Big news from NIH as they officially announce the switch to all-electronic submissions through Grants.gov. Training will be held on December 5th, and there are some interesting notes in the press release:
The transition to electronic submission is complex. It requires that two systems with their own registration and validation processes work together — Grants.gov, the federal government’s single on-line portal to find and apply for federal funding, and eRA Commons, the system that allows applicants to interact electronically with NIH. The transition also involves the simultaneous shift from the long-used PHS 398 application form to a new trans-agency standard form, and fundamentally changes the process by which investigators and grant applicant institutions manage their grant submissions.
NIH expects that the R01 transition will set new application submission records both at Grants.gov and within the NIH eRA Commons. NIH recently made performance and capacity improvements in its systems and helpdesks and is positioned to handle the expected increased load. In addition, NIH has developed contingency plans to ensure that any issues that do arise can be addressed quickly and that applicants are not penalized for system problems.
This will undoubtedly be a big test for Grants.gov, and will strain that system like never before. I think they’re ready for it, and certainly NIH seems to be well-prepared to handle this significant change in their business process. Stay tuned!