Logging into eRA Commons

Access to eRA Commons depends on the type of user. The external Commons user (applicant, signing official, etc.) can log in using Closed toggler arrowone of four ways listed on the eRA Commons login screen:

screenshot showing the part of the Commons landing page with the login options

Login with Login.gov

This method uses login.gov, after a one-time associating of the login.gov account with the eRA Commons account. This method is optional for a limited time, after which it will become required for external Commons users who are migrated to login.gov. Groups of Commons users are being migrated during 2021; if you attempt to log in and you are redirected to create a login.gov account, that means that you are among a group currently being migrated to required use of login.gov. If you have trouble with the login.gov process, contact the eRA Commons Support Desk (https://grants.nih.gov/support/index.html) for assistance.

You will continue to retain and maintain eRA username and password after registering with login.gov; however you must always use login.gov to log into eRA Commons after creating the login.gov account creating and associating it with your eRA credentials. See https://era.nih.gov/faqs.htm#XXIV.

IMPORTANT: First-time log in with login.gov requires that:
- you access eRA Commons with the current URL, https://public.era.nih.gov/commons; incorrect bookmarked URLs can interfere with the login.gov process.
- your eRA Commons account is active and unlocked.
- you know your eRA Commons username and password.

If you do not remember your password or your account is locked, use the Forgot Password/Unlock Account link on the main Commons login screen to change your password or unlock your account prior to attempting to log in with login.gov.

Once you start using login.gov to access eRA Commons or ASSIST; you cannot use other login methods such as Commons or ASSIST credentials (username/password) or InCommon federated credentials (use of an organization’s credentials). This requirement to use login.gov also applies to any activities you may subsequently do in eRA Commons as a principal investigator, reviewer, etc. For those who use InCommon federated credentials, NIH is working with the InCommon Federation community to determine if and when that service could implement the necessary two-factor authentication processes to allow that login method to continue in the future.

Login with eRA Credentials

This method uses a user name and password that is assigned and maintained by the eRA Commons system. This method is being phased out gradually and eventually all external users must create and associate a login.gov account, which associates the eRA credentials with the login.gov account, but uses login.gov for authentication. See below for instructions.

Login with Federated Account

This method uses a federated account (if user's institution participates in the federated account login program, which involves using the institution’s own credentials). See below for instructions.

Login with PIV/CAC

The internal NIH or Agency user (scientific review officer, etc.) logs in with a PIV card or a Commons user name and password. See below for instructions.

If using the mobile version of eRA Commons, you can choose to log in using eRA credentials or login.gov.

Session Expiration

If you are going to be away from your computer for an extended period, save any changes and log out of the system. Work sessions expire after 45 minutes of inactivity. At that time, the system returns to the Commons Login screen.