Registration Instructions for Domestic and Foreign Organizations - Electronic Submission of Grant Applications
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Grants Basics Registration Instructions for Domestic and Foreign Organizations
Registration at

Before submitting a grant application electronically to NIH, an organization applying for the grant must complete a one-time registration at both and (NIH) eRA Commons. All registration formalities must be completed prior to submission. Principal Investigators are not required to register at but must register in eRA Commons.

Foreign organizations follow the same registration steps as domestic organizations except for the additional step of obtaining a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code. NIH does not require international organizations to obtain an EIN number for application submission. International organizations may use 44-4444444 for the Employer Identification field in the SF424 (R&R) Cover Component of the application package.

Note: Special instructions for foreign organizations are denoted by a globe icon Special Instructions for Foreign Organizations.

Steps to register at

  • The Applicant Organization:
    1. Obtains a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet [See DUNS below], if it does not have one already.
    2. Obtains an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service [See EIN below].
    3. Using the DUNS and EIN, registers with the new System for Award Management (SAM), [which replaced CCR in July 2012].  
      • Special Instructions for Foreign Organizations In order to register with SAM,  international organizations must also obtain a NATO Commercial and Governmental Entity (NCAGE) code [See NCAGE below].
      • System for Award Management confirms the EIN with the IRS, a step that may take a few days.
    4. When registering with SAM  establishes an E-Business Point of Contact (E-Business POC), who can authorize individuals within the organization to submit federal grant applications. The POC selects a special password called Marketing Partner Identification Number (M-PIN) that he or she uses to designate at at least one individual to submit grant applications for the organization. That individual is called an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR).

  • The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR):
    1. Registers with Operational Research Consultants (ORC), the credential provider (
    2. Registers with by creating a registration profile, using the user name and password received from ORC (
    3. sends an email to the E-Business POC and copies the AOR.

  • The E-Business POC:
    • On receipt of the email, authorizes the AOR, by using the DUNS number and M-PIN to log in at this link: (
    • confirms approval by sending an email to the AOR.

  • Help
    • Contact Center
      Toll-free: 1-800-518-4726
      Hours: Mon-Fri, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

  • Related Links

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Data Universal Number System (DUNS)
  •  Purpose

    A DUNS number is a unique nine-character number that identifies an organization and is required by the federal government to track how federal grant money is distributed. It is provided free of charge by the commercial company Dun & Bradstreet.

  • Form and Instructions

    1. Click on the link below to request your DUNS number:
      • The website will first determine whether your organization already have a DUNS number. The screen will first prompt you to select the country where your company is physically located. Once you select the country, you will be prompted to enter the name of your company.
      • If you do not see your company listed, click on Request a New DUNS number.
      • Fill out the form to request the DUNS number and click on the Submit Your Request button at the bottom of the page.

    1. You can also request the DUNS number over the phone.

  • Help

    Call D&B at 1-866-705-5711 (this number may not work from abroad)

  • Related links
  • Tips
    • The process to request a DUNS Number via phone takes about 10 minutes. Internet requests are fulfilled within 24 hours.
    • Once a DUNS Number has been issued, it will be available for use in SAM  within 24 hours.
    • You must have a different nine-digit DUNS Number for each physical location or different address in your business or organization as well as each legal division that may be co-located. When entering your DUNS number, enter only the numbers; do not include dashes.
    • As a result of obtaining a DUNS number, you might be included on D&B’s marketing list that is sold to other companies [Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the commercial company that provides the DUNS number]. If you do not want your name or company name included on this marketing list, contact D&B at 1-866-705-5711 to request removal from the list.

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Employer Identification Number (EIN)

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System for Award Management (SAM)
  • Purpose
    System for Award Management (SAM), [which replaced  SAM in July 2012],  is the primary registrant database for the U.S. Federal Government.  SAM collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of agency acquisition missions, including Federal agency contract and assistance awards.

  • Form and Instructions
    • You’ll create a new SAM User ID and Password
    • Your  SAM permissions will be verified via your email account
    • Your  SAM registration information (Entity Information) will be waiting for you in SAM

  • Help

    For more information on SAM, please visit the  Note that NIH does not manage CCR, so all questions should be directed to the points of contact listed on the  web site.  You can also get more info from the blog page.
  • Tips

    The System for Award Management (SAM) registration needs to be renewed annually. If your registration has expired, you will not be allowed to submit grant applications via! In addition to renewal notices from SAM, you can find out your SAM expiry date by following these steps:
    1. On the site, use the SEARCH SAM field (located on the right side of the page)
    2. In the Search field, enter your organization’s name and click the search button. Alternatively, you can also search by DUNS number or CAGE code.
    3. From the hit list, select your organization and click on View Detail to the right of the result box.
    4. The screen will provide you with the current registration status of your SAM registration and the expiry date, along with other information.

Information to update/renew an active registration can be found on the SAM website at:

Special Instructions for Foreign Organizations A few countries may have trouble accessing the SAM website. The applicant should contact the SAM International Help Line directly at 334-206-7828 if they find this to be the case. Please email the NIH Electronic Submission mailbox at if you encounter this issue, so NIH can track the prevalence of this occurrence.

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Special Instructions for Foreign Organizations NATO Commercial and Governmental Entity (NCAGE) Code (required for foreign organizations only)
  • Purpose
    • Registrants located outside of the U.S. are required to include an NATO Commercial and Governmental Entity (NCAGE) Code on their  SAM registration, or it will be considered incomplete. All countries outside of the U.S. need this number, not just NATO countries.
    • The Code is a five-character ID number used extensively within the federal government. It is used to support a variety of mechanized systems throughout the government and provides for a standardized method of identifying a given facility at a specific location. For more information, please see the SAM User Guide.

  • Form and Instructions
    • The form and instructions can be found at
    • Additional instructions for completing the form can be found at
    • In Block 2 of the form, select the country where your organization is located from a drop-down list. This list currently includes 30 countries; if your country does not appear on the list, choose ‘other.’
    • Submit the form via the Internet by clicking the ‘Send Request/Envoyez Demande’ button at the bottom of the form.
    • Once you click on the “Send Request” button, the form is automatically sent for processing to the country you selected in block 2. If you selected ‘Other’ for country, these requests will be processed by the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA) in Luxembourg.
    • If you cannot submit this form by Internet, you can obtain an NCAGE by contacting the National Codification Bureau of the country where your organization is located. For a list of addresses, go to

  • Help

    Special Instructions for Foreign OrganizationsFor help from within the U.S., call 1-877-352-2255
    For help from outside the U.S., call 269-961-7766
    Email for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

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This page last updated on August 13, 2012
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