National Institutes of Health (NIH) eSubmission Procedures

NIH currently offers two web-based options* for submission of a grant application: Applicants can use NIH's electronic submission system: "ASSIST" (Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking) or applicants can complete a web-based version of the application on the portal "Workspace". 

Note both systems allow applicants to validate the application themselves, identifying errors immediately, so that they can be corrected by the applicant before ORS review. *Please refer to the specific Funding/Grant Opportunity on to confirm the submission process and required forms.

As of December 31, 2017, has retired the PDF Application Package and applicants can no longer use this submission method for NIH grants.


Due to the complexity of the Grants.Gov portal and administrative requirements, the UBC Office of Research Services (ORS) has an internal deadline of five working days before to the agency deadline.

E-Submission Procedures

1. Register with NIH eRA Commons

If you do not have a PI account role in eRA Commons, email

Applicants DO NOT need to register with UBC is registered with for electronic submission. Only an ORS representative can submit applications to on behalf of UBC.

2. Prepare an SF424 electronic application using the following institutional information:

  • Organization UEI (Box 5 on SF424): SJR5MQHSLWT6
  • Employer Identification (Box 6 on SF424): 1900002823A1
  • Person to be contacted on matters involving this application (Box 5) and Authorized Representative (Box 19) on SF424:

For applicants located at the UBC Vancouver campus, contact of the Research Managers listed here:

For applicants located at C&W, BCCHRI or WHRI, contact:
Ms. Nur Eisma
Research Manager, C&W - BCCHRI, BCMHARI & WHRI Office of Research Services 
#102-6190 Agronomy Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3.
Tel: 604-875-2427, email:

For applicants located at VCHRI, ARC, or BC Cancer, contact:
Ms. Susan O'Neil
Manager, Research, VCHRI Office of Research Services 
#102-6190 Agronomy Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3.
Tel: 604-875-4111 ext. 21692, email:

  • Human Subject Assurance Number: 00000668
  • Animal Welfare Assurance Number: A5090-01
  • Facilities & Administrative Costs (F&A):
    • 8% applied to all direct costs excluding equipment costs.
    • 8% F&A costs also apply to the first $25,000 of each sub-award or subcontract (i.e. 8% F&A should be assessed on the first $25,000 of any new subcontract issued to a collaborator).
    • If a new subcontract is issued pursuant to a renewal, extension or supplemental award from the prime sponsor, based on a competing proposal subsequent to the initial award, that provides for additional work and increased funding for the collaborator, an 8% F&A also applies to the first $25,000 of that portion).

3. Understand and comply with faculty-specific requirements and/or deadlines

3A. If you are the Prime Awardee:

Note that all research grant applications must be accompanied by a Research Project Information Form (RPIF) and follow UBC Signatures requirement.

Required pages for ORS:

  • A signed UBC Research Project Information Form (RPIF)
  • SF424 1 & 2 pages
  • Key Personnel Page
  • Statement/Scope of Work
  • Research and Related Other Project Information Page
  • All budget pages and budget justifications
  • If applicable, sub-awardee budgets, budget justifications and a completed Subrecipient Commitment Form (this form is completed by the sub-awardee Institution)
3B. If you are a Sub-recipient/Sub-awardee:

If you are a sub-recipient/sub-awardee on a grant being submitted to NIH on a grant application initiated by a PI at another institution, you must submit a copy of the application with required UBC signatures for ORS review, even though the application is being submitted to the agency by another institution. ORS does not need to approve the application online but must still review a copy of the application.

Note that all research grant applications must be accompanied by a Research Project Information Form (RPIF), which can be used to obtain the necessary signatures. Please ask your Head and Dean to sign only the RPIF. Dean's signatures are not required for the Faculty of Applied Science, Faculty of Science, and the School of Kinesiology.

Required pages for ORS:

Please check with your grant facilitator regarding faculty-specific requirements and/or deadlines.

4. Understand and comply with the requirements of Financial Conflict of Interest.

All researchers submitting a grant application to NIH (or any other U.S. Public Health Services funding agencies) will need to complete U.S. FCOI requirements before your proposal can be approved.

Applicants to National Science Foundation must also complete U.S. FCOI requirements.

Please visit the UBC US FCOI webpage for details. If you need assistance, please contact

5. Understand and comply with NIH policy and procedures

PIs should subscribe to the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. Please be aware that NIH periodically implements updated versions of federal-wide SF424(R&R) and agency-specific (PHS) grant application forms in order to remain current with the most recent form sets available through Grants.Gov.

PIs should also download the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, as well as the Funding Opportunity Announcement. These documents contain important information needed to prepare the application.

If you need assistance to prepare an NIH application, visit NIH guidance on Writing Your Application as well as Grant Writing Tips Sheets and Sample Applications

6. Submit your fully assembled PDF application

 And confirm all investigators have filed their SFI at least five working days in advance of the sponsor deadline. At the same time, the signed application should be received by ORS.

7. ORS reviews the application 

Once the application is received by ORS, the application will undergo an administrative review. ORS will return it to you if any errors are found; you must correct and resubmit the application to ORS. NIH will not accept your application until all errors are corrected. Be available to address any errors after submitting your application to ORS.

NIH has eliminated the error correction window for due dates of January 25, 2011, and beyond. The error correction window is the two days after the submission deadline in the e-submission process that NIH has given applicants to address NIH system-identified errors/warnings. The elimination of the error correction does not affect the two-business-day application viewing window (i.e., the time an applicant has to view the electronic application image in eRA Commons upon NIH's receipt of an error-free application). Applicants will still be able to view their application, reject (contact ORS to "reject" the application on eRA Commons) and submit a corrected application prior to the submission deadline. Application changes made within the “error correction window” are restricted to those necessary to address system-identified errors/warnings. NIH may reject any application that includes additional changes.

8. ORS submits the application to

Once an application has been submitted, Grants.Gov and eRA Commons will send a series of status email notifications indicating any errors or warnings with the application. However, since email may be unreliable, PIs should be proactive in checking the application status in eRA Commons. Errors will prevent the application from moving forward therefore a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.Gov. If there are no errors in the application, this means validation is complete. PIs can view the entire assembled application in eRA Commons before it automatically moves forward to NIH for further processing and consideration. Once the application has moved forward, no additional changes to the application will be accepted through Grants.Gov or eRA Commons.

Visit NIH to view detailed steps for PI to track submission status.


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