eRA Enhancements: Electronic Requests for Withdrawal of Applications Now Available Through eRA Commons

Friday, September 9, 2016

A new feature was added to eRA Commons during a software release yesterday, Thursday, September 8, 2016. This feature provides Signing Officials the capability to electronically submit a request to withdraw an application.

After the successful submission of an error free application, the Signing Official (SO) has two business days to reject an application. After those two days, the SO must contact the Division of Receipt and Referral (DRR) to request to withdraw the application. This latter process can now be accomplished electronically through eRA Commons.

The submission of an electronic request for withdrawal is available as long as the application has not gone to review and the summary statement posted. At that point the application cannot be withdrawn.


  • The Initiation of a Withdrawal Request Can Be Done by the SO or PI
    • The SO is the only person who can request that NIH withdraw an application.
    • The PI can request that the SO do so by initiating the withdrawal request through Commons, providing justification (required) and relevant supporting documentation (a maximum of 10 pdfs of up to 5 MB each can be uploaded).
    • The PI must then route the request to an SO at their institution for review and submission to NIH.
    • The SO may make the withdrawal request even if the PI has not initiated the request.
    • The SO may check the status of the withdrawal request by contacting DRR.  
  • A New Navigation Tab, Prior Approval, Added to Commons
    • The Prior Approval tab opens a new screen that allows both PIs and SOs to initiate requests or review for existing requests.
    • To initiate a Withdrawal Request, from the Initiate a Prior Approval Request drop down, select Withdrawal. The system will display grants eligible to be withdrawn.
    • The List my Requests screen will display:
      • The request ID (system generated ID number)
      • Request Type
      • Prior Approval Status (In Progress PI, In Progress SO, Submitted to Agency)
      • Application ID
      • Project Title
      • Action (Modify or View depending on status)
  • SOs Have the Ability to Search for Requests
    • For the SO, the List My Requests option will display any requests that are pending their approval.
    • SO can also use the Search for Requests button to find those withdrawal requests that have been submitted or have a status of “In Progress PI,” which means the PI has initiated the withdrawal but may still be working on it, and has not routed it to the SO.
  • Automated Notifications
    • Upon submission, both the submitting SO and PI will receive notification.
    • Upon approval of withdrawal by DRR, the PI will receive a notification. The SO will see the application status has changed to Withdrawn, and will see the withdrawal confirmation in the Correspondence section of the Status Information screen in eRA Commons

NOTE: Applications with a status of “To be Paid” or “Awarded” cannot be withdrawn in this manner.

For more information concerning Prior Approval for Withdrawals, please see Guide Notice NOT-OD-16-143 and the Prior Approval section in the eRA Commons online help.