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NIH Application Changes  
One of the priorities of the NIH Enhancing Peer Review initiative is to Improve the Quality and Transparency of Review. One of the goals associated with this priority is to shorten the Research Plan and align it with review criteria (Ref. NIH).

Restructured paper PHS 398 and electronic SF 424 (R&R) application packages and instructions will be required for all applications submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2010. Changes were announced in NOT-OD-09-149 and NOT-OD-10-002 (Ref. NIH).

Due to changes resulting from the Enhancing Peer Review initiative, applications for due dates on or after January 25, 2010 require the use of restructured application forms with new instructions and shorter page limits. These changes will affect all competing applications, including new, renewal, revision and resubmission applications.*

For a period between now and late February, many FOAs will exist in two versions. For due dates on or after January 25, 2010, choose "ADOBE_FORMS_B" for SF 424 (R&R) electronic applications and the "June 2009" revised forms for PHS 398 paper applications. It is crucial that you choose the correct application packages, as applications submitted using incorrect forms will be delayed and may not be reviewed.

Steps for Success!
Step 1 Read about requirement changes now to be able to begin writing the Research Strategy section of the application.
Step 2 In December, go back to the updated FOA or reissued Parent Announcement and download the new application package and instructions.
Step 3 Read the new application instructions carefully.
Step 4 For due dates on or after January 25, submit applications using the new application forms and instructions.

Reference: NIH http://enhancing-peer-review.nih.gov/restructured_applications.html

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