Prepare an Application
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The appropriate application guide for preparing you electronic grant application will be available when you download the application package from Grants.gov.
Application guides are also available on the following page: SF424 (R&R) Application and Electronic Submission Information. Applicants should be aware that there are multiple application guides available on this page and should read the instructions carefully to ensure that they choose the correct guide for their application.
Remember: instructions in the FOA supersede those found in the application guide!
The following resources provide step-by-step guidance on navigating and completing the application forms:
- A Walk Through the SF424 (R&R) (Powerpoint - 3 MB)
- Grants.gov forms based navigation for Adobe (Flash Presentation)
When completing your application, be careful to avoid Grants.gov and eRA Commons errors! Errors stop an application from moving forward in the electronic submission process, but most errors can be easily avoided. See our Avoiding Common Errors page for more information.
For applicants who are interested in a higher level of detail, NIH provides a detailed list of every business rule that is enforced by the eRA System on our Validations page.
A few additional tips to consider when preparing your application:
- To avoid PDF problems, keep these guidelines in mind.
- Under Senior Key Person, in Section A & B of the Research & Related Budget form, be sure to include the PD/PI.
- NIH strongly encourages applicants not to use double columns to present their research plans. Since some/many reviewers will be reviewing the electronic document, not a paper version, the two column format may pose difficulties.
- Applicants who submit a corrected application through Grants.gov must include a cover letter or extend the existing one because the information from the previous application is not retained and each submission has to be complete in itself.