We recently had the opportunity to review NIH’s discussion of grant submissions and provide a breakdown of that discussion here.
It is not enough to be done on time (at deadline). We have always suggested getting a grant completed days ahead of the deadline to permit time to review, polish and really complete the application. At the deadline means there will be missed details that may cause the application to be triaged out and never read.
Submit early to leave plenty of time to correct application errors. Although most errors can be addressed with a single corrective submission, the cause of the error may take some time to fix (like not including a required attachment that you have yet to create or needing a Commons ID for the PI which can take a day or two to get).
If you are still using form-based submission, try another method. We see far fewer corrective submissions with applications using ASSIST or system-to-system methods than we do with downloadable form submissions. ASSIST and system-to-system methods allow you to check your application against our business rules before submission. See our Choose a Submission Option page for more information.
Read and follow all instructions. Avoid application errors by carefully following the instructions in both the application guide and the funding opportunity announcement.
Verify that your organization has completed all registrations, and that annual registration renewal has been completed for the System of Award Management (SAM). If you are from an organization that receives lots of Federal grants, your central sponsored research office is likely on top of this. If you are from a less research intensive institution you may need to pay more attention. It can take 6 weeks to complete all required registrations, so get those in place ASAP! Failure to complete the registration process is not a reason we can accept for a late
Track your application after submission. Be sure to check the eRA Commons to ensure all errors are corrected, and verify that you can see your application image before the submission deadline. Let us help you avoid common errors.