NIH funding policies govern all applications and issues related to NIA funding, including those related to the well-being of individuals in clinical studies. All relevant extramural funding policies can be found in the NIH Office of Extramural Research's Grants Policy and Guidelines  web site. Officials from institutions that may be first-time receivers of NIH grant support should read the NIH Welcome Wagon Letter . Materials include comprehensive descriptions of NIH Grants Policies and contact information (addresses and phone numbers) for the NIH offices responsible for managing these policies.
Frequently, NIH revises or introduces new policies. These changes are announced in the NIH Guide and added to the Office of Extramural Research's Grants Policy and Guidelines  web site. Every several years, policy revisions are incorporated into the NIH Grants Policy Statement .
NIH has participated in a government-wide initiative to submit applications to a single federal site and use a single federal form (the SF 424, Research and Related (R&R)). Also, NIH has switched application submission from paper to an electronic, web-based format for most of the mechanisms. You can check the transition dates  (PDF, 209K) of remaining mechanisms that are planned for electronic submission online.
A federal-wide site  explains the initiative on submitting grant applications to a central site and with a single form and provides instructions on how to register through that site.
The NIH site that allows access to current competing and noncompeting application forms  also provides access to recent Notices announcing changes in how, what, or where applicants should submit. This site is an important one to check regularly if you either are an investigator intending to submit an application or a university research administrator who assists investigators with their applications.
These NIH sites explain how to submit an application electronically  and the timetable for transitioning to electronic submission  (PDF, 209K) of applications.
NIH has also made information about the current status of submitted applications available to investigators electronically through the NIH Commons . If you are not yet registered for the Commons and intend to submit an application, work within your institution to make sure it is registered and that you have access to this site.