ANNOUNCEMENT - Grants.gov to Retire Legacy PDF Application Packages at end of 2017
NIH first moved to
electronic application submission using Grants.gov in 2005. It was an
interesting time for technology – YouTube was founded, Google Maps was
launched, Microsoft released the Xbox 360, Facebook started branching out to
the general public and using Grants.gov downloadable forms (based on PureEdge
forms, not Adobe, at the time) was the only way to meet NIH's requirement to
submit applications electronically. Just think how these products and services
have evolved over the years – better technology, new features, more options.
The tools used for
grant application submission have certainly progressed. There are currently
four application submission options available to NIH applicants.
- ASSIST - NIH's web-based service for the preparation,
submission and tracking of grant applications.
- Institutional Solutions (System-to-System,
S2S) - Institution's own system to
prepare and submit application data to Grants.gov complying with all
application requirements. The S2S solution may be developed in-house or
may leverage the services of a commercial provider.
- Grants.gov Workspace - A shared, online environment managed by
Grants.gov where multiple users can simultaneously work on different forms
within an application package.
- Grants.gov Downloadable Forms - Offline solution where applicants can download
the entire application package as a single, stitched together PDF,
complete the forms offline and submit.
As new technology emerges, older technology fades away. Grants.gov will retire its legacy, stitched-together, downloadable PDF application packages at the end of this year. This requires folks who normally use the offline PDF packages to choose another submission method.
Most aspects of
the submission process will remain the same...
- NIH will continue to post all
funding opportunity announcements on gov and the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
- grants.gov will continue to
host our application forms and application packages (including FORMS-E)
- grants.go will continue to
receive, process and route grant applications to NIH
- You will continue to submit
applications to Grants.gov and track them through to an assembled
application image in eRA Commons
December 31st downloadable forms will drop off the
submission option list, leaving the remaining three options (ASSIST,
system-to-system, and Workspace) which will continue without interruption.
The majority of
you have already moved away from downloadable forms in favor of newer more
robust submission methods. In fact, 86% of the applications NIH received
in June were prepared and submitted using system-to-system solutions or NIH's
ASSIST. In considering that 13% of applications submitted using downloadable
forms in June represents over 1800 applications, plus the fact that many
system-to-system users rely on downloadable forms as a back-up submission
method, it becomes clear we still have many applicants that need to make a
switch by the end of the year.
Our Submission Options page outlines the key features and some
considerations for each option to help you make an informed choice. It's up to
your organization (often an office of sponsored research or other
administrative group) to decide which submission option fits your needs the
organization has reviewed the available information on each option and really
doesn't have a business reason to use one option over another, then give ASSIST
a try. ASSIST is managed by NIH and, as such, is specifically designed to work
with NIH opportunities to provide a more seamless applicant experience.
- leverages existing eRA Commons
accounts to reduce account administration burden;
- prepopulates application data
from eRA Commons institutional and personal profiles to reduce data entry;
- validates your application
against NIH business rules prior to submission to help avoid last minute
- generates a preview of your
application in the NIH format used for funding consideration; and
- allows you to track your
application through Grants.gov to eRA Commons with a single login to
quickly verify your application was processed successfully.
Also, our eRA
Service Desk can securely see your application screens to aid
in troubleshooting and can answer questions about ASSIST, eRA identified errors
and warnings, and any issues with your assembled application image after
By the time your
applications get to NIH staff they are presented in a consistent format. Staff
and reviewers have no idea what tools were used to get them to us. The choice
is yours – ASSIST, system-to-system, or Workspace. Come January 1, the only
"wrong" choice is downloadable forms.
For more information, click here.