May 08, 2007

NIH Updates

ERA Commons Changes, Includes Delegation of PI Status Access to Assistant

The National Institutes of Health recently made a variety of changes throughout the eRA Commons system, particularly in the eSNAP function. NIH provides a summary of specific changes in a May 4 NIH Guide announcement. Some key changes are described below.

  • Delegation of PI Status Access to Assistant for Electronic Application Review

    PIs now have the ability to delegate to any commons-registered individual with an ASST role the ability to view the status of electronically submitted applications. This new menu choice is found in Admin/Account/Delegate Status. Once in the Delegate Status screen, PIs will see a list of all the individuals registered with the ASST role and can manage the ability to “Delegate” and “Remove” delegation for those individuals. Once this delegation has been granted, the individual with the delegated authority will be able to view and access the list of applications associated with the PI. Individuals can have this authority delegated to them by more than one PI. Please note, that the view these delegated individuals now has is equivalent to that of a signing official (SO View) and as such does not include access to confidential information; e.g., summary statements and priority scores. For detailed instructions on how to delegate this authority see eRA Commons Release Notes Version

  • Person Profile/Reference Letters

    For electronically submitted applications that involve separately submitted confidential reference letters (e.g., NIH Director’s Pioneer Award), a feature has been added to electronically monitor the submission of these letters. This monitoring feature appears within the Person Profile where a Reference Letter menu choice now appears. This feature lists only data items appropriate for monitoring the submission of reference letters but does not provide access to the actual documents.

  • Change in Business Process: Measuring Effort Devoted to Projects

    Transitioning to the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) introduced a new business practice for measuring effort devoted to a project—person months. Personnel working on projects now indicate effort by indicating the number of calendar, academic, and/or summer months. To keep a consistent business practice in place for all applications and progress reports, eSNAP has been revised to reflect this new effort measure in two areas: 1) PI Effort, found on the Edit Business/Org Info screen; and, 2) effort for all Key Personnel on the Edit Business/Key Personnel screen. Any edits to the Key Personnel section will require that the user convert annual effort to person months for all Key Personnel listed. Frequently Asked Questions for Person Months and a Conversion Calculator Tool are available at