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Transition to electronic submission of grant applications continues at AHRQ

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the transition to electronic submission of grant applications. A new research grant application, the SF 424 Research and Related (R&R) form, replaces the PHS 398 form. Applications are submitted electronically through Grants.gov, a Web portal that serves as the single access point for all Federal grant programs. Grants.gov provides the interface for agencies to announce their grant funding opportunities and for all grant applicants to find and submit applications to those funding announcements.

In December 2005, AHRQ successfully completed the transition of its Small Conference grant program (R13) through Grants.gov using the new SF424 (R&R) form. As of April 10, 2006, AHRQ's Dissertation grant program (R36) became the second grant funding mechanism to be converted to electronic submission. The Small Research grant program (R03) transition to electronic application will begin later this year. The transition of other AHRQ grant programs to electronic application submission will continue through May 2007.

Electronic grant application submission will enhance the efficiency of grants administration and shorten the time from application submission to grant award. The new submission process and integration with Grants.gov gives applicants a convenient one-stop shop for finding and applying for grant funding opportunities. The format provides a consistent look and feel to grant applications across Federal agencies. The benefits of the new technology include a streamlined application process and post-receipt transactions such as automated notifications, corrections to applications, and renewals.

AHRQ is committed to providing reliable, available, and responsive support to the grant applicant community. Based on feedback from applicants who took part in the initial submission of electronic applications, AHRQ offers the following advice to applicants:

Be prepared: Register early. One time registrations for both Grants.gov (http://grants.gov) and eRA Commons (http://era.nih.gov/commons) systems must be completed before application submission. These are two distinct systems with separate registration requirements.

Be informed: For up to date general information on electronic submission, the SF 424 (R&R), and Grants.gov, visit the AHRQ Electronic Submission of Grant Applications Pathfinder page at http://www.ahrq.gov/path/egrants.htm

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