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A Service Provider is a commercial company that assists applicants, for a fee, in submitting grant applications electronically to NIH and other federal agencies. Service Providers offer a wide range of platform independent services—from low-cost, single transaction options through full scale, end-to-end grants management solutions.
Here are some advantages they offer [benefits vary among Service Providers]:
- All are platform independent and work with Macintosh, Linux, Unix, etc.
- Choice of an entire grants administration system or individual submissions of applications, depending on your needs and budget.
- The ability to print and view a generated PDF version of the entire application prior to submission.
- The ability to check applications against NIH and Grants.gov validations before submission, so applicants do not need to deal with error corrections after the fact.
- Some integrate their system with other institutional systems (i.e. Human Resources, Administration etc.) to allow data such as actual salaries to be pulled into the application.
- Some convert text documents to PDF for the applicant.
- Some allow a single document to be uploaded for the research plan and then they will split the document into all the required attachments and convert to PDFs.
- Most offer Institutional routing, review and approval with multiple levels of authority prior to the submission.
- Offer the ability for an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) to lock down all parts of the application except for the research plan so the Principal Investigator can tweak the Research Plan as needed.
- Most assist users by “auto filling” repeated fields such as Institutional profile.
- Most offer data storage that can help institutions in reporting.
- Most can handle a large number of submissions efficiently.
Disclaimer Note: Information contained on this Service Providers webpage neither constitutes nor should be inferred to be an endorsement or recommendation by the National Institutes of Health.
For more up-to-date information on their readiness, please contact them directly.