UPDATE OF THE PHS 398, 2590 AND 416 FORMS

RELEASE DATE:  August 29, 2003

NOTICE:  NOT-OD-03-062 

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

In response to comments and suggestions from the research community on how 
NIH can continue to improve the application forms to make them more user-
friendly, NIH has made several formatting enhancements to the PHS 398, 2590 
and 416 forms. Applicants who are experiencing difficulties with earlier 
versions of the forms are encouraged to use the recently updated forms. IF 
YOU HAVE NOT ENCOUNTERED PROBLEMS, AND YOU DOWNLOADED THE FORMS TO YOUR 
PERSONAL COMPUTER, YOU MAY CONTINUE USING THE SET OF FORMS PREVIOUSLY POSTED. 

Following is a summary of the recent enhancements. The forms are now more 
compatible with existing software and Microsoft Word (MS Word) files. In 
addition, forms links in the instructions have been updated to reflect these 
changes. Institutions may want to link to the PHS 398 Forms and Instructions 
page rather than maintaining copies of forms on internal web sites, to be 
sure the most current forms are available for applicants.

O Microsoft Word (MS Word) files have replaced previous versions of Rich Text 
Format (RTF) files due to a problem experienced by some users of Word XP 
(a.k.a. Word 2002), where the single-page RTF forms display and print on more 
than one page, or the font in the text form fields changes. For more 
information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article #332114, 
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;332114, which 
describes this problem documented by Microsoft.

O Minor formatting adjustments have been made to the PHS 398 forms to provide 
greater usability, as follows:

O Microsoft Word files:
-  Headers and Footers were removed from the form pages. The previous 
forms needed to be unprotected to edit the headers and footers, but 
needed to be protected to enable the form field function. Removing 
headers and footers eliminates the need to unprotect and re-protect 
the forms, which sometimes led to loss of data.
-  Table row heights were restricted to prevent the form layout from 
being changed.
-  Biographical Sketch and Continuation Page were removed from the 
combined form files. These pages are not designed with form fields 
and do not need to be protected. These can be used as multi-page 
files with headers and footers.

O PDF files:
-  Scrolling in text form fields was disabled (on previous versions, 
fields allowed text to scroll out of view).
-  Shading was removed from the fillable form fields. If JavaScript 
is disabled or not supported, the forms fields will print with 
shaded backgrounds, rendering them unable to be scanned by NIH 
staff. 
-  Help message added to print forms without 'shrink' option (to 
maintain font size).

O PHS 398 Face Page, Form Page 1, "Item 11 DUNS NO. (If available)":  
"If available" was removed in order to comply with the 6/27/03 Federal 
Register policy change which now requires that effective October 1, 2003, use 
of the Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number 
will be required when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements. 
See NIH Guide Notice dated August 14, 2003 and the DUNS Q&A (MS Word) 
document for more information.

NIH will continue to inform the public of notable changes to the documents 
and forms through the "NIH Guide" and the "NIH Forms and Applications Page" 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm.) Applicants are urged to always 
check the PHS 398 and PHS 2590 websites to download the most current versions 
of the instructions and forms prior to submission of an application to NIH.

For other inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact grantsinfo@nih.gov or 
301-435-0714.


Return to Volume Index

Return to NIH Guide Main Index


Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS)
  USA.gov - Government Made Easy


Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.