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NIH Other Support Requirements, Electronic Signatures, and Other Updates Effective January 25th

January 18, 2022

For NIH applications with due dates on or after January 25, 2022, several new requirements go into effect, including changes to Other Support:

Other Support: Required Inclusions 

Effective January 25, 2022, and subject only to sponsor-announced changes, Other Support must include the following:

  1. Active support
  2. Pending support
  3. In-kind support
  4. Foreign appointments and contract documentation (subject to NIH criteria)
  5. Investigator signature (see additional information below)

Completed or inactive support will no longer be required as part of Other Support.

Other Support: Acceptable Signatures 

NIH will not accept wet signatures on Other Support when the new format for Other Support goes into effect as a requirement on January 25, 2022. Other Support submissions must be submitted as a flattened PDF, after all signatures are obtained. See Format Attachments for more details. A typed name is not an electronic signature and is not acceptable. For Northwestern University investigators, compliant signatures must be DocuSign signatures or Adobe-verified signatures with a digital ID. For subaward institutions, Northwestern will defer to the determinations made by those institutions regarding compliant signatures under the NIH rules.

Note on Adobe signatures: Using the signature functionality built into Adobe Acrobat Pro (“Fill & Sign”) is not an acceptable option. This methodology is not the same as digitally signing and certifying with Adobe and does not yield an Adobe-verified signature.

FORMS-G Transition 

NIH is transitioning from the current formset (FORMS-F) to FORMS-G and has released FORMS-G-compliant submission packages, which will be required for deadlines on or after January 25, 2022. It is critical to submit proposals using the correct forms to avoid delay in review or outright proposal rejection.

Expanding eRA Commons ID Requirement to All Key Personnel 

For applications with deadlines on or after January 25, 2022, Commons IDs will be required for all individuals listed on the R&R Senior/Key Person Profile Form, and any key personnel with missing eRA Commons IDs will trigger an error that will prevent proposal submission.  eRA Commons-related questions, problems, or requests for new IDs can be submitted to SR’s Business Systems & Operations team via the eRA Commons Form. See also NIH Notice NOT-OD-21-109.

More Information 

Read more on FORMS-G transition and expanded eRA Commons ID requirement on the Sponsored Research website. See also FAQs: Other Support and Foreign Components.