What will be the submission deadline - the date the application is stamped as received by Grants.gov or the date the data is received by CDC?
The submission deadline will be the date and time the application is stamped as received by Grants.gov.
When do I need to submit my application?
Applications for the April 1, 2006 date and thereafter must be submitted to Grants.gov by 5 p.m. eastern standard time (EST) on the submission/receipt date. If the submission/receipt date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the date will be extended to the next business day.
What will be the status of applications that are submitted to Grants.gov and then fail the HHS eRA validations?
Eventually, HHS/CDC will require that an on time submission will mean that a "clean" application (i.e., no Grants.gov or HHS errors) be submitted to Grants.gov by the application deadline. This is the only way HHS/CDC will be able to leverage electronic submission and to realize the goal of shortening time from submission to award. However, HHS/CDC is providing some flexibility for the first submission dates of a transitioned mechanism. Applicant institutions can submit changed/corrected applications in the week following the submission deadline as long as the changes made are needed to address errors encountered during the HHS/CDC business rule validation process. The AOR/SO and PI will have two business days to view the final assembled application in eRA Commons; only the SO has the option to "reject" the application to address warnings or if the application does not correctly reflect the submitted application package due to eRA Commons or HHS system issues. If no action is taken, the application automatically moves forward after those two business days. HHS/CDC does expect that all registration requirements are met prior to the initial application submission and that the initial application is submitted to Grants.gov on or before the submission deadline. If the one week correction window is used, the application must include the PHS 398 Cover Letter form component with an explanation for why the corrected application is required.
Do we submit documents and attachments in PDF format or in other formats such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect?
HHS/CDC requires that you only submit documents and attachments in PureEdge or PDF format. Other formats may be allowed through Grants.gov but are not accepted by HHS/CDC.
Will the Abstract be submitted as a data element (i.e., text), or will it be a PDF? That is, will Scientific Review Administrators still be dealing with proofing abstracts that have gone through OCR?
The abstract needs to be submitted as a PDF upload. HHS/CDC expects that most PDFs will be generated directly from the word processing software and will not have been scanned, hence improved clarity of resolution.
How will the scientific text of an application be submitted?
The research plan sections of an application will continue to be prepared by the Principal Investigator (PI). Sections will be uploaded as individual PDF attachments.
What contingency plans are in place in case the Grants.gov and eRA Commons systems have technical problems on a submission/receipt date? If an application has to be submitted again because of Grants.gov system problems, will these be considered "late"?
Grants.gov and HHS are taking steps to reduce the risk of technical problems on a submission/receipt date (e.g., increased Grants.gov capacity, ongoing discussions regarding volume and file size, testing, pilots). If problems do arise, we will have policies in place to accommodate emergencies much as we do now with natural disasters such as hurricanes.
If an application has to be submitted again because of Grants.gov system problems, will these be considered "late"?
No; just as we do not hold people responsible for documented problems by the current paper delivery service.