Adobe Based NIH Grant Application: Massive FAIL!

Dec 06 2008 Published by under Grantsmanship, NIH

I hope I am missing something. When NIH switched to electronic submission there was massive outcry because the system they were using was so bloody stupid. "Why not just go with nice and easy Adobe pdf forms?", asked anyone and everyone who had to use the new PureEdge nonsense.
So NIH responded and promised a new Adobe based version. Coolio, we thought.
Well, the notice of the new forms is out. Eagerly I navigated to a Funding Opportunity Announcement RFA.
They have got to be kidding me!!!!!!!!!!


NIHAdobeForm.jpg
See this????!!!!
It is the EXACT same crap with a new software platform. Newsflash NIH!!!! The problem is with the series of disconnected subformZs and whatnotYs and who the hell knows how to import an actual research plan and for FSM's noodly sake it looks like we STILL can't SaveAs:Edit to start our new grants but must build each from scratch..
>sigh<
They just don't get it, do they?
[Please, please, please someone tell me I am overlooking something here and there really IS a change of significance? Please?]

17 responses so far

  • you're kidding, right??? right?
    even on my treo, that looks like a pureedge interface.
    what is so hard to understand about fillable pdfs for form pages, a single pdf file of all sections combined, and a nice toc bookmark menu like we have when opening grants on our review cds?
    nih! doing the science and proposing the science is hard enough. please take advantage of the simple, user-friendly software that is used by 99% of the business world.
    wtf?

  • Art says:

    What sucks is that the USDA decided to follow in NIH's footsteps and use the accursed PureEdge crap, rather than adopt NSF's much superior online submission process. I fear that this "improvement" will be adopted as well.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Dunno, Abel. I checked two FOAs but this really seems to be the change. WTF indeed...

  • Orac says:

    Actually, the DOD had a pretty easy-to-use and intuitive web-based interface for grant submission before the mandate that all government granting agencies had to use the accursed PureEdge software. Why not use that?

  • PI says:

    It is as if they looked at all gov systems that might be used and intentionally took the worst one.

  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dr. Feelgood says:

    Thats why I have a pre-award grants guy. He fills out all of that shit, compiles biosketches of coinvestigators, gets the budget together etc etc.. I write my parts, he posts them, and then I give it a lookthru and approve. Its the best solution for staying away from Puredge dreck (at least for me if not him).
    I recommend everyone have a pregrants dude or dudette that does this. It helps the economy and its great on your sanity.
    Doc F

  • Our department business office has an outstanding grants specialist who fills all that shit out. The problem from my standpoint is that it is a total fucking pain in the ass to review the shit, because I have to click around from document to document, and you can't just print the entire motherfucking thing all at one time.
    Hey, DoucheMonkey, does the Adobe Forms version let you just print the motherfucker all at once?

  • becca says:

    The term is "epic", dear DM, "epic FAIL".

  • a grant writer says:

    This is common to all federal grant applications and is a grants.gov problem, not an NIH problem; all federal agencies are now required to accept grant application submissions via grants.gov, and there's only one grants.gov platform. Last I checked, NSF was still allowing submission via grants.gov or fastlane, but it's probably just a matter of time before grants.gov is the only way to submit federal apps. I can't decide if this is an improvement over pureedge or not.

  • juniorprof says:

    Our department business office handles this stuff too. I would be completely screwed without them. Our chief grant wizard prints out final versions for filing and approval and we mark them up if they need changing. I didn't even know there was a print issue.

  • S. Rivlin says:

    That is how scientists in the 21st century spending their precious time - doing research on how to fill grant application forms. Are you surprised that the indirect cost universities charged is so high? So much money is spent on hiring experts to handle this crap instead of investing it in the research itself!
    CPP, I understand that your team lost today 😉

  • Orac says:

    Thats why I have a pre-award grants guy. He fills out all of that shit, compiles biosketches of coinvestigators, gets the budget together etc etc.. I write my parts, he posts them, and then I give it a lookthru and approve. Its the best solution for staying away from Puredge dreck (at least for me if not him).

    Not everyone is as fortunate to have someone who does all that for him. I get some of those services from our pre-award people, but I still end up having to do a lot of it myself.

  • Dr. Feelgood says:

    You should talk to your department mofo (chair) then. Our depts philosophy is: you take care of the science, we take care of the rest. Departments that dont do that are wasting the effort well-paid and specialized scientists. If I had to deal with that shit, my scores would suffer.
    Doc F

  • Chris P says:

    I think they are saving a redesign for a properly written grant that will address the problems of the current design.
    Know anyone in information management or graphic design?

  • scicurious says:

    JEEZ. I am cheezed. On the other hand, you can be thankful, because NRSAs are still PAPER. The year I did mine, they swore it would go electronic next year. This year, three years later, it's still going electronic next year. Somehow I'm starting to think paper might actually be easier though.
    Come ON, NIH, this isn't hard to do!

  • Unfortunately for me, I am the dudette who gets stuck with such things in our department... although I also work on the sciencey bits.
    Luckily, most Canadian funding agencies are slightly more humane.

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