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Proposal Submission Information NIH

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

On August 19, 2005 NIH announced its plans to: 1) transition from the PHS398 application to the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) application; and 2) simultaneously transition to electronic submission of grant applications via (see NOT-OD-05-067).

After carefully considering input from the applicant community, analyzing the results of our first few submission rounds, and examining the timing of key submission dates in relation to other NIH initiatives, NIH has adjusted the implementation timeline for electronic application submission to provide an additional four months (one submission round) before the transition of the NIH traditional research grant (R01) mechanism and all subsequent mechanisms (see updated timeline). 

An important procedural change with electronic submission of grant applications is that all applications must be submitted in response to a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)*. NIH and other HHS Agencies plan to develop omnibus Parent announcements by early November, 2006 for our most widely used grant mechanism, the research project grant (the R01), for use by applicants who wish to submit what were formerly termed “unsolicited” applications.  Responding to such an omnibus or umbrella Parent FOA ensures that the correct application package is used and enables NIH to receive the application from This process in no way diminishes the interest of NIH Institutes and Centers in investigator-initiated, unsolicited research grant applications. Parent announcements are NIH-wide, but some NIH institutes may limit their participation, so check the announcement's statement of interest. For institute-specific opportunities in your area of science, search the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.

While Parent announcements mark a big change in the way R01s have traditionally been received at NIH and other HHS agencies, Parent announcements are not new to NIH.  NIH has required a Parent announcement for small research grants (R03) and exploratory/developmental grants (R21) for the past three years. Parent announcements are now also used for conference grants (R13), AREA grants (R15), SBIR grants (R43, R44) and STTR grants (R41, R42) and could be issued for Career Development awards (K08, K23, K24), Individual Postdoctoral Fellowships (F32) and Institutional Research Training Grants (T32). Nearly all NIH Institutes/Centers (ICs) participate in these Parent announcements. Parent announcements are not generally available for other highly specialized grant mechanisms (e.g. resource programs, construction grants, or education projects) and thus individual ICs will be issuing specific FOAs.

Additional Resources

Electronic Submission of Grant Applications to NIH - link to resources and information on all aspects of electronic submission, from registering with eRA Commons to submission of proposals with

eRA Commons - NIH is going paperless!  Registration in eRA Commons is required for all Key Personnel listed on a grant proposal. Notifications of awards and summary statements are available through eRA Commons.

Links to Parent Announcements (R01, R21, R15, etc.)