NIH to require Commons IDs for all Senior/Key Personnel in applications after 01/25/2022 – April 2021

April 20, 2021 by 

eRA Information: All Senior/Key Personnel Required to Get A Commons ID for Due Dates on Or After January 25, 2022

Tuesday, April 20, 2021


NIH is targeting submission dates on or after January 25, 2022 for a new requirement that all Senior/Key Personnel on a grant application must enter a valid eRA Commons username (Commons ID) in the credential field. A valid eRA Commons username will be required to be entered in the “Credential, e.g. agency login” field for all Senior/Key Personnel listed on the Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) form (see Figure 1).


It is important to note, for multi-project applications, this requirement applies to the individual components of the application and not to just the Overall component.


The change is expected to improve data collection for individuals contributing to NIH funded grants and cooperative agreements and also help in clarifying imprecise data and in identifying conflicts of interest in peer review.


For more information on this requirement, please see Guide Notice NOT-OD-21-109. AHRQ, FDA and VA (Office of Research and Development) are also implementing this requirement.


To get applicants accustomed to this change, starting tomorrow, April 21, 2021, applicants will receive a warning if a valid eRA Commons username is not provided for senior/Key Personnel for submissions with due dates on or after May 25, 2021. This warning is tentatively scheduled to be in effect for no less than 2 council rounds before becoming an error that must be corrected to successfully submit the application to the agency.


REMINDER: Individuals needing scientific roles (Program Directors, Principal Investigators, Scientist, Post-Doc, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students, Project Personnel) should only have one eRA Commons username for the life of their research career. It is important that the signing official (SO), or account administrator (AA) check to ensure a person does not already have an eRA Commons username. If the person has an existing username, the SO or AA can then affiliate them to their institution if the person is changing institutions.

If you find that you have more than one account please contact the eRA Service Desk at or 1-866-504-9552.


NOTE: This new requirement does not mean Senior/Key Personnel listed on the application must be affiliated with the applicant organization, only that they have a valid eRA Commons username.




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