NIH Proposals and Policies

Use the File Finder tool to locate documents related to proposal development such as forms and official policies and procedures.

Read the NIH revised approach to resuming operations after the government shutdown.NOT-OD-14-007

Recent NIH policy additions and revisions

  • NIH will start requiring an eRA Commons ID for all individuals in graduate and undergraduate student roles who participate in NIH-funded projects for at least one person month or more (NOT-OD-13-097; effective date October 18, 2013). That information will appear on NIH progress reports, including those submitted on paper and electronically. This new requirement will be phased in over the next year and then beginning in October 2014, RPPRs lacking the eRA Commons ID for Graduate and Undergraduate Students will receive an error and the RPPR will not be accepted by the NIH without this information.
  • NIH requires use of RPPR for all SNAP and fellowship progress reports, and expands RPPR functionality (NOT-OD-13-035; effective date 7-1-2013). The use of the eRA RPPR Module for submitting Streamlined Noncompeting Award Process (SNAP) and Fellowship progress reports will be required for awards with start dates on or after July 1, 2013 (i.e., due dates on or after May 15, 2013, for SNAP awards and May 1, 2013, for Fellowships). The functionality of the RPPR is also expanding on April 18, 2013 to include requests from the awarding Institutes and Centers (ICs) for additional materials following submission of an RPPR and electronic submission of the additional materials by the grantee.
  • One-time financial conflict of interest (FCOI) reporting guidance for certain fiscal year 2012 awards issued on or after August 24, 2012 (NOT-OD-12-143; effective date 8-24-2012). NIH will not require grantees to submit FCOI reports for FY 2012 noncompeting awards issued on or after August 24, 2012 until requested by NIH staff.
  • Notice of pilot processes for submitting of post-award relinquishing statements to NIH (NOT-OD-12-132; effective date 8-24-2012). NIH announces the availability of a pilot process for electronic submission of the Official Statement Relinquishing Interests and Rights in a Public Health Service Research Grant (PHS 3734 Form). Grantees are encouraged to use this pilot before use is required.
  • Notice of pilot for processing post-award changes in grantee organizational status: successor-in-interest (NOT-OD-12-133; effective 8-24-2012). NIH announces the availability of a pilot process for electronic submission of post-award Change of Grantee Organizational Status- Successor-in-Interest applications. Grantees are encouraged to use this pilot before use is required.
    Successor-in-Interest Application: This provides a link to the instructions and application for the electronic pilot process for Processing Post-Award Changes in Grantee Organizational Status: Successor-in-Interest (NOT-OD-12-133).
  • Notice of pilot processes for post-award change of grantee organization applications to NIH (NOT-OD-12-134; effective 8-24-2012). NIH announces the availability of a pilot process for electronic submission of post-award Change of Grantee Organization applications. Grantees are encouraged to use this pilot before use is required.
    Change of Grantee Organization Application:This provides a link to the instructions and application for the electronic pilot process for Post-Award Change of Grantee Organization Applications (NOT-OD-12-134).
  • Notice of special council review of research applications from PDs / PIs with more than $1.0 Million direct costs in annual NIH support (NOT-OD-12-140; effective 8-20-2012). NIH will be implementing a general policy whereby Advisory Council members will provide additional consideration of new and renewal applications from well-supported investigators who currently receive $1 million or more in direct costs of NIH funding to support Research Project Grants (RPG).

Instructions for NIH grants submission

All about grants - A series of podcasts from the NIH Office of Extramural Research provides insights on a variety of grant topics by NIH staff. The “All About Grants” series is designed for investigators, fellows, students, research administrators and others. It is available as a monthly podcast which you can subscribe to through iTunes or some other podcast client. You may also download individual episodes as MP3 audio files or as transcripts. Information on RSS and Podcasts

To prepare to submit a NIH application through for the first time, please review the following step-by-step directions. Instructions on how to complete electronic NIH forms are available as a download on the right. Always notify OSPA when you plan to submit a grant. Click on each step below to obtain more details and instructions, or NIH’s step-by-step instructions.

1. PI registers in the NIH eRA commons with a PI account affiliated with Georgia State

If you do not have an account, please complete the registration form and email it to your OSPA Representative to establish an account. You must have a PI account, not just a reviewer account. NIH suggests doing this AT LEAST two weeks before grant deadline.

2. Obtain correct software

a) Make sure you have the correct version of Adobe Reader before you being to complete an application in To ensure you have the correct version go to: and go through their steps of testing your current version and downloading the correct version if you need it.

b) To convert word documents into pdf files for attachments you will also need Adobe Acrobat Professional or other software that does conversions (e.g., cutePDF is also recommended by NIH). Adobe Reader is not sufficient. Professional is available at a reduced rate for Georgia State employees.

3. Download appropriate grant application

PI downloads application specific to the NIH grant program they are applying to. Applications are available at NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts or at under “Find Grant Opportunities” using the funding opportunity number or Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number.

4. Notify OSPA of pending grant submission and deadline

PI emails his or her Office of Sponsored Proposals and Awards officer of intention to submit an application via

5. Complete grant application

PI downloads and completes grant application. Make sure you express your effort as person months. Conversion spreadsheet is available as a download on this website. For more information visit the Proposal Preparation and Budget Development webpages.

6. Submit final proposal to OSPA for review at least 5 business days before
agency’s deadline

PI prints completed forms and draft of narrative and route the hard copy through Georgia State using the Proposal Approval Form (see OSPA Quick Reference for more details on which parts of the application need to be routed). PI should email draft application to OSPA officer copying the associate director of OSPA at same time. For more information visit the Routing a Proposal for Approval webpage.

7. Error-free submission requirement

NIH now requires all submissions to be error-free by the deadline or they will be automatically rejected.   OSPA needs to get your final proposal at least 5 business days before sponsoring agency’s deadline to guarantee you an error-free submission.  Failure to submit your final proposal to OSPA at least 5 days before the deadline will not give OSPA enough time to check for all errors and may result in rejection of your proposal in if you have errors in the proposal.

8. Submission to by OSPA (PIs cannot submit their own grants to

After final application is reviewed, the OSPA officer submits the application to Georgia State’s AORs are  Associate Vice President of Research, Monica Swahn and Vice President for Research, James Weyhenmeyer. PIs CANNOT submit their own grant application via

9. error check

Rudimentary error check is done by and notification of errors is sent to the AOR who will forward it to PI. PI will correct errors and forward corrected grant to OSPA officer to be to be resubmitted through by AOR. Errors must be corrected before submission deadline for application to be accepted.

10. NIH Error Check

If the application is error free, it will be assembled into one application, complete with table of contents, headings which will be used for reviewing purposes. It is important to verify that it appears as the PI intended. If the PI is not satisfied, they should contact their OSPA officer right away. Only OSPA can “reject” the application. The application will then have to be resubmitted through by OSPA. If the application is not rejected after two days of being posted in the Commons, it will be considered a final document and sent for review.

11. Grant assembly by NIH

The grant application will now be transferred to NIH eRA Commons for error verification. A list of errors and warnings is generated and posted on eRA Commons and emailed to PI and AOR. PIs must be available to correct errors. Applications with errors must be resubmitted through after the errors are corrected (as a changed/corrected application). Applications with warnings can but do not need to be resubmitted.