In May, we’ll be upgrading our electronic Research Administration (eRA) systems to support recognition of Unicode characters (many of you will be happy to know this includes support of Greek symbols). As described in NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-14-071, this upgrade requires us to take all eRA systems, including the eRA Commons and ASSIST, offline for the three day Memorial Day weekend. To minimize negative impact on those of you who may be preparing applications for due dates between May 25-28, we extended those application deadlines to May 29. See NOT-OD-14-070 for more details.
While it is good news that eRA systems will be able to support Unicode, for your incoming application you still need to avoid using this character set in the actual form fields, as Grants.gov does not yet support this character set. But know that as of the end of May, the characters you include in your research strategy will carry through into eRA systems.