Getting Started

Before starting any proposal, please contact:

  • Your mentor, collaborators, and department chair to review your idea.
  • The Department Administrator to start the process.
  • For NIH, the Program Officer in the necessary Institute/Center. See our Email Tips!
  • OGS so that we can identify appropriate resources (a grant writing specialist) for you to be successful.
  • IRB (as soon as possible), IACUC, Biosafety, EHS, OCT (1 month before the deadline), etc.. as applicable.

Before beginning any research project, every researcher is required to obtain an ORCID iD.

  • ORCID, stands for Open Researcher and Contributor ID.
  • The ORCID iD is a unique, open digital identifier that distinguishes each individual researcher from every other researcher with the same or a similar name.
  • ORCID iDs are required for Individuals Supported by NIH, AHRQ, and CDC Research Training, Fellowship, Research Education, and Career Development Awards, according to NIH.
  • Anyone who participates in research, scholarship, or innovation can register an ORCID iD for themselves free of charge, and the same iD can be used throughout the whole career of that individual -- even if his/her name changes or he/she moves to a different organization, discipline, or country. It is required while submitting a manuscript, applying for a grant, or setting up your institutional profile page.
  • Researchers can register for their own ORCID iD today and can sign on to ORCID by using the Einstein AD credentials.
  • You will be able to associate your ORCID iD from the eRA Commons Personal Profile module. Log in to your eRA Commons account and click on Personal Profile
  • It is also possible to complete an ORCID iD search.

Before beginning, set up a log-in and password for the following most commonly used submission portals:

Additional Portals:

This list does not include all submission portals. For more, please visit your sponsor’s website.

Cayuse - A system-to-system portal that grants access to nearly all federal funding opportunities; it is used for developing and submitting new, competing, noncompeting or renewal applications and for preparing progress reports, budget modifications, and other pre-award submissions (OPAS). Contact Ray Hosein at See the steps for Cayuse user name and password and profile.

eRA Commons - A system managed by NIH that allows applicants, recipients and federal staff to securely share, manage and process grant-related information. See steps below for a new account, to affiliate with Einstein, and to assign the appropriate roles.

How to request eRA Commons access:

  1. For a new eRA Commons account, complete the eRA Commons Request Form and email it to Cynthia Cardillo.
  2. If you have difficulties logging in to your eRA Commons account or you do not remember your password, please enter your eRA Commons ID in the Username box.
  3. Then click on the "Forgot Password" link below the "Login" button.
  4. Enter your email address in the area provided.
  5. Then click "Submit" and your password will be reset and sent to you via email.
  6. Please make sure that you have updated your email address in eRA Commons.
  7. If you did not update your email address, you need to contact Indranil Basu at OGS.



  • Users of the Commons system can grant other Commons users within their organization the ability to perform specific grants functions using Delegations.
  • eRA Commons Table of Delegation Authorities
  • The PI can delegate his/ her DA by completing these steps. OGS cannot access any user's personal eRA Commons account. - The on-line portal used by all federal grant-making agencies and their applicants to find and apply for federal grant funding. Agencies post funding opportunity announcements on Applicants can search for opportunities and submit grant applications to forwards the applications to the appropriate agency (e.g., NIH) for processing and funding consideration. - Use a single sign on for secure, private access to participating Federal government agencies. Create a account (see steps below) and link it to, eRA commons, NSF, grant solutions, eBRAP, etc..

How to create a account?

  • Enter your email address here to begin.
  • Enter your email address.
  • Click the “Submit” button.
  • Check your email for a message from
  • Click the “Confirm your email address.” This will take you back to the
  • Create your password, which must be at least 12 characters
  • Set up a second layer of security. requires you set up a secondary authentication method. This is referred to as two-factor authentication (2FA).
  • You can choose from either authentication options below.
    • Authentication application
    • Security key
  • Success! Once you have authenticated, you have created your account.

NIH Assist - The Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) is a web-based system used to prepare grant applications using the SF424 Research & Related form set and to submit electronically through to NIH and other participating agencies.

Proposal Central - A web-based grant management service for proposal submission and review. proposalCENTRAL has a number of participating non-profit, state, and private grantmakers. The participating grantmakers all use proposalCENTRAL's services to facilitate the application and review process.

SPIN - World's Largest Database of Sponsored Funding Opportunities. Click here for more information.

NSF - NSF submissions must be done via and an NSF ID is required.

OGS can also send you an invitation to register. Select a role and assign Indranil Basu to approve. Once you register, OGS will approve your role.

Einstein email addresses must be updated to for all systems.

PURE is a Research Information Management System (RIMS) or Current Research Information System (CRIS) portal available to the Einstein faculty and students.

The portal is a helpful tool to create synergies in research by collaborating with other Einstein faculty members and building your research portfolio.

With PURE you can:

  • log in to the system and search by PI name or field of study to view research profiles, including current and past grants awarded to Einstein faculty members
  • create your own profile for others to see
  • sign up to receive notifications about funding opportunities
  • find experts and collaborators

Contact in the Office of Grant Support for more details and login credentials.

Prior to beginning a research project, the following must be evaluated:

  • Grant capacity: The institution’s potential volume of grant activity while considering qualification, complexity, and suitability (eligibility and infrastructure) of the proposed future project
  • Grant readiness: The relative level of preparation to pursue grant activity, both in general and in respect to specific projects and opportunities
  • At any given point, we may have the capacity, but may not have the readiness and vice versa.
  • To be successful, we must have both.

**Before starting any proposal, please contact:

  • Your mentor, collaborators, and department chair to review your idea.
  • The Department Administrator to start the process.
  • For NIH, the Program Officer in the necessary Institute/Center. See our Email Tips!
  • OGS so that we can identify appropriate resources (a grant writing specialist) for you to be successful.
  • IRB (as soon as possible), IACUC, Biosafety, EHS, OCT (1 month before the deadline), etc.. as applicable

Probably the most critical parts of getting started for the researcher are determining the research aims and objectives and developing the project plan.

Follow the Scientific Method:

  1. Identify the Problem- Identify research problems and needs at Einstein, the local community, and the world at large in your field of study. Where is there a gap in knowledge?
  2. Gather Data- Be familiar with the literature in your field. Complete a journal review of recent related studies.
  3. Build the Hypothesis- Develop your idea
  4. Test the Hypothesis- Experiment, Collect Preliminary Data
  5. Does the new data agree?

Then get started with these steps:

  1. Develop your team (always include a biostatistician in your team)
  2. Determine which NIH Institute/ Center (IC) may be interested in your idea with NIH Matchmaker
  3. Track for your Budget

For more assistance with this process, please see our Training Presentation Slides, Grant Writing Assistance page, NIH Prepare your application, or contact the Office of Grant Support.

What is a grant?

A grant is an award, usually financial, given by one entity (typically a company, foundation, or government) to an individual or a company to facilitate a goal or incentivize performance.

  • The sponsor specifies how the funds should be used, as outlined in supporting documentation (award letter or grant agreement)
  • The sponsor requires proof of performance of specific duties such as research, budget reports, progress reports, and return of unused funds.
  • The proposal is usually initiated by the sponsor, which may include blind peer review process.
  • The awardee must follow the sponsor’s terms and conditions.
  • There is usually limited sponsor oversight and control.
  • Grants typically require a specific time period for completion of project.
  • Penalties may exist for failing to use the funds or to deliver the items on a timely basis.

It is also important for researchers to familiarize themselves with general grants information, such as:

    Funding Types: Financial support for scientific research can be in the form of grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements.

    Sponsor Types: The financial support is provided by awarding agencies, or sponsors, that can be Federal, State, City, Foundation, Association, or Industry-based.

    Grant Types: There are many types of grants, including Fellowship, Career, Program Project, Research, Training, and Service. For more details, please see the NIH Activity Codes.

    Application Types: There are also different application types, such as New, Renewal, Competing Revision, Extension, Non-Competing Continuation, and Change of Institution or Recipient.

Each of these items will determine specific application processes, forms required, etc..

Solicited vs Unsolicited:

  • Solicited- Research funded as a response to a specific request from the sponsor.
    • Program Announcement (PA):
      • Invite applications in a given research area
      • No funds set aside
      • Applications reviewed in CSR along with unsolicited grant applications
    • Request for Applications (RFA)/ Request for Proposals (RFP):
      • Invite applications or contract proposals for a one-time competition in a well-defined scientific area
      • Funds are set-aside for a certain number of awards
      • Applications generally reviewed within the issuing institute by special CSR
  • Unsolicited (or Investigator Initiated)- Research funded as a result of an investigator, on his or her own, submitting a research application.

For more information about Solicited Research from NIAID, click here.

Getting Started Resources:

Pre-Award Resources: