Grants.gov is bringing major changes to the federal research grants submission process. The National Institutes of Health will soon require all competing research grant applications to be submitted electronically via the Web portal Grants.gov on a new SF424 application. The transition, which began in December 2005, will be completed by May 2007 when all grant programs will be submitted electronically.
Grant Submission Deadlines
Principal investigators and other research staff members are strongly urged to acquaint themselves with the new forms, advanced technology, and procedural changes.
What to Do Before You Begin
Users who plan to access, complete, and submit federal proposal applications through Grants.gov should review the following:
- Registration – Does the principal investigator have an account on eRA Commons? (National Institutes of Health only)
- System Requirements – Is your computer able to run the PureEdge Viewer?
- PureEdge Viewer – Have you successfully installed the required PureEdge Viewer?
- Converting Documents to PDF – Do you have a PDF generator?
To apply for National Institutes of Health funding via Grants.gov, the principal investigator must be registered with eRA Commons. Principal investigators do not need to register with Grants.gov – UAMS has registered as an institution. Tim Atkinson, Director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, is a registered authorized organization representative (AOR).
To register with eRA Commons: Request a new account from Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at least two weeks prior to the submittal date of any Grants.gov submission. If you are uncertain about an account or need a new account, please contact Suzanne Alstadt, assistant director of Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Windows 98, ME, NT 4.0, 2000, XP: PureEdge Viewer software
- Mac OS X: PureEdge Viewer software via the Citrix server software
The PureEdge Viewer is a small, free program that will allow you to access, complete, and submit applications electronically and securely via Grants.gov.
Download the PureEdge Viewer for Windows Users – installations instructions are attached. If you encounter problems with the installation, please contact the UAMS Help Desk for help. If the Help Desk is unable to resolve the problem, visit the Grants.gov Customer Support page.
Converting Documents to PDF
The National Institutes of Health require that applicants submit attachments to Grants.gov as a PDF. Note: Grants.gov might accept other file types; however, the National Institutes of Health will only accept PDF. Using PDF allows you to preserve the formatting of your document.
PDF generator software is available to help you save your documents as PDFs. There are several programs available for both PCs and Macs, along with websites that will perform the conversion for you.
What do I Need to Submit Proposals Through Grants.gov?
In order to submit a National Institutes of Health grant proposal through the Grants.Gov website, you will need the following:
- A National Institutes of Health eRA Commons username. To check about a username, contact Suzanne Alstadt at email@example.com.
- UAMS DUNS number
- Internet access to Grants.gov.
- PureEdge Viewer (available through Grants.gov).
Will the Process for Submitting My Grant Proposals Through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Change?
The biggest change involves a paperless procedure for submitting federal grant applications. Documents will be uploaded into ARIA or e-mailed to your grants administrator in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
If you have questions about this process, please contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at 501-686-5502.
The Four Steps for Submitting National Institutes of Health Proposals via Grants.gov
Download the Application Package
Find the Program Announcement in Grants.gov and follow instructions to download the appropriate application package.
Information on downloading investigator-initiated application packages will be announced.
Having Trouble? Review the Grants.gov FAQs
Complete the Application Package
Instructions – detailed instructions and demonstration video on completing a Grants.gov Application Package
New Form – differences between the National Institutes of Health PHS 398 Form and the new Grants.gov SF424 R&R Form
Submit the Application Package to ORSP
The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, not the principal investigator or research staff, will submit approved Grants.gov application packages to the sponsor via Grants.gov.
Your application should be uploaded to the ARIA system. A draft of the application can be submitted via e-mail to your Grants Administrator.
Prevent Validation Errors – See a list of common errors with National Institutes of Health applications submitted via Grants.gov. This list was compiled by the University of Washington.
Verify the Application Package
The authorized organization representative has the authority to “Reject” the image.
- If no rejection within two business days of image availability, application automatically proceeds to the next step in processing by the National Institutes of Health
- If failed, all errors must be corrected and entire corrected package
submitted to Grants.gov
- National Institutes of Health validation requirements – Common Causes for Rejected Applications
For application packages that do not successfully validate, the principal investigator or research staff and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs grants administrator will work together to revise and re-submit the application package through Grants.gov.
- Frequently Asked Questions About the Electronic Submission Process of the National Institutes of Health
- Frequently Asked Questions About the Grants.Gov Process
How Will My Application Differ If I Am Applying for Funding From an Agency Other Than the National Institutes of Health?
Check with either Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the website of the funding agency, or the Program Announcement for additional instructions when applying to agencies other than the National Institutes of Health.