If you’re applying for an NIH Small Research Grant (R03) or Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21), you now have a new application submission option. You can continue using downloadable forms from Grants.gov or using one of the system-to-system submission systems used in some institutions, or you can now use ASSIST, NIH’s online system for application preparation and submission.
ASSIST has been required for submission of multi-project applications to NIH for the past year. We are now expanding its use to make it an optional submission method for other types of applications. By the end of the year we expect ASSIST to become an option for all types of competing grant applications.
Why might you want to try ASSIST for your next R03 or R21? We hope it will make the submission process a bit easier for you! The system incorporates many features requested by applicants for years, such as pre-submission checking of the application against NIH business rules, pre-populating the application from eRA Commons, and allowing multiple people to work on different parts of the application concurrently. ASSIST also provides you with the assembled application image before submission as the application will be seen by reviewers, and it allows you to track your application submission through a single system.
R03 and R21 funding opportunity announcements now include two buttons, “Apply Online Using ASSIST” and “Apply Using Downloadable Forms”. Choose the submission method that best meets your needs. Should you want to try ASSIST, we’ve developed a quick guide, “Getting Started: Preparing Your Single-project Application Using ASSIST“, that covers the basics of using the system. If you need more extensive help, our online help is always available to provide screen shots and step-by-step instructions for specific tasks.
For more information, please read NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-15-062.