Published June 17, 2013 by OSP
NIH eSubmission Items of Interest - June 17, 2013
July 5th R01 Deadline is On
With the July 4th federal holiday falling on Thursday, it’s quite tempting to make an extra-long weekend and take Friday off, too. Don’t forget that NIH’s July 5th R01 deadline will take place as scheduled - even if your own organization is closed.
Get your applications in early and enjoy some time off!!
Application Form Update A-B-Cs
It’s a basic fact of government forms – they have a limited shelf life. In fact, agencies are required to seek reauthorization from the Office of Management and Budget at least every three years to continue to use existing forms. Add to that the need to update forms to address programmatic and reporting changes and it seems like form versions are continually in flux. We’ve already been through a few form updates since NIH began to transition grant applications to electronic submission in 2005. If you’ve been doing this as long as I have you may recall the ‘ADOBE-FORMS-A’ transition in 2009 when we moved from PureEdge to Adobe-based forms or the ‘ADOBE-FORMS-B’ transition in 2010 when we implemented the ‘Enhancing Peer Review’ changes. Now, it’s time for FORMS-C (see NOT-OD-13-074).
For many agencies form updates aren’t a big deal. They have a small number of programs and their announcements have single due dates. They can simply let current FOAs run their course and use new forms the next time they post an opportunity. NIH isn’t like many agencies. We have over 600 active Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) at any given time, hundreds of activity codes with various standard due dates, and opportunities that are open for 3 years. This makes updating forms a major undertaking for NIH and confusing for applicants.
I can’t do anything about the need to update forms, but let’s see if I can help avoid some of the confusion through this Q&A…
Form updates are not anyone’s idea of a good time, but they don’t have to be a huge source of stress. We got through the A and B transitions and we’ll get through the C transition, too.
The Same But Different
We are starting to receive some inquiries regarding the new look and feel of Grants.gov application form packages. Don’t panic - we haven’t jumped the gun and started posting FORMS-C form packages yet. However, Grants.gov has updated the initial Grant Application Package screen used to manage the forms within existing packages. The changes are actually quite nice. Mandatory forms are now automatically included in your application without dragging them from one side of the page to the other and optional forms can be added with a simple check-box. Each form is also hyperlinked for easy access. Basic opportunity information (opportunity title, offering agency, etc.) remains at the top of the screen. This is also where you can find the Competition ID which, at least for now, should say ADOBE-FORMS-B1 or B2.
Since it is the exact same opportunity with the same underlying application forms just presented in a slightly different way, you can continue to use the same application package for your submission regardless of whether the old or new Grant Application Package screen is used.
Stop By and Say Hi
If you are attending NIH’s Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration in Baltimore at the end of the month, please stop by and say hi. Scarlett Gibb, Joe Schumaker, Vera Holder and I will be at the eRA booth and would love to see you.
Division of Communication and Outreach
NIH Office of Extramural Research
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