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Tips for Common PDF Concerns in Cayuse 424

Published January 24, 2013 by OSP

Creating and attaching PDF documents can be a major part of preparing your grant proposal in Cayuse 424, but some PDF creation techniques lead to errors in attachment upload or transmission to the agency. Some kinds of errors will occur when you attempt to upload, such as having active fields in your PDF. If you are having trouble uploading your documents due to a “MIME type” error, consult our FAQ on this error.  Other types of errors cannot be detected by Cayuse 424, but could still result in errors during proposal transmission.


To avoid common problems and increase submission success, we offer the following tips:


To easily create PDFs from other documents (including creating ‘flat’ PDFs from PDFs with active fields), you can use a standalone PDF creation utility such as those recommended by, or built-in features such as “Save as PDF” in other software programs. Give the document a short and unique attachment name using letters, numbers, and underscores.


When submitting to NIH, follow their PDF submission guidelines to prevent problems. Avoid ‘bundling’ multiple PDFs into a single file or producing PDFs by scanning printed documents. Disable any security features in the document. Do not attach PDFs that contain “stamps” (commonly used for signatures) or other comments. PDF files submitted to the eRA Commons are converted to images, and applications not following these guidelines may not convert correctly. It is always advisable to review your submitted application in the eRA Commons system and check that attachments were transmitted accurately.