I’m excited to tell you about a new option for submitting your R01 applications to NIH. Today, we made ASSIST (the Application Submission System and Interface for Submission Tracking) available as an option for submitting your R01 applications, as well as most individual career development (K) award applications.
ASSIST is a web-based system that was developed by NIH, in close partnership with Grants.gov, to address common application submission challenges identified by the community. We first launched ASSIST in 2012 for multi-project applications since these complex applications didn’t fit with existing electronic submission methods at the time. Since then, we’ve expanded ASSIST as an optional method of application submission for single project applications such as the R03 and R21.
You still have the option to use downloadable forms and submitting these to Grants.gov, as well as your institution’s system-to-system solutions that send application data directly to Grants.gov. ASSIST has many great features that are unavailable in downloadable forms. Multiple users can collaborate on one application submission, and applications can be pre-populated with eRA Commons profile data. Perhaps most importantly, you can preview and print your application and validate the application against NIH and Grants.gov systems to check for errors BEFORE you submit your application. After you submit, ASSIST allows you to track your application’s submission status through both Grants.gov and eRA commons as well.
Those that have used ASSIST have given us overwhelmingly positive feedback – describing it as “remarkably painless”, “a dream,” and “invaluable to the preparation process” – so I’m pleased that it is now an option for our R01 applicants, since we receive more competing R01 applications per year than applications for any other type of grant program. It’s a major milestone, and we won’t stop there: we plan to eventually enable all applications for competing grants to be submitted through ASSIST, and as we go on, these will be announced in the NIH Guide and Extramural Nexus when available. I’m sure you will want to give the new ASSIST a try.