Dear Colleagues,

Please see the important notice below from NIH regarding the future requirement of entering a Commons IDs for all Senior/Key Personnel in the “Credentials” field on all proposal applications.

Although the requirement won’t be effective until next year (meaning you won’t encounter a validation error upon submission if not complete yet), starting with applications that are due on or after May 25 of this year will receive a warning validation if the Credentials field is not completed appropriately. This is to get you accustomed to completing that field before it becomes a hard requirement next year.

As you may know, a Commons ID is currently required for anyone listed with effort on the annual progress report (RPPR) on awarded grants; however with this new requirement, personnel will now need a Commons ID at the proposal stage.

Please contact the ERA Team ( early on if you need to have a Commons ID created for any personnel. It’s recommended to get these IDs set up as soon as possible before submission to avoid any delay or errors in the submission.

Feel free to forward this on to your faculty & colleagues.

Thank you!

The ERA Team

eRA Information: All Senior/Key Personnel Required to Get A Commons ID for Due Dates on Or After January 25, 2022

NIH is targeting submission dates on or after January 25, 2022 for a new requirement that all Senior/Key Personnel on a grant application must enter a valid eRA Commons username (Commons ID) in the credential field. A valid eRA Commons username will be required to be entered in the “Credential, e.g. agency login” field for all Senior/Key Personnel listed on the Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) form (see Figure 1). 

It is important to note, for multi-project applications, this requirement applies to the individual components of the application and not to just the Overall component.

The 'Credential, e.g. agency login field’ on the Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) form

Figure 1: The ‘Credential, e.g. agency login field’ on the Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) form

The change is expected to improve data collection for individuals contributing to NIH funded grants and cooperative agreements and also help in clarifying imprecise data and in identifying conflicts of interest in peer review.

For more information on this requirement, please see Guide Notice NOT-OD-21-109. AHRQ, FDA and VA (Office of Research and Development) are also implementing this requirement.

To get applicants accustomed to this change, starting tomorrow, April 21, 2021, applicants will receive a warning if a valid eRA Commons username is not provided for senior/Key Personnel for submissions with due dates on or after May 25, 2021. This warning is tentatively scheduled to be in effect for no less than 2 council rounds before becoming an error that must be corrected to successfully submit the application to the agency.

REMINDER: Individuals needing scientific roles (Program Directors, Principal Investigators, Scientist, Post-Doc, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students, Project Personnel) should only have one eRA Commons username for the life of their research career. It is important that the signing official (SO), or account administrator (AA) check to ensure a person does not already have an eRA Commons username. If the person has an existing username, the SO or AA can then affiliate them to their institution if the person is changing institutions.

If you find that you have more than one account please contact the eRA Service Desk at or 1-866-504-9552.

NOTE: This new requirement does not mean Senior/Key Personnel listed on the application must be affiliated with the applicant organization, only that they have a valid eRA Commons username.


Reminder: Use of Internet Explorer for eRA modules to be phased out by July 19, 2021. Please switch to other eRA supported browsers when using eRA modules.