Initiate an Application

Prior to initiating an application using ASSIST, applicants must identify a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to which they would like to apply. FOAs are posted in the NIH Guide for Grants & Contracts and in Find Grant Opportunities link, each of which has robust search capabilities. The FOA text indicates whether ASSIST can be used to apply to that opportunity. The FOA number (e.g., PA-12-987) is required to initiate an application.

NOTE: Anyone with an eRA Commons ID can initiate an application.

To initiate the application:

  1. Log into ASSIST.
  2. From the Welcome page, enter the FOA in the Funding Opportunity Announcement # field.
  3. For ARPA-H applications: from the Welcome page, enter the BAA in the Broad Agency Announcement # field.
  4. Click the Go button.

Closed toggler arrowThe Initiation Application page displays.

This image shows a sample of the Initiate Application page

Fill in the required fields:

  1. Enter a title for the application in the Application Project Title field.

NOTE: This populates the Descriptive Title of Applicant's Project field on the SF424 RR Cover. The maximum number of characters for the Application Project Title is 200.
After initiating your application, you can update your project title by editing the Descriptive Title of Applicant's Project field.

  1. Make a selection from the drop-down menu Lead Applicant Organization Name.

NOTE: The list reflects the organizations affiliated with the user's eRA Commons ID. Selecting the appropriate organization populates the Lead Applicant Organization fields and the appropriate fields in the SF424 RR.

  1. Review the Lead Applicant Organization Address.
  1. Review the Lead Applicant Organization DUNS number.

  2. Review the Lead Applicant Organization UEI number. (Unique Entity Identifier; see Goodby DUNS, Hello UEI.)

  3. Review the SAM Registration Expiration Date: The SAM registration requires a yearly renewal. ASSIST will display the expiration date of the organization's SAM registration if it has expired, or will expire within 14 days.

  1. Select the Click for SAM Registration Details button.

The Closed toggler arrowInitiate SAM Registration Details pop up appears.

SAM Registration Status popup

NOTE: In addition to the pop-up message window, 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.

  1. Once you click OK, you are returned to the Initiate Application screen.
  1. If this is the first time that registration has been made, upon OK being selected a confirmation notice displays containing Submitand Cancel buttons. Submit forwards the application to; Cancel returns the screen to the Initiate Application screen.
  2. Closed toggler arrowThe pop up appears again when the user is ready to submit, and their SAM registration has expired.

SAM Registration warning

  • Optional: Enter the fields for Contact Project Director/Principal Investigator.

    Tip: If you know the Contact PD/PI’s username, click the Pre-fill Application from Username button, enter the username in the pop-up, and click Submit. This automatically populates the contact’s name. This pre-fill button does not become enabled until a Lead Applicant Organization is added.

    1. Click the Initiate Application button to continue.

    NOTE: Clicking the Cancel button at any time cancels the initiation.

    The Application Information page displays as read-only with the status of the application as Work in Progress. The informational message Application saved appears at the top of the page.

    NOTE: For multi-project applications, the Overall component is created at the time of initiation and can be accessed from the Component Type section of the navigation panel.

    After initiating the application the user has the ability to access:

    Manage Access

    Edit Forms

    Add New Component (applies to multi-project applications only)