Submission Options

There are several available options to prepare and submit your application, but not all options may be available for your organization. Check with your administrative officials before choosing how you will submit.

Regardless of the option you use, your application will be:

  • Subject to the same registration requirements
  • Completed with the same data items
  • Routed through using the same application forms package
  • Validated against the same agency business rules
  • Assembled in a consistent format for review consideration
  • Tracked in eRA Commons


Key Features




NIH's web-based service for the preparation, submission and tracking of grant applications.

Learn more about preparing your application using ASSIST


  • Secure web-based data entry
  • Control over application access (view vs. edit; budget vs. non-budget vs. all data; entire application vs. individual components in multi-project applications)
  • Collaboration of multiple users
  • Pre-submission validation of many NIH and business rules
  • Pre-population of data from eRA Commons personal and institutional profiles
  • Ability to import subaward budget data from forms prepared offline
  • Ability to copy application data from a previously prepared application (best effort provided when copying between different form versions)
  • Pre-submission print/preview of application in NIH format
  • Submission status tracking for both and eRA Commons within a single system
  • Integrated NIH messaging (applicant tips, system alerts)
  • eRA Service Desk has secure visibility to applications for improved support
  • All users must have eRA Commons accounts
  • Supports all NIH single and multi-project grant applications
  • Organizations with system-to-system solutions in place may prefer those solutions be used to take advantage of integration with other internal systems and reduce duplicate data entry


Institutional Solutions
(System-to-System, S2S)


Institution’s own system to prepare and submit application data to complying with all application requirements.

  • Features vary by solution
  • Some integrate with institutional databases and grant systems
  • Some provide pre-submission verification of agency business rules
  • Some provide pre-submission preview of assembled application image in agency format
  • Some provide eRA Commons application status information
  • Can require substantial institutional investment 
  • Consult with your institutional officials to determine availability Workspace


A shared, online environment managed by where multiple users may simultaneously work on different forms within an application package.


Learn more about preparing your application using Workspace
  • Online environment to manage the individual forms in an application package
  • Individual forms can be downloaded and completed by different users
  • Online data entry option now available for many forms
  • Option to check application against NIH business rules prior to submission
  • Option to preview application in NIH format
  • Individual forms can be reused for other opportunities as long as the form has the exact name and version in the new opportunity
  • NOT available for NIH multi-project applications
  • Only a subset of the forms used by NIH is currently supported
  • Must login to multiple systems to track application status ( and eRA Commons)
  • NIH has no visibility to issues encountered in Workspace
    • Applicants must provide detailed documentation of good faith submission attempts to be considered under system issue policy Downloadable Forms


Offline solution where applicants can download the entire application package, complete the forms offline and submit.

  • Offline data entry
    • Especially good option when Internet connectivity is unreliable
  • All forms included in single file
    • Good if application is prepared by a small number of people
  • No registration required to begin application data entry
  • NOT available for NIH multi-project applications
  • Single user access at a time
  • No pre-submission verification of agency business rules
  • No pre-submission preview of application image in agency format
  • Must login to multiple systems to track application status ( and eRA Commons