The University of Iowa

NIH Transitions to Electronic Submission via Grants.Gov

In August 2005, the National Institutes of Health announced plans to transition to an electronic application system, making use of the federal-wide system known as Grants.Gov. Since then, the NIH has been gradually transitioning each program mechanism to electronic submission through Information for University of Iowa Faculty and Staff


University of Iowa applicants are very fortunate to have a most effective alternative to the NIH Adobe application forms -- a system known as Cayuse.  Cayuse is an extremely user-friendly interface that greatly facilitates the e-application process to NIH and other federal agencies, auto-filling institutional information and ensuring compliance with program-specific guidelines.  Cayuse now supports all NIH opportunities submitted electronically through

 Please contact to register for Cayuse.

E-Application Help

Those new to the NIH e-application form will greatly benefit from the question-by-question pop-up help prepared by John Massa in the Division of Sponsored Programs. Help is available through the following on-line interface: 

Groovy Cayuse NIH SF 424 Pop-Up Help

Note: Whether you are using Adobe forms or the Cayuse alternative, you will need to  create PDF files to attach to your NIH application. Adobe Reader will not permit you to create PDF  file attachments. To create a PDF file attachment you will need to purchase Adobe Acrobat, version 9.0 or higher for the purposes here. PC-users may, in the alternative, download the free CutePDF Writer.

E-Application Training

The UI Division of Sponsored Programs offers regular training sessions for UI faculty, students and staff who wish to learn about the NIH e-application process and system. Available sessions, as scheduled, are posted here.

E-Application Process Information

System Registration Requirements registration is required of the institution, not individual investigators. Individual UI applicants/principal investigators/administrators do not register with Once an institution has registered, its investigators are free to submit. The University of Iowa is registered with and has successfully submitted applications to several federal funding agencies -- e.g., NIH, NSF, NOAA, DOE, ED, CDC, AHRQ, etc. -- using this portal. applications must be submitted by an authorized institutional representative rather than individual applicants. 

NIH eRA Commons

The University of Iowa is registered as an institution with the NIH Commons, and several hundred UI staff, faculty and students are registered as Principal Investigators. In order to submit an NIH application electronically via, a PI must be registered with the NIH eRA Commons at least two weeks prior to submission. To obtain an NIH eRA Commons password and User ID, please e-mail in the UI Division of Sponsored Programs.

Central Contractor Registry Registration

The University of Iowa is registered with the CCR. Individuals should NOT register with the CCR unless they are serving as study section reviewers with the NIH. See the New Process for Reimbursement of NIH Peer Reviewers notice published in the NIH Guide.  If you have any questions about registration with CCR, please email the UI’s E-Business Point of Contact, John Massa.

Registration Summary

Electronic system


Who registers

Who submits

Locate opportunities, prepare and submit applications electronically

UI and Authorized Organization Representative (DSP)

Authorized Organization Representative


NIH eRA Commons

Verify NIH receipt of application

UI and Principal Investigators

Not applicable

Central Contractor Registry (CCR)

Vendor database for the US federal government

UI and PI’s who serve on NIH study section

Not applicable

Miscellaneous Announcements, Information Sources

Contacts for Questions

Dave Myers
UI Division of Sponsored Programs