National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Most NIH solicitations give you the option of submitting via grants.gov or ASSIST. ORA usually recommends using Grants.gov, simply because staff and PIs are usually more familiar with this system.  ASSIST, however, must be used for large, multi-project proposals, such as COBRE or INBRE. Submission options are included in each solicitation.

NIH is currently using Forms F. Be sure you are using the correct set of forms for your application.  If you are using Grants.gov, the forms will already be in the proper format, using the Forms E package.

The NIH Application Guide is an extremely helpful and easy to use guide that covers just about everything you will need to know about the actual preparation and submission of NIH proposals. This guide is intended to be used in conjunction with the specific Program Announcement or Solicitation to which you are applying.

Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST):

      ASSIST is an online system used to submit grant applications to NIH and other Public Health Service agencies (SAMHSA, AHRQ, CDC, FDA, etc).  You are not required to use ASSIST unless you are submitting a proposal containing multiple projects, but you may choose to use it whenever it is listed as an option in the solicitation.  Please notify ORA staff of the portal you intend to use.  In order to use ASSIST, you must have active Grants.gov AND eRA Commons accounts.  PIs will create their own Grants.gov account and link it to UM with an Institutional Profile.  ORA is responsible for creating eRA Commons accounts for PIs, Post-Docs, Graduate Students and other project personnel affiliated with UM, so please contact us if you need an account set up.       

eRA Commons

The eRA Commons is an online interface where you can find the status of your proposal (where it is in the review cycle), summary statements, and other essential information.  You may also log in to the ASSIST portal from here.  Just In Time (JIT) information is submitted through the eRA Commons after proposal submission, if requested by the sponsor.  The PI cannot create his/her own eRA Commons account, so if you do not have one already and are applying to NIH, please contact ORA and we will set one up for you.

A fairly extensive eRA Training (for eRA Commons) site includes PowerPoint presentations, eSubmission Tips, videos, and other helpful documents to help you navigate the eRA Commons and the Grants.gov submission process.

NIH Salary Cap

NIH caps the rate of pay for salaries in grants and cooperative agreements. The current salary cap for a 12-month appointment is $197,300 and is found in NOT-OD-20-065. This salary cap equates to a monthly rate of $16,442. Note the consideration for the cap is applied to the rate of pay, not how much salary is being requested.

When an individual requesting salary has a monthly rate that exceeds the salary cap, the difference will be committed as cost share in the ORA budget.