eRA Enhancements: Highlights of eRA Commons’ Upcoming Release & Scheduled Downtime for Thursday, July 16

Monday, July 13, 2015

Scheduled Downtime for July Release:

eRA Commons and ASSIST will be unavailable beginning at 9 p.m. ET Thursday, July 16, and will return to service by 7 a.m. ET Friday, July 17, 2015. When the system is available again, you will see new features and functionality have been added to the system.   The following are highlights of eRA Commons’ upcoming July 16-17 software release. These are just some of the many features being rolled out for this release; check out the release notes for more information on features and fixes.

Highlights of eRA Commons’ July Software Release

Updates in eSubmission

NIH has made several changes to enhance the usability of the Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) solution:

  • Ability to Submit Training and Research Applications Using ASSIST
    • Applicants will be able to submit grant applications for additional activity codes — including training grants, R13, R15, and more — through ASSIST (see transition timeline).  Advantages that ASSIST offers applicants include the ability to:
      • See errors and warnings before submission.
      • Pre-populate of forms.
      • Preview the grant image before submission.
    • Applicants can choose between using ASSIST or continuing to use’s downloadable forms, or their own institution’s system-to-system solution.
  • New Enhancements in ASSIST for Multi Project Applications – Subaward Budget Forms
    • Applicants can download a subaward budget form, complete it, and then upload into ASSIST, or
    • The subaward budget forms can be completed online within ASSIST.

Updates in eRA Commons

NIH has added several new features to eRA Commons:

  • Expansion of the Federated Login Functionality
    • Federated Login is the ability for users to use their institutional user ID and password to access eRA Commons. This functionality has now been expanded to include users with the ASST role in eRA Commons.
    • This option is for organizations currently registered with InCommon and who work with NIH’s Center for Information Technology (CIT) to establish the relationship between your institution and eRA Commons. 
    • For more information on the Institution/Organization Log In functionality, review the October 17 Commons Release Notes, or the Commons Online Help System.
  • New Closeout Requirements for Federal Financial Report (FFR)
    • The eRA Commons link for the final Federal Financial Report will reflect that the deadline for submitting  the report is 120 days after the Budget Period End Date, for projects that ended on or after Oct. 1, 2014 
    • This is an increase from the previous 90 days for all final reports as part of the Closeout process (see video tutorial) and Uniform Guidance.
  • xTrain Notifications For Fellowship Now Available on the Status Information Screen
    • Reminders for fellowship terminations are sent 30 days prior to the project end date, 1 day after the project end date, and 30 days after the project end date.
    • These fellowship notifications will be viewable by the grantee on the Status Information screen.
    • NOTE: These notifications for National Cancer Institute (NCI) fellowships will not be available in Grant Folder until September 2015.

NOTE: The ability to submit help tickets online will not be available during the downtime listed above.