Streamlining the eRA Commons Registration Process

Notice Number: NOT-OD-16-057

Key Dates
Release Date: January 25, 2016

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)


The purpose of this Guide Notice is to streamline the NIH eRA Commons Registration process for organizations that present unique and complex situations (i.e., Foundations that represent already existing recipient organizations, and newly formed consortiums where the consortium members are already individually recognized as NIH recipient organizations). This information does not apply to our agency partners or to organizations that strictly use eRA Commons for iEdison.

NIH’s requires organizations to complete a one-time registration in the NIH eRA Commons System prior to being eligible to apply for NIH awards. Once the registration process has been initiated by the applicant, NIH makes a preliminary assessment to determine the applicant organization’s eligibility to complete the Commons registration process. In those rare cases where eligibility is more of a challenge to determine, NIH may request additional information to ensure that the applicant is a legal entity with the ability to responsibly administer an NIH award. While applicants are required to establish and maintain their eligibility in order to receive and administer all awards, NIH will continue to make the final determination to approve or deny an eRA Commons registration.

In an effort to streamline the registration requirements and reduce the administrative burden (i.e., time between registration submission and NIH’s final determination), NIH urges potential applicants to consider the following eligibility considerations that will be incorporated into the NIH Grants Policy Statement (e.g., Section 2.5.3 determining applicant Organization Eligibility) along with the NIH SF 424 Application Instructions (e.g., Section 2.2.2 eRA Commons Registration) to make a preliminary assessment of organizational eligibility prior to initiating the eRA Commons registration process.

Eligibility Assessment

1. What is the nature of the research and business that your organization performs and how does that fit within the NIH mission?
2. Is your organization professionally responsible for the research?
3. How many people are in your organization?
4. Are the researchers employed by your organization?
5. Where physically is the proposed research to be conducted?
6. Can you identify a Funding Opportunity Announcement that you would apply for?
7. Has your organization applied to and/or been directly funded by any Federal agency?

Again, additional information may be required in order for NIH to make a determination of eligibility. Any additional questions regarding your organizations eligibility should be directed to the Grants Policy inbox.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Division of Grants Policy
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)
Telephone: 301-435-0949