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Grants.gov is your source to FIND and APPLY for federal government grants. Grants.gov is a central storehouse for information on over 1,000 federal grant programs and provides access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards.

Grants.gov: The Basics

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Common Grants.gov Submission Errors

  • Does the DUNS number on the SF424 (R&R) cover form match the DUNS used for Grants.gov & Commons registration?
  • 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?
    These three fields all work together – be sure to follow the application guide instructions carefully.
  • Did you include the eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the R&R Sr/Key Person Profile form for all PD/PIs?
    Including the eRA Commons ID for the PD/PIs is an NIH requirement and is critical to our ability to post errors, warnings and the assembled application image in eRA Commons. The credential field is not marked required on the federal-wide form since not all agencies that use the form need this field. NIH uses the Health and Human Services logo within the application guide to flag agency-specific instructions and clarifications for fields on federal-wide forms. Pay special attention to the HHS “birdie” or you may miss key NIH requirements.
  • Are all your attachments in PDF format?
    Grants.gov will allow other document formats, but PDF is an NIH requirement. Use simple PDF-formatted files for ALL attachments. See PDF Guidelines.
  • Did you follow the page limits specified in the FOA and application guide?
  • Did you include effort > 0 for all Sr/Key listed on the R&R Budget form?
    It is not necessary to list every person from the R&R Sr/Key Person Profile form in the Sr/Key section of the R&R budget form. For the entries you do list, however, you must provide measureable effort using the Calendar Months OR a combination of Academic and Summer Month categories. Too little effort information (i.e., blanks or zeros in all three month categories) or too much information (i.e., providing non-zero values in Calendar Months and any other month category) will result in an error. For information about calculating person months, see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/person_months_faqs.htm.

NIH and Grants.gov

  • NIH eSubmission home page
  • NIH electronic submission errors & warnings list
  • UW Instructions for Requesting Sub-award or Consortium Proposals under NIH's Grants.gov Submissions
    1. Send the R&R Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form to the Consortium Entity. The Entity should complete the budget (for each period of the proposal) and return it to the UW PI or designee.
    2. In addition, the Entity should prepare the following components of its proposal to UW:
      • Cover Page Supplement Component
      • Work description or brief research plan of just its role
      • 398 Checklist Component
      • Letter of Transmittal signed by Entity's authorizing official

      Note: These components will remain internal to the UW, and will be used to prepare the Subcontract should the UW proposal be funded by NIH. They should be attached to the UW proposal that is routed through Chair and Dean using SAGE.

    3. The UW PI may want to include the Senior/Key Person Profile(s) Component of the Entity's personnel in the submission of the application through grants.gov.
  • NIH Proposal Preparation Tips
    1. The yellow highlighted fields are required from government wide grant making agencies. Please read the Program Announcement (PA) carefully as it contains instructions that are extremely helpful to complete a particular grant application. Example: Credential field is required only by NIH. NIH proposal can’t be submitted if this field is not completed.
    2. Be sure to select the “Next” button for forms that are multiple pages. Otherwise, you will receive an error for incompletely filling out the forms.
    3. Be sure that if funds are being requested for more than one budget period, click the “Next Period” button at the top of the third budget screen (Sections F through K) to navigate to screens for the next budget period. For NIH proposal submitted via Grants.gov, you do not need to complete the Cumulative budget page because the NIH ERA Commons will populate this page as well as the Table of Contents.
    4. All attachment uploaded in Grants.gov application must be a .pdf file (not editable).
    5. If you use Adobe as your pdf converter, the most effective way to merge files together is in Adobe, not Word. Once you have each of your files, for example, letters, separately in PDF format, using Adobe, open the PDF of the letter you want to appear first. Then "save as" LetterUpload.pdf or something of that kind, since you will be collecting all the other letter pdf files together at that point and saving them in this aggregate file. Then, use Acrobat's Document-Insert Pages function to append each of the other PDF files. It is a pretty quick process once you get used to using that feature. Then save the file again, now containing the final, aggregate result. Attach *that* file - LetterUpload.pdf in my example - to the PureEdge form.
    6. Do not include any information in a header or footer of the attachments. A header will be system-generated that references the name of the PD/PI. Page numbers for the footer will be system-generated in the complete application, with all pages sequentially numbered.
    7. Tracking page limitations when you have to submit all of the various sections of the proposal.
    8. Do not be concerned that the application form has a pre-filled CFDA number that may not correspond to the Institute/Center of interest. The Center for Scientific Review will not use the CFDA number for assignment of the application. This field will be corrected by the CSR at a later time.
    9. Check the NIH Electronic Submission Frequently Asked Questions often, as it is updated frequently.
  • NIH Late Policy and Unacceptable Reasons for Late Submission

    Applicants must follow the directions provided at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/support.htm#guidelines to report Grants.gov and eRA Commons system issues that threaten the timely submission of a grant application. NIH will investigate reports of system issues on a case-by-case basis. If the eRA Commons Help Desk confirms a system issue, the application will not be considered late as long as the submission process is completed in a timely manner. Note that problems with computer systems at the applicant organization, failure to follow instructions in the Application Guide or funding opportunity announcement, or failure to complete required registrations by the submission deadline are not considered system issues, as set out in the NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications

    Other examples of events that would NOT be considered 'System Issues':

    1. Failure to follow funding opportunity instructions.
    2. Failure to follow application guide instructions.
    3. Failure to complete required organization or investigator registrations prior to deadline.
    4. Failure to correct Grants.gov or eRA identified errors/warnings after a deadline.
    5. Local internet problem at institution on deadline day.
    6. Problems with local submission system (e.g., system-to-system solution).
    7. Grants.gov AOR not authorized to submit for organization.
    8. Unable to see final application status (errors/warnings or image) in Grants.gov or eRA Commons within half a business day of submission. (See System Issue bullet above for greater than half a business day).
    9. Forgot credentials.
    10. Discovered application image issue after the application viewing window.
    11. Failure to notify the eRA Commons Help Desk of submission issues by deadline or of application image issues within application viewing window.
    12. Rejected/Refused an application by accident.
    13. Did not receive Grants.gov or eRA notifications, but status available in Grants.gov or eRA Commons.

Finding Funding on Grants.gov


Grants.gov is your source to FIND and APPLY for federal government grants. Grants.gov is a central storehouse for information on over 1,000 federal grant programs and provides access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards.

Access and Authorization

Grants.gov requires no special access or authorization for UW faculty, administrators or staff. It is an open and public website. Principal Investigators submitting to NIH will need to complete an NIH eRA Commons profile before completing their Grants.gov application. Principal Investigators submitting to HRSA will need to register on the HRSA Electronic Handbooks for Applicants website before completing their Grants.gov application.