Who Participates in the Intramural LRP Application Process?

The persons listed below use ASSIST or eRA Commons to participate in the process for submitting an LRP application. Persons with the following roles have other responsibilities outside the submission process, but this guide deals only with tasks that these persons perform within eRA Commons and ASSIST. The persons involved in the eRA Commons and ASSIST LRP application process are:

LRP applicant. Person who applies for an intramural LRP award. This person must have an eRA Commons account and be assigned a PD/PI (program director/principal investigator) role. See the eligibility information on the LRP website.

NOTE: There has been some reluctance in applicant organizations to create eRA Commons accounts with the PI role for research fellows or LRP applicants. We would like to clarify that designating the PI role in the eRA Commons for an individual does not bestow on them any special status. It is merely the name of the role within the electronic system that provides the administrative authority needed to see pertinent information regarding an application (e.g., status of supporting documents, IC assignment, etc.).

Referees. Persons who submit a reference letter in support of the LRP applicant; see Referees/Recommenders. No Commons account required.

Mentor (for mentored research scientists only). Person who submits a reference letter and provides a NIH-formatted biosketch to the applicant; see Research Supervisors / Mentors. No Commons account required.

IC Coordinator. Person from the LRP applicant’s NIH research institution (employer of applicant) who certifies key facts about the applicant in an official capacity. This person must have an eRA Commons account and be assigned the role of SPONSOR.

IMPORTANT: Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) applicants: If you are applying to the General Research LRP for ACGME Fellows, Division of Loan Repayment (DLR, which manages the LRP) will receive your reference letters through the NIH ACGME fellowship office - ASSIST will not require or accept reference letters for ACGME applications.

How the Participants Use eRA Commons and ASSIST

Once an application is in progress, some participants below receive timely reminder emails. For instance, the IC Coordinator gets reminder emails to certify the initial application. The LRP applicant gets reminder emails if the referees or IC Coordinator has not submitted required documents or certifications.

1. LRP applicant uses ASSIST to initiate an LRP application, which is a series of forms that collect information upon which the application can be evaluated. Information collected includes the contact information for the applicant's mentor and IC Coordinator; see Colleague Information.

2. The mentor receives an email from NIH LRP program requesting submission of a reference letter; see Mentor - Submitting a Reference Letter for LRP Applicant. Before the application submission deadline, the mentor must submit a reference letter using eRA Commons (mentor does not need to log in to eRA Commons). The mentor should also send an NIH-formatted biosketch to the applicant, as the applicant must upload it to the application.

3. The IC Coordinator receives an email from the LRP program requesting certification of applicant information; see Overview of LRP IC Coordinator Portal. Before the application submission deadline, the IBO must complete the certification.

4. After initiating, but before submitting, the application, the LRP applicant should contact their referees and ask them to submit reference letters; see For Extramural LRP Applicant: Reference Letters and Monitoring Submissions.

5. The applicant uses ASSIST to complete and submit the LRP application, which includes uploading the biosketch that their mentor provided; see Validating and Submitting an LRP Application.

6. After submission, the applicant can monitor the application status through eRA Commons Application Information screen; see Monitoring LRP Application Status and Submissions Through Status.