News Release

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

NIH R01 Grant Applications Go Electronic

Training to be Held December 5.

Beginning with the February 5, 2007 standard receipt date and beyond, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will require applicants to submit all Research Project Grant R01 applications electronically — no paper applications will be accepted. This change marks a major milestone in the NIH’s transition to receive all grant applications electronically, which began with the electronic submission of Small Business Innovation Research applications in December 2005. Since that time, NIH has received over 18,000 unique grant applications and has engaged in a multi-pronged outreach effort to ensure that its applicant community adjusts successfully to the new process.

“NIH has been committed to using information technology to improve the grants administration process for many years,” said Dr. Norka Ruiz Bravo, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research. “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.”

The transition to electronic submission is complex. It requires that two systems with their own registration and validation processes work together —, the federal government’s single on-line portal to find and apply for federal funding, and eRA Commons, the system that allows applicants to interact electronically with NIH. The transition also involves the simultaneous shift from the long-used PHS 398 application form to a new trans-agency standard form, and fundamentally changes the process by which investigators and grant applicant institutions manage their grant submissions.

NIH expects that the R01 transition will set new application submission records both at and within the NIH eRA Commons. NIH recently made performance and capacity improvements in its systems and helpdesks and is positioned to handle the expected increased load. In addition, NIH has developed contingency plans to ensure that any issues that do arise can be addressed quickly and that applicants are not penalized for system problems.

To ensure a smooth transition, NIH is strongly encouraging all potential principal investigators to contact their central grants offices immediately to learn how their institutions are handling these application form and process changes. NIH will also host a training event on Tuesday, December 5 to assist applicants and organizations through this transition. The training is available in-person and via Web cast and will be archived for later viewing (see:

Information on the submission process and additional training and promotional resources are available on the NIH Electronic Submission of Grant Application Web site:

The Office of Extramural Research (OER), within the NIH Office of the Director, serves as the focal point for policies and guidelines for extramural research grants administration. This office has primary responsibility for the development and implementation of NIH Grants Policy, monitoring of compliance with PHS policy on Humane Use and Care of Laboratory Animals, coordination of program guidelines, and development and maintenance of the information systems for grants administration. For more information about OER, visit

The Office of the Director, the central office at NIH, is responsible for setting policy for NIH, which includes 27 Institutes and Centers. This involves planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all NIH components. The Office of the Director also includes program offices which are responsible for stimulating specific areas of research throughout NIH. Additional information is available at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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