July 26, 2007

Grants.gov and Adobe Forms: Update

The July 19 Grants.gov Stakeholder Meeting webcast included an update on the transition to Adobe Forms for Grants.gov applications. The archived webcast, a very informative summary of questions and comments from the webcast, and a sample Adobe Cover Sheet are available at http://grants.gov/resources/stakeholder_communications.jsp.

No definite date was given for when federal agencies would begin using the new Adobe Forms for applications instead of PureEdge, but it appears likely that most if not all agencies will not be using Adobe until September at the earliest. The National Institutes of Health will not be finalizing plans until the new forms have been thoroughly tested, and once plans are finalized NIH will make every effort to give 60 days notice prior to transitioning any program.

As of July 19, all 147 Grants.gov forms had been converted to Adobe Forms. Both individual forms and form “families” are now being tested, with 60 forms in production. Grants.gov plans to have all 147 forms available for agencies to use on September 6.

Applicants need to be aware that currently Grants.gov Adobe Forms are compatible only with Adobe Reader version 7.0.9. Using Adobe Reader 8.0 or 8.1 may cause the application to fail validation after submission and thus be rejected by Grants.gov. Adobe is working on these incompatibility issues, and is targeting a permanent resolution for the September/October timeframe.