eRA Information: Highlights Coming to eRA Commons’ xTRACT

Friday, April 29, 2016

xTRACT, accessed via eRA Commons, allows applicants, grantees and assistants to create research training tables for progress reports and institutional training grant applications.


The features below were highlighted in the April 11, 2016 communication. For detailed information on these changes, please go to:

  • Bold Trainee Names: Users will have the ability to “bold” the trainee name within a publication citation, enabling them to comply with the instructions for table 5 (publications). This will be accomplished by using HTML bold tags ( <b>name</b> ) when entering the name of a trainee in the list of authors for a publication.
  • Editable selection fields: When adding institution names and departments on post-training positions and for prior institutions for Applicants and Entrants, users will have the ability to type in the name and save the information directly to the field.
  • User Interface (UI) improvements:  xTRACT will use type-ahead drop-down lists (also referred to as “predictive search”) in certain places. This means as the user begins to type in the field, the system immediately displays matching results, and thus reducing the time it takes to find the desired result.

In addition to the features listed above, the following improvements are scheduled for the Thursday, April 28, 2016 release:

  • Simplified Data Entry for Participating Departments and Programs: A single button is now available to add either a Department or a Program. When a Department or Program is added to the RTD, the list results now include a column to indicate specifically whether it is a department or program.
  • Revised Left-Navigation Options for Institution Data: The left-navigation menu is now simplified to exclude the “create” options.  The ability to create a new program is now provided within “Maintain Programs”.  Likewise, the ability to create a new funding source is now provided within “Maintain Funding Sources”.
  • Maintain Programs now presents the list of programs without requiring a search: The Maintain Programs screen is now pre-populated.  The search dialogue has been removed so whenever a user visits Maintain Programs, the entire list of programs for the organization is shown by default.  If desired, the list can be filtered to find specific programs using the “Filter” control at the top of the list.
  • Fields support additional digits: Both the Direct Costs on Faculty Non-NIH Research Support, and Months of Research Experience in Applicants and Entrants Section, now support an additional digit. Direct Costs has been expanded from 6 digits to 7, while Months of Research Experience has been expanded from 2 digits to 3.


  • Same NIH grant support shows multiple times for the same faculty member in Table 4:  In some cases the same NIH grant support was showing up multiple times for the same faculty member, when table 4 was rendered in the PDF.  This problem has been resolved so that the support only shows once.
  • Population of NIH Research Support for faculty should exclude training mechanisms:  Per table 4 instructions, xTRACT should be excluding institutional research training grants, institutional career development grants, and research education grants when listing NIH Research Support for faculty. This problem has been resolved so that only research support is shown and the following activity codes are excluded: T15, T32, T34, T35, T90, TL1, TL4, K12, KL2, R25, R90, RL5, RL9, D43, D71.
  • In some cases, the awarded trainee positions in the Appointment page on the UI, and in the PDF for table 7 were showing incorrectly:  This has been resolved, and the number of awarded positions is now showing correctly in these cases.
  • In some cases, a large number of prior institutions in the Applicants and Entrants section was causing the Preview PDF to stall:  This issue has been resolved.

For more information about what’s new in xTRACT, check out xTRACT Online Help