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Module D: Building Blocks – SF424 (R&R) Application. September 20, 2011 Session 8 of AAPLS – Overview of the application forms and most common errors Applicants & Administrators Preaward Luncheon Series. Overview of this Session. NIH update about application packages version B2

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Module D: Building Blocks – SF424 (R&R) Application

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Module d building blocks sf424 r r application

Module D: Building Blocks – SF424 (R&R) Application

September 20, 2011

Session 8 of AAPLS –

Overview of the application forms and most common errors

Applicants & Administrators

Preaward Luncheon Series


Overview of this session

Overview of this Session

  • NIH update about application packages version B2

  • Check for Errors button

  • Grants.gov validation

  • eRA Commons submission errors and warnings

  • Avoiding most common errors


Use correct application package

Use Correct Application Package

  • DO NOT reuse old grant application packages. Download a fresh copy of application package each time you apply

  • ADOBE-FORMS-B2 packages are used for funding opportunities posted after July 22, 2011

  • For deadlines on/before January 7, 2012 version B-1 may still be used

  • NIH strongly encourages applicants to use ADOBE-FORMS-B2 whenever possible

  • Only one version of the application is posted for each funding opportunity


Grants gov package

Grants.gov Package


What does the check for errors button do

What Does the Check for Errors Button Do?

  • Detects some errors that prevent your application from being processed

  • All mandatory fields (yellow fields or fields with an asterisk next to them) have not been completed   

  • Email field(s) are not formatted properly, (ex. [email protected]) or the date fields have not been completed in their specific format (ex. mm/dd/yyyy)

  • Congressional districts field on the SF-424 is not listed in numerical format

  • Save button was not clicked one last time, allowing the Submit button to become active.


Grants gov validation

Grants.gov Validation

  • Application file does not contain viruses

  • Funding opportunity is still open (if incorrect package is used it will be rejected)

  • Applicant login and DUNS number match

  • Submission will not pass validation if incompatible version of Adobe Reader was used at any time to view or edit the application file


Era commons errors and warnings

eRA Commons Errors and Warnings

  • eRA Commons errors are critical problems with the application. Errors stop the application from processing and must be corrected by the submission deadline in order for the application to move forward in the submission process.

  • Warnings are notices that alert an applicant to specific instructions in the funding opportunity announcement or the application guide. The application will move forward in the submission process even if the warning is not corrected. If the application does not comply with the instructions, the application may not be considered for review.


Sf424 r r

SF424 R&R


Avoiding most common validation errors

Avoiding Most Common Validation Errors

  • DUNS number must match the number for Tufts used for Grants.gov & Commons registration or is missing. DUNS number is 039318308 for Boston/Grafton.

  • Federal Identifier must be entered for resubmissions or renewals. Include only the IC and serial number of the prior grant number on the SF 424 RR Cover page (e.g., use CA987654 for the grant number 1R01CA987654-A1)

  • Proposed Project Start Date may not be earlier than today’s date

  • Proposed Project Ending Date may not be earlier than the Proposed Project Start Date


Most common validation errors cont

Most Common Validation Errors (cont.)

  • Project Summary/Abstract on the Other Project Information component may not exceed 30 lines of text

  • Page limits specified in the FOA and application guide may not be exceeded

  • Attachments (including appendices) must be in .pdf format

  • Attachment filenames may not have special characters (including brackets or apostrophes). Filenames MAY include spaces, hyphens, or underlines


R r senior key person profile

R&R Senior/Key Person Profile


Avoiding validation errors personnel

Avoiding Validation Errors (Personnel)

  • The eRA Commons Username must be included (and be correct) for the PD/PI in the PD/PI Credential field on the Senior/Key Person page

  • The organization name for Key Person must be provided on the Senior/Key Person page

  • The Senior/Key Person Biosketch must be no longer than four pages

  • Multiple PI Leadership Plan must be included if multiple PIs have been included on the Senior/Key Person page


R r budget

R&R Budget


Avoiding validation errors budgets

Avoiding Validation Errors (Budgets)

  • The start date for the first budget year on the 424 RR Budget page must be the same as the Proposed Project Start Date listed on the SF 424 RR Cover page.

  • Include modular budget or detailed budget, but not both

  • RR Detailed Budget Page for budget year must include effort greater than zero

  • Use either calendar months or a combination of academic and summer months – not both

  • DUNS is required for Subaward/Consortium budget

  • Subaward budget may not be included if a modular budget is submitted

  • Total direct costs for modular budget year must be no greater than $250K


R r other project information

R&R Other Project Information


Avoiding validation errors human animal subjects

Avoiding Validation Errors (Human & Animal Subjects)

  • IRB or IACUC approval date on the Other Project Information form cannot be in the future.

  • Human Subjects attachment must be included if the response to the Human Subjects question on the Other Project Information page is ‘Yes’.

  • Inclusion of Children/Women/Minorities Attachments must be included on the PHS 398 Research Plan page if the response to the Human Subjects question on the Other Project Information Page is ‘Yes’ and if the Exemption Number is not 4.

  • Vertebrate Animals attachment must be included if the response to the Vertebrate/Animals Subject Used Question on the Other Project Information page is ‘Yes’.


Era commons most common warnings

eRA Commons Most Common Warnings

  • The human and animal subject assurance numbers entered in the Other Project Information component do not match what is in the eRA Commons profile for Tufts. HNRCA animal assurance number always receives this warning, which should be ignored

  • No degrees are listed for the PD/PI in the Commons Profile or have been submitted on the R&R Senior/Key Profile

  • Direct cost >=$500k a year need agreement from ICs, except for RFAs or PAs with budgetary limits. Applications without such approval may be delayed or not accepted for review

  • The role of “Co-PD/PI” for Senior/Key Person is not used by NIH. For multiple Principal Investigators, use the PD/PI role


Take aways on completing sf424 r r

Take-Aways on Completing SF424(R&R)

  • Allow adequate time for completing all the required parts of the application (demo of HNRCA Proposal Workbook)

  • Use software compatible with Grants.gov

  • Make sure to download current application package

  • Give your Associate Director of Research Administration adequate lead time


  • Login