Starting Dec 1, 2005, the NIH will only accept SBIR/STTR grant applications via electronic means. Given the size of a typical grant application, this could save (literally) tons of paper from being printed (that is, unless the e-versions are just printed out at the NIH). In their own words:
Beginning with the receipt date of Dec. 1, 2005, NIH will require all its SBIR/STTR grant applicants to electronically submit their competing grants. NIH plans to transition all of its competing grant programs one by one from paper to electronic by May 2007. NIH’s electronic submission timeline is available at http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt.
Electronic submission and grants administration will result in significant savings to the government and holds promise for shortening the time period from grant submission to award. NIH expects to eliminate approximately 200 million pieces of paper a year and reduce the costs of scanning, data entry, data validation, printing, and reproduction. Grant images will be very clear and in color. Efficiencies gained will benefit both NIH and its partner institutions.
Even as it switches from paper to electronic submission, NIH is also moving simultaneously from its PHS398 application form to the new SF424 (R&R) application form. Every application via Grants.gov to NIH will need to come in on the new SF424 (R&R) form. An applicant will fill out the application package and upload it to Grants.gov; the NIH system will then retrieve it and produce a system-generated application online.
NIH officially began its conversion from paper to electronic on October 18, when it posted its first SBIR/STTR grant solicitations on Grants.gov, requiring applicants to download and submit electronic SF424 Research and Related (R&R) grant applications through the federal site.
The whole press release from the NIH…