New Requirement for eRA Commons User IDs for Individuals in a Postdoctoral Project Role with Measurable Effort on an NIH Annual Progress Report (PHS2590)

Notice Number: NOT-OD-09-140

Key Dates
Release Date: August 28, 2009

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (

EFFECTIVE DATE: The newly revised Continuation Progress Report for a DHHS Public Health Service Grant (PHS 2590, rev. 06/09) now requires a Commons ID for all individuals with a postdoctoral role who participate in a project for at least one person month or more. Use of the revised PHS 2590 is required for all progress reports due on or after October 1, 2009 (see NIH Notice OD-09-139).

The newly revised instructions and forms are available at The Commons ID is required for those in a postdoctoral role on Form Page 7, the All Personnel Report. Note this is another change in the PHS 2590 being implemented, expanding the Senior/Key Personnel Report to an All Personnel Report. Details of all the changes in the PHS 2590 are provided in the Notice referenced above.

For eSNAP submissions, this new requirement will be implemented in an October 9, 2009 software release of the eRA eSNAP Module as part of the changes to the Edit Business All Personnel List. Users are encouraged to delay submitting eSNAPs until after October 9, 2009 so that all eSNAPs submitted for FY2010 funding include this required information.


The NIH Reform Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-482) requires the NIH to collect identifying and demographic information and report on those in a postdoctoral role who serve as research assistants or associates on research grants.

NIH maintains a comprehensive data collection on Principal Investigators associated with funded research projects and on students and postdocs supported by the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) programs; and conducts comprehensive career outcome studies and analyses on these populations. However little information has been collected on other project staff associated with NIH-funded research grants.

This new data on postdocs will allow an analysis of career outcomes for those individuals and provide data required for the reporting now required under the NIH Reform Act.


An eRA Commons postdoctoral role has been established in eRA Commons, and NIH encourages grantee Commons account administrators to work with the individuals in a postdoctoral role at their institution to establish eRA Commons accounts. For individuals supported on a particular research grant, this could include project roles such as Postdoctoral Associate and other similar Postdoctoral positions. Note, this new Commons Postdoctoral role should NOT be used for individuals submitting Individual Fellowships. The PI role will continue to be used for those submissions.

User support is provided at


Inquiries may be directed to:

Grants Info
Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
Telephone: 301-945-7573
TTY: 301-451-5936