Office of Research, UC Riverside
Sponsored Programs Administration

Electronic Research Administration

NIH and Grants.gov

  • NIH Instructions, tips, training materials, and FAQs are available at: http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/. These instructions frequently override the instructions on the Grants.gov Web site, and the NIH instructions in the individual FOAs supersede all others.
  • Subscribe to NIH's esubmission listerv at: http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/listserv.htm, as well as to the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts at: http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/listserv.htm. These will provide the latest instructions and FOAs as NIH's procedures for interacting with Grants.gov evolve.
  • NIH recommends that you access the Grants.gov application packages only through the Funding Opportunities listed in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. Entering a CFDA number will not work for NIH.
  • NIH has issued "Parent" FOAs for mechanisms such as R03, R13, and R21 under which PI's can submit what would formerly have been called an "unsolicited" or "investigator-initiated" proposal.
  • NIH has published several notices to explain the transition from Version 1 to Version 2 SF424 (R&R) forms:
  • NIH only accepts PDF files as attachments, and has very specific requirements for their names and contents. Access http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/pdf_guidelines.htm for further detailed information.
  • The PI's eRA Commons User ID must be entered in the field called "Credential, e.g. agency login." This field is located on the Senior/Key Person Profile(s) component of the grant application, in the first section called "Profile - Project Director/Principal Investigator" underneath the phone field.
  • NIH's Grants.gov submission deadline is 5PM local (Riverside) time on the day of the deadline.
  • After NIH retrieves an application from Grants.gov, it applies its own validation procedures. "Errors" and "Warnings" are posted on the eRA Commons. "Errors" must be corrected or the application is automatically rejected. "Warnings" are advisory, and depending on the specifics, may or may not need to be addressed. This is why applications need to be submitted initially early enough so that any required corrections can be made prior to the deadline.
  • After an application appears on the eRA Commons, NIH allows the PI only 2 days to review it for errors. These 2 days do not include weekends or holidays. If the application, as displayed on the eRA Commons is not acceptable, the PI must ask their UCR Contract and Grant Officer to withdraw the incorrect version. If the errors were not caused by Grants.gov or NIH, submission of a corrected version after the deadline will be considered a late application and may not be reviewed by NIH until the next cycle.