|NIH announces changes to eRA Commons|
The following changes to eRA Commons, particularly in the eSNAP function, took effect 4/28/2007.
1) The Assurances/Certification section within the Institutional Profile has been revised to reflect all assurances included in NIH applications and progress reports; i.e., Prohibited Research, Select Agent Research and PI Assurance have been added, others have been edited to reflect current terminology. Institutional Officials submitting eSNAP progress reports are required to update the institutional profile to indicate compliance with these assurances. Grantees are reminded that if an institution is not in compliance with any of these assurances at the time of submission, additional information concerning this issue must be included as part of the "Other Attachments" in an eSNAP submission.
2) eSNAP has been revised to bring it current with OMB-approved changes of the PHS2590 approved in April 2006 (NIH Guide Notice OD-06-058). Specific changes are described below.
• The name of this section has been changed to "SNAP and Other Progress Report Questions and Checklist";
• Separate checkboxes have been added to specifically capture changes in Select Agent Research; and,
• Separate checkboxes have been added to specifically capture changes in the previously submitted Multiple PI Leadership Plan.
• Grantees are reminded that explanations for changes in Select Agent Research and/or Multiple PI Leadership Plan must be included in the Progress Report (Upload Science).
3) Transitioning to the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) introduced a new business practice for measuring effort devoted to a project——person months. Project personnel 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 measure in: a) PI Effort, found on the Edit Business/Org Info screen; and, b) effort for all Key Personnel on the Edit Business/Key Personnel screen. Edits to the Key Personnel section require the user to 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: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/person_months_faqs.htm.
4) Changes to the PHS2590 include removal of a PI signature on the face page submitted to NIH and instituted in its place an Institutional Assurance requirement for the organization to secure and retain this assurance for all PIs at the organization. Since eSNAP already includes a PI sign-off as part of the electronic routing process, it was determined that this sign-off function could be used as the institutional system of record for the institutional PI assurance. The PI sign-off will be recorded by the system to be retrievable via a new report (see below).
a) Institutions must be able to provide documentation of PI assurances upon request. To accommodate this requirement, a PI Assurance Report has been created.
b) Assurance language used in the sign-off process for PIs has been revised to reflect current policy. In cases where an Institution delegates eSNAP submit authority to a PI, the assurance language has been modified to reflect this delegated authority.
c) Currently, eSNAP accommodates only a single PI assurance. For progress reports involving Multiple PIs, this individual is the contact PI only. It remains the institution’s responsibility to secure and retain signatures of other PIs.
5) Other improvements to eSNAP functionality include: 1) the ability to save and complete an eSNAP in a single action; and, 2) the ability for those with the AO or SO role to Add/Change files previously accessible only by the PI; i.e., Research Accomplishments and Other File attachments.
Although not yet required, grantees are strongly encouraged to use eSNAP for electronic submission of progress reports for all grants awarded under the SNAP authorities.
6) The Pre-populated Progress Report Face Page (PHS 2590) continues to be available in Commons Status; however, it has been modified to reflect the PHS2590 interim form changes announced in April 2006. For progress reports involving Multiple PIs, the 2nd page of the Face Page (Face Page-continued) will be available in June 2007.
7) 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, users will see a list of all individuals registered with the ASST role and can manage the ability to "Delegate" and "Remove" delegation for those individuals. Once 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. The view these delegated individuals have 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.
8) 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 submission of these letters. This monitoring feature appears within the Person Profile where a Reference Letter menu choice now appears. This feature lists data items appropriate for monitoring submission of reference letters but does not provide access to the actual documents.
For further information regarding enhancements to the eRA Commons can be found at: http://era.nih.gov/commons/index.cfm.