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Forms-F Application Changes

The NIH periodically updates grant application forms in order to remain current with the most recent form sets available through and approved by the Office of Management and Budget. NIH announced it will be rolling out a forms update with a Competition ID of "FORMS-F" that will be required for all applications due on or after May 25, 2020.

You can preview changes to the PHS forms included in FORMS-F application packages here and find an annotated Form F guide here.

Overall, NIH is making updates to the Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form and the PHS Assignment Request form. You will want to be sure to review those forms to see the changes. And, a new PDF requirement to K and F applications is being added: “Description of candidate’s Contribution to Program Goals”.

A significant change is that NIH is adding a question on the use of Human Fetal Tissue/HFT to the Cover Page Supplement form. If the answer to the question “Does the proposed project involve human fetal tissue obtained from elective abortions?” is "Yes", then two new attachments are required. Please note some additional information:

  • A guide notice (NOT-OD-19-128) on this topic from earlier this year makes clear that if an application has HFT, you cannot use a modular budget even if your budget is under $250K
  • You must use a detailed budget, regardless of whether there are costs associated with the HFT or not.
  • If the HFT is no-cost or donated, you should use the detailed budget and enter the cost description (as a line item in F8, F9, or F10) with a cost of $0.00.
  • I will ask Cayuse to create a warning so that if the HFT question is answered Yes, then you get a warning if you select the modular budget, but we’ll have to see if they can do that.
  • If you work with faculty that might use HFT, please review the guide notice.
For more information on the FORMS-F changes, see NOT-OD-20-026 and the related announcements and guide notices linked therein.


  • Cayuse has been updated to handle FORMS-F, so FOA's should be supported.
  • NIH will start adding FORMS-F application packages to current FOA's in February and March. Cayuse should automatically update opportunities nightly after NIH updates. You can re-download an opportunity in order to manually update it, if the FORMS-F package isn't reflected. 
  • Once NIH has updated an FOA, you will see two records in Opportunities: 1) A FORMS-E option and; 2) A FORMS-F option. The forms package is noted in the “Comp ID” field.
    • Use the E version for an application that is DUE before May 25, 2020 (not submitted, but due any time up to May 24).
    • Use the F version for an application that is DUE on or after May 25, 2020.
  • If you start an application and need to change from one forms package to the other, you can use the Transform function. Simply, Transform to the same opportunity number, and then choose the other version (E or F, as needed).

NIH may issue some FOA's in the next few months in which the applications will be due after FORMS-F are required. For those, they won’t have an application package attached until sometime in February or March, so it won't be possible to start an application until then. You’ll either need to wait until NIH attaches a forms package to the FOA, or start with an R01 FORMS-E parent announcement FOA and then Transform the application to the correct FOA once the application package is added.

For questions about Cayuse, please contact Todd Bjorklund

Last Updated: 11/13/20