Registering Institutions and Organizations

An institution (university, company, corporation, organization, or other research entity) is required to register in eRA Commons to electronically submit a grant application. There is a one-time registration process, during which initial accounts are created.

The institution must be registered by a person who has signature authority to legally bind the institution in grants administration matters, referred to as a signing official (SO). Only authorized organization officials can be deemed as SOs for their institutions. Examples of NIH-accepted signing officials include:

  • Corporation - President, CEO
  • Institute - Executive Director
  • University - President, Dean, or Chancellor

During registration, accounts for the signing official (SO) and account administrator (AA) are created. After registration becomes active, these two authorized individuals can then create new user accounts for personnel at their institution and can access Institution Profile information. The first signing official can create additional signing official accounts; see Signing Official (SO).

You can access the eRA Commons Online Registration system at the following location:

For applications due on or after January 25, 2022, applicants must have a UEI at the time of application submission. See the article titled, Unique Entity Identifier Update, on the GSA (U.S. General Services Administration) website for more information.

NOTE: If your organization intends to only apply for Other Transaction Authority (OTA) opportunities, neither a DUNS nor UEI are required for initial registration.

Before you Register

For new organizations needing to register to do business with NIH:

• Your organization must complete multiple registrations before registering with eRA Commons (see the Register webpage on the Grants & Funding website). NIH recommends starting the organization registration process six weeks prior to your deadline to allow plenty of time to address unforeseen issues along the way.

• Note that eRA Commons registration can take up to 10 business days to complete, so plan in advance.

• Note that the assignment of a UEI is sufficient to register in eRA Commons, while your full registration is being processed.

Registering an Institution

To register your institution:

  1. On the Commons home page, click Closedthe Register Organization link.

You are presented with the Step 1 Purpose screen, the first of five wizard-like screens in the registration process.
  1. Fill out each screen in the registration wizard and click Next. See the topics below for details on each step.

See What Happens After You Submit Your Registration Request? for what happens after clicking the Submit button in the final of the five screens.

Changing Your Institution's Registration Details Later

Much of the information that you specify during registration of your institution can be changed later after your registration is approved by using the Institutional Profile module in eRA Commons. See the topics for the Institution Profile Module (IPF).