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eRA Commons

era Commons Help Form

About eRA Commons

eRA Commons is an NIH web interface where signing officials, principal investigators, trainees and post-docs at institutions/organizations can access and share administrative information relating to research grants. eRA recommends that you access the Commons interface using an eRA recommended browser.

eRA Commons IDs

In order to use Commons, researchers and administrators must register with NIH and have a valid eRA Commons ID. Not everyone needs a Commons account. PI’s and key personnel, postdocs, and students working on NIH grants do. 
  • New to Northwestern? Individuals who have an existing Commons ID but are new to Northwestern should maintain their existing Commons ID and switch institutional affiliation.
  • Need a Trainee Account for use in xTrain? Trainee accounts for use in xTrain are NOT created by OSR but by the PI or PI delegate. Follow the instructions on page 4 of the eRA Commons  xTrain Quick Reference Guide.

Request Procedure

Use the eRA Commons Request Form to request a new Commons ID for Northwestern faculty or staff, update the institutional affiliation of an existing Commons ID, or request assistance with other Commons account-related issues.
  • EXCEPTIONS: This form should NOT be used to request:
    • New Trainee-type NIH Commons accounts (for use in xTrain to appoint trainees to a training grant). Trainee-type accounts are NOT created by OSR but directly by the PI/PI delegate. For more information, see the xTrain Quick Reference Guide.
    • Updates to an account holder’s Personal Profile (which must be done by the account holder or their delegate)
  • PROCESSING TIME: Requests for new Commons IDs are often processed by the OSR Info Team within 1-2 days but can take up to 5 business days.  Same-day turn-around for requests is NOT guaranteed.  Please keep this in mind if you require new Commons IDs for a progress report.  It is recommended that new eRA Commons IDs are requested at least five (5) business days in advance of submitting a proposal or progress report to OSR for review.  In the event that multiple requests for IDs are received simultaneously, priority will be given to IDs needed for the most pressing deadline(s).

Functions available in eRA Commons to registered users

Personal Profile
Individual account data maintained by the NIH, such as Degrees, Addresses, and Publications, can be managed via the Personal Profile. For more information and detailed instructions, read the eRA Commons Personal Profile Module User Guide.

Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) Module 
The RPPR module allows extramural grantee institutions to electronically submit Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) to the Grants Management community. For more information and detailed instructions, visit the RPPR Instruction Guide.

This facility allows Principal Investigators to review the current status of all their grant applications and review detailed information associated with the grant.  Mobile access to status information is also available to PI’s at:

The xTrain module provides external and internal users with online capabilities for working with trainee appointments and the termination notices of trainees and fellows. For trainee appointments, re-appointments, and amendaments, see the xTrain Quick Reference Guide; for more detailed information, visit the xTrain online help system.