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NIH Challenge Grants

April 3, 2009 -

NIH researchers,

If preparing a proposal for the NIH Challenge Grant is among your end-of-semester activities, the Office of Research Administration would like to help in that planning process by providing some important NIH-related information.

This Challenge Grant deadline (April 27) is expected to generate an unprecedented number of proposals from across the country. The NIH proposal submission system,, has experienced serious slowdowns even during normal NIH deadlines. Proposals have taken upwards of six hours to be submitted into the system. The helpdesk has also been overwhelmed during normal deadlines, so their ability to issue case numbers for proposal submission difficulties is also in jeopardy. (That case number is required for proposals not submitted by the deadline due to technical problems.)

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget recently issued a memorandum identifying as an area of risk. Several other federal agencies have announced alternate proposal submission processes, but NIH still plans to use for proposal submissions.

The Office of Research Administration wants to help ensure that your proposals reach the NIH for consideration. Therefore, we recommend having your proposal package to the Office of Research Administration by April 20. This will allow us sufficient time to review and submit your application given the submission problems. Also, keep in mind that it may take up to 24 hours to be notified by of any errors with your application that would require it to be resubmitted. We understand that faculty are under enormous time pressures and we want to do whatever possible to ensure that time spent in preparing a proposal results in a successful submission.

We currently know of 78 proposals to be submitted by Indianapolis faculty for this deadline. The Office of Research Administration is planning staffing levels to accommodate this volume and doing what we can to avoid the heaviest traffic. Please work with your ORA grant consultant on the administrative components of your proposal (e.g., budget and forms) as early in the process as possible.

We are confident that Indiana University researchers will be successful in their pursuit of Challenge
Grant funding.

We will be happy to respond to any questions or concerns you have. You may reach any of us at
(317) 278-3473 or:

Rob Dimmitt, Manager,
Becky Cass, Grant Consultant,
Beth Hosier, Grant Consultant,
Heather Morr, Grant Consultant,
Sheri Mundy, Grant Consultant,
Larry Reynolds, Grant Consultant,
Jean Mercer, Director, Grant Services IUPUI,