How To Submit A Corrected Application

If your application had errors and did not make it through or Commons validations, you must correct the error(s) and submit a changed/corrected application to before your application can proceed further. Here are the steps to take:

  1. On the first page of the SF424 (R&R) application form, check the Changed/Corrected application box in the Type of Submission field located in box 1.
  2. Once that box is checked, box 4, the Federal Identifier, becomes a required field. If you are submitting a new project application (including corrected submissions for new applications) simply enter "NA" in this field.
  3. For a continuation, revision, or renewal application, enter the assigned Federal Identifier number or award number (e.g., CA123456).
  4. Include a cover letter with an explanation of why the application is late if the submission deadline has passed. Include information from any previous cover letter(s) since that information is not retained. The cover letter must be in PDF format and must be attached to the PHS Cover Letter file, located in the ‘Optional Documents’ section of the grant application .

Do not include two PD/PIs

Multiple PI is still very much in a controlled pilot stage. The first electronic multiple PI FOA is PAR-06-389. It has an open date of 7/25/2006, and the first receipt date is September 25, 2006. Here's a link to that FOA:

Unless you are responding to this particular FOA, or any other FOA clearly indicating Multiple PI is an option, do not include more than one Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) in your grant application. Any other designated Multiple PI sections of an application should only be used when responding to specific Funding Opportunity Announcements where multiple PI is an option.

Note: The PI name should only be entered once on the Senior/Key Person component. You do not need to include the PI name again with the other listed key persons.

Do not submit both modular and detailed budgets

HHS/CDC (?) accepts the submission of either the modular budget or the detailed budget, but not both.  Some applications will list both the modular and detailed budget components as “optional.” This is to allow the appropriate component to be chosen. Choose one or the other, not both.

Note: Currently a software bug is giving applicants a system error instead of returning a validation error when applicants send in both budgets.

Missing Commons User ID

Did you leave out the Commons PI User ID in the credential field on the Senior/Key Person section? It is one of the most common errors made by applicants.

The field is not marked as required on the application form, but is required by HHS/CDC as indicated in the application instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

The assigned Commons User ID (the unique name used to log into the system) for anyone assigned the PD/PI role must be entered in the field called “Credential, e.g. agency login.” This field is located on the Senior/Key Person Profile(s) component of the grant application (in the first section called “Profile – Project Director/Principal Investigator” underneath the phone field).

PDF Issues

To avoid PDF problems, keep these guidelines in mind

Total Cost Does Not Equal Direct and Indirect Costs

Check your math on this one

Ensure that the direct costs and the indirect costs (G + H) on Section F-K must EQUAL the Total Direct and Indirect Costs (G + H) on the Cumulative Budget page. Only whole numbers should be used on the budget page, no decimals. Round calculations DOWN to the nearest dollar. IDC rates cannot exceed 99 on any line.

Missing DUNS number in the eRA Commons Institutional Profile

DUNS for applicant organization must match DUNS recorded in the Commons for that organization.
Recall the DUNS number provided to your organization during CCR registration with That same DUNS number needs to be entered in the organization’s Institutional Profile in Commons by the Signing Official. Please see the Commons User Guide for information on Editing Institutional Profile Information.

To check if your organization already has a DUNS number in Commons, click on You can access this listing of registered grantee organizations in Commons and their DUNS numbers without logging into Commons.

Missing PD/PI Personnel entry on Detailed Budget Page

There must be a Personnel entry listed for the PD/PI on the Detailed Budget Page for budget year 1. [#1 of the Research & Related Budget – Section A & B (budget year 1)]. The name given for the PD/PI for the budget year must match the name given for the PD/PI on the Senior/Key Person form.

Fee exceeds 7 percent of total direct and indirect costs

The fee that has been entered for year of the Project budget exceeds 7% of the Total Direct and Indirect Costs. The fee must be less than 7% (NOTE: the system automatically rounds up). If you get this error, try using 6.99 as the rate.

Fee entered in null area for Subawards/Consortium budgets

A fee has been entered in the null area for year 1 of the budget. Remember that a fee cannot be entered for a sub-awards/consortium budget. A fee is allowable only for the small business applicant organization budget page.

The state code for US or Canada is invalid

Use the provided two-digit abbreviation for all state code entries. Please do not enter any periods or punctuation.

Foreign application indicator must be yes

To avoid receiving this error message: If the Applicant Organization is in a foreign country, the Foreign Application Indicator must be “yes,” if you are an Applicant organization with a foreign address, please answer “yes” to question 5a on the RR Other Project Information form (Does this project involve activities outside the US or partnership with International Collaborators?).

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