Home | Systems | ERA | ERA SF424 Guide


This page is about the SF424 module within the ERA system. Read through the following topics before using the SF424 module.

System-to-system (S2S) 

Allows for the automatic submission of proposals to Grants.gov from ASU’s proposal database (ERA).


Is the process of populating information from the Funding Proposal and the Budget directly into the SF424. Here is a list of Grants.gov forms for which mapping is supported.

What if my proposal doesn’t map?

The SF424 must be manually completed similar to the Grants.gov Workspace Application.

Will changes to the FP and budget automatically update the SF424?

The “Create-Update SF424” activity must be run each time changes are made to the funding proposal or budget. Running this activity will populate changes in the SF424.

Will changes made directly to the SF424 be saved when the Create-Update SF424 activity is run?

No. Any manual changes made to the SF424 are lost when the Create-Update SF424 activity is run. RAs are encouraged to not make any manual changes to the SF424. Instead, changes should be made in the Funding Proposal, Budget and Researcher Profile, after which the RA can run the “Create-Update SF424” activity to have those changes populated into the SF424.

When can the SF424 be used within ERA?

To use the SF424 within ERA the FP must meet the following criteria:

  • On FP 1.2 General Proposal Information, question 4, “S2S via Grants.gov using the SF424 module” must be selected.
  • On FP 1.4.1 Funding Opportunity Announcement (Grants.gov Submission), the FOA must be selected.
Screenshot showing example of FOA
  • On FP 3.2 Funding Opportunity Announcement, the required forms must be fully supported and able to be submitted through Grants.gov. You will see a message saying “These forms are fully supported and the application can be submitted to Grants.gov.”

Do the optional forms have to be fully supported as well?

If an optional form is not supported and needs to be included in a proposal, that proposal cannot be submitted S2S. The submission method must be changed to Non S2S. If an optional form is not supported and not needed for submission, the RA can proceed with submitting S2S.

How is the SF424 accessed in ERA?

After the required information has been entered in the Funding Proposal and the Budget, the SF424 can be accessed by running the “Create-Update SF424” activity. If any changes are made to the Funding Proposal or Budget after the “Create-Update SF424” activity is run, the activity must be rerun. Otherwise the changes will not map to the SF424.

When the SF424 maps, any manual changes to the SF424 are lost when running the activity “Create-Update SF424.

In the popup, select the forms that are required for submission.

Screenshot of popup showing several forms selected via checkboxes

What if the SF424 fails to generate?

Contact [email protected] or call 480-965-9065, option 0.

Once the SF424 has successfully generated, select the SF424 on the Proposal Workspace . This will take users to the SF424 workspace.

Screenshot showing SF424 to be selected

SF424 workspace and activities

Within the SF424 Workspace, there are several activities and buttons available.

Edit Grant Application: This will allow users to make manual changes and view each individual SmartForm to verify information has populated correctly.

Print Version: This will compile all of the pages of the SF424 into one page for easier viewing.

Validate Submission: This will verify that all required information and attachments have been included in the SF424 and verify any sponsor requirements (if available) have been met. Currently, NIH (PHS) is the only sponsor that has provided validations. Users should not rely on validations alone. It’s imperative that the FOA and any sponsor guidelines are read to verify the SF424 is compliant with sponsor policies.

Assign Editors and Readers – Individuals added here will be able to view and edit the SF424.

Log Comment – This will log a comment on the SF424 Workspace.

Import Subaward – Will directly import a subaward into the SF424. RAs should not use this activity and contact [email protected] if they feel they need to.

Create Pre-submission PDF – Will create a PDF version of the entire SF424, resembling the Grants.gov packet. This activity is good when faculty would like to review the SF424 prior to submission. If the SF424 is changed, this activity will need to be to be run again to view those changes.

Edit grant application

Select Optional Forms – Select any optional forms that may be required (e.g.. Planned Enrollment Report because of human subjects). Will also show a list of all required forms.

Hide/Show Errors – This is similar to the Validate Submission activity, in that it verifies all required information and attachments have been included along with any sponsor requirements. Users should still read the FOA and Sponsor Guide to verify the application is put together correctly.

Warnings within the Hide/Show Errors activity will not prevent the submission of the SF424 via S2S. However, it may result in the proposal being rejected/returned without review. RAs should review the warnings to determine if it is all right to proceed.

Errors within the Hide/Show Errors activity will prevent the submission of the SF424 via S2S. RAs must correct the errors before the proposal can be submitted. In rare circumstances, an error may be showing due to an outdated validation. Contact [email protected] to determine the best course of action.

SF424 Smartforms

The SmartForms in the SF424 are made to look like the actual Grants.gov PDF Application Packet.

How is the SF424 finalized?

After reviewing all of the SF424 SmartForms and verifying the information is correct, RAs will run the “Validate Submission” activity and then run the “Submission Pre-Check” activity. Users are encouraged to run these activities as early as possible to view if any errors are present. Errors will prevent the SF424 from validating. These will need to be cleared before the proposal can be validated. Contact [email protected] for additional guidance.

Once the SF424 has been validated, it becomes locked for editing and users cannot make any changes. If the SF424 needs to be changed, users must run the “Reopen for Edit” activity. This will allow users to make manual changes to the SF424 or rerun the “Create-Update SF424” activity.

The Submission Pre-Check is only available after running the “Validate Submission” activity. The “Submission Pre-Check” activity verifies the XML is valid. This is the code that is submitted from ERA to Grants.gov.

If the XML is valid, you will receive a message, “Generated grant xml is valid!”

If the XML is Invalid, you will receive a message, “Generated grant xml is not valid.” If the XML is invalid, contact [email protected].

Once the SF424 has been validated and the XML has been checked, the RA should Notify PNT when they’re ready to submit. See ERA Funding Proposal Guide.

ERA (requires ASURITE login)

ERA Training Server

ERA Proposals information and resources

Current & Pending Tool information and resources

ERA Awards information and resources

ERA Agreements information and resources