General information

Attachments and file names

  • Before SPA approval, all attachments must be marked as Final.
  • Attachment file names must be less than 50 characters including any punctuation
  • The Description field is a way to provide a File Name when the attachment type allows multiples. The Description is not used for internal notes or comments. The Description is required to distinguish between files. Follow the 50-character limit and other file name instructions.
  • Attachment file names and descriptions must not contain any spaces or special characters. Example: UnivOfMaryland12345.pdf  NOTE:  NIH instructions allow spaces and some special characters but other agency systems do not. Please consistently follow UMB's instructions regardless of the sponsor: do NOT use file names that include spaces or special characters.
  • Every Attachment, including biosketches, subaward budget forms, the subaward budget justification attachment, and human subject form attachments, must have a different (unique) file name.

No bookmarks:  PDF files cannot include bookmarks.

Hyperlinks and URLsFor NIH grant proposals, hyperlinks and URLs are only allowed when specifically noted in funding opportunity announcement (FOA) and form field instructions.

Size:  Make sure all pages are 8.5x11"  HINT: try this tool -

Adobe Forms:  tips and troubleshooting reference to compatible versions of Adobe Reader. Any computers maintained by UMB campus IT should have a recent version of Acrobat in compliance with CITS security policies. If you have Adobe Reader on your personal computer, check the version and update it if need be.

Update Attachments During Routing

Subaward Budgets

User-attached S2S Forms

The most commonly required user-attached form is the PHS Assignment Request Form.

PHS Assignment Request Form (open with Adobe Reader only)

When you link to an opportunity, you may get an error message that certain forms are missing. Contact your SPA team to confirm and to determine if User Attached Forms are available to resolve the error. 

Complete the form using Adobe Reader. (NOTE: FoxIt and other PDF apps do not work!)

Upload completed user-attached forms to the S2S Opportunity section, User Attached Forms tab.

  • Click +Add User Attached Form
  • In the pop-up window, enter a short description such as "PHS assignment form"
  • Choose file
  • Click Add
  • For the PHS Assignment Request Form, go to the S2S Opportunity section, Forms tab, and check the box to Include the PHS Assignment Request Form


Download all attachments:  In the Attachments section, click "Download All" and a Zip file containing all attachments is downloaded to your computer.

Include (S2S proposals): Before you submit into the approval routing, check the boxes to "include" your attachments in the S2S Opportunity Search section, Forms tab. This action cannot be taken while the proposal is pending approval.

Print (S2S proposals): Many errors can be discovered and resolved by printing each form from the Forms tab (S2S Opportunity Search). Error messages will let you know if an attachment is missing or invalid. Tip: Print each form separately for easier error troubleshooting. When available, select "NIH e-Application" to download the entire proposal.