At this point, your application preparation team should have already…
- Verified all required registrations are in place and your System for Award Management (SAM) registration is active
- Identified your funding opportunity announcement and due date
- Chosen your submission method (ASSIST, your own system-to-system solution, Grants.gov Workspace)
- Prepared your application forms per the announcement and application guide instructions
- Checked the related notices section of your announcement for any late breaking changes
- Completed any internal reviews and sign-offs required by your office of sponsored research
- Routed your application to the person authorized by your organization to submit (i.e. Grants.gov user with the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) role)
…and you, the AOR, are ready to submit. You're almost there; you just have a few steps to go.
- Submit your application to Grants.gov by 5 p.m. local time on your due date using your chosen submission method
- Track your submission in Grants.gov and eRA Commons and address any identified errors
- View your assembled application image in eRA Commons to verify we got it and that it correctly reflects your submitted application information. If you can't VIEW it, we can't REVIEW it!
Submission Process Overview
Once you submit your application to Grants.gov, they perform some basic application checks. If a problem is found, Grants.gov rejects your application with a "Rejected with Errors" status. You must address all errors and submit again. If no problem is found, Grants.gov places your application in a queue for agency retrieval.
Our eRA systems are constantly checking Grants.gov to see if they have any applications ready for us. When we retrieve your application, we check it against our own agency business rules and place the results in eRA Commons. We refer to these business rule checks as "validations".
You must check the status of your application in eRA Commons. If we identify problems with your application, we provide a list of errors and warnings. Errors are showstoppers and must be addressed. Warnings will not stop your application from progressing through NIH systems and on to NIH staff for further processing. Do not simply ignore warnings. Warnings alert you to potential problems that could lead to NIH staff withdrawing your application. Consider each warning carefully in the context of your situation and address any that apply.
Once we receive your error-free application, we create a consolidated document of all your submitted forms and attachments in a consistent format. We add headers, footers, a table of contents, and bookmarks and place the assembled application image in eRA Commons Status for you to view.
You have a 2 business day application viewing window to check your assembled application image and notify the eRA Service Desk of any assembly issues (e.g., missing attachment, garbled text). Your application automatically moves forward to our receipt and referral staff for further processing after the application viewing window has elapsed unless you explicitly "reject" the application in eRA Commons.
- We recommend you submit early - at least 2 days before the due date. Submitting early provides time to track your application, correct any errors and view your application by the due date.
- The specific actions you take to submit your application will vary by submission method (ASSIST, Grants.gov workspace, your organization's system-to-system solution).
Regardless of how you submit, your application will be assigned a Grants.gov tracking number (e.g., GRANT12345678).
- Save this number. You will need it to track your submission and receive support.
- You will also receive a Grants.gov timestamp that we will use to determine if you submitted on-time.
Your error-free application must be submitted by 5 p.m. local time for your organization.
- We determine "local time" using the address in the Applicant Information section (item #5) of your SF424 (R&R) application form.
- Grants.gov displays their timestamps in Eastern Time. Don't worry; we'll do the conversion to your local time before determining if you are on-time.
- Check out our Submission Policies page for guidance on due dates that fall on holidays/weekends, late applications, how to handle system issues impacting your on time submission and more.
- You are responsible for tracking your application through Grants.gov to a visible application image in eRA Commons.
- You will receive a series of Grants.gov and eRA Commons email notifications throughout the submission process. Email can be unreliable, so it is good practice to proactively track your application status in Grants.gov and eRA Commons.
- You must address any errors identified in Grants.gov and eRA Commons before the submission deadline.
- Your assembled application image in eRA Commons is the same document used by our staff and reviewers. Check it carefully!
- You have a 2 business day application viewing window (weekends and federal holidays don't count) to check your assembled application image before it moves on to our receipt and referral staff for further processing.
- You can no longer make changes to your application through Grants.gov after the application viewing window unless you officially withdraw your application from consideration
- Your corrective submission replaces your previous submission. You cannot reject or withdraw your submission and return to a previous submission.