Information and PDF Document Uploads for NIH Proposals

Rule 1: No more Times New Roman. NIH requires an Arial, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype, or Georgia typeface, 11 point or larger. Margins are .5 inches all around.

Rule 2: No Headers OR footers should be on the grant pages. This information is automatically generated as the proposal is put together in eRACommons.  — Be sure to check this.

Rule 3: No page numbering should be printed, the pages are also an automatic process in eRACommons.

Rule 4: If it’s attached and it is NOT a PDF, change the document type and re-load—NO SPACES IN THE NAME, alpha-numeric and “_” ONLY!!!

Rule 5: Credential, e.g., agency login: this is your eRACommons login ID—and it must be provided, all CAPS, for all PIs in the Key Personnel biosketch area.

Rule 6: Be sure to read the Program Announcement for any specific requirements outside the norm.

Hint 1: Some items MUST be uploaded before you can go further in the document. One example is the Biographical Sketch. If you don’t have the bio it is suggested to have a “NEED TO ADD” Word document, named such, so it sticks out for replacement upon review. Another area with this requirement is in the PHS398 Modular Budget or a Research & Related Budget (when required by the submission guidelines or dollar threshold of the application) budget justification — you can’t get to Year 02 if you don’t have the justification added.

Hint 2: Naming conventions for PDF files sometimes matter.  NIH doesn’t seem to care as long as there are no spaces, the DoD will tell you EXACTLY how to name your files.

Hint 3: PLEASE Remember this synopsis is to be used as a reference tool—the actual instructions documentation that can be downloaded to your desktop and “search” is available for every application downloaded from website.  The standard instructions are located on the NIH site: and page numbers for specific information is provided for each file to be uploaded.

Now for the PDF uploads:

SF424 (R&R) — No uploads.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded): Reference Page 68 of 204 for content.

    Attach Biosketch for all Key Personnel — and only enter Key (those listed here, if funded, may very well show up as Key Personnel on eSNAP submissions when awarded,require approval to replace, etc. The bio OR the NEED TO ADD Word document must be attached prior to accessing the Next Person information box.

Research & Related Other Project Information: Reference begins Pages 61.

    Project Summary/Abstract: NO LONGER than 30 lines of text. “Succinctly” address the broad, long-term objectives and specific aims of the project—note the relevance to the mission of the agency. Reference page 65.

    Project Narrative: NO MORE than 2-3 sentences. Describe the relevance of the research to public health. Reference page 65.

    Bibliography & References Cited: Formerly Literature Cited. Use scholarly practices to provide the full citation. Embedded HINT: This piece could be obtained from the actual research plan (done on the old NIH 398 documents). If you use ‘links’ and other magic for referencing in your main documents, SAVE AS A PDF and then extract these pages. If the references don’t start at the beginning of the page, just tab down until they do!

    Facilities & Other Resources: This includes the labs, animal, computer, office, and clinical space. If there’s a unique environment please describe how it will help the project. Describe only the areas that are specific for this grant.

    Equipment: What used to be at the bottom of the Facilities section is now an additional document.

    Other Attachments: To be used only if specifically required for the particular grant submission.

Research & Related Project/Performance Site Locations(s) — No uploads, but DO make sure you get the appropriate information for any subs working at a different Performance Site!

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement — No uploads.

PHS 398 Research PlanReferences at the end of each document type.

    Introduction to Application: Used only for resubmissions (formerly a revision or amendment)—1 page limit!! or revisions (formerly a competing supplement) — 1 page limit!! Reference Page 117.

    Caveat—the Research Plan (next four documents below) must conform to the overall page limitation of 12 for R-1s, 6 for R21s. You may want to type as a single document to ensure that you meet the page limits. As you attach the individual PDF documents you might get a “Warning” that you’ve exceeded your page limit—this is due to ‘white space’ at the end of the particular section. When the proposal gets to eRACommons you’ll be able to see it put back together. BEGIN EACH SECTION WITH THE SECTION HEADER!!!

    Specific Aims: One page limit. Reference Page 111.

    Research Strategy: Contains

        (a) Significance: Importance of the problem, how this project will help, and a description of how the concepts, methods, technologies will change the field if the aims are achieved. Reference Page 118.

        (b) Innovation: Reference Page 112.

        (c) Approach: Reference Page 112.

    Inclusion Enrollment Report: Not subject to the page limit, but required for renewals or revisions involving clinical research. Reference Page 120.

    Progress Report Publication List: To be used for Competitive renewals only—list publications, patents, etc… For publicly available citations provide the PMCid with the full reference. These can’t be added as Appendix Material!! Reference Page 150.

Human Subjects Sections

    Protection of Human Subjects: Initial information regarding Protection of Human Subjects required if applicable. Reference Page 151.

Other Research Plan Sections

    Vertebrate Animals: If applicable, provide a description of the proposed use, justify their use, including choice of species and number to be used, the veterinary care, procedures for limiting discomfort, distress, pain and injury to the animals, and method of euthanasia if required. Reference Page 154.

    Select Agent Research: If applicable, identify the Select Agent(s), provide the registration status, and the facilities where there will be Select Agent(s). Reference Page 155.

    Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan: If applicable, provide a rationale for the use of multiple PIs, the governance and organizational structure of the multiple PIs and the research project of the plan. Also include an process for making decisions on the scientific direction and conflict resolution. If specific budget allocation is planned this should also be delineated in the plan. Reference Page 186.

    Consortium/Contractual Arrangements: Explain the arrangement between the parties and why the work is being done outside of the proposing entity. HINT: You are required to get a “Letter of Intent” or a signed face page from any/all proposed subaward entities prior to Grants Management approval, so go ahead and request it!! Reference Page 186.

    Letters of Support: Attach letters from all confirming their role on the project—if the letter is for a consultant, their rate for consulting should be provided in the letter. Reference Page 187.

    Resource Sharing Plan(s): Data Sharing Plan—should be included for requests of $500k or more in any one year—a paragraph of how the data will be shared or why it isn’t possible to share the data. Sharing Model Organisms—if models are to be developed, regardless of requested amount of support, a plan to share or distribute unique model organisms. Reference Page 118.

    Appendix: Use file names to describe the contents of any Appendix Material. You are allowed UP TO 10 attachments, but PLEASE KNOW that they might not print out in the order in which they are attached. There can be UP TO 3 publications if they aren’t publicly available (if order matters, provide them as a single attachment—DO not try to count all three as one, please remember these reviewers are sharp)!! Also allowed are surveys, questionnaires, protocols, patents directly relevant to the project. Reference Page 119.

PHS 398 Cover Letter FileReference Page 55.

    *Mandatory Cover Letter Filename: Not required in most circumstances, but it’s a good idea! Provide your application title, title of the program to which you are applying. Include suggestions for reviewers and who should NOT review (with any conflictual reasons for exclusion), and programmatic approval for budgets over $500,000 direct costs per year.

PHS 398 Modular Budget — Use for annual budgets in $25,000 increments not to exceed $250,000/yr.

    Personnel Justification: Provide only information for the person’s effort (in person months) and their responsibilities for work on the project. Do NOT include salary figures. Reference Page 107.

    Consortium Justification: If there is a proposed subaward provide the budget request, to the nearest $1,000 for each year, describe the role of each person with their effort, and identify the entity as Foreign or Domestic. Reference Page 108.

    Additional Narrative Justification: Changes in requested modules, exclustions from F&A, etc… Reference Page 108.

Research & Related Budget – Use if the requested annual direct expenses are planned to exceed $250,000 in any proposed year or if required by the funding mechanism.

    Budget Justification: Provide Personnel information and, if budgeted, a justification for Equipment, Travel, Supplies, Participant Support Costs and Subaward costs. Reference Page 90.

The link to the SF424 guide is: