NIH Updates Application Forms and Instructions

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) periodically updates its application forms and instructions to accommodate changing policy, address new business needs, and reduce the amount of information it asks of PIs.

The upcoming revisions implement a number of policy changes impacting applications submitted in 2016. The changes will be made in two phases. You may want to pay particular attention to the following changes, effective for applications submitted on or after January 25, 2016:

  • New application requirements and review language regarding enhanced rigor and reproducibility.
  • Updates to the NIH policy on inclusion of children to lower the age designation for children to include those under 18 years old. (The current age designation for children includes all research subjects under 21 years old.)
  • For training grants, information requirements will change and lower applicant burden.

For due dates of May 25, 2016 and beyond, NIH will require use of new application forms (FORMS-D). NIH will reissue fellowship, career development, training, and all parent funding opportunity announcements this spring, to ensure the announcements include instructions that match the form requirements. NIH will also make a variety of resources available this spring to help ensure you submit using the right forms.

If you have been using the downloadable forms and have not tried ASSIST yet, NIH (the electronic Research Administration or eRA) is working on enhancing the copy application feature to make it even easier to move your application (including attachments) from one form version to another. During the last round of grant applications, over 25% of the applicants switched from using downloadable forms to ASSIST. They successfully submitted their applications on the first try over 90% of the time compared with only 60% of the time for those still using the standard downloadable forms.

NIH will continue to release more communications regarding the new policies.

Excerpted from Open Mike posted on posted on October 29, 2015 by Mike Lauer