eRA Commons will be down for a technical refresh begining tonight @ 6 PM Pacific Time

The following message is being forwarded from the NIH eRA Commons Listserv for your information. Please read or forward as appropriate.

Thank you -Greg

From: ESubmission Update to Organization Officials [mailto:ERA_COMMONS_ADMIN-L@LIST.NIH.GOV] On Behalf Of eRA Communications Office
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2011 1:44 PM
Subject: eRA Reminder: Changes Coming to eRA Commons October 8, 2011

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

Thursday, October 6, 2011

On Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8, 2011, eRA Commons will undergo a ‘technical refresh.’ The new functionality will be available to users on Saturday, October 8.

eRA Commons will be unavailable from 6 p.m. (PT) Friday, October 7, until as late as 4 a.m. Saturday, October 8 to complete this work. New features to be released are described below.

Commons Login and Welcome screens

* We have updated the appearance of the Commons login and welcome screens, though Commons users will continue to log in using their username and password as before.
* Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PIs) affiliated with more than one institution will be able to select which institution to work with for their current session. The name of the default institution will appear in the top right corner (Welcome section) of each Commons page; PD/PIs can click the link to access the Change Affiliation screen, where they can select the institution they wish to work under.


New Features

· A new Delegations menu item within the Admin tab will open a My Delegations screen, from which Commons users can review, assign, revoke, and edit certain capabilities to other Commons users. These actions, called ‘delegations,’ will all take place in this centralized location. The authorities that you are able to delegate to other Commons users depend on your Commons role, as well as the role(s) of the user(s) you wish to delegate to.

· Signing Officials (SOs) will be able to delegate authority to a user on behalf of another Commons user from the Delegate Progress Report and Delegate Sponsor links on their My Delegates screen.

Commons Institution Registration

New Features

* A new link for registering institutions in the Commons (Register Grantee Organization) will exist in the top right area of the Commons Login screen.
* Selecting the Register Grantee Organization link will open the new registration form, which will no longer require the inclusion of the organization’s fax number(s).
* Signing Officials and Account Administrators at newly registered organizations will each receive separate e-mails with their temporary usernames and passwords. Previously, only the Signing Official received these e-mails, which included the SO’s temporary login information, as well as the AA’s.


New Process for Self-Registration

* xTrain users invited to use Commons by the PD/PI will receive a series of e-mails directing them through the process of creating their accounts. The first e-mail will invite the user to create an account in Commons. The e-mails to follow will walk the user through completing the process. Accounts set up by Account Administrators will function the same as before.

(Original message below sent Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 2:33 p.m.)

From: eRA Communications Office
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 2:33 PM
Subject: eRA Enhancement: 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. The registration form will no longer require the applicant organization to include a fax number.

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

eRA Help Desk: Web: (Preferred method of contact); Toll-free: 1-866-504-9552; Phone: 301-402-7469; TTY: 301-451-5939; E-mail: .

Help us improve our communications; send your suggestions and feedback to or call 301-435-8185.

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