NIH Opens xTrain to All Institutions Registered with the eRA Commons

Notice Number: NOT-OD-09-121

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

  • December 8, 2010 - See Notice NOT-OD-11-026 Reminder: Beginning January 1, 2011, the NIH Will Require Use of xTrain for the Electronic Submission of Appointment Forms and/or Termination Notices for Institutional Research Training and Career Awards, Individual Fellowships and Research Education Awards.

Key Dates
Release Date: July 10, 2009

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (

Effective immediately, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invites all institutions registered with the electronic Research Administration (eRA) Commons to use xTrain, a Commons module that provides institutional users with the ability to electronically prepare and submit appointment forms and other related documents. Currently xTrain is available for use with Kirschstein-NRSA research training grants supported by NIH (i.e., activity codes T32, T34, T35, T90, TL1 and TU2). However, NIH continues to develop the capability to use xTrain for other training programs and will announce broader use in future editions of the NIH Guide.

xTrain accepts training grant appointments and reappointments, amended appointments and termination notices, and provides pre-filled payback agreements for eligible postdoctorates to sign. NIH staff also use xTrain to review and approve training grant appointments and terminations submitted electronically. Once a training grant appointment (or other action) has been initiated, xTrain allows institutional and NIH users to track its status.

For ARRA funding, xTrain also accommodates separate appointments for ARRA supplements to training grants.

To begin using xTrain, no additional registration is required as long as institutions and PD/PIs are already Commons-registered. xTrain does require registration of trainees that are not already Commons-registered; however that registration is part of the appointment process for trainees. PD/PIs may wish to delegate their xTrain authority to an assistant or department administrator. Additional information, resources (including quick reference sheets), and an updated Institution User Guide for xTrain can be found on the eRA Commons page at:


General questions concerning using the eRA Commons and xTrain should be directed to the eRA Commons Helpdesk at:

eRA Service Desk
Web : (Preferred method of contact)
Toll-free: 1-866-504-9552
Phone : 301-402-7469
TTY : 301-451-5939
Hours : Mon-Fri, 7a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time

General inquires about this Notice may be directed to:

Division of Grants Policy
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration
National Institutes of Health
Phone: (301) 435-0938