Electronic Submission > Electronic Application Process > Prepare to Apply

Prepare to Apply

bullet   Know Your Role
bullet   Select Approach
          • Forms-based Submission
          • System-to-System
          • Service Provider
bullet   Obtain Software
          • Software FAQ
bullet   Register IMPORTANT!
          • eRA Commons Registration
          • Grants.gov registration
          • International Applicants
          • Registration FAQ
          • Important Tips

bullet Know Your Role

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bullet Select Approach
An applicant organization will determine how best to submit its application(s) to NIH via Grants.gov. Applicant organizations can choose from one of these three options:

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bullet Obtain Software

In order to access, complete and submit grant applications, applicants need to download the PureEdge Viewer from Grants.gov.

Creating PDFs
NIH requires all text attachments to the PureEdge forms to be submitted as PDF files.
Some type of PDF creation software is needed to create the PDF (the free Adobe Reader will NOT create an Adobe file). Grants.gov has published a list of some available tools and software to assist you http://www.grants.gov/agencies/software.jsp#3.
Note: Attachments generated from PureEdge forms, such as the R&R SubAward Budget Attachment Form, should not be converted to PDF.
Note: To avoid PDF problems, keep these guidelines in mind.

Options for Macintosh users
We are anticipating the arrival of the new Grants.gov 2007 solution that is based on Adobe forms and is platform independent. In the meantime, please continue to use the following proven options for Macintosh users:


• Software FAQs
bullet Link to Software FAQs

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bullet Register

Prior to submitting a grant application online through Grants.gov to NIH, an applicant organization must complete a one-time registration both at Grants.gov and eRA Commons. Principal Investigators do not have to register at Grants.gov, but must register with Commons.

Registration Requirements for Electronic Submission

DON’T DELAY, REGISTER NOW! Grants.gov eRA Commons
CCR 4 registration (requires DUNS #) Obtain and register Grants.gov credentials Authorize Organization Rep. eRA Commons Registration (Org. registration requires DUNS #)
Principal Investigators 1, 2, 3       check
Institutions/ Organizations check check check check

1 Principal Investigators (PI) must be affiliated with applicant organization
2 PIs and Signing Officials (SO) need separate accounts in eRA Commons (even if the same person has both roles) because if an SO is given a PI’s role, it overrides the SO’s privileges such as the ability to reject an application, submit Just-In-Time information, etc.
3 Internet Assisted Review (IAR) registration is not enough. PIs must work through their institutions for full eRA Commons registration.
4 New organizations should allow extra time to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Each registration is a multi-step process. Allow for 2-4 weeks to complete these registrations.
New businesses [i.e. those applying to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to complete the CCR registration] should start the process at least two months (eight weeks) prior to the grant submission date.

• eRA Commons Registration

The applicant organization registers in Commons. The Principal Investigator registers in Commons through the organization’s Authorized Organizational Representative (also known as the Signing Official).

• Grants.gov registration

Grants.gov requires a one-time registration by the applicant organization.

Note: Special instructions for foreign organizations are denoted by a globe iconglobal icon image.

• International Applicants
• Registration FAQs

bullet Link to Registration FAQs

• Important tips


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