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Principal Investigators, Delegate!

Mar 13, 2018, 13:30 PM by Melodi Moore

A recent article in the NIH Office of Extramural Nexus reminded principal investigators of the ability to grant permission to others at their institution to help with grants administration tasks through eRA Commons.  I know that when I was working with PIs, assisting them with progress reports, biosketches, etc. being a delegate to their Commons account would have made things so much more effecient. 

The following are tasks an investigator can delegate:

The personal profile is divided into sections of information and includes:

  • Name and ID: Personal information such as name, contact information, date of birth
  • Demographics: Race, ethnicity, gender
  • Employment: Current employment and past employment history
  • Reviewer Information: Reviewer work address for those users performing tasks in IAR as a Reviewer
  • Trainee Information: Trainee permanent address for those with Trainee roles using the xTrain module
  • Education: Degree and Post-Graduate Clinical Training Information
  • Reference Letters: Letters of reference submitted to NIH
  • Publications: Access to MY NCBI, at which publications can be viewed

Keeping the eRA Commons personal profile updated transmits up-to-date, relevant information to areas in MY NCBI such as the SciENcv biosketch tool, My Bibliography which is accessed for progress reports (RPPR) and final reports.

The Status screens allow PD/PIs, their delegates, and SOs to perform the following tasks securely:

  • Track the status of a grant applications through the submission process
  • View all their applications as well as NoAs and other key documents
  • Complete several post-submission and post-award transactions

What you can see and do in the Status module depends on the role associated with your Commons account. For this reason, the query and results screens in the Status module behave differently per user role. Help topics for the Status module are available for both SO and PI users.

All annual progress reports for NIH grants must be submitted electronically using the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) module in eRA Commons (See OER’s RPPR webpage for details).

In eRA Commons, the xTrain module is used to administer research training, career development, fellowships and research education awards. The xTrain module allows grantees, institution staff and agency staff to create, manage, route, submit and process appointments, reappointments, amendments, and termination notices electronically. It also tracks the status and timing of training actions.

The Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI), Assistant (with xTrain delegation), Trainee and Signing Official (SO) or Business Official (BO) can access xTrain. eRA Commons users with the SO role or AA role can create accounts with Trainee, BO, PD/PI or ASST roles or they can add these roles to existing accounts.

Extramural Trainee Reporting and Career Tracking (xTRACT) is a module within eRA Commons used by applicants, grantees, and assistants to create research training tables for inclusion in progress reports and institutional training grant applications.

Because xTRACT is integrated with Commons it is able to pre-populate some training data for training tables and reports by using xTrain appointment and related data. This includes trainee names, selected characteristics, institutions, grant numbers, and subsequent NIH and other HHS awards. xTRACT also allows the manual entry of data, for information not found in Commons or xTrain. This manually entered information is stored in xTRACT and can be re-used when preparing subsequent training table submissions.

If you are a Signing Official (SO), Administrative Official (AO), Business Official (BO), Principal Investigator (PI), or assistant (ASST) in Commons, you have access to the xTRACT module.

All the PI has to do is delegate authority to another Commons user. One thing to keep in mind, however is that authority can only be granted according to the the level of the Commons user.  For example, while all user types can be granted access to update the Personal Profile (PPF) section, only someone with an ASST delegation status can be delegated to work within the xTrain module.  The delegations table provides more detail.  How-to delegate authority to others demonstrates how to find a delegate, to whom each module can be delegated and how-to select that user. 

If you have questions about your or a UTMB staff member's Commons user level, please contact Ericia Huff.