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  Home > NIH
NIH Commons Accounts for Faculty, Staff, Undergraduate and Graduate Students

eRA Commons User ID Form (4/14/14) (Form may need to be opened in another browser to access the fillable feature)

eRA Commons Multi-User Form (9/11/13)

Announcement from Pamela Webb on September 11, 2013


Per NIH Guide Notice NOD-OD-13-097 ( NIH will soon mandate that all undergraduate and graduate students working on NIH projects for one person, month, or more have an NIH eRA Commons ID.  In addition, NIH would prefer to have Commons IDs established for all personnel listed on the "All Personnel" list of the PHS 2590 or in the Participant Section (D.1) of the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR).  

SPA is asking for your help to get ALL undergraduate and graduate students currently listed on proposals under consideration by NIH, or listed on existing NIH awards signed up before October 18, 2013.  This will reduce any worry or confusion when it comes time to do continuation progress reports or RPPRs.  You may also feel free to ask for Commons IDs for other project personnel (e.g., technicians, etc.) who may not yet have an eRA Commons ID.

·     Once the Commons ID is established, these individuals will be expected to complete their profiles with at least their birth, gender, race, ethnicity, disabilities, US citizenship status and country of citizenship, and where applicable, highest educational degree obtained and the institution where it was earned.  There will be an option for some of the questions for "I do not wish to provide."  

·     Once Commons IDs are established and the profile completed, investigators or their assistants can enter the Commons ID of their personnel on the 2590 or RPPR forms and the demographic data will pre-populate on the form.  This means that administrative burden for future years of progress reporting will be reduced.  NIH will have their forms updated by October 18th.

Beginning October 18, 2013, warnings will appear on RPPR forms for undergraduate and graduate students who have not established an eRA Commons ID.  In October 2014 this warning will become an error, and PIs will not be able to file their reports without IDs having been assigned. 

Business Process/Forms to Collect Information

To help with this process, SPA has created two mechanisms  (a one-page pdf fillable form or a spreadsheet) for you to gather the data needed.

These forms/spreadsheets are then returned to SPA at the address listed on the form, and SPA will establish the IDs in the NIH Commons.  You may use either option - but please do not submit both for the same person!  The spreadsheet is intended for those units/PIs who have quite a few students and would prefer not to have to do individual forms.

Depending on how busy SPA is, the turnaround to get an ID established will be 1-10 business days.  If you submit a request to SPA by October 8, you can feel confident the ID will be set up before October 18th- the date NIH forms allow for these types of roles to be included and when you will start receiving system warnings.  The recipient is notified automatically by the NIH system when the system establishes their ID.  Our standard naming ID convention is first initial last name (e.g., “GGopher”) but  Account Administrator Robert Delutri in SPA may assign a slightly different ID if that particular ID has already been taken.  

Fellowships and Training Grants

Please note that you do NOT need to complete these forms if your undergraduate or graduate students already have a Commons ID because they are trainees on an institutional training grant (e.g., T32) and you do not expect that individual to work on a regular NIH grant.  In those cases, the role of "Trainee" is still the correct role and no other role is needed.  Students who have a Commons ID and hold individual NRSA fellowships  use the role of "PI" on these types of projects (e.g., F30, F31, F32).  If that is their only source of support, they do not need these new roles either.  If you are concerned or unsure, go ahead and ask for the “undergraduate” or “graduate student” role to also be assigned to their existing ID - it won't hurt anything, as you can select the right role on a per-project basis.  

Robert Delutri is the point of contact in SPA for this process, so please feel free to contact him at if you have questions.


Pamela A. Webb
Associate Vice President
Sponsored Projects Administration
University of Minnesota
(612) 624-1648

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