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Enhancements to the eRA Commons beginning July 19th, 2010

Posted on July 19, 2010 at 2:07pm

eRA Enhancements: New Features and Fixes Coming July 21 for eRA Commons

Monday, July 19, 2010


eRA will deploy software updates to enhance various sections of Commons as part of its July system-wide release this week. The updated functionality will be available to users Wednesday, July 21.


Please note that eRA Commons will be unavailable from 9 p.m. (ET) Tuesday, July 20 until 7 a.m. (ET) Wednesday, July 21 for deployment.


New features and fixes slated for this release are listed below.


eSNAP (electronic Streamlined Non-competing Award Process)

New Features

  • The Publications section of the Upload Science screen now features data columns that can be sorted, including “Valid NIHMSID,” “Associate with this eSNAP,” and “Citation Source.” Users can click the arrows on the columns to sort or reverse the displayed data.  
  • The Upload Science and Edit Business – SNAP and Other Progress Report Questions & Checklist screens now will only accept PDF files for uploading. If a user attempts to upload file in a different format, an error message will display.
  • Because the use of the eSNAP feature is now mandatory for all SNAP-eligible awards, the Institutional Profile screen now will display all institutions as eSNAP Eligible.


  • Previously, the Save & New button on the Edit Business – All Personnel screen would save the information but would not clear the data to prepare for new data entry. This issue has been resolved.
  • Previously, when a user entered information into an editable field on the Inclusion Enrollment Form, the Total of All Subjects fields did not reflect the new information and automatically calculate new totals. This issue has been resolved. 



New Features

  • PD/PIs now can submit more than one appointment to the Agency in a batch. If any errors or warnings occur, the PD/PI will be able to review the errors and warnings for each appointment. PD/PIs can view their pending submissions by clicking the new “View Pending Submissions” link on the My Grants screen.
  • All prior Kirschstein-NRSA support (paper and electronic) that a trainee had prior to the current award, including fellowship grants F30, F31, F32, and F33, now will be displayed on the PHS 2271 form.
  • xTrain now accepts appointments for the KM1 activity code (institutional career development awards funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). xTrain will treat KM1 awards the same way it treats K12 and KL2 awards.
  • xTrain’s early termination process has been modified. Now, if a trainee terminates an appointment early, only that appointment, as well as all previous ones, will be terminated with the early termination date. All future appointments, including those in the same budget period, will not be terminated.
  • If there is an existing work-in-progress appointment for a trainee, the “Initiate TN” link in the Action column of the Trainee Roster will not display for that trainee.


·         On the Trainee Roster screen, xTrain will no longer display “Initiate TN” and “Amend 2271” links when an amendment to an original appointment is in work-in-progress status, or when the termination process has been initiated and is in work-in-progress status.


Personal Profile

New Features

  • The following columns on the List of Publications screen now can be sorted by users: “Valid NIHMSID,” “Citation Source,” “Grant Number,” and “Paper-Grant Association.” Users can click the arrows on the columns to sort or reverse the displayed data.
  • The ability to enter citations manually into Commons has been removed. If a PD/PI wants a new citation to appear in Commons, he must now link his Commons account to a new or existing My NCBI account. Within My NCBI, the PD/PI can add the new citation to the My Bibliography tool, and it will automatically appear in Commons. For more information, read the recently released guide notice: “My NCBI Tool to Replace eRA Commons for Bibliography Management.


FSR (Financial Status Report)

New Feature

  • Users can now submit one FSR when both the parent grant and supplement(s) are funded by ARRA. Only when the parent grant is completed will the supplement and the parent grant show up in a search for FSRs that are due.



eRA Communications

Division of Communications and Outreach

NIH Office of Extramural Research


Questions? Please contact the eRA Help Desk at http://era.nih.gov/help (Preferred method of contact); Toll-free: 1-866-504-9552; Phone: 301-402-7469; TTY: 301-451-5939; helpdesk@od.nih.gov.


Reminder! eRA’s quarterly system-wide software release (July 20 – 21) will be followed by a database upgrade scheduled for July 29 – August 1. eRA Commons will be unavailable during this upgrade, which is part of eRA’s initiative, titled ‘Evergreening,’ to modernize NIH’s core grants administration systems.


Help us improve our communications; send your suggestions and feedback to eRACommunications@mail.nih.gov or call 301-435-8185.


We apologize if you receive duplicates. This notification was sent to multiple distribution lists.



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