News and Announcements
- Administrative rule changes affecting grantees. Please click on the link above to view the training series.
NIH eSubmission Items of Interest
Systematic Application Compliance Checking-What it is and What it's not
Automated enforcement of business rules by NIH eRA systems plays an important role in the application submission process – it helps you and it helps NIH. Understanding what that role covers can be the difference between your application moving forward to review and not. System-enforced application validations are what they are – nothing more, nothing less.
They ARE NOT:
- a strategy for providing users with the opportunity to identify and fix many showstopper errors prior to submission deadlines
- a mechanism to reduce the number of applications NIH staff have to turn back for noncompliance
- an efficient method of ensuring large numbers of applications follow the same general rules and that the rules are enforced with consistency and fairness
- a way to ensure application information is formatted appropriately for NIH systems and can be assembled into a consolidated application image for review
- a way to reduce the number of applications received to bump up our success rates
- a substitute for following the instructions provided in FOAs, application guides and notices in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
- helpful, unless you submit early enough (as in days, not hours or minutes) to have time to fix identified errors
- a guarantee your application will be accepted for review and funding consideration if you pass them
That last point may be the most important of all. Although it is true that an application cannot move forward to review without first passing systematic compliance checks, the opposite is not necessarily true. Passing the system-enforced checks does not guarantee your application will be accepted for review and funding consideration.
NIH tries to catch as many showstopper conditions with automated validations as possible. However, there are a number of manual checks done by NIH staff after submission that can also prevent an application from moving forward.
- Staff can reject an application for not following font, margin and page size requirements outlined in the application guide. Automated validations will give an error for a 15-page Research Strategy on an R01 application, but not for a 12-page Research Strategy with 9 pt font
- Programmatic or funding opportunity announcement specific requirements, especially those listed in FOA Section IV - Application and Submission Information, are typically highly specialized and manually validated
- Staff can reject an application for issues with application attachment content, like including additional Research Strategy information in other attachments not restricted by page limits (we internally call this 'overstuffing' an application)
10 Good Submission Practices Every Submitter Should Know
Psst...got a minute? How about 7 minutes and 40 seconds? That's how long it will take to watch the new 'Tips for Electronic Grant Submission Success' video. If you follow all 10 tips in the video then you shouldn't have any problems with the submission process. How many of the tips are you already following? Is following Tip #3 really harder than dealing with the potential consequences?
important reminder for early stage investigators
In order for eRA systems to identify a Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) on a R01 or DP2 application as having Early Stage Investigator (ESI) status, the PD/PI's degree completion and/or the end of residency date must be correctly entered in their eRA Commons profile at the time of submission. If you have already submitted an application and it doesn't reflect the correct ESI status, you can open a ticket with the eRA Commons Help Desk to request a correction of the ESI status for the submitted application.
NIH to implement major changes to Biosketch
NIH will be rolling out a new biosketch format intended to further emphasize an individual's accomplishments by focusing on the magnitude and significance of the scientific advances associated with a researcher's discoveries. Implementation of the new biosketch will be in phases. The first round concluded last year; the second round will be launched in June, 2014 with the pilot biosketch included in several specific RFAs. Currently, the pilot biosketch is included in one active RFA.
The new 5-page format will allow space for researchers to describe up to five of their most significant contributions to science along with the historical background that framed their research. This description can outline the central finding(s) of their work, the influence of those finding(s) on their field and how those findings may have contributed to improvements in health or technology. See the full NIH Notice here.
In addition to the descriptions of their contributions, researchers will be able to include a link to a full list of their published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as MyBibliography or SciENcv. Two new forms, a pilot biosketch format page (MS Word) and the instructions and a sample using the modified format (MS Word) have been posted, and can be found on the page that describes the NIH SF424 (R&R) Application and Electronic Submission Information. Please note that the use of the enhanced biosketch format is restricted to those RFAs included in the pilot. According to Rock Talk with Dr. Sally Rockey, the new biosketch format will be fully implemented in early 2015.
Clarifications are provided in the above link for certain key points that were raised in questions NIH received.
Receive Customized NIH Guide Listings via Email
Do you find yourself repeating the same NIH Guide search over and over again looking for funding opportunity announcements? If the answer is yes, then we have a new tool you are sure to love. The NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts now allows you to be notified when new NIH Guide postings match your search criteria. To get started, visit grants.nih.gov and perform your search, then from the Results page click "Save Your Search" to sign up for alerts based on that search criteria. The system can email you with new funding opportunity announcements and/or notices related to your search on a daily, weekly or monthly basis (your choice!).
You can also subscribe to a weekly LISTSERV email with new NIH Guide Postings. At the end of each work week NIH transmits an email to subscribers with the current weekly table of contents (TOC) including links to announcements published during the week.
NIH Public Access Policy
The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central immediately upon acceptance for publication. To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication. Click here for more information: NIH Public Access page.