ASSIST New Features and Updates


Changes (August 16, 2022)

As announced on July 15, 2022, through Notice NOT-OD-22-182, eRA’s ASSIST module will retire application form versions prior to FORMS-E, effective Wednesday August 31, 2022.

Users who anticipate needing to copy information from applications prepared with a form set prior to FORMS-E should copy their application data to a current (FORMS-G) application package prior to August 31, 2022, to preserve the ability to reuse their application data in the future.

Once the older forms are retired, the information within applications prepared with the older forms will no longer be accessible.


New Features (April 7, 2020)

We are pleased to announce that ASSIST has been streamlined to support easier initiation and submission of administrative supplements.

When an administrative supplement Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) number is entered on the ASSIST Initiate Application screen, ASSIST will recognize that FOA as an administrative supplement and present a new “Initiate Administrative Supplement Application” screen.

ASSIST’s Initiate Administrative Supplement Application screen

Figure 1: ASSIST’s Initiate Administrative Supplement Application screen

  • By adding the Federal ID from the parent grant in the Parent Grant field, certain information from the parent grant will be prepopulated into the administrative supplement application. For instance, if the two check boxes at the bottom of the screen are also checked, the system will prepopulate all the Project/Performance Site Location data and all the Senior/Key Personnel from the parent grant.

As part of eRA’s ongoing effort to reduce administrative burden, this new feature provides these additional benefits of using ASSIST to initiate and submit administrative supplement applications:

  • Users will have the option to prepopulate only the PD/PI information from the parent application or all the people entered on the Senior/ Key Personnel Form. The same is true for sites.
  • Because there is an expectation that the administrative supplement application will supply new information, not all the data from the parent application prepopulates, thus saving the user from having to delete information that has changed. For example, attachments such as specific aims, research strategy and biosketches are not copied over since the FOA or NOSI may request that specific information be added in these sections.
  • The Unique Supplement Label field has been provided so users can enter a title or description that will allow them to readily identify the administrative supplement after it has been initiated
  • Regardless of how the parent application was submitted, this capability works with any corresponding administrative supplement submitted through ASSIST.

Users can currently still use the eRA Commons streamlined option to submit administrative supplements, and the ability to submit directly through has not changed.  Refer to the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and/or Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) for any additional submission instructions.  

You can find additional assistance in the Initiate an Administrative Supplement Application topic in the ASSIST Online Help.


New Features (January 18, 2017)

  • New Access Maintainer Role
    • A new role called "ASSIST_ACCESS_MAINTAINER_ROLE" with Access Maintainer Privileges has been added to the Account Management System (AMS).
    • Only the Signing Official (SO) has the authority to provide this role to whomever they want to manage access to applications in ASSIST on behalf of the organization.
    • By providing this role, the SO is delegating the authority to manage access to all applications at the organization level, rather than application by application level.
    • Access Management within ASSIST for individual applications has not changed.
  • Multi-Employment Functionality
    • Senior Key Persons who are affiliated with multiple organizations will be able to select from their current employments so they can choose the most appropriate organization as it relates to their application.
    • When the user provides their eRA Commons User ID and multiple active employments are associated with the account, the system displays the organization, the state, the city of each employment organization. The user can select the appropriate appointment and click the "Select" button.
  • New Link for SOs from ASSIST to Commons Status Screen
    • When SOs access the Application Information page, they will find a new link titled “To view Commons post submission actions” in the Agency section of the page.
    • The link will take them to the Commons Status search page. From here they can search for the application under the Recent/Pending Submissions option so they can quickly reject the application if so desired/needed.
    • This link is only available to Signing Officials.
  • A Warning if Appendix Material is Submitted in Applications
    • Per the policy outlined in NOT-OD-16-129, the submission of most appendix materials has been eliminated from NIH applications.
    • If the system detects the submission of appendix materials, a new warning will advise the applicant to closely review the Funding Opportunity Announcement to confirm that these materials are requested as part of the application.
  • Form Lock Message Includes User Name
    • When a user opens a form screen in ASSIST to edit or add information, the system locks that form so others cannot simultaneously edit the same form.
    • ASSIST displays a message indicating the form you are trying to access is locked by another user and now includes the name of the user who holds the lock


New Features (October 20, 2016)

SAMHSA users can submit new, non-research, applications using ASSIST for select FOAs.

SAMHSA will now use ASSIST for the purpose of completing and submitting applications for non-research amendments.

  • The initiation of this process begins in Commons in the "Manage Post Award Amendments" module.
  • Once a user initiates an amendment from that module, the system will open up the applications and required forms within ASSIST.
  • Once opened in ASSIST, the user will complete and submit the application and then use the "Manage Post Award Amendments" module for subsequent submissions of Requests for Additional Material (RAM) and to track and view amendments.

New Features (May 24, 2016)

System of Award Management (SAM) is one of the required registrations for applying to and receiving federal grants. However, SAM registrations expire and need to be renewed yearly.

  • A pop-up message window will appear if the registration is going to expire within 14 days or has expired.  The pop-up message window will appear when an opportunity is initiated, and when the application status is set to “Ready to Submit.”
  • A new status button will be added to the initiation page for all new applications.  Users will be able to confirm the status of their institution’s SAM registration by clicking this button.

New Features (April 15, 2016)

  • Updated to Forms-D — incorporated changes to PHS Forms included in Forms-D application packages (for due dates on or after May 25, 2016). See High-level list of FORMS-D form changes for a synopsis. The following topics have been updated:
  • Introduced the PHS Inclusion Enrollment form (the new form that combines Planned Enrollment Report and Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment into a single form).


New Features (October 2015)

  • Fellowship applications (Fs) will be able to be submitted using ASSIST (see Target Timeline for Single-Project ASSIST).
    • ASSIST offers several advantages, including the ability to see errors and warnings before submission and to view the application in the NIH format before submission.
  • Ability to Submit Most Competing Programs
    • Starting in September, ASSIST was opened to most competing single-project applications (See NOT-OD-15-044 for more information).
    • The use of ASSIST is not required. It is provided as an option for submission.
    • Downloadable forms and institutional system-to-system solution also remain as options for submission.

New Features (July 2015)

  • Ability to Submit Training and Research Applications Using ASSIST
    • Applicants will be able to submit grant applications for additional activity codes — including training grants, R13, R15, and more — through ASSIST (see transition timeline). Advantages that ASSIST offers applicants include the ability to:
      • See errors and warnings before submission.
      • Pre-populate forms.
      • Preview the grant image before submission.
    • Applicants can choose between using ASSIST or continuing to use’s downloadable forms, or their own institution’s system-to-system solution.
  • New Enhancements in ASSIST for Multi Project Applications – Subaward Budget Forms
    • Applicants can download a subaward budget form, complete it, and then upload into ASSIST, or
    • The subaward budget forms can be completed online within ASSIST.

For details, please see the latest ASSIST Release Notes.

New Features (April 2015)

  • ASSIST Supports Zip/Postal Code of 10 Characters
    • The Zip/Postal Code field on the R&R Cover has been modified to accept 10 characters (i.e., 9 digits and a dash).
    • Subaward budget information can be completed within ASSIST or subaward budget forms can be completed offline and uploaded into ASSIST.

New Features (January 2015)

  • ASSIST Supports Single Project Applications
    • eRA will open ASSIST for R03 and R21 single project applications in late January.  As ASSIST becomes a viable option for other grant programs, additional Guide Notices will be posted. Note that use of ASSIST is optional for single project applications. See NOT-OD-15-044.
    • Subaward budget information can be completed within ASSIST or subaward budget forms can be completed offline and uploaded into ASSIST.
    • Online Help for ASSIST has been updated to include help for single project applications.
  • Enhanced Calculation of Indirect Budget Costs
    • eRA is implementing the new PHS Additional Indirect Costs form to gather the additional indirect cost information needed to correctly calculate the indirect costs for the applicant organizations, when entire components of a multi-project application are led by other organizations. This is an optional form that can be used with multi component applications, as the Funding Opportunity Announcement allows.


New Features (October 2014)

  • The Initiate process for Multiproject applications through ASSIST has been improved by combining the initiation process with the automatic creation of the Overall component.  Since the Overall component is required for all multiproject applications, this eliminates a basic step in the process.
  • Overall Component and Subcomponent names support up to 200 characters. Initially only the Overall component supported 200 characters. That functionality has been expanded to subcomponents as well.
  • Included explanatory text to the Total Direct Costs Less Consortium F&A Table in the application image.