This notice has been rescinded by NOT-OD-17-101


Reminder: Investigators Should Update their eRA Commons Profiles to Include Degree and Residency Completion Dates

Notice Number: NOT-OD-09-134

Key Dates
Release Date:  August 12, 2009

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (

Early Stage Investigator Policy

The NIH previously announced a change in NIH New Investigator policies designed to encourage early transition to independence.  Under this policy, New Investigators within ten years of completing their terminal research degree or within ten years of completing their medical residency are designated Early Stage Investigators (ESIs).  Traditional NIH research grant (R01) applications from New Investigators and ESIs will be so identified and the career stage of the applicant will be considered at the time of review and award.  More information on this policy is available in the following notices and on the New and Early Stage Investigator Website

  • Implementing the Early Stage Investigator Policy: Updating eRA Commons Profiles to Include Degree and Residency Completion Dates, November 21, 2008, NOT-OD-09-021
  • Encouraging Early Transition to Research Independence: Modifying the NIH New Investigator Policy to Identify Early Stage Investigators, September 26, 2008 NOT-OD-08-121
  • Revised New and Early Stage Investigator Policies, October 31, 2008, NOT-OD-09-013
  • Requesting an Extension of the ESI Period, December 31, 2008, NOT-OD-09-034

Need to Establish eRA Commons Profiles and to Update Degree and Residency End Dates

As previously discussed, implementation of this policy is dependent on information entered in each investigator’s personal profile on the NIH eRA Commons.  Therefore, we ask that all New Investigators check their eRA Commons profile at and if necessary provide the requested degree date and/or the date of completion of medical residency.  The dates entered will be used to determine the beginning and end date of the ESI period.  New Investigator status is based on a search of NIH records for evidence of previous, substantial, competing NIH research grant support.  Both the New Investigator and ESI status will be displayed on the eRA Commons website. In addition, when either status changes, the eRA Commons will generate an email to the account holder.  It is worth noting that ESI status is only available for those classified as New Investigators. New investigators who do not yet have an eRA Commons account should work through the sponsored research office or its equivalent at their institution to establish an account. 

Please see the definition of New Investigator and Early Stage Investigator along with other information on these policies at
NIH encourages all investigators to keep information in their eRA Commons profiles up-to-date.

Requests for Extension of ESI Eligibility
As previously described, some investigators will have experienced one or more lapses in the period of research or research training after their terminal degree or the completion of their medical residency.  If those lapses are associated with medical concerns, disability, family care responsibilities, extended periods of clinical training, natural disasters, and active duty military service, the NIH will consider extending the ESI period. With adequate justification, the period of ESI status can be extended for a period of time exactly equivalent to the period of time away from research or research training. Complete information about this policy and how to request an extension can be found in a previous notice at and on the New and Early Stage Investigator Website at


If you have questions about data entry or access to the eRA Commons, please look at the Frequently Asked Questions on the eRA Commons at  The office of sponsored research at your institution may be helpful or you can contact the eRA Help Desk at or by phone to 1-866-504-9552.