NIH New Podcast on Certificates of Confidentiality

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released a new podcast entitled “Obtaining Certificates of Confidentiality for Your Research” as part of its All About Grants podcast series.

NIH Changes Definition of a Child for Clinical Research

On October 13, 2015 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it has changed the definition of a child for purposes of inclusion in clinical research.  The change was made to reduce confusion among stakeholder groups (applicants, peer reviewers, grantees, subjects).

The change is that for the purpose of NIH’s inclusion policy, the age of a child will be defined as individuals under 18 years of age, instead of 21.

NIH Simplifies Vertebrate Animals Section of Funding Applications/Proposals

On October 13, 2015 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it has changed the requirements of the Vertebrate Animals Section (VAS) of grant applications, cooperative agreements, and contract proposals.  The change was made to simplify the application/proposal, and to remove redundancy with Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) review.

The changes consist of:

OLAW to Oversee Vertebrate Animal Welfare in NSF-Funded Studies

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) oversees the welfare of vertebrate animals in NIH-funded studies.  NIH announced on August 10, 2015 that OLAW will extend its oversight of vertebrate animal welfare to studies funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two agencies is posted at

NIH Systematic Application Compliance Checking – What It Is and What It’s Not

Automated enforcement of business rules by NIH eRA systems plays an important role in the application submission process – it helps you and it helps NIH. Understanding what that role covers can be the difference between your application moving forward to review and not.


System-enforced application validations are what they are – nothing more, nothing less.

They ARE

NIH Wants Your Input on Sex as a Biological Variable in Research

In her September 11, 2014 issue of Rock Talk , Sally Rockey, National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Deputy Director for Extramural Research, reported on NIH’s efforts to develop policies requiring applicants for NIH biomedical research funds involving animals and cells to address sex as a variable.

NIH Updates Web-based Resources on Research Integrity

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has updated its Web-based resources on research integrity.  New resources include a videoclip, “Protecting Confidentiality in Peer Review”, and links to NIH training on the responsible conduct of research.  Other information includes related policies and regulations, research integrity professional codes, norms, and ethics training, and NIH bioethics resources.

NIH Works to Maximize Fairness in its Peer Review Process

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced late last month efforts underway at the agency to address problems in its peer review process.  Dr. Richard Nakamura, Director of the NIH Center for Scientific Review, explained the initiative in a recent blog post.

NIH eSubmisson Basics - things to consider when submitting an application to NIH

  • Watch out for form fields required by NIH that are not marked required on federal-wide forms (e.g., credentials for PD/PIs and Organization for all entries on R&R Sr/Key Person Profile form; primary site DUNS on Project/Performance Sites form).
  • Use PDF format for all attachments. Follow PDF Guidelines.
  • Submit early – days, not minutes – to allow time to correct unforeseen errors.
  • Track your submission in the eRA Commons. Email can be unreliable.

NIH eRA Services Unavailable Memorial Day Weekend

All NIH eRA services (including both the eRA Commons and ASSIST) will be completely shut down for system upgrading over the Memorial Day weekend.  The systems will be brought down at 9 p.m. on Friday, May 23 and are expected to be restored to service by Tuesday, May 27 at 7 a.m.

This downtime is necessary to complete the upgrade of all eRA systems so they are Unicode capable. As a result of this upgrade, eRA systems will be able to accept Greek characters and other scientific characters as they appear in the original scientific text submitted by applicants.


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