What If? Handling System Issues Without an Error Correction Window


With the elimination of the error correction window approaching next month, applicants may be wondering how NIH will handle unexpected system outages that may impact submission deadlines.

In the event of an unexpected Grants.gov system outage, NIH staff remains in nearly constant communication with Grants.gov officials while they work to diagnose the issue. If we determine that a deadline extension is necessary due to a lengthy Grants.gov outage, we communicate this information via a notice in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, as well as e-mail messages to our listservs. (See NOT-OD-11-014 for an example of a deadline extension guide notice). Sign up for e-mail updates (concerning the electronic application submission program and the eRA Commons system) at our Get Connected page. Once sent, guide notices and e-mail updates are also posted on the news pages of both the Electronic Research Administration and Applying Electronically websites.

Should Grants.gov or eRA Commons system issues threaten your ability to submit your application on time, you should take action to document these issues on or before your submission deadline. We investigate reports of system issues on a case-by-case basis.

New resources at Grants.gov will help applicants in the event of an unforeseen issue. A new live chat feature provides the ability for applicants to chat directly with a Grants.gov staff member when they have questions or concerns about submitting their application. The chat feature can be found by clicking “Contact Us” in the upper right corner of the new Grants.gov Self-Service Web Portal. The web portal also includes a number of new support resources such as Top 10 FAQs, Alerts and Important Updates, an option to search the knowledge base, and the ability to track the status of a Grants.gov Contact Center ticket.

Note: Due to new security updates released in October 2010, Grants.gov users must change their passwords every 90 days. Many user passwords will be expiring around the same time that NIH is eliminating the error correction window from the submission process. Mark your calendar now to log in to Grants.gov and reset your password a few weeks before you plan to submit a proposal.