August 13, 2013

New Process for NIH Multi-Project Applications

Over the next few months, the National Institutes of Health plans to transition all multi-project applications to electronic submission. NIH has established the following transition dates:
  • September 25, 2013: All applications submitted in response to funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) with the following activity codes intended for September 25, 2013 due dates and beyond will require electronic submission: P01, P20, P50, R24, U24, U19.
  • January 25, 2014: All applications submitted in response to FOAs with the following activity codes intended for January 25, 2014 due dates and beyond will require electronic submission: G12, P30, P40, P41, P42, P51, P60, R28, U10, U41, U42, U45, U54, U56, UC7, UM1.
To submit multi-project applications electronically, PIs must use a new online application system called ASSIST (Application Submission System and Interface for Submission Tracking) to create the multi-project application. The UC Berkeley Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) will then review the application created within ASSIST and approve and submit the application to NIH via NIH sponsored a webinar today to describe how such applications will be prepared and submitted using ASSIST.

Campus units planning to submit multi-project applications with these activity codes and due dates are strongly encouraged to review the ASSIST User Guide and the NIH webinar on “Electronic Submission Process for Multi-project Applications” and to notify other sites participating in the application of these new NIH requirements. NIH provides guidance and information on ASSIST on the eRA Training web site.

Please note: To access and work on the proposal within ASSIST, users must have an eRA Commons ID. UC Berkeley personnel who need to register and obtain an eRA Commons ID to use ASSIST should contact SPO for assistance with registration: The following information will need to be provided:
First Name:
Last Name:
UCB Email:
Type of account needed for ASSIST: Principal Investigator (PI), Assistant Role (ASST) or Account Administrator (AA)

Office for Human Subjects Protection Hires Assistant Director

Tani Prestage joined the UC Berkeley Office for Human Subjects Protection as Assistant Director on August 5, 2013. An IRB professional for 12 years, Tani has gained increasingly responsible experience in human subjects research protection at The Ohio State University (OSU) managing the education program, conducting quality improvement activities, and mentoring staff and practicum students. She has Master Degrees in Public Health and Counselor Education from OSU and has been a Certified IRB Professional (CIP) since 2005. Join us in welcoming Tani to the OPHS team!

August 07, 2013

NIH to Require eRA Commons IDs for Graduate and Undergraduate Students

Over the next year, the National Institutes of Health will start requiring an eRA Commons ID for all individuals in graduate and undergraduate student roles who participate in NIH-funded projects for at least one person month or more. The information will appear on NIH progress reports, including those submitted on paper with the NIH PHS 2590 form and those submitted electronically using the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR).

Beginning August 15, 2013, the NIH will make undergraduate, graduate student, and other project personnel roles available in the eRA Commons.

Beginning October 18, 2013, the NIH PHS 2590 and RPPR forms will be modified to prompt for this information. The newly revised instructions and forms will be available on October 18, 2013 at NIH Forms & Applications. Beginning October 18, a warning will be generated when an RPPR is submitted that lists individuals in a graduate or undergraduate student role who have not established an eRA Commons ID.

Also beginning October 18, 2013, students and postdocs who complete their eRA Commons Profile will be required to answer certain demographic questions. For items that request information on gender, race and ethnicity, and disability, one of the acceptable responses will be “I Do Not Wish to Provide.”

Beginning in October 2014, eRA Commons ID for graduate and undergraduate students will be required for progress reports. RPPRs lacking these eRA Commons IDs will receive an error, and the NIH will not accept the RPPRs without these IDs.

NIH eRA Commons at Berkeley

To obtain an eRA Commons ID, contact the UC Berkeley Sponsored Projects Office for assistance with registration: You will need to provide the following information:
First Name:
Last Name:
UC Berkeley Email:
Type of account needed (i.e., PI, Postdoc, Assist):
After SPO registers you in the Commons, you will receive an “Account Created” notification email (sent to the email you provide in the UCB Email field) containing the username and a randomly generated password. You then will be asked to create a new password.


August 01, 2013

CITI Program 2.0 Software Upgrade Complete

The CITI Program finished a major software upgrade on schedule on August 1, 2013. The new CITI Program 2.0 was designed to improve the experience of both learners and administrators. CITI, short for Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative, at the University of Miami is a leading provider of web-based training materials for research education.

Learners will find all their familiar links and tools, but in a format that is easier to navigate. In particular, the main learner menu and other learner sections are divided into areas that expand and contract on a click, to allow easier focus on particular information.

Learners in the middle of a course will not lose their coursework record. All learner records, including partial course completions, have been transferred to the updated platform.

All learners and administrators will be asked to update their passwords on the first login to the new system. This is to enable longer, case-sensitive passwords for improved security. Account holders will also be asked to confirm their primary email address, if they have not done so in the last six months.