The Grants.gov/NIH electronic submission process can be broken down into the following essential steps:
Register as “PI” on NIH Commons
Electronic submission of proposals to NIH via the Grants.gov portal (via the Cayuse system) requires that the Principal Investigator (PI) be registered with NIH eRA Commons. (Registration with Grants.gov is required for applicant institutions only, NOT individual investigators).
Request Cayuse Username and Password from the Office of Grant Support
Cayuse is the system Einstein uses for routing and submitting all applications, competing and non-competing. Everyone needing access to Cayuse (whether to work on an application or approve routing chains) needs a user ID and password. However, A PD/PI may delegate authority to allow administrative staff to work on/approve submissions on his/her behalf. Form for delegation is found here under "delegation routing."
Selecting Funding Opportunity:
Download FOA (Funding Opportunity Announcement) Narrative
Once a PD/PI has selected an FOA, download the narrative from either Grants.gov or the NIH Office of Extramural Research. Pay particular attention to Section IV--Application and Submission Information, for FOA-specific guidelines.
Download and/or Bookmark SF424 R&R Guide
This manual should be used in conjunction with the FOA Narrative. It gives detailed instructions on each section of the NIH grant application.
Download FOA application package on Cayuse server
Most FOAs are already in the Cayuse system. If a particular FOA does not appear on the pop-up list after clicking "Create Proposal," go into the Opportunities tab and add it. Click on "Retrieve Opportunity" and type in the FOA Number (e.g., RFA-AG-12-000). If it cannot be added, please contact the Office of Grant Support (X3642) for assistance.
Prior to working on a grant application for the first time, contact Charles Hathaway, Director of the Office of Grant Support (firstname.lastname@example.org ) for initial training in the Cayuse system. Post-training, Cayuse has online (illustrated) User Manuals . Additionally, all pre-award questions can be directed to either Dr. Hathaway or Regina Janicki, Electronic Research Administrator (email@example.com), X3642.
Follow FOA instructions.
Both the instructions in the SF424 R&R Guide and the specific FOA should be followed while filling out NIH applications. If there is a discrepancy between the two, the FOA's instructions should be followed.
Internal Routing and Approval:
The “Routing and Approvals” feature in Cayuse 424 is designed to obtain sequential departmental and institutional approvals of grant application submissions. This system will be used for internal sign-offs on all applications regardless of whether the actual submission will be made electronically to a federal agency. In the case of NIH submissions, no application can be submitted without the routing chain being complete and approval by an AOR given as the next to last step on the chain.* (*please note: Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) is the last step on the routing chain).
Begin Internal Routing (Electronic, through Cayuse) EARLY
An application should have all edited fields filled out prior to the beginning of routing. Once the routing chain has begun, the grant is "locked down" to editing. You may, however, upload non-budget attachments. Please note that biosketches and scientific attachments do not have to be included at this point. They can be added post-approval and prior to submission. Once an application is complete, with mandatory forms filled out and included in the documents section, routing should begin as early as possible, to give all internal compliance departments ample time to review and approve the submission. Should you need to edit a field that has been locked down, while the grant is still moving through departments, contact the Office of Grant Support for "write" permissions.
Submitting Grant Applications:
Once routing is complete and approval by an AOR has been given, submit grant
The PD/PI or his/her delegate may submit the grant application. Please follow Einstein submission guidelines and submit well before deadline, to allow for correction of unforseen errors. No corrections can be made, post-deadline. Make sure a grant tracking number is obtained at the time of submission (it appears in the pop-up window approximately 60 seconds after the 'submit' button is pressed).
Monitor application progress
Each PD/PI or his/her delegate is responsible for tracking his/her own applications. Pre-submission: routing progess should be monitored, in case of email failure/departmental delay, and the appropriate departments should be contacted if something is taking longer than expected. Post-submission: NIH (in particular) sends out several email notifications, in quick succession. IF they are not received, this may be a sign of a potential problem. Contact the Office of Grant Support for assistance.
Reject error-free application image (optional)
This can only be done pre-deadline. No grant can be rejected, for any reason, post-deadline.