September 30, 2021
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH)
As the fiscal year comes to an end on September 30, 2021, NIH encourages Recipient Organizations to verify the accuracy of their grant assignments to Departments or Components within Organizations of Higher Education in eRA Commons through the Grant Re-assign function. Any corrections to the data must be made by 8:00 PM EDT on Monday, October 4, 2021 to be reflected in NIH annual reports.
NIH develops standard reporting files used to produce data found on the RePORT Website, to increase transparency about funded grants, address inquiries from the Department of Health and Human Services, Congress, and the research community, and to fulfill annual reporting requirements on NIH’s expenditures and research portfolios. The data in these files are “frozen” annually to ensure the reporting files produce consistent and meaningful results. It is imperative that corrections to the data occur through the Grant Re-assign function in eRA Commons before these files are frozen to ensure the veracity of NIH’s FY2021 reports.
Authorized Organization Representative or Signing Official
Only the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) or Signing Official (SO) has the authority to submit corrections for a recipient organization or investigator. The AOR is the designated representative of the recipient organization in matters related to the award and administration of its NIH grants, including those that require NIH approval. The AOR role is documented as part of the electronic submission process and is authenticated through the Grants.gov registration process. In the eRA Commons, this individual holds the “SO” role. Although NIH requires that the recipient organization designate such an official, NIH does not specify the organizational location or full set of responsibilities for this official.
Verifying Your Information
Verify the accuracy of the grant award information for your organization by going to the NIH RePORT Awards by Location and Organization site at https://report.nih.gov/award/index.cfm, selecting FY2021, location and organization. Once the search results return, select the ‘Data’ tab on the far right, click on the Excel Export icon (green) located in the right-hand corner. Note: Only awards that have passed their budget start date at the time of the data load will appear. This most often affects fellowships that have not been activated but can also affect a small number of awards that have delayed budget start dates.
There is an option on the Commons Status page for Signing Officials that allows for grants assigned to the current fiscal year to be re-assigned within the institution. This feature is located on the left list of links as "Re-Assign Grant." Once "Re-Assign Grant" is chosen a search page will open. The search page for the grants allows a search by NIH grant number, Contact Principal Investigator name, or for grants currently assigned to a School or School/Department combination. One or more grants may be selected from the hit list for reassignment, and the destination School/Department can be selected from the current institution hierarchy as mapped in the eRA database. Requests for changes of department names or creation of new schools or departments should be submitted to the eRA Commons Help Desk as is currently the practice. Changes made in the Commons will be visible in the Commons immediately. During the current fiscal year, changes that occur before each Friday evening will appear on RePORTER and Awards by Location and Organization websites on the following Monday if the awards have passed their budget start date as noted in the section above. In all cases, the listings in Commons should be considered official for FY2021 until the deadline for correction. The official frozen awards data are expected to be released through the Awards by Location and Organization page in December.
For more information, please see Section 12.4 Steps for SO to Re-assign a Grant, in the latest version of the Commons User Guide at https://era.nih.gov/docs/Commons_UserGuide.pdf.
eRA Service Desk: https://grants.nih.gov/support/index.html.