Access to eRA Commons and its modules is determined by the designated roles of its users. Once a grantee organization has created an account in eRA Commons, the Signing Official (SO) is able to establish additional user accounts, including that of a Principal Investigator. The SO or Accounts Administrator may then create additional accounts for the other administrative and scientific staff.
Depending on their assigned role, users are granted different authorities to perform specific functions in eRA Commons.
There are several roles available in eRA Commons, ranging from trainee roles to scientific roles to administrative roles. Here is a sampling:
Signing Official (SO) – Has institutional authority to legally bind the institution in grants administration matters, and may have any number of titles in the grantee organization. The SO can register the institution, and create and modify the institutional profile and create all types of user accounts, including additional SO accounts.
Account Administrator (AA) – Has the ability to create/edit all Commons accounts, except SO, Business Official (BO), and all types of Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) accounts, and Internet Assisted Reviewer (IAR) accounts.
Principal Investigator (PI) - Designated by the grantee organization to direct the project or activity being supported by the grant. The PI is responsible and accountable to the grantee for the proper conduct of the project or activity. A PI should only have one eRA Commons account used for the entirety of their career.
If an individual is to be listed on an application as senior/key personnel, they will need to have a valid eRA Commons username (Commons ID). This requirement is targeted for all grant application submissions for due dates on or after January 25, 2022. Applicants will receive a warning starting in late April 2021 if the ‘Credential, e.g. agency login field’ for all Senior/Key Personnel is blank on the R&R Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) form or does not contain a valid Commons username (Commons ID). This warning is targeted to become an error for applications coming in for due dates on or after January 25, 2022 and will need to be corrected before the application is submitted to the agency.
Before creating a new account, it is important for the person creating the account to first search to see if the user already has an existing eRA Commons username. The account can be assigned any of the eRA Commons roles as needed.
Individuals with these roles can only view the Institution Profile (IPF) of the affiliated organization and view/edit their own Personal Profile (PPF):
This is the quickest option and within the control of the applicant organization. Remember, a single Commons account can be affiliated with multiple organizations. It doesn’t matter which organization initially establishes the account.
See the eRA Commons Roles document for a full and detailed description of all types of accounts/roles.
Basic Tasks (step-by-step instructions from the online help)*
* You must be logged into eRA Commons with appropriate role(s) to complete these activities.
Click on thumbnail image to expand to full view.
Figure 1: Account Management System Manage user screen showing buttons to add and remove user roles
Figure 2: Account Management System Manage Add Roles screen showing instructions and button to add multiple roles simultaneously