General Lab Information

Sponsor Application Guidance

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH funds grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts that support the advancement of fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems to meet the NIH mission of extending healthy life and reducing the burdens of illness and disability. While NIH awards many grants specifically for research, they also provide grant opportunities that support research-related activities, including: construction, training, career development, conferences, resource grants and more.

How to Apply

NIH Application Guide

As you plan to write and submit an NIH application, it is important to know some important submission basics, such as what type of application will be needed (paper or electronic) and which forms are necessary. Currently, (September 2017) there are 4 methods of proposal submission:

  1. ASSIST - NIH's web-based service for the preparation, submission and tracking of grant applications.
  2. Institutional Solutions (System-to-System, S2S) - Institution’s own system to prepare and submit application data to complying with all application requirements. The S2S solution may be developed in-house or may leverage the services of a commercial provider.
  3. Workspace - A shared, online environment managed by where multiple users can simultaneously work on different forms within an application package.
  4. Downloadable Forms - Offline solution where applicants can download the entire application package as a single, stitched together PDF, complete the forms offline and submit.

Note: As new technology emerges, older technology fades away. will retire its legacy, stitched-together, downloadable PDF application packages at the end of 2017. This requires folks who normally use the offline PDF packages to choose another submission method. But, on December 31st 2017 downloadable forms will drop off the submission option list, leaving the remaining three options (ASSIST, system-to-system, and Workspace) which will continue without interruption.

Most aspects of the submission process will remain the same:

  • NIH will continue to post all funding opportunity announcements on and the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
  • will continue to host our application forms and application packages (including FORMS-E:
  • will continue to receive, process and route grant applications to NIH
  • You will continue to submit applications to and track them through to an assembled application image in eRA Commons

BNL will move to submitting applications through the ASSIST portal.  All applications must be submitted by the Research Partnerships and Technology Transfer Office (RPTT) - Please contact Alison Schwarz to make sure that she is available for submission.

  • The key to successfully getting a proposal submitted is to allow plenty of time for preparation, review and submission.
  • NIH states it could take up to 2 days each (4 weekdays) to get through their systems due to high volume.
  •  An application must be received with no errors prior to the deadline to be a successful submission to NIH.

Principal Investigator (PI) Responsibilities

Step 1: Obtain an eRA Commons Account. Anyone listed as a PD/PI must have an eRA commons account. If you do not already have one, please contact the RPTT to create one.

Step 2: Finding Funding. All Funding Opportunity Announcements can be found at: Funding programs eligible for electronic submission via will have an application package available for download.

Step 3: Download the application package.

Step 4: Review the Proposal Preparation procedures for additional information & timeline.

  • See the NIH developing budgets guidelines
  • Note: Please note that NIH applies a salary cap and you must take these limits into account when developing a budget. Details of the salary policy
  • NIH is unable to award funds specifically for laboratory directed research and development (LDRD) but does not restrict DOE contractors for covering LDRD costs within the total funding of a NIH grant awards. Please talk to your Business Operations Manager for advice.

Step 5: Take the Conflict of Interest Training. Complete and make sure that all named researchers in the proposal complete - the NIH Conflict of Interest training

Step 6: After the submission of the package, log in to eRA Commons and check on status of proposal. Once an application is received with no Errors, you have 2 weekdays to view and reject if needed prior to the deadline.

Sponsored Programs Office Responsibilities

Contact: Alison Schwarz | | 631-344-3428

Step 1: Verify that the PI and all key personnel listed on the application have taken the required Conflict of Interest course and that it is still active (See Step 5 above). A copy of the completion record is required prior to proposal submission.

Step 2: verify that all PD/PIs and key personnel have completed the FCOI form (see attached)

Step 3: Verify that PD/PI has completed PI certification form (see attached)

Step 4: Set up eRA commons for those PIs that need it.

Step 5: Submission

  • Proposal is validated by then picked up by the eRA Commons.
  • eRA Commons runs a validation check.
  • PI and RPTT will receive an email for eRA Commons notifying of receipt and any Warnings or Errors.
  • RPTT will notify PI
  • RPTT will assist in correcting warnings and errors and resubmit.
  • RPTT will send final confirmation to the PI.

Other Useful NIH Links and Information:

Funding Opportunities

Proposal Preparation

Contracts and Agreements

Technology Commercialization

Intellectual Property