Required Use of the xTRACT System to Prepare Data Tables for Training Grant Research Performance Progress Reports in FY 2020

Notice Number: NOT-OD-19-108

Key Dates
Release Date: May 21, 2019

Related Announcements


Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)


By way of this Notice, NIH and AHRQ announce that training grant recipients will be required to use the xTRACT system in the eRA Commons to prepare the required data tables for Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs) for pre- and postdoctoral research training grants beginning in FY 2020.

Background and Related Information

In response to the recommendations of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director's Working Group on the Biomedical Research Workforce, NIH has developed an electronic system for creating research training data tables and tracking trainee outcomes. This system, xTRACT, has been available on a pilot basis in the eRA Commons since October 2015, and to date has been accessed by over 2,700 users at more than 200 institutions.

In the xTRACT system, users can:

  • access data already available in the eRA Commons to pre-populate their tables with information such as trainee names and selected characteristics, institutions, grant numbers, and subsequent NIH and other HHS awards;
  • retrieve publication information from PubMed;
  • upload selected training-related data from their institutions to the xTRACT system in batches; and
  • copy data already entered for one application or progress report into another.

When data tables prepared in xTRACT are submitted with an application or an RPPR, the discrete data elements are captured and stored in the eRA Commons.


Beginning with RPPRs due on or after October 1, 2019 (FY 2020), recipients must create the required training data tables for submission with NIH and AHRQ T15, T32, T90/R90, and TL1 progress reports via the xTRACT system. System validations in the RPPR module will check to ensure that uploaded PDFs of the data tables were created via xTRACT, and users will not be able to submit RPPRs that are not in compliance. Guidance on preparing the required tables for the RPPR are available in the xTRACT User Guide and on the Data Tables website.

The use of xTRACT to prepare the data tables for new and renewal applications for the specified types of training grants (i.e., T15, T32, T90/R90, and TL1) will not be mandatory in FY 2020 but may be required in future years. Applicants for new or renewal training grant awards are encouraged to take steps now to gain experience with the system prior to its required use. New users may wish to explore the xTRACT resources available on the eRA website, including instructional videos and FAQs.

Recipients of other types of predoctoral, postdoctoral, and career-level training, education, and career development awards that currently use training data tables (e.g., T37, R25, K12/KL2 awards) will not be required to use the xTRACT system to prepare tables for RPPRs in FY 2020. Recipients of these awards can continue to use the system on a pilot basis, however they may wish to wait for future editions of xTRACT, which are expected to include features and instructions tailored to their specific types of programs.


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