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Investigators and Other Users

Most registrations pertain to your organization and the individuals responsible for maintaining your organization information. Additional individual user accounts may also be necessary to perform certain application and grants administration tasks in some systems.

This page answers the question "Who needs an account?" for many of the systems involved in application and grant administration, including:

eRA Commons

Establishment of new eRA Commons accounts or changes to existing accounts are managed through your organization's signing official (SO) or account administrator (AA). For many organizations, the signing official is in the Office of Sponsored Research or equivalent. If unable to identify your SO, contact the eRA Service Desk.
Resources for SOs and AAs: Register | Accounts Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer

Who is required to have an eRA Commons account?

  • Anyone who is authorized to act for the applicant organization and to assume the obligations imposed by the Federal Laws, regulations, requirements, and conditions that apply to grant applications or awards.
    • Typically, these individuals hold the signing official (SO) role.
    • Organizations can choose to delegate limited signing official authority to the principal investigator(s) with the PI role who are named on an award (e.g., ability to submit annual progress reports).
  • All project director/principal investigators (PD/PIs), senior/key personnel, other significant contributors, and other individuals named on the R&R Senior/Key Personnel form included in a grant application require eRA Commons IDs which must be provided in the Credential field of the form. 
  • Anyone working in ASSIST to prepare and submit a grant application requires an eRA Commons ID to access the ASSIST system.
  • All project director/principal investigators (PD/PIs) and personnel with the Undergraduate, Graduate Student, or Postdoctoral roles who participate on an award for at least one person month require eRA Commons IDs for progress reporting.
  • Trainees appointed to institutional training grants. Applicant Registration Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer

Who needs a account?

  • Anyone who submits grant applications on behalf of your organization requires a account with the authorized organization representative (AOR) role.
  • Anyone working in Workspace to prepare an application requires a account.

System for Award Management (SAM)

Who needs a SAM account?

  • Entity administrators authorized to act on behalf of  your organization and maintain your organization information are typically the only account holders in SAM.
  • Note: PD/PIs and other senior/key individuals named on a grant application/award do not require SAM accounts. Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer is a secure service used by the public to sign in to participating government systems. You can use the same username and password to access any agency system that supports services including the System for Award Management (SAM), eRA Commons, and When you try to sign in to a participating system, you'll be prompted to sign in or create an account with before you can access that system. 

Who needs a account?

  • Anyone with a SAM, eRA Commons (scientific-only), or account. Some systems also support additional, similar services.