Interacting Electronically with NIH Revised June 2012 by HC120727062721


									      Interacting Electronically with NIH

From your ideas…
                                              …into our systems…

              …to advance medical discovery.

Sheri Cummins                                                       Scarlett Gibb
NIH eRA Customer Relationship Manager         NIH eRA Customer Relationship Manager
Electronic Submission of Grant Applications                           eRA Commons
Electronic Interaction Points

         NIH Grants
         Learn About
          Web Site
         NIHFind /

        Download App
        Check Submission
         View Assembled
        Application Image

               Electronic Submission Required!

       Electronic submission via is
           required for ALL competing grant
     applications with the exception of Complex,
     Multi-project applications (Project/Centers)*

*These grant mechanisms will continue to use the paper PHS 398 application
process until a transition to electronic submission is scheduled, announced
and implemented.

                           eSubmission Website

                        Two Systems Working Together
As of the end of July 2012, CCR
services will be managed through                     eRA Commons
 The Federal government’s         Electronic Research
 single online portal to find     Administration system that
 and apply for Federal grant      allows applicants,
 funding.                         grantees, and Federal staff
                                  to access, share and
 Used by all 26 Federal           transmit information related
 grant-making agencies.           to applications and
                                  awarded grants.

    Each system has its own       Used by NIH and other
                                  HHS components
   registration and application

•Applicant organizations only
•Registration user guides, tutorials, and checklists
•No registration needed to find opportunities or download application

 eRA Commons
•Applicant organization, Signing Official (SO) & Project
Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI)
•Prepare to Apply and Register

                                        Obtain Software

Adobe Reader
 • Only specific Adobe Reader versions
   are compatible with forms

PDF Conversion Programs
 • Attachments must be converted to PDF
 • NIH PDF guidelines and tips:

      Find Opportunity and Download Package
NIH posts Funding Opportunity
Announcements (FOAs) on:
  – NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
    • FOAs include “Apply for Grant Electronically” button to
      download forms package and instructions from

                    Find Opportunity
NIH Office of Extramural Research

       NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts

 Parent Announcements for
 Unsolicited Applications
                     Finding FOAs in NIH Guide

   Review list of FOAs matching your criteria
   and find FOA of interest

Click Announcement Number link to access FOA information

      Funding Opportunity Announcement

• Read and follow all
  announcement instructions

• Pay special attention to
  Section IV. Application and
  Submission Information
  – Includes any FOA-specific
    submission instructions
  – Instructions in FOA trump
    instructions in the application

                                                            FOA Notes
Excerpt from PA-11-260 FOA

                                               Click Apply for Grant
                                               Electronically button
                                               found within the FOA
                                               in the NIH Guide.

Links to Download Application page for the FOA

                                               Click download.
   Select highest available Competition ID if
      more than one choice is presented
Download App. Instructions & Package

        Sign up for Agency updates to FOA

          Download application instructions
          and application package
   Application Guide

• Read and follow
  application guide

• Agency-specific
  instructions are
  marked with the
  HHS logo

                            SF 424 (R&R) Data Set

• NIH uses the SF424 Research &
  Related (R&R) data set
  – Owned and maintained by
• NIH electronic grant applications
  – Federal-wide (R&R) components
    • NIH does not have control over which fields are
      marked required in these government-wide forms
  – Agency-specific (PHS) components

            Grant Application Package Screen
Save the package locally.          *Application Form Screen - Top*

                                      Make sure you have
                                      the correct application
                                      FOA information is
                                      automatically populated
                                      and not editable.

  Mandatory fields highlighted yellow with red box.
            Grant Application Package Screen
Mandatory Documents must be completed prior to submission.

      Complete the SF 424 (R&R) form first—info from this
      form pre-populates fields in other forms in the package.
                                  *Application Form Screen - Bottom*

See application guide to determine which
Optional Documents you need to complete.
                  Completing the Application
Tips for Success:
  • Follow FOA-specific guidelines (e.g., special
    attachments, specific section headings)
  • Follow application guide requirements
  • Follow guidelines for fonts and margins
  • Do not include headers or footers
    - Section headings as part of the text are
  • Avoid 2-column and “landscape” formats

                      Avoiding Common Errors

Watch for fields that are required by NIH but
not marked required on federal-wide forms

                       ADOBE-FORMS-B1 & later:
                    Project/Performance Site DUNS
                    is not required by,
                    but is still required by NIH for
                    federal reporting.

                                   Avoiding Common Errors

More fields that are required by NIH but not
marked required on federal-wide forms
                                              eRA Commons
                                          Username must be
                                        supplied in Credential
                                        field for everyone with
       Enter PI Commons Username
                                               PD/PI role

                                          Organization name is
  Enter Organization Name                  used to determine
                                        reviewer conflicts and is
                                         required for all Sr/Key
                                Avoiding Common Errors

Use PDF format for all attachments
  –   Use simple PDF-formatted files
      •   Do not use Portfolio or similar feature to bundle multiple
          files into a single PDF
      •   Disable security features like password protection
  –   Keep file names to 50 characters or less and
      use only letters, numbers and underscore (_)
  –   Do not include headers or footers
      •   Section headings as part of the text are encouraged
  –   Follow guidelines for fonts and margins
  –   Avoid 2-column and “landscape” format
                        PDF Guidelines:    21
                        AOR - Submit Application

                                Check Package for
 Save & Submit
 button will not                Errors button only
                                checks to make
 become active until
                                sure the application
 application is saved
 and mandatory
 information is                 requirements.

An AOR must submit the application for it to be checked
against NIH application requirements. NIH errors/warnings
         will be displayed in the eRA Commons.
AOR - Submit Application

           AORs: Enter your
           username and
           password—you must
           be fully registered to
           successfully submit
           an application.

           Only AORs can

AOR - Submit Application

          Click Sign and
          Submit Application
          button to record
          electronic signature
          and initiate
          submission process

AOR - Submit Application
   Print/save your
   confirmation screen

  Tracking #

                  Stamp - due 5
                  p.m. local time of
                  the applicant
                  organization on
                  deadline date

                           On-time Submission
On-time Submission :
 Error-free applications must be accepted by with a time stamp on or before
 5:00 p.m. local time of the submitting
 organization on the due date.
 A few important reminders:
  – NIH recommends submitting early (days, not
    minutes!) to allow time for correcting any errors
    found during the application viewing window prior
    to the due date
  – NIH’s late policy does not allow corrections
    after the due date
  – All registrations must be completed
    before the due date
      Trouble submitting due to system issues?

When or eRA system issues impact
your on-time submission…
  – Contact appropriate support to try to get resolution
     • If working with, contact eRA Commons Help Desk
       to document issue and steps taken toward resolution
  – If the eRA Commons Help Desk verifies that a system
    "bug" or service interruption has occurred, they will
    provide instructions to complete the submission
     • Once resolution is provided, you must immediately (typically
       same business day) complete the submission
     • Failure to quickly follow through after guidance is given may
       result in your application being denied further consideration
  – Document your issues and corrective
    actions including support ticket
    numbers in cover letter

                         Track Application

•   AORs track application status at

•   Signing Officials (SOs), Principal
    Investigators (PD/PIs) and Assistants
    (ASSTs) track application status in the
    eRA Commons

Track Application – (AOR)

     application status

       Track Application – eRA Commons
Commons “Status” is an integral part of
electronic application submission:
  – Applications are retrieved from by eRA Commons and
    checked against NIH application and
    funding opportunity instructions
  – Processing results are available in eRA
    Commons Status tab to SOs, PD/PIs and
    delegated assistants
  – E-mail notifications concerning
    processing results are sent
Check Status in Commons – PD/PI

  Select Recent/Pending eSubmissions

     Or provide tracking
     number from e-mail notification

   Track Status in eRA Commons – PD/PI

      Indicates eSubmission Error tracking #
                        #/date are displayed,
                        followed by the list of
                        errors/warnings for
                        each submission
                      Track Status in eRA Commons

     • Errors stop application processing and must
       be corrected
     • Warnings do not stop application processing
       and are corrected at the discretion of the
    Errors/warnings must be corrected by the submission
deadline in order for the submission to be considered on time!
                               Helpful Links
                         Avoiding Common Errors page:

                         Full list of Commons Validations:

                         View Application Image

Once an error-free application is received by
NIH, the eRA system will:
  – Assemble the grant application image
  – Insert headers (PI name) and footers (page
    numbers) on all pages
  – Generate Table of Contents and bookmark
    important sections
  – Post the assembled application image in the
    PD/PI’s eRA Commons account

               Application Viewing Window

• Applicants have two (2) business days to
  view the assembled application image
  before the application automatically moves
  forward for further processing
• SO can Reject application within viewing
  window and submit a Changed/Corrected
  application prior to the due date

If you can’t VIEW it, we can’t REVIEW it!

   Status – View Application Image

   Status is Pending Verification

 Follow link to detailed status info

   Follow e-Application
   link to view assembled
   application image

View Appendices
and Cover Letter

                       Status – e-Application

  TIP: Carefully review the entire application.
   This is your chance to view/print the same
application image that will be used by Reviewers!
                      Submission Complete!

• If no action is taken during the two business
  day viewing window, the application
  automatically moves forward for further
  processing at NIH
• Any subsequent application changes are
  subject to the NIH policy
  on late submission of
  grant applications and
  the NIH policy on
  application materials
     Grant Administration in eRA Commons

My application is submitted…
        …now what?
   eRA Commons

           Check /Review
         Prepare Review
        Update eRA Profile
            Check (Yes!!)
              NoA Submit
            Closeout Grant
            and Institutional
       Post Award Information
          Profile Information

Electronic Interaction Points

  Check Review

                    eRA Commons Features:
–   Profiles (Personal and Institutional)
–   Application and Award Tracking (Status)
–   Just-In-Time (JIT)
–   Internet Assisted Review (IAR)
–   Electronic Streamlined Non-competing Award
    Process (eSNAP)
–   Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR)
–   Administrative Supplements (Type 3)
–   Federal Financial Report/Financial Status Report
–   No-cost Extension (NCE)
–   Closeout
–   xTrain
–   Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI)

                                Institutional Profile (IPF)
The Institutional Profile:
   – Contains information necessary to facilitate processing and review
     of grant applications submitted by an institution
   – Is a central repository of information for Commons-registered
   – Contains data established and maintained by Signing Officials at
     the organization. Only SOs can edit information in the IPF

It includes information such as:
   –   Preferred institution name and contact information
   –   Signing Official’s name, e-mail, and phone number
   –   Institutional DUNS number
   –   Institutional Assurances
   –   E-mail addresses to receive Notice of Award and other

                                    Personal Profile (PPF)
The Personal Profile includes information such as:
   –   Name, race/ethnicity, date of birth, contact information
   –   Employment history
   –   Reviewer work address
   –   Degrees earned

Personal Profile maintenance:
   – Individual Commons users are responsible for keeping their
     information accurate and up-to-date.
   – Commons will require a change of password every 90 days for
     security reasons.
   – Note: Always keep your e-mail address up to date. E-mail
     addresses are used to retrieve forgotten passwords and as the
     primary source of communicating grants-related information.

                          Personal Profile Functions
NIH uses information in the Personal Profile to:
  … display to the reviewer the status of eligibility for submitting under
   the continuous submission policy

  … determine whether a PD/PI is eligible for Early Stage Investigator
   (ESI) status

  … verify information submitted in grant applications

  … populate specific forms (e.g., Statement of Appointment form)

  … display to the user his or her publications residing in My NCBI

  … contact users via Agency notifications

  … compile aggregate reporting

  … monitor submission of reference letters
eRA Commons Status allows users to:
  – Track the status of grant applications through the
    submission process
  – View assembled application images
  – View Notices of Award and other key documents
  – Perform several additional post-submission and post-
    award transactions

User capabilities:
  – Remember: The functions available to a user are
    based on the role(s) associated with his or her
    Commons account!

           Establishing Institution Work Flow
eRA Commons allows many functions to be delegated
  to other registered Commons users (e.g., Assistants
  with the ASST role).

• Delegate Progress Report:
   – Delegation can be made to any other eRA Commons
     user at the institution
   – Provides ability to complete/edit eSNAP information for
     the PD/PI’s grants (cannot Route or Recall)
   – SO can Delegate Submit authority to PD/PI

• Delegate PPF Edit:
   – Delegation can be made to any other eRA Commons
     user at the institution
   – Provides ability to edit PD/PI’s Personal Profile (PPF)
           Establishing Institution Work Flow
• Delegate Status
   – Delegation can be made to any eRA Commons user
     at the PD/PI’s institution with the Assistant (ASST) role
   – Provides access to PD/PI’s Status information,
     including the ability to check for submission
     errors/warnings and to view the assembled application
   – DOES NOT provide access to applications’ summary
     statements or priority score
• Delegate xTrain Authority
   – Delegation can be made to any eRA Commons user
     at the PD/PI’s institution with the Assistant (ASST) role
   – Provides same xTrain capabilities as the PD/PI,
     except the ability to submit appointments to the
          Establishing Institution Work Flow
• Delegate Sponsor
   – A User with the Sponsor role can Delegate Sponsor.
   – Can initiate and facilitate termination of a fellow
   – Cannot submit termination
• Delegate FCOI
   – Allows user to work on and process an FCOI.
     Delegate cannot submit FCOI to NIH
• Delegate Submit
   – SOs and BOs can Delegate Submit authority to any
     PI at their institution.
   – Allows a PI to submit own eSNAP (Electronic
     Streamlined Non-competing Award Process)
     information to agency
  Status – List of Applications/Grants

                        Action links:
Click App ID            JIT, eSNAP,
link for                Closeout,
detailed                NCE (SO
Status info             only), Reject
                        (SO only)

    Status is your link to the Action!   49
Track Assignment Info in Status Details

 Primary Institute Assignment

                                  Study Section

        Key Contact Information
                   Track Review Outcome
Only the PI can view
Summary Statement,
Priority Score and
Percentile information.

                 Just In Time Submission (JIT)
• Allows PD/PIs, AOs, and SOs to prepare and
  SOs to submit additional grant application
  information requested by NIH prior to an award
  – Other Support, IRB and/or IACUC Approval Dates,
    Human Subjects Education info
• Not an indication that application will be awarded
• Wait for a request from NIH to submit the
  – System-generated e-mail or contact from the Grants
    Management Specialist (GMS)
• You may submit JIT info piece by piece!
• New JIT NOT-OD-12-101 Business Process
  Changes Beginning April 20, 2012
                      Just In Time

Click on the JIT link in the Action
   column of the Status hit list.

Electronic Streamlined Non-competing Award
  Process (eSNAP)

• Electronic submission of annual SNAP progress
  – Most non-competing grants at NIH are
    streamlined (check NOA)

NOTE: NIH requires the use of the Commons eSNAP module for
        the submission of all SNAP progress reports!

Electronic Streamlined Non-competing Award
  Process (eSNAP)

• PD/PI or PD/PI Delegate can initiate the
  process, upload progress report, and enter the
  administrative data
• eSNAP can be routed to staff for approval
• SO submits the completed eSNAP to NIH
  – SO can delegate eSNAP submit privilege to
    PI(s) (Delegate Submit)


Begin the eSNAP either from the Action column of the
  Status hit list or the eSNAP tab on the menu bar.

                                       eSNAP Hit List

   PD/PI’s “Manage eSNAP” hit list shows all grants and
applications with the Grant Number of eSNAP-eligible grants

                      Managing Your Publications

From the Awards View in My NCBI, eRA Commons
  users can:
   – Track their compliance with the NIH Public Access
   – Start the manuscript submission process
   – Associate their NIH grant awards with their
   – Designate delegates to manage their bibliographies

Note: PD/PIs must manage their professional bibliographies in My NCBI
 (My Bib feature). eRA Commons does not allow for the uploading of

           My BIB Publications in Progress Report

Upload Science screen shows My BIB publications that can be
             associated with an eSNAP report.
               For more My NCBI & My Bib info:
         Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR)

The NIH progress reports will transition to the
federal-wide Research Performance Progress Report
(RPPR). A new RPPR feature in Commons will
replace the eSNAP feature.
   •Will be used for all SNAP and non-SNAP awards
   •Limited pilot started in April 2012
   •Fields will pre-populate when possible
   •NIH-specific instructions will be marked with HHS
   logo (as in Application Guide)
   •Special NIH reporting requirements will be
   requested in Special Reporting Requirements
             Stay tuned for updates!
                    Administrative Supplements (Type 3)

Two Pilot Processes for Submitting Administrative
Supplement Requests Electronically to NIH

Reference NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-12-024

If the parent award has transitioned to electronic
submission, institutions may:
(A) electronically submit using the SF424 (R&R)
Application Forms and, or
(B) electronically submit using the streamlined
submission process of eRA Commons.

           Administrative Supplements - Commons

Starting an Administrative Supplement in Commons you must find
eligible grant and Initiate Request
                     Federal Financial Report

Federal Financial Report (FFR)
• Replaces the Financial Status Report (FSR) for
  the reporting of expenditure data elements
• Same data elements as the FSR, except only
  cumulative data is reported
• Due date for annual FFRs is 90 days after the
  end of the calendar quarter in which the budget
  period ends
• FFRs must be submitted in eRA Commons via
  the eFFR/FSR module

                                   FFR/FSR Search Screen

 For more about FFR/FSR, view the NIH Guide Notice and the eRA Overview:
       Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI)
FCOI allows grantee institutions to:
  – Initiate and prepare a FCOI notification
  – Submit the FCOI notification and supporting
    documents electronically to Agency
     • Can provide comments to Agency
  – System accommodating new regulations
  – Changes accommodate annual requirements
    and inclusion of Significant Financial Interests
    and their values

            Commons FCOI & Internal FCOI

Commons FCOI integration with internal (NIH)
  FCOI tracking system
• Commons FCOI and Internal FCOI systems will
  share information once daily
• Internal FCOI users can request additional
  information and rescind notifications
   – Notification to institution made from internal
     FCOI system and also is reflected in
     Commons FCOI history

xTrain uses:
• Required for NIH grantees to prepare and submit
  appointments and termination notices for
  research training and career development
  awards, fellowships, and research education
• Grantee institution staff use xTrain to:
   – Create, route and submit appointments, re-
     appointments, amendments and termination
   – Track the status and timing of training actions

      Types of grants supported in xTrain

– Kirschstein-NRSA Undergraduate Institutional Training
  Grants (T34)
– Kirschstein-NRSA Pre-doctoral and Post-doctoral
  Institutional Training Grants (T32, T35, T90, TL1, TU2)
– Kirschstein-NRSA Fellowships (F30, F31, F32, F33)
– NLM Institutional Training Grants (T15)
– Research Education Awards (RL5, RL9, R25, R90)
– Institutional Career Development Grants (K12, KL2,

  xTrain resources and training materials available at:

                         xTrain Commons Roles
Several Commons roles associated specifically
  with xTrain:
• Sponsor
  – Supervises research training experience of fellow
  – Responsible for fellowship termination (for fellowships
    at non-federal U.S. organizations)
• Trainee
  – Person appointed to training grant
  – Currently, account set-up done through xTrain
• Business Official (BO)
  – Has signature or other authority related to
    administering training grants
  – Authorized to submit termination notices on behalf of
    the institution
                                   No-cost Extension

No-cost Extension (NCE) allows SOs to:
• Electronically submit a notification to exercise one-time
  authority to extend without funds the final budget period
  of a project period of a grant
• NCE link appears 90 days before the end of the project
• SO (only) can extend project period up to 12 months
• E-mail notification sent to NIH Grants Management staff
  when SO processes the extension

                         No-cost Extension Link

Status Result - General Search screen shows grants that
may be extended one time via a No-cost Extension (see
        Extension hyperlink in Action column).
Closeout allows grantees to:
• Electronically submit required Closeout
  documents for grants in Closeout status
• NIH GM Specialist must mark the grant “ready
  for close out” for link to appear in Commons
  – Contact assigned GMS if link is not appearing
• Required Closeout items include:
  – Federal Financial Report (FFR)
  - Final Progress Report
  - Final Invention Statement

                                       Closeout Link

Status Result - Closeout Search screen shows grants that
           are Closed or Requires Closeout.

               Finding Help

Applicant & Grantee

                Finding Help: Website Links

– NIH About Grants website:

– Electronic Research Administration:

– NIH Applying Electronically website:

– eRA Commons:

                                Subscription Lists

• Subscribe for eSubmission/Commons
  News & Updates
• Subscribe for weekly e-mails of new
  postings in NIH Guide for Grants and

                                                                                     Finding Help
      For help with the registration process, downloading forms,
      form behavior or with technical aspects of submitting through the system:
    –       Check the Website:
    – Contact Center
          •       Contact Center Phone: 1-800-518-4726
          •       Business Hours: 24 hours/day; 7 days/week (closed on Federal Holidays)
          •       E-mail:

•     eRA Commons:
      For help with eRA Commons registration or system validations after submission through
    –       Check the eRA Commons Website:
    –       eRA Commons Help Desk
          •       Web support:
          •       Phone: 301-402-7469
          •       Toll Free: 866-504-9552
          •       TTY:       301-451-5939
          •       Business hours: Mon. –Fri. , 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET

•     Grants Info:
      For help with grant policy, application content requirements and other general inquiries:
    –      Review the Application Instruction Guide
    –      Review the FOA
    –      Grants Info
           Phone: 301-435-0714

Thank You!


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