Research Affairs / 
Researcher's Alert for January 20, 2011

I.  DRA Network Meeting on February 9, 2011

II.  NIH Error Correction Window Shut!  Now What?


Topic:  Restructured NIH Applications One Year Later: What the new format means to you (Powerpoint presentation)

Presenter: Barry L. Taylor, PhD

Date, time & location:  Wednesday, February 9, Noon – 1:00 p.m. at the Medical Center A-level Amphitheatre

Enhancing the peer review process has resulted in changes in the criteria by which National Institutes of Health grants are evaluated. Barry L. Taylor will review his recent experience on an NIH study section and give tips on preparing successful applications. This session will also discuss how the new criteria require a new approach to writing NIH grants.

This special department  research administrators’ meeting is especially pertinent to new and junior investigators. Lunch may be purchased at the Cafeteria; however, snacks will be provided.

RSVP is requested by Monday, February 7 to Deborah, at x44531 or

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NIH Error Correction Window Shut!  Now What? 

Correcting eRA-identified errors and warnings after the deadline will no longer be an option beginning January 25, 2011.  You cannot fix any problems with an application beyond the due date (see NOT-OD-10-123). Let’s look ahead at how to best deal with this decision.

What hasn’t changed?

  • The “application viewing window” remains open! NIH will continue to provide applicants two business days following the receipt of an application to view their assembled application image (just as a reviewer will see it) and verify it correctly reflects their submission prior to it moving forward to NIH staff for funding consideration. Many folks who inquired about the elimination of the error correction window mistakenly thought the application viewing window was being discontinued – so, this is an important point.

  • Signing Officials can “reject” an application image within the application viewing window and submit a Changed/Corrected application as long as it is still BEFORE the deadline and within the institution’s policies. The application viewing window, however, is not a substitute for the error correction window which allowed applicants to correct eRA errors/warnings after the deadline.  Changed/Corrected applications submitted AFTER the deadline to address system errors/warnings will no longer be accepted.

  • NIH will continue to invoke contingency plans, as needed, to address large-scale system failures (e.g., or eRA Commons experiences significant downtime on a deadline date).

  • NIH will continue to work with individual applicants that experience smaller-scale eRA system failures beyond their control on a case-by-case basis. Of course, you need to do your part - see But, if NIH can’t appropriately process a valid application, they will work with you to get your application in. Don’t forget, once the system issue is resolved, a prompt submission is expected. When there is a system issue verified by the eRA Help Desk, Changed/Corrected applications may be submitted after the due date and will be processed by the Division of Receipt and Referral (DRR) staff.  The eRA Help Desk carefully tracks such applications and provides DRR with a list.

  • NIH will continue to make allowances for severe weather and disasters that result in the closure of institutions.

  • NIH will continue to stress the importance of submitting early to allow time for unforeseen errors and warnings.

Submitting error-free applications - check before “finalizing” your application:

  1. Have you provided the DUNS number on the “Performance Site” section for all the partnering agencies (including foreign entities)?
  2. Did you provide correct “Type of Submission” (box #1), “Federal Identifier” (box #4), and “Type of Application” (box #8) information on the SF424 (R&R) cover form?
  3. Did you include the eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the R&R Sr/Key Person Profile form for all PD/PIs?
  4. If submitting a Multiple-PD/PI application, did you give all PIs the PD/PI role on the Sr/Key Person Profile form?
  5. Did you include Organization name for all Sr/Key listed on the R&R Sr/Key Person Profile form?
  6. Did you include all required attachments?
  7. Are all your attachments in PDF format?
  8. Did you follow the page limits specified in the FOA and application guide?
  9. Did you include effort > 0 for all Sr/Key listed on the R&R Budget form?
  10. Did you follow all special instructions noted in Section IV. Application and Submission Information of the announcement?

Even if you diligently go through the checks above, SUBMIT EARLY! NIH is tightening the rules regarding post-submission materials (see NOT-OD-10-115), and it is more important than ever to make sure your application is correct at time of submission. eSubmission validations actually help you to submit an application that complies with instructions and identify missing information needed for review. Submitting early provides the opportunity to make necessary application adjustments and submit a Changed/Corrected application for the same deadline. The alternative would be to submit an application, find out after the fact that you were not in compliance and have to submit again for the next deadline (if there is one).

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