NIH eRA eSubmission Items of Interest July 2012


Translation: Some Funding Opportunity Announcements go Dead On Arrival As Soon As Possible W…L…W…??….Oh man, I CRTLA (Can’t Remember the Three  Letter Acronym) for the last one. This is a condition known as CRS – Can’t Remember Stuff (behave out there!). But the point is this…

Updated FOAs: Institutes are continually evaluating and updating funding opportunities. Sometimes this results in having an FOA expire earlier than previously announced.  It is good practice to revisit your FOAs that are WIP (Works In Progress) within 30 days of the deadline to ensure you have the most recent information available. Pay special attention to the Related Notices and Key Date sections of the announcement.

For example, a new R13/U13 parent announcement has been issued (PA-12-212). This is a reissue of PA-10-071, which, if you look at the FOA, now says the following for expiration date: Expiration Date: June 27, 2012 (Original date: January 8, 2013). If you hadn’t checked the announcement, you would not have known until rejected the application.  So don’t let your application be DOA when it comes in to GG ( because you are using an expired announcement.

Submitting for R13/U13? If you are planning to apply using the R13/U13 parent FOA in August, make sure you download the new application package and use it to complete your submission.

So get BZ, DIRFT and BYOA so you aren’t CRBT.  (Get Busy, Do It Right the First Time and Bring Your Own Advil so you aren’t Crying Real Big Tears.)

FTBOMH (From The Bottom Of My Heart)

xTrain Personal Profiles: A Derailment That Can Be Avoided

While participating in the NIH Regional Conference here in Washington DC last month, we had an interesting conversation with an administrator frustrated by the fact that their trainees seem to come to them already knowing all there is to know (hmm, as the father of 3 teenagers, I can relate).  Specifically with regards to the xTrain Personal Profile, trainees must remember to complete the profile in its entirety before an Appointment is submitted. “Why”, they might ask, “is this important (or, when will I ever use this in real life)?”  Because with an incomplete profile, trying to submit an appointment may create errors.  Errors are bad cuz (kid-speak there) the appointment can’t be submitted. Errors could mean the trainee doesn’t get the appointment. And like dominos falling, not getting the appointment means not getting paid.  See, incomplete profile means bad stuff can happen. So trainees, do as you’re told, complete the profile (Yikes! Channeling my father there..).

To help the trainees and to ensure they fill in the profile completely, we have developed a Personal Profile Checklist for you to share with them.  If they don’t, I recommend a “time-out” session (like that ever worked on my kids).

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow: Signing Officials Need to Un-affiliate Accounts

Yes, maybe they were a friend, a colleague, a mentor or mentee, but the time has come to let them go.  You need to cut the rope, untie the knot, set them free. And you should do it now.

Keeping accounts in eRA Commons affiliated to your organization that are no longer needed is just a bad idea.  While the likelihood that one of these past associates would or even could do something nefarious may be low, you have an obligation to protect your institution.  Make sure that those accounts affiliated with your institution are needed and should be affiliated with your institution.  If not, unaffiliate them as soon as possible.

The steps to unaffiliate an account are easy:

  • Log in to eRA Commons > Admin tab > Accounts tab > Manage Accounts tab
  • The Search Accounts screen is displayed.
  • Enter text in any of the following fields — role, user ID (log-in user name), last and first name, account status (active, pending, not affiliated) and institution search (within the user’s institution) — and click search.
  • All records that meet the search criteria can be found in the Search Results section of the screen.
  • On the Search Accounts screen, click the Unaffiliate hyperlink in the Action column for the relevant account.
  • The Unaffiliate Account screen is displayed.
  • Click the Unaffiliate button to unaffiliated the account from the organization (or click cancel to exit the screen).
  • The system displays a message that the account has been successfully updated and returns the user to the Search Accounts screen.

After all, it would be weird if a Principal Investigator (PI) who has moved to another institution, is using an Assistant (ASST) from your Institution to initiate reports or maintain their Personal Profile. 

Besides, when you’re done, you can always send them a “best wishes” or “I miss you” card. Just a suggestion.