December 14, 2010

NIH Application Error Correction Window Closing

This new year, make a resolution to plan ahead and submit your NIH grant applications in advance of the deadline. With the error correction window going away as of January 25, 2011, submitting your application early is the best way to ensure success. For deadlines on or after January 25, 2011, all applications must be error free by the deadline.

Remember, you will still have the two-business-day application viewing window to view your assembled application image before the deadline. The viewing window is your one chance to view your grant application just as the NIH reviewers will see it.

For assistance completing your application, check out our updated SF424 (R&R) application guide (ADOBE-FORMS-B series) and Ten Checks to Help Avoid Common Errors.

"What If?" Handling System Issues Without an Error Correction Window!

With the elimination of the error correction window approaching next month, applicants may be wondering how NIH will handle unexpected system outages that may impact submission deadlines.

In the event of an unexpected system outage, NIH staff remains in nearly constant communication with officials while they work to diagnose the issue. If we determine that a deadline extension is necessary due to a lengthy outage, we communicate this information via a notice in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, as well as e-mail messages to our listservs. (See NOT-OD-11-014 for an example of a deadline extension guide notice). Sign up for e-mail updates (concerning the electronic application submission program and the eRA Commons system) at our Get Connected page. Once sent, guide notices and e-mail updates are also posted on the news pages of both the Electronic Research Administration and Applying Electronically websites.

Should or eRA Commons system issues threaten your ability to submit your application on time, you should take action to document these issues on or before your submission deadline. We investigate reports of system issues on a case-by-case basis.

New resources at will help applicants in the event of an unforeseen issue. A new live chat feature provides the ability for applicants to chat directly with a staff member when they have questions or concerns about submitting their application. The chat feature can be found by clicking “Contact Us” in the upper right corner of the new Self-Service Web Portal. The web portal also includes a number of new support resources such as Top 10 FAQs, Alerts and Important Updates, an option to search the knowledge base, and the ability to track the status of a Contact Center ticket.

Note: Due to new security updates released in October 2010, users must change their passwords every 90 days. Many user passwords will be expiring around the same time that NIH is eliminating the error correction window from the submission process. Mark your calendar now to log in to and reset your password a few weeks before you plan to submit a proposal.

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