Successful eSubmissionof NIH Grant Applications Sheri Cummins eRA Customer Relationship Manager – eSubmission Deven Tines Service Center Representative – Commons & eSubmission Electronic Research Administration Office of Extramural Research National Institutes of Health June 2011
Two Separate, but Linked Systems • Grants.gov • Federal-wide portal to find and apply for Federal grant funding • Used by all 26 Federal grant-making agencies • eRA Commons • Agency system that allows applicants, grantees and Federal staff to share application/grant information • Used by NIH and a few other HHS divisions IMPORTANT: Each system has its own registration and application requirements.
Electronic Submission of Grant Applications to NIH PI PI AOR/SO Find and download announcement, instructions and form package. Principal Investigator (PI) prepares application per institution guidelines. PI sends app. to Authorized Organization Rep. (AOR), who submits application to Grants.gov. eRA retrieves application from Grants.gov and checks it for compliance with application instructions. PI and AOR/Signing Official (SO) check submission status and view assembled application in eRA Commons.
eSubmission Web Site http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/index.htm
Prepare to Apply & Register Prepare toApply& Register FindOpportunity PrepareApplication Submit,Track &View SubmissionComplete
Registration • Grants.gov • Applicant Organizations only • Designate E-Business Point of Contact (E-Biz POC) • Approves Authorized Organization Representatives (AORs) providing authority to submit applications • No registration needed to find opportunities or download forms • eRA Commons • Applicant Organization & PD/PI • Designate Signing Official (SO) • Registers or affiliates Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) Many organizations are already registered. Check with your Office of Sponsored Projects.
Registration • Tips for Success: • If not yet registered, start the process at least 4 weeks before the deadline • Once DUNS number is obtained, Grants.gov and eRA Commons registrations can be done in tandem • NIH 2-week “good faith effort” for Commons registration • Set-up multiple AOR and SO accounts • Log in to accounts prior to deadline to ensure you have access to the systems • Update Central Contractor Registration (CCR) information yearly to keep credentials active
Registration • More Tips for Success: • Do not combine SO and PI roles on single Commons account • PIs get one Commons account that follows them throughout their careers • If PI is already registered, “affiliate” their existing account rather than creating a new one • http://era.nih.gov/commons/steps_commons.cfm#step3 • PIs should update their Commons profile prior to submitting (e.g., degree info used to determine Early Stage Investigator eligibility)
Obtain Software • Adobe Reader • Only specific Adobe Reader versionsare compatible with Grants.gov forms • PDF conversion program • Attachments must be converted to PDF • Grants.gov download software page • http://www.grants.gov/help/download_software.jsp
Make a Submission Plan • Internal organization considerations… • Submission method • Downloadable forms • System-to-system using XML data stream • Services of a commercial service providerhttp://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/sp.htm • Application preparation responsibilities • Sharing applications in progress • Internal review & approval process • Internal deadlines Administrators and PIs must work together!
Find Opportunity Prepare toApply& Register FindOpportunity PrepareApplication Submit,Track &View SubmissionComplete
Find Opportunity • ALL applications must be submitted in response to a specific Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) • NIH simultaneously posts FOAs in: • NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts • Grants.gov Find Grant Opportunities • Some FOAs focus on specific areas of research and others provide instructions and forms for general grant programs • Use “Parent” FOAs for unsolicitedapplications • http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/parent_announcements.htm
Finding FOAs in Grants.gov Grants.govhttp://grants.gov For Applicants: Find Grant Opportunitieshttp://grants.gov/applicants/find_grant_opportunities.jsp
Finding FOAs in Grants.gov Enter search criteria and click Search Click Advanced Search or other desired search
Finding FOAs in Grants.gov Click Opportunity Title to access opportunity synopsis Click Application to access application package Now let’s get to the same step using the NIH Guide…
Finding FOAs for Investigator–Initiated Research NIH Office of Extramural Researchhttp://grants.nih.gov/grants/oer.htm Parent Announcements for Unsolicited Applications
Finding FOAs in NIH Guide for Grants & Contracts • Screen shots of NIH Guide at http://grants.nih.gov/grant/guide/ • Enter search string or advanced search NIH Guide for Grants & Contractshttp://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/ Enter search string or click Advanced Search
Finding FOAs in NIH Guide for Grants & Contracts • In Advanced Search screen, enter search parameters and click on Search button. Enter search parameters Click Search
Finding FOAs in NIH Guide for Grants & Contracts Review list of FOAs matching your criteria and find FOA of interest Click Announcement Number link to access FOA information
Announcement Notes • Carefully read the entire announcement! • Key dates: • Release/Posted Date: package and instructions available for download; begin preparing application • Application Submission/Receipt/Due Date: applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. local time • Opening Date: systems begin accepting applications • Expiration Date: announcement closed
Announcement Notes FOAs in the NIH Guide include button to download app from Grants.gov Can also get to this screen by clicking Application from Grants.gov synopsis… Click Apply for Grant Electronically found within the NIH Guide announcement. Verify information Click download
Download Package & Application Guide Sign up for Agency updates to FOA Download application instructions and Application Package
Application Guide Read and follow application guide instructions Agency-specific instructions are marked with the HHS logo
Prepare Application Prepare toApply& Register FindOpportunity PrepareApplication Submit,Track &View SubmissionComplete
SF 424 (R&R) Data Set NIH uses the SF 424 Research & Related (R&R) data set Owned and maintained by Grants.gov NIH applications include: Federal-wide (R&R) components NIH cannot build agency-specific business rules into federal-wide forms Agency-specific (PHS 398) components
SF 424 (R&R) Data Set • SF 424 (R&R) Components include: • SF 424 (R&R)—An application cover component • Research & Related Project/Performance Site Location(s) • Research & Related Other Project Information • Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) • Research & Related Budget • R&R Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form • Budget Information – Construction Programs • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) & Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Information
NIH Agency-specific components • NIH requires additional information for review of its biomedical research portfolio.NIH agency-specific components (titled PHS 398): • PHS Cover Letter File • PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement (supplements the R&R Cover) • PHS 398 Modular Budget • PHS 398 Research Plan • PHS 398 Checklist • PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form • PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form • PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan • PHS 398 Training Budget • PHS 398 Training Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form
Grant Application Package Screen Save the package locally. *Application Form Screen - Top* Make sure you have the correct application package. FOA information is automatically populated and not editable. Mandatory Grants.gov fields highlighted yellow with red box.
Grant Application Package Screen Mandatory Documents must be completed prior to submission. Complete the SF 424 (R&R) form first – info from this form populates fields in other forms in the package. *Application Form Screen - Bottom* See application guide to determine which Optional Documents you need to include.
Ten Checks for Avoiding Common Errors 1. Does the DUNS number on the SF 424 (R&R) cover form match the DUNS number used for Grants.gov & Commons registrations?
Ten Checks for Avoiding Common Errors Primary site DUNS is required by NIH and is enforced by the eRA systems with a validation In ADOBE-FORMS-B1 application packages, the DUNS is no longer marked as required on the federal-wide Project/Performance Site Location(s) form
Ten Checks for Avoiding Common Errors 2. Did you provide correct Type of Submission (box #1), Federal Identifier (box #4), and Type of Application (box #8) information on the SF 424 (R&R) cover form? • Use Application for first submission attempt • Use Changed/Corrected when submitting again to correct eRA-identified errors/warnings
Ten Checks for Avoiding Common Errors • If box 1=Application and box 8=New, then leave blank • If box 1=Changed/Corrected and box 8=New, then enter previous Grants.gv tracking number • Otherwise, use Institute and serial # of previous NIH grant/app (e.g., use CA987654 from 1R01CA987654-01) • See Application Guide for definition of application types
Ten Checks for Avoiding Common Errors • Type of Application (box 8)
Ten Checks for Avoiding Common Errors 3. Did you include the eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the R&R Sr./Key Person Profile form for all PD/PIs? 4. If submitting a Multiple-PD/PI application, did you give all PIs the PD/PI role on the Sr./Key Person Profile form?
Ten Checks for Avoiding Common Errors eRA Commons username must be supplied in the Credential field Enter PI Commons Username For multiple PD/PI applications, select the PD/PI role for each PI and provide their eRA Commons username in the Credential field Enter PI Commons Username Select PD/PI role for each PI
Ten Checks for Avoiding Common Errors 5. Did you include Organization name for all Sr./Key listed on the R&R Sr./Key Person Profile (Expanded) form? PD/PI Organization will auto-populate from SF 424 (R&R) cover if available. NIH requires the Organization name for all Sr./Key listed. Organization Name Enter Organization Name
Ten Checks for Avoiding Common Errors 6. Did you include all required attachments? Whether an attachment is required is often based on how the applicant answers specific questions throughout the application Examples: Human Subjects = Yes, then Human Subjects section of the PHS 398 Research Plan required Vertebrate Animals = Yes, then Vertebrate Animals attachment is required More than one entry on the R&R Sr./Key Person Profile form with the role of “PD/PI,” then the Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan attachment on the PHS 398 Research Plan form is required
Ten Checks for Avoiding Common Errors Annotated form sets available on the Resources page of the Applying Electronically website are a great resource for helping identify many conditional requirements. Annotated form sets: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/communication.htm
Ten Checks for Avoiding Common Errors 7. Are all your attachments in PDF format? Use simple PDF-formatted files Do not use Portfolio or similar feature to bundle multiple files into a single PDF Disable security features such as password protection Keep file names to 50 characters or less and use only letters, numbers and underscore (_) Do not include headers or footers Section headings as part of the text (e.g., Specific Aims, Background & Significance) are encouraged Follow guidelines for fonts and margins Avoid 2-column and “landscape” format PDF Guidelines: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/pdf_guidelines.htm
Ten Checks for Avoiding Common Errors 8. Did you follow the page limits specified in the FOA and application guide? (Page limit table from Application Guide) • Find page limits in: • FOA text • Application guide page limit table • Application guide form field instructions
Ten Checks for Avoiding Common Errors 9. Did you include effort > 0 for all Sr./Key personnel listed on the R&R Budget form? Use either calendar months or a combination of academic and summer months PD/PI must have effort >0 for every period Include effort > zero for all Sr./Key listed
Ten Checks for Avoiding Common Errors 10. Did you follow all special instructions noted in Section IV. Application and Submission Information of the announcement? When the application guide and FOA instructions differ, the FOA wins FOA-specific requirements are not typically system-enforced Applications that do not comply with the instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review
Program-specific Considerations Special considerations for special programs Individual National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowships (F) Research Career Development Award Program (Ks, except K12) Institutional Training (Ts & Ds) and Institutional Career Development (K12)
Fellowship (F) Applications Fellowship (F) applications Fellowship-specific Application Guide http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm Designate Sponsor on the R&R Sr./Key Person Profile (Expanded) form Select Role of “Other”, then indicate “Sponsor” in Other Role category Complete PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form, including new Sponsor(s) and Co-Sponsor(s) section PHS Cover Letter form is required Include list of referees that will submit reference letters through Commons
Career Development (K) Applications Research Career Development Award Program (Ks, except K12) applications Supplemental instructions for Career Development applications added to general Application Guide http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm (Part I, Section 7) Complete PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental form PHS Cover Letter form is fequired for mentored Ks (K01, K07, K08, K18, K22, K23, K25, K99) Include list of referees that will submit reference letters through Commons
Career Development (K) Applications New K page limits for due dates on/after January 7, 2011 Mentoring Plan - 6 pages Statements by Mentor, Co-Mentors, Consultants, Contributors - 6 pages Description of Institutional Environment - 1 page Institutional Commitment to Candidate's Research Career Development - 1 page NIH Guide Notice: NOT-OD-11-027http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-11-027.html
Training Applications Training (Ts & Ds) and Institutional Career Development (K12) Program applications Supplemental instructions for Training applications added to general Application Guide (Part I, Section 8) http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm Depending on FOA, one of three application packages is used; vary by budget requirements R&R Budget (only) PHS 398 Training Budget (only) R&R Budget and PHS 398 Training Budget Complete PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan Data Tables – user defined bookmarks included in the attachment will be pulled into application image
Submit, Track & View Prepare toApply& Register FindOpportunity PrepareApplication Submit,Track &View SubmissionComplete
AOR - Submit Application Check Package for Errors only checks a subset of Grants.gov errors Save & Submit button will not become active until application is saved and mandatory information is completed. You must SUBMIT the application for it to be checked against NIH application instructions. NIH errors/warnings will be displayed in the eRA Commons.