NIH eRA Items of Interest — November 2016

Please Call It “Final RPPR”

And not “FRIPPER!” It just starts the earworm of the theme song from ‘Flipper’ burrowing into my mind...

If you were lucky enough to attend the NIH Regional Seminar conference in Chicago last month, you may have heard Scarlett Gibb, Customer Relationship Manager for eRA Commons, discussing the new Final RPPR.

Tentatively scheduled for required use as of January 1, 2017, the Final RPPR report will replace the current Final Progress Report for Closeout. As you know, the Final Progress Report is not strictly formatted, and basically has some half a dozen topics that need to be addressed, including a statement of progress; list of significant results, inclusion report, if applicable; list of publications; as well as any award specific instructions. The report is then uploaded as a PDF through eRA Commons and submitted to the agency by the signing official. 

As part of Uniform Guidance (UG), we transitioned to the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) back in October of 2014.

So, come 2017, the RPPR format will be extended to the Final Progress Report. One of the differences between RPPR and the Final RPPR is that not all sections will be part of the final report. For example, Section D – Participants; Section F – Changes; and Section H – Budget will not be part of the Final RPPR. Plus, instead of a PDF upload, the information will be entered into RPPR-like screens. The new screens will include a new Section I – Outcomes.

The transition date from the current Final Progress Report Process to the Final RPPR will be a strict one. The anticipated plan specifies that if you have a progress report due, and you want to use the old format, it must be submitted prior to January 1, 2017. Any final progress report submitted after January 1, 2017 will need to be submitted as a Final RPPR. Any other submission format will be rejected and you will need to resubmit in the Final RPPR format.

This is just an introduction to what is coming so you can be ready. And now a brief musical interlude… “They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning, No-one you see, is smarter than he, and we know Flipper…”

The World is Not Flat, But Status Is (or Can Be)

How many of you remember this little guy from your high school biology class? Oh, wait, look whom I’m asking!  But flatworms aren’t alone in being flat. Now your Status Results screen can be flat too!

You may remember that early this year, January 22, to be exact, we introduced a new view of the Status Results screen for Principal Investigators (PIs). This new design grouped applications and awards into families. These groups can be expanded with a click, or left collapsed, giving you a more concise view of your data. The design is responsive, adjusting to various window sizes, and recently color coded to provide the most recent status of an application.

And now a new feature has been added. A set of buttons in the upper right corner lets you toggle between the newer look (Grouped View) and a more traditional look (Flat View).  In the Flat View you will see all of your applications and awards listed, organized in the traditional manner of columns: Application ID, Tracking #, Proposal Title, etc.
So not only is the world round, but now you get the best of both of them…Well, in Status Results anyway!

O Browser! My Browser! 

My work is not yet done!
They say I must upgrade as fast as I can, otherwise Commons may not run.
The time is near, warnings I hear, November 30th fast approaching,
HTTPS to be secure, my browser I must be preparing; 
But O Chrome! IE! Firefox!
Supported you are by this Fed Versions I must check else my browser be dead.
Just a little nod to Walt Whitman as a reminder to check that you are using a compatible browser as eRA transitions to meet federal security guidelines. For more information, see the communication sent on October 26, 2016.
A recent addition to eRA Commons has been the Prior Approval feature. Currently found on the main navigation bar, Prior Approval supports two     processes that have gone electronic: The request for withdrawal of an application (see Guide Notice NOT-OD-16-143); and the request to a granting agency to submit an application with direct costs of $500K or more per year (see Guide Notice NOT-OD-17-005). This latter process is sometimes referred to as a $500K request. These electronic processes through Commons are currently optional and not yet required.
To help you understand how each of these work, we have released two new tutorial videos on our eRA Videos page. On the page, look for the eRA Commons: Prior Approval link. This will take you to the section of the page for the two videos.
The videos themselves are shared from YouTube. But please do not bookmark the YouTube links. Since these videos will eventually be updated, the YouTube URLs will become invalid. To make sure you always have access to the latest tutorials, you can bookmark the eRA Videos page for all our videos, or the specific section (in this case, the eRA Commons: Prior Approvallink), or you can even link to the specific part of the page for each video:

So call the gang together, pop some popcorn, and enjoy these latest releases!