NIH Announces FORMS-G Transition, Implementation Plans

Sep 3, 2021, 13:14 PM by Melodi Moore

Guest Article from NIAID Funding News, September 1, 2021

In early 2022, NIH will transition from the FORMS-F application form set to a new FORMS-G application form set, as announced in the August 5, 2021 Guide notice. Notably, unlike previous forms set transitions, the switch to FORMS-G will not prompt NIH to reissue funding opportunity announcements (FOAs).

Why the Change?

Across the government, NIH included, electronic systems are swapping the DUN and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in favor of a new, government-owned Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) for identifying outside institutions. For more on that topic, read this issue’s article “Organization ID Numbers Set To Change This Winter.”

The upshot is NIH systems must undergo technical updates to accommodate UEI numbers, as must the application forms that feed into them.

The new form set will also implement minor modifications to better collect information called for by recent policy notices, including:

  • Added “Childcare Costs” field to the Budget section of PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form
  • Added “Does the application include a request of SBIR or STTR funds for Technical and Business Assistance?” prompt to SBIR/STTR Information Form
  • Updated Biographical Sketch Format Page and Other Support Format Page templates

Find a full list of updates at High-Level Grant Application Form Change Summary: FORMS-Gpdf. Since the changes do not contradict the instructions of most active FOAs, the FOAs themselves do not need to be reissued.

Timeline for Implementation

NIH will post revised application guides for FORMS-G at How to Apply—Application Guide and Annotated Form Sets in late-October 2021.

In November, the “Apply Online Using ASSIST” button in most FOAs will allow you to begin an application using FORMS-F or FORMS-G. For intended due dates on or after January 25, 2022, you will use FORMS-G.

Approximately two weeks after the transition date, NIH will remove FORMS-F application form sets and guidance from its FOAs and webpages, respectively.

Don’t Err When Selecting a Form Set

This fall and winter, there will be stretches of time in which you can select between the FORMS-F and FORMS-G application form sets within the same FOA. You'll need to choose correctly, as there is not much NIAID staff can do to help if you submit an application using the wrong form set.

Intended Due Date

Applicant Uses

On or before January 24, 2022, including:

  • Applications submitted for due dates on or before January 24, 2022
  • Applications submitted under NIH Late Policy two-week window of consideration for intended due dates on or before January 24, 2022
  • Applications submitted by February 1, 2022, under NIH Continuous Submission Policy for the January 7, 2022 AIDS intended due date

FORMS-F application package

On or after January 25, 2022, including:

  • Applications submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2022
  • All application types (New, Resubmission, Renewal, Revision)
  • Applications submitted early for intended due dates on or after January 25, 2022

FORMS-G application package

For example, if you are preparing an R01 investigator-initiated application for the January 7, 2022 due date for AIDS-related applications, you should submit using FORMS-F.

Keep in mind, the January 25, 2022 transition date applies to an application’s intended due date, which is listed in the targeted FOA’s Key Dates section, rather than the day NIH receives the application. Put differently, you cannot avoid the FORMS-G requirement for a January 25, 2022 due date by sending your application to us a week early.

As another example, suppose you are preparing a non-AIDS-related, investigator-initiated R01 application in mid-January. You should be using FORMS-G to complete the application because the finished application will have an intended due date of February 5, 2022, even if submitted early (i.e., before January 25, 2022).

What about continuous submission and late applications?

Suppose you are eligible for continuous submission and target the January 7, 2022 AIDS-related applications due date, meaning your actual deadline to submit is February 1, 2022, which is beyond January 25, 2022. You would still use FORMS-F as it’s the appropriate form set for the intended due date of January 7, 2022.

Next, suppose you submit a late application to a FOA with a January 14, 2022 due date and NIH receives your application beyond January 25, 2022. Given that you have appropriately justified the two-week delay in your cover letter, the application would still use FORMS-F based on the intended due date.

Remember that if you choose to resubmit an application using FORMS-G after a new application using FORMS-F is not selected for funding, you’ll need to verify that all attachments to the application package are compatible with the FORMS-G application form set.

Lastly, note that NIH may withdraw and remove from funding consideration any applications submitted using the incorrect application package for their intended due date.

If you have questions, please contact your UTMB Pre-Award Specialist.