM for grants and federal assistance
- SAM Status Tracker – track the status of your registration
- Quick Start Guides for Updating/Renewing Registrations - a short reference guide to help you renew or update your registration in SAM
- After the unique entity identifier (UEI) is assigned, you can register with eRA Commons and Small Business Administration (if applicable).
- After your full SAM registration is approved and active, you can register with Grants.gov.
eRA Commons Registration - Allow two weeks or more
Required to do business with NIH. eRA Commons is the NIH-managed system that allows applicants, recipients, and agency staff to securely access, share, and transmit information. eRA Commons credentials are also used to access ASSIST, NIH’s online system used to prepare and submit grant applications.
- A SAM-issued unique entity identifier (UEI) is required to register in eRA Commons, though full SAM registration is not required until application submission. If full SAM registration is not complete, registrants will need to manually provide some eRA Commons registration information that would otherwise be pre-populated from SAM.
- Registration must be done by a business official with the authority to legally bind your organization in grants and contracts.
- A signing official (SO) and an optional account administrator (AA) account are created as part of the organization registration. Signing officials have the overall responsibility for managing accounts for their organization, including the creation of additional accounts with the SO or other eRA Commons roles .
- During registration, select "NIH Grants/Contacts" as the Registration Purpose and read/check the "I acknowledge I have read and understand the NIH Grants Policy statement regarding the Legal Implications of Applications" checkbox. If this step is missed at time of registration, an SO must update the eRA Commons Institutional Profile by checking the right box in the Opportunity Type Eligibility section prior to submitting an application to NIH.
- NIH considers beginning your eRA Commons registration at least 10 business days prior to an application due date a "good faith effort" to register on time. If your registration is not completed in time to submit due to NIH delays (you have allowed at least 10 business days and have quickly responded to all NIH inquiries regarding your registration), then you may be allowed to submit a late application.
- Register|Accounts – instructions on how to create and manage eRA Commons accounts
- eRA Videos: Institution Registration and Account Creation – includes tutorials on institution registration and account creation
Grants.gov Organization Registration - Allow one business day or more (depends on responsiveness of your EBiz POC)
Required to submit grant applications through the federal-wide grant portal. All grant applications submitted to NIH flow through Grants.gov.
- Your organization information is automatically sent from SAM to Grants.gov within 24 hours of the approval and activation of your SAM account.
- The entity e-business point of contact (EBiz POC) established during SAM.gov registration is integral to the Grants.gov registration and administration process and is responsible for authorizing roles for Grants.gov accounts.
- Any individual that will be authorized to legally sign-off on and submit a grant application needs a Grants.gov user account with an Organization Applicant Profile.
- Each user can establish an account and profile. Submitting an account request with a profile triggers an email to the EBiz POC who can then assign the authorized organization representative (AOR) role to the account to enable the ability to submit grant applications.
- Grants.gov Online Help: Applicant Management
- How to Register with Grants.gov – video tutorial on user account registration (1:42)
SBA Company Registration - Allow 1-2 business days
Registration in the Small Business Administration (SBA) Company Registry is required to participate in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) federal funding programs. Post-registration, you’ll receive an SBC Control ID (e.g., SBC_123456789) which must be included in the SBIR/STTR Information section of your grant application.