Research Hot Topics and Frequently Asked Questions

Advice for submitting applications, NIH updates. NSF updates and other news.

Avoid rejections: Pay attention to submission formats
When preparing applications for submission, please pay very close attention to details within the solicitation. Many agencies/sponsors specifically define the required margin limitations, type style, type size, line spacing, number of pages, header/footer requirements, etc. We call this to your attention because applications are being rejected by agencies/sponsors without review and without opportunity for revision/resubmission for these exact reasons.

NSF updates:
FastLane implemented a change August 4, 2007, in regard to social security numbers (SSNs). SSNs will no longer be required for new individuals. Requests for SSN will soon be renamed to “NSF ID” within FastLane. Now co-PIs may be added to a proposal coversheet by a PI entering either the co-PIs email address or NSF ID. Individuals previously registered under their SSN who wish to have their NSF record changed to a pseudo-SSN (NSF ID) should send their request by email to Casey in CALS Research Division at

NIH updates:
eRA Commons and the eRA eXchange (system that processes electronic submission of grant applications) have been updated to include the following corrections and enhancements.

1) Changes to eSNAP to support multiple PIs:

  • The “Manage eSNAP” screen has been modified so that grant applications with multiple Principal Investigators (PIs) are clearly marked. MPI has been added to the right of the grant number to indicate Multi-PI.
  • The “View eSNAP Report” and “View Routing History” buttons are available to Multi-PIs.
  • The “PI Name” field includes all of the PIs with the Contact PI being designated as such. This change is reflected on all eSNAP pages which display the PI’s name.
  • A second page has been added to the PHS2590 report and final eSNAP that shows the Multi-PIs if they exist on a grant.

2) Changes to “Key Personnel” section of eSNAP:

  • Multi-PIs are displayed on the “Edit Business – Key Personnel List” screen.
  • PI and Multi-PI records within the “Key Personnel List” are editable. Only “Months Devoted to Project (Annual, Academic, and Calendar)” may be edited for the Contact PI.
  • The Contact PI is identified as “PI (Contact)” within the “Role(s)” column. Multi-PIs are identified as “PI” within the “Role(s)” column.

3) eSNAP Upload Science:
The “Upload Science” portion of eSNAP has been modified to include an option to view all PI citations.

4) Edit Business – Org Info:
The “Months Devoted to Project (Annual, Academic, and Calendar)” fields have been moved to the “Edit Business – Key Personnel List” screen.
Issue identified by NIH since update was released: The error message “One of the fields under the month devoted should be more than 0” is triggering inappropriately. Even if numbers greater than zero in the calendar fields are shown in the Edit Business -> Key Personnel screen , under some conditions our system is not recognizing the values and triggers the inappropriate error message. This seems to be especially prevalent when all effort is recorded as “Calendar” months. To work around this issue, change the months of the first person (the PI) to ‘Academic’, clicking ‘Save & New’ and then change the months back to calendar (as originally entered) forcing the system to recognize the values and the error goes away. NIH will be addressing this issue as soon as possible.

Congratulations to Meredith!
Meredith Luschen will be on maternity leave for the next several months. Elsie Ramona Watson joined the Luschen/Watson family Sunday, August 14, arriving at 10:06 p.m., 7 lbs. 6 oz., 19 inches. Mother and daughter as just fine. Congratulations, Meredith!