Strategy for NIH Funding
Prepare to Submit · Passing Validations
To submit successfully takes a plan. This strategy page gives you key action items for each step of submitting from meeting due dates to getting through validations.
See what events to watch out for and what actions you need to take and when to take them, working closely with your institution's business office. For certain problems, you need to correct the application and submit again—if you have time.
Learn how to use the viewing window NIH gives you to check that the application image rendered properly. You will also want to know the consequences of withdrawing your application after you submit.
This page applies to any application using electronic submission.
Our strategy begins with Part 2. Before proceeding, you may want to complete the steps described in the previous parts of the Strategy, on Strategy for Getting Ready to Submit, and on other pages of Part 4.
Give your application to your business office on time.
Meet your internal deadlines.
Know your institution's due dates.
Make sure your business office receives your application well ahead of its internal deadline so you will have time to get through Grants.gov and eRA Commons in case you need to correct.
Grants.gov must timestamp your application by 5:00 p.m. your institution's local time on the receipt date listed in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA).
Without the timestamp, your application is late.
If your application doesn't pass validations, you may need several more days to make corrections and get the corrected version submitted and timestamped before the deadline.
Overlapping submission dates can create enough application volume to bog down Grants.gov and delay your submission.
Just the Facts
Passing Validations in Part 4
Pass Grants.gov validations.
Check in with your institution's business office.
Confirm your Grants.gov submission receipt with the timestamp.
Receive a validation confirmation or rejection email message from Grants.gov.
This confirmation usually arrives within minutes, but it can take 48 hours or more during busy periods.
Sample, see Email notifications from Grants.gov
NIH's Applying Electronically Web site
Resend your application if it fails Grants.gov.
Before the deadline: fix the issues and have your authorized organizational representative (AOR) submit a corrected application as soon as you can.
After the deadline: unless NIH is willing to accept your application late, correct and wait four months for the next receipt date (if any—requests for applications usually have a single receipt date).
NIH's Avoiding Common Errors
Pass eRA Commons validations.
Make sure your application moves to the Commons.
Check your application's status using the eRA Commons Status module.
Don't wait for the confirmation email from the Commons.
Know what to do if you get errors.
If your application has errors, it will not move forward.
Before the deadline: fix the issues and have your AOR submit a corrected application to Grants.gov as soon as you can.
Confirm that your application looks right.
Check the application image.
During the two-day viewing window, only you can check that your finished application pages are loaded correctly.
If you spot a problem with the way the image rendered, don't reject it. Instead, contact the eRA Commons Help Desk immediately for help.
Even if your viewing window extends beyond the deadline, you can't make corrections after the deadline—but you can address technical problems.
If you don't reject the image by midnight EST two business days after your application passes validations, it moves to CSR.
Correct any problems if you have time.
Consider the timing and severity of the issue.
After the deadline, no corrections are allowed. Your application has moved to NIH's Center for Scientific Review.
Consider whether to withdraw after submitting.
Assess your application.
Go back and review your application, including any eRA Commons warnings.
Assess whether any new trends or discoveries have enhanced the significance of your proposed research—or undermined its relevance.
If you aren't sure, ask colleagues for help.
Assess Your Application After You Submit in Part 4
Withdraw if your application is not the best it can be.
NIH will reject late applications that do not meet eligibility requirements.
If your application has a major problem, consider withdrawing it.
Send a withdrawal request to your scientific review officer before the review date preferably before the peer review.
Follow up to make sure the Center for Scientific Review withdraws your application without counting it as a submission.
Investigator Withdrawal of an Application SOP
Late Applications SOP
Strategy for NIH Funding
See the other sections of
Part 4. Submit Your Application
Table of Contents for the Strategy
We welcome your comments, questions, or suggestions. Email email@example.com.
Last Updated March 16, 2012
Last Reviewed September 30, 2011