.There are eight steps to submitting an NIH grant application using ASSIST..Find an opportunity,.make a submission plan,.initiate your application, .provide application access to appropriate team members,.enter your application data, .finalize your application and prepare for submission,.submit your application, .and finally track your application status through to eRA Commons. Let’s look at each step one-by-one..Step 1: Find an opportunity of interest. We post all funding opportunity announcements, often referred to as FOAs, .in the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts and in Grants.gov..Each system has a robust search capability to help you quickly identify any opportunities in your area..Once you’ve found an interesting opportunity, read the entire text to understand all requirements and .to determine if it is a good fit for your proposed project. .A quick look at the table of contents shows the announcement contains a lot of important information. For the purposes of preparing and.submitting your application, pay special attention to Section IV. Application and Submission Information. .This section includes any FOA-specific information that would be different from the standard application guide instructions..In the section above the table of contents is a link to our application guide – which is actually a website. .On the How to Apply – Application Guide website you’ll find general application processing information, including guidance on .registration, formatting application attachments, page limits, and more. Links to standard application due dates, submission policies, and.other Resources. And form-by-form, field-by-field instructions essential to preparing a successful application..We have a general set of instructions appropriate for all programs..And filtered views which allow you to key in on the requirements of specific programs. .Step 2 is to make a submission plan. Verify all registrations are in place and active, including your organizations System for Award .Management or SAM credentials which require annual renewal..Identify team members and make sure everyone is aware of their roles, responsibilities and timelines..Step 3 is to login to ASSIST and initiate your application..In your FOA, right above the Table of Contents, you’ll find an Apply Online Using ASSIST button. .Which, as it implies, takes .you to ASSIST where you’ll login using your eRA Commons username and password. .The ASSIST welcome screen has two sections. .You can Search for in-progress applications..Or you can initiate an application by entering a valid FOA number and clicking Go..On the Initiate Application screen, provide the.the requested items, including, project title, .organization, and PD/PI information. Then click the Initiate Application button at the bottom of .the screen..Let’s get acclimated to the ASSIST screens. .ASSIST messages, like the Application Saved message seen here upon initiation, are .displayed at the top of the screen. .You’ll use the tabs across the screen to navigate between forms to do your data entry. Available ASSIST actions appear on the left. .Just below the screen name we provide tips and handy information, so pay attention to any text you see in that area..And, the orange question marks sprinkled on our screens bring you to the online help for using ASSIST. .Step 4 is to build your team. You already identified team members while planning in Step 2. .In this step you need to gather the eRA Commons usernames for anyone who will be working in ASSIST. And ensure everyone who .needs access to the application has it..ASSIST automatically provides application access to certain users..Anyone who logs into ASSIST with an eRA Commons account that has a Signing Official .or Administrative Official role has edit access to any ASSIST applications for their organization..The Project Directors/Principal Investigators for the application have edit access once you’ve edited the Sr/Key Person profile form to .include their eRA Commons credentials and select the PD/PI role. The person who initiated the application also has edit access..Signing Officials can add additional team members using the Manage Access action..They can change the current access privileges for a user..Or add additional users..Providing an eRA Commons Username and clicking Submit allows the Signing Official .to control their access level privileges, delegate .the ability to manage access, and delegate the ability to change application status..Step 5 is data entry. The form navigation tabs provide access to the data entry screens..Only one user can be editing any particular form in the application at a time. At the top of each screen, is an Edit button which allows you to .enter data for the chosen form. It also locks the form. Other users can view the form, but can’t edit the form until the Lock is released. .There are multiple Save buttons at the bottom of each data entry screen. Save and Keep Lock saves your data and continues to block other .users from editing the form. While, Save and Release Lock saves your data, but allows other users to access and edit the form..When you initiate your application you may not see all the forms you need in the navigation. For example, if working on an R01 application you.may need to add the appropriate budget form. Or, you may want to add an Assignment Request Form to provide an institute or study .section preference. The Add Optional Form action provides a list of additional forms available in the opportunity’s application package. .Select a form in the dropdown list, click Submit,.and the form will then show in the navigation. Complete your application forms following all.guidance in the application guide, the funding opportunity announcement,.and in notices published in the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts..Note that when instructions in the application guide and the FOA conflict, the FOA wins. And, when instructions in the FOA and a notice .conflict, the notice wins. Once you have completed the forms, use the Validate Application action to .check your application data against NIH business rules to identify errors and warnings..You need to correct all errors prior to submission. In fact, ASSIST will not let you submit until all errors are cleared. Review all .identified warnings, and based on your circumstances, decide if any action needs to be taken. Warnings do not prevent application .submission, but they’re there for a reason. So, take the time to consider them..Step 6 is to finalize your application and prepare for submission by previewing.your application and updating the submission status to Ready for Submission..The Preview Application action is available from the Summary tab. You have two options..You can view the last generated preview. Or, you can generate a new preview. The preview is exactly how your application would be.assembled upon submission, except for a few items in the footer like the Grants.gov tracking number and submission timestamp. .The application image does not include your cover letter, PHS Assignment Request Form, or appendix information. We .manage those documents separate from the application image provided to reviewers..When you are doing data entry, your application is in a Work in Progress status. Before you can .submit, you must update the status to Ready for Submission..Clicking the Update Submission Status link.displays a popup where you can select from a drop .down menu of available statuses and enter any comments you want to add to the status history..Before an application is changed to Ready for Submission status, ASSIST will run a final validation check against your application. .Hopefully, at this point, you already used Validate Application to identify errors and did whatever.clean up was needed. But, if you didn’t, you’ll be instructed to do so at this step..If no errors are found, the status is updated to Ready for Submission..Step 7 is submitting your application. Your error-free application must be submitted by 5 pm local time to be considered on time. .Please submit early to allow time to address any unforeseen issues. .And, by early I mean submitting days, not hours or minutes, before the deadline..To submit, you must be signed into ASSIST with a Signing Official eRA Commons account and your application must be in a Ready for .Submission status. If that criteria is met, the Submit button is active. .Applications are submitted from ASSIST to Grants.gov. After hitting Submit, you’re prompted for Grants.gov Authorized Organization .Representative or AOR credentials. AOR’s have signature authority in Grants.gov, like Signing Officials do in eRA Commons. Just two systems.with different names for that authority.The AOR credentials are passed on to Grants.gov and, if everything checks out, your application is sent, .a message to the effect appears at the top of the screen and the application status changes to Submitted. .Remember, I said there are 8 steps, not 7. You’re not done yet..The eighth, and final step in this process, is to track your submission. .Our eRA systems are constantly polling Grants.gov for submitted applications to process. .We take all your application forms and attachments and assemble them into an application image, in PDF format, complete with .headers, footers, a table of contents, and bookmarks. We post that assembled application image in the PD/PI’s eRA Commons account. .And, along the way, we send multiple notifications to the email addresses listed on the SF424 R&R form..On the Summary tab, right next to the Submitted status, is a View Submission Status Details link. That link brings you to the Status .Information screen. Use the Check for Status Updates button to refresh the displayed status. .You’ll see status for ASSIST, Grants.gov and NIH. It takes anywhere between a few minutes and a few hours to process .your application, so you may need to refresh the status a few times before all the information is available. .What you really want to see in a happy path submission is the seven-digit agency tracking number which indicates the processing is .complete and an application image is posted. The number links you directly to the eRA Commons Detailed Status screen for your .application. In the Other Relevant Documents section of the eRA Commons Status Information page, you’ll find your eApplication,.cover letter, PHS Assignment request form and appendices. The eApplication is the assembled application image reviewers and.staff will see - check it carefully. You have a two business day viewing window to check your .application before it automatically moves forward to NIH staff for further processing..Within that window, a Signing Official can Reject the application in eRA Commons. But, any subsequent corrective submissions must be .made before the deadline. Viewing your final assembled application image in eRA Commons is the most important step in the process. .Even if you Previewed the Application prior to submission, check it again. .It’s your responsibility to notify the eRA Service Desk, within the viewing window, of any assembly issues..If you can’t view it, we can’t review it!.That completes the eight steps of the submission process..If at any point you need assistance, the eRA Service Desk is there to help Monday through Friday from 7am to 8pm Eastern Time. .I hope you found this information helpful..Thanks for watching. .