Changes Coming to eRA Commons October 8, 2011

eRA Enhancement: Changes Coming to eRA Commons October 8, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8, eRA Commons will undergo a ‘technical refresh.’ This downtime will not affect the October 5 R01 application submission deadline or the subsequent application viewing window.

What does this mean for you? Wherever possible, we have made a concerted effort to minimize the changes to the eRA Commons. Many of the technology updates are occurring behind the scenes; however, there are a few things you’ll notice that have changed, and some additional features and functionality that we hope you’ll be pleased to see.

Sections of eRA Commons to be enhanced during the technical refresh:

Logging In

As part of a federal-wide mandate to move toward more secure electronic systems, NIH has been in the process of updating the log-in for each of its systems. No changes are required for Commons users who are not federal employees. You will continue to log in to the system using your existing username and password.

In the future, applicant organizations (universities, hospitals, etc.) whose own systems meet a certain level of security (known as ‘federated status’) will be able to sign in to eRA Commons using the same credentials they use to access their own systems. The new Commons home page will contain a ‘Federated Institutions/Organizations’ drop-down menu that will include the name of each federated organization.


Applicant organizations who need to register in eRA Commons will find the Register Grantee Organization link clearly displayed at the top right of the Commons home page. With the system updates, organizations will be able to complete and submit the form online, simplifying the registration process by eliminating the need for faxing a signed form to the NIH.

Delegating Authority

eRA Commons has long provided the ability for a user to delegate certain authorities to another user, such as an assistant. Currently, to perform delegations, a user has to navigate to multiple screens within Commons, depending on the type of delegation (i.e., the xTrain tab for Delegate xTrain and the Admin tab for Delegate Submit).

A new Commons menu item called ‘Delegations,’ part of next week’s technical refresh, will streamline and simplify the process by allowing users to view and assign delegations in one place. More information will be coming soon on delegations. For a full list of the types of delegations available in Commons, including which roles are associated with each delegation, view the eRA Commons User Guide.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. This is an expansive project requiring updates to a significant portion of the Commons technology. With any project of this magnitude, some unforeseen technical issues may occur. We will have staff on hand to address these potential issues and keep you updated.

eRA Communications

Division of Communications and Outreach

NIH Office of Extramural Research


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