NIH Moving Ahead with FORMS-F Grant Application Form Update

Hopefully, you’ve seen the NIH notices (NOT-OD-20-026, NOT-OD-20-077), tweets, and previous Nexus post regarding the pending transition to an updated set of grant application forms they refer to as FORMS-F.   If so, you already know that you must use FORMS-F forms for grant application due dates on or after May 25, 2020 and FORMS-E for due dates on or before May 24, 2020.  You might have even started preparing your FORMS-F application.

Here are a few updates and tips to help navigate the transition:

  • FORMS-F application packages are now available on the active, non-parent funding opportunity announcements (FOAs).
    • Both FORMS-E and FORMS-F packages will be associated with the FOAs for a short transition period. Carefully choose the correct form package based on the targeted due date and Competition ID
    • All of the FORMS-E packages are planned to sunset on May 24 and, shortly after, will no longer appear as an option on active opportunities
  • FORMS-F application packages were not added to our parent announcements. Instead, NIH is in the process of reissuing each parent announcement with a new announcement number, updated opportunity text, and FORMS-F package.  Parent FOAs will be reissued 30-60 days prior to their first FORMS-F due dates.
    • Both the FORMS-E and FORMS-F versions of each parent FOA will be active for a short transition period.  If you plan to submit using a parent announcement for a due date on or after May 25, choose the parent announcement posted in 2020 and verify the Competition ID of the form package includes FORMS-F
    • ASSIST, Grants.gov Workspace and many system-to-system solutions have data copy features.  If you want to get started on your application using the FORMS-E FOA and package, you can use the copy feature to move your common data over to FORMS-F later.  Just make sure you are on FORMS-F forms and have followed all FORMS-F application instructions before submission
  • If you aren’t sure what an application package “Competition ID” is or where to find it, check out Do I Have the Right Form Version For My Application?
  • The How to Apply – Application Guide page includes application form instructions for both Version E and Version F.
    • Use Version E with FORMS-E and Version F with FORMS-F
    • Review the Significant Changes section of the Version F instructions to familiarize yourself with major instruction changes between Versions E and F
  • The biosketch, data table, and other format pages have also been updated with FORMS-F versions.  Format pages are approved formats to be used with specific grant application attachments.
    • In some cases (e.g., biosketch), only the expiration date was changed with the FORMS-F update.  NIH replaced the old version with the new one on our website and have indicated it is available for immediate use.  Since there were no changes to the format itself, either version can be used for FORMS-E and FORMS-F applicationsFor example, if you’re well on your way preparing the Participating Faculty Biosketches attachment for your May 25 training grant application and the biosketches you’ve collected have the old expiration date, it’s okay – you do not need to update all the biosketches to show the correct date.  Same goes for biosketches for senior/key personnel
    • In other cases (e.g., data tables), NIH has made substantive changes to the formats and have provided FORMS-E and FORMS-F versions that must be used with their corresponding form packages

Direct questions regarding the form update to:

NIH Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)
Systems Policy Branch
Email: OPERAsystemspolicy@nih.gov

Resources related to form updates:

Original post by NIH April 6, 2020