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NIH eRA Commons – Items of Interest for May 2013

Posted on May 31, 2013 at 7:01am

NIH eRA Commons Items of Interest – May 2013

Coming This Summer to an NIH Grant Program Near You!

Each summer is an exciting time when the best block-buster movies are released.  NIH will join in on the excitement with some releases of its own:

It’s a Wonderful Progress Report – Drama

In a dramatic but anticipated move, Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) added two variations to Progress Report Additional Materials (PRAM) in April: Public Access PRAM: which is a way for a grantee to enter, review, and submit information in response to non-compliant publications; and IC Requested PRAM: which is a way for a grantee to respond to specific request(s) by the IC for additional information following the submission of an RPPR.  These options appear as links on the Status screen in eRA Commons.

If you have not already done so, make sure to read the Guide Notice NOT-OD-13-061 as it explains in detail the timeline for submitting reports.   You can also visit March’s Items of Interest article on RPPR. Take note as part of the July release, the eSNAP option in Commons will be removed.

And coming this fall is the sequel already in development that will include non-SNAP, multi-project and training awards. 

IAR Reboot – Action / Adventure

Sometimes it is the little things that are the most exciting.  The Internet Assist Review (IAR) system has gotten a reboot, an upgrade, if you will, with a new online help system!  And it is amazing.

A new link on the IAR List of Meeting screen, called IAR for Reviewers Online Screen Help, provides quick and easy access to step by step instructions on how to navigate and use IAR. This exciting new resource for Reviewers is searchable, organized by topic, and easy to use. And not to be out done by other eRA Commons components, this too has a sequel. In the next release, the online help system will be integrated within the application screens. Where ever you see a  you will be able to click on it and  it will take you to the online help system for that topic.

But fear not! If you are old school and are looking for that IAR PDF user guide, it is still available! All the same great info in a familiar format.

Personal Profile: Into the Future – Science (Non)Fiction


Stardate 309462.21: eRA Commons Personal Profile is coming! So cool, so new, so modern you will think it’s from the bridge of the USS Enterprise herself.  Just don’t talk to it, it won’t answer back (yet).

The interface will request only role specific information. Trainees are required to provide specific information that an SO or PI are not, so only trainees will see areas to provide that information.  Missing information?  Not a problem because the interface will show you where you are missing required information! Very helpful for encouraging trainees to complete the profile! Want to know why we are asking for different types of information? Well, the new layout includes text as to why NIH asks for some information and explains how that information is used. And there is more to come as we look to expand this functionality to the institutional profile in the near future!

Like Harry Potter, Rocky, Rambo, Lord of the Rings.. there is so much cool stuff happening here, it can never be released at once!

Joe Schumaker

eRA Communications

Division of Communications and Outreach

NIH Office of Extramural Research


Questions? Please contact the eRA Help Desk. Check out self-help resources on the Help page before submitting an online ticket; or call Toll-free: 1-866-504-9552, Phone: 301-402-7469, TTY: 301-451-5939; or email helpdesk@od.nih.gov. The Help Desk hours are Mon-Fri, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET


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Looking ahead: RPPR required for SNAP and Fellowship progress reports in May 2013 (See NOT-OD-13-035)



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