NIH shifts to research grant e-applications

The National Institutes of Health will require those who apply for its major research project grants to submit their applications electronically starting Feb. 5. NIH will not accept paper applications after that date for R01, NIH's name for its original and oldest grant mechanism for health-related research and development.

The shift marks a major milestone in NIH's transition to receive all grant applications electronically. NIH began with the electronic submission of Small Business Innovation Research applications last December. Since that time, NIH has received more than 18,000 unique grant applications

The transition fundamentally changes the process by which investigators and grant applicant institutions manage their grant submissions.

NIH will provide training Dec. 5 to assist applicants and organizations through the transition.

'We look forward to applicants benefiting from a single federal interface for finding opportunities and submitting applications online; reviewers having access to crisp, clear, color applications; and staff processing of applications with a consistency that can be achieved only through electronic processes,' said Norka Ruiz Bravo, NIH deputy director for extramural research, in a statement.

The transition to electronic submission requires that two systems with their own registration and validation processes work together. Those are, the government's single online portal to find and apply for federal funding, and eRA Commons, the system that allows applicants to interact electronically with NIH.

NIH grant applicants also will shift to a federal standard form instead of an agency application form.

NIH recently made performance and capacity improvements in its systems and help desks to handle the expected increased load. Information on the submission process and additional training and promotional resources are at the NIH Electronic Submission of Grant Application Web site.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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