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Grant Application Process for Intramural Postdocs SOP

This SOP has internal roles only.

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Some links will work for NIAID staff only.

This standard operating procedure (SOP) includes the following sections: Purpose, Procedure, Contacts, and Links.


To provide instructions for intramural investigators to apply for NIH Common Fund initiatives and K22 and K99/R00 grants.


NIAID intramural postdocs may apply for the following career development awards:

Prospective applicants need at least three months to prepare and submit their applications, which includes talking with mentors and colleagues, registering with the eRA Commons, arranging for letters of reference and institutional commitment, writing, revising, proofreading, and applying.

Investigators submit their grant applications to through NIAID's designated authorized organizational representative (AOR). In the Commons, this same designee is called a "signing official" (SO) but this SOP uses "AOR" for sake of simplicity—there is no effect on roles or processes.

This document outlines intramural postdocs' roles in NIAID's application process. Go to Career Development Awards in our Advice on Research Training and Career Awards for tips, guidance, and other information, e.g., Advice for Applicants.

Visit NIAID's Career Development Awards (K) portal for links to other references.

Intramural Investigators

Follow the steps indicated below, paying particular attention to the timing of key activities. If you miss a deadline, we may not accept your request to apply for an award.

Prepare to Submit an Application

  • Carefully read funding opportunity announcements for due dates, requirements, and instructions.
  • Inform your laboratory supervisor or mentor that you want to apply for a grant.
  • Email if you are considering an NIH grant. 
  • Additionally, contact NIAID's Office of Research Training and Special Programs to confirm your eligibility for a career development award and get the following:
    • Information on how NIAID helps you once you have been offered a position at an academic institution.
    • Answers to questions about your eligibility.
    • Referrals to relevant NIAID program staff.
    • For a K99/R00, a signed Letter of Institutional Commitment to include in your application.
  • Contact NIAID's Office of Training and Diversity for information about grant writing services, seminars, and other educational and support services for intramural staff. 
Register and Apply Through NIAID's Designated AOR
  • After you contact the offices above, email NIAID's designated AOR as soon as possible and at least six weeks before your application's due date to set up your eRA Commons account.
    • The designated AOR will set up a phone conference to get the following information:
      • Full name.
      • NIH email address.
      • Unique user name you want to use as your login.
      • Information on any previous support you've received from NIH.
    • Once your designated AOR creates your profile, you will receive two automated emails from the Commons with the information you need to complete registration.
    • Follow the instructions in these emails.
      • Note: your Commons account will remain with you throughout your career. If you go to another institution, the Business Office at your new institution will create a new affiliation with your existing Commons account.
  • No later than ten days before your application's due date, send your completed grant application package to your designated AOR, who will submit the application to for you.
  • After your designated AOR informs you that your application has been submitted to, stay reachable by phone and email until you receive confirmation that your application reached the Commons. Confirmation will come directly from your designated AOR or by email from the Commons.
  • Once you receive confirmation that your application is in the Commons, do the following:
    • Note a change in nomenclature: your designated AOR is called "Signing Official" or "SO" in the Commons.
    • Work with the AOR to address any errors or warnings—instructions should be in the email you receive from the Commons.
    • If necessary, correct your application.
    • Review an image of the forms and PDF attachments with the designated AOR. For more information, see View Your Application Image in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
  • Use the Commons to monitor your application's progress and status, see your summary statement, and submit just-in-time information.

Deputy Director of Science Management

  • Designate staff to serve as authorized organizational representatives and signing officers.

Designated Authorized Organizational Representative

  • Serve as NIAID's eRA Commons signing officer.
  • Register PIs with the Commons.
  • Review PI applications and let them know if any required components are missing.
  • Keep applicants apprised of their applications' progress.
  • Submit changed or corrected applications for PIs.
  • Provide other assistance as necessary to complete electronic submission of NIH grant applications.

Office of Research Training and Special Programs

  • Get, review, and approve PI Letters of Institutional Commitment.
  • Answer investigator questions about career development awards.

Office of Training and Diversity

  • Provide information about grant writing services, seminars, and other educational and support services for intramural staff.


Designated Authorized Organizational Representative—Ken Santora, Division of Extramural Activities

Office of Research Training and Special Programs—

Office of Training and Diversity—Wendy Fibison, director

Deputy Director for Science Management—John McGowan

If you have knowledge to share or want more information on this topic, email with the title of this page or its URL and your question or comment. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base.


All About Grants: Tutorials and Samples

Applying for a Grant questions and answers

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Ethics for Extramural Staff—for NIH staff handling activities that span both intramural and extramural.

Grant Application, Electronic SOP

NIAID's Application portal

Applying Electronically Web site

SF 424 Application and Electronic Submission Information

Last Updated December 12, 2014

Last Reviewed February 25, 2015