ASSIST: Electronic Submission of NIH Multi-Project Applications

Since 2005, NIH has been transitioning all of its grant programs to electronic submission. To date, WCMC submits the majority of its NIH grants electronically using the Grants.gov Adobe form packages. Up until now, large-scale multi-project applications such as program projects (P series grants) and cooperative agreements (U series grants) were submitted on NIH's PHS 398 paper forms.

Why is this announcement important?

Beginning September 25th 2013, NIH will begin transitioning all multi-project applications to electronic submission. Due to the complexity of such applications, NIH will not be employing Grants.gov Adobe packages for this purpose. Instead, NIH has launched a new web based Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST).

How will this affect me?

ASSIST is a web-based system accessible on your Internet browser at the following URL: https://public.era.nih.gov/assist. To access ASSIST investigators will simply use their assigned eRA Commons user ID and password. If you do not have an eRA Commons account, please email the Office of Sponsored Research Administration (OSRA) at grantsandcontracts@med.cornell.edu to obtain an eRA Commons account and ID.

I'm an investigator and I would like to delegate the preparation of the ASSIST application to an individual in my department. Can this be done?

Yes, please refer to the ASSIST user guide section 3 -- Manage Access.

What is the timeline for transitioning to ASSIST? Will I need this system to submit my R01?

A timeline of NIH transition to electronic submission of multi-project applications can be found here. ASSIST will only be used for the submission of multi-project applications and single project applications will continue to be submitted using the SF424 Adobe packages. Below we highlight key upcoming deadlines:

  • September 25, 2013 - All applications submitted in response to FOAs with the following activity codes intended for September 25, 2013 due dates and beyond will require electronic submission: P01, P20, P50, R24, U24, U19.
  • January 25, 2014 - All applications submitted in response to FOAs with the following activity codes intended for January 25, 2014 due dates and beyond will require electronic submission: G12, P30, P40, P41, P42, P51, P60, R28, S06, U10, U41, U42, U45, U54, U56, UC7.
  • May 25, 2014 - All applications submitted in response to FOAs with the following activity codes intended for May 25, 2014 due dates and beyond will require electronic submission: U54, UM1.

Where can I go for more information?

OSRA Resources
Investigators planning on submitting a multi-project application this Fall are encouraged to contact their OSRA Grants and Contracts Specialist as soon as possible to begin planning for a multi-project submission. OSRA will provide office hours to enable faculty and administrators to meet with our staff to review applications and answer questions. Any questions or concerns regarding this transition can be directed to OSRA at grantsandcontracst@med.cornell.edu.

NIH resources:
To prepare NIH Investigators for this transition, the NIH has created a multitude of resources, which include the ASSIST user guide, instructional webinars presentations, and FAQs. Links to those resources are provided below:

If you will be applying for an FOA that requires use of ASSIST, please review all instructional material provided in the FOA and be sure to contact your Office of Sponsored Research Administration (OSRA) Grants and Contracts Specialist well in advance of the submission to facilitate the submission process.

Please note that the September 25th Program Project (P01) grant deadline will require the use of ASSIST.