Pilot for Improving Data about NIH R&D Contracts
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

April 21, 2023

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From May 2023 through October 2023, NIH will conduct a pilot that will allow a small group of contract vendors to enter select data about awarded research and development (R&D) projects into eRA systems. The goal is to improve the quality, accuracy, and transparency of the R&D contract project data displayed to the public through RePORTER and on the Categorical Spending page to promote the highest level of public accountability. It is also an opportunity for contract vendors to showcase their research.


NIH is committed to providing transparency into the entirety of its R&D portfolio through RePORTER and the Categorical Spending page. Currently, grants data gets updated in RePORTER in close to real time as awards are made using information submitted with the funded application. Due to statutory limitations on the information collected with contract proposals, NIH cannot use information directly from contract proposals to populate RePORTER and the Categorical Spending page with data on R&D projects. NIH collects additional contract award data in part through data calls to vendors, which gets manually uploaded by NIH staff for each R&D contract project.

With this pilot, NIH is looking to streamline the process and improve data accuracy by reducing the amount of data entry performed by NIH staff, allowing vendors to characterize their contract R&D projects for the public, improving tracking of vendor roles (signing officials and principal investigators) for contract projects, and enhancing transparency of the NIH portfolio.  

Pilot and Full Rollout Timeline

NIH has identified a handful of vendors who will particpate in a  pilot from May 15, 2023 through October 31, 2023.  Vendor staff will enter select post-award scientific data on NIH R&D contracts and task orders directly into eRA Commons upon request by NIH Contract Project Officers. 

The pilot will be evaluated in November and December 2023 and full rollout is tentatively planned for early 2024, pending results of the pilot.


Pilot vendors will enter select post-award scientific data on projects associated with NIH R&D contracts and task orders directly into eRA systems within 15 calendar days of a request by NIH staff. The data to be entered includes project title; abstract; specific aims; public health relevance; use of human subjects, vertebrate animals, chimpanzees, and human embryonic stem cells.

The pilot process will replace the current process of the vendor providing data on extramural contract projects on a PDF form 1688 for manual NIH staff data entry.

These requirements apply only to new contract awards and new task orders awarded to the pilot vendors made on after May 15, 2023.

The new requirements being piloted will require vendor organizations to register in eRA Commons.



Please direct all inquiries to:


For registration questions:
eRA Service Desk
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Toll-free: 1-866-504-9552 
Phone: 301-402-7469