decorative image
Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.
decorative image
Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

n/a Warning! This browser is not supported - Some features might not work. Try using a different browser such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari.

Systems and Roles

Learn about the main systems involved in application submission and the role you and your colleagues play in the submission process. Your grant application starts in and is routed to eRA Commons for agency processing. Post-submission you will be interacting with us through eRA Commons. 

Key Systems

There are two main systems involved in our grant application process - and eRA Commons. Each system has its own registration, terminology and business rule requirements.

  1. - The online portal used by all federal grant-making agencies and their applicants to find and apply for federal grant funding. Agencies post funding opportunities on Applicants can search for opportunities, prepare their applications using their chosen submission option (ASSIST, Workspace, or an institutional system-to-system solution), and submit to forwards the applications to the appropriate agency (e.g., NIH) for processing and funding consideration.
  2. eRA Commons - A system managed by NIH that allows applicants, recipients and federal staff to securely share, manage and process grant-related information. eRA Commons is used for a number of pre-award tasks: tracking application submission status; viewing how we have assembled an application in the format used for review; accessing correspondence from referral staff; obtaining referral information (scientific review group assignment, advisory council information, council meeting date); accessing review outcome information (summary statement, score); and, when requested, submitting just-in-time information after review. eRA Commons is used after award for additional administrative tasks: viewing the Notice of Award (NoA) and other key documents; submitting financial conflict of interest information; submitting financial and progress reports; and submitting final closeout documents.

You may also interact with additional systems to complete registration (e.g., System for Award Management – SAM) or to prepare and submit your application (e.g., ASSIST).

Key Roles

There may be quite a few people involved in the preparation, submission, and administration of your grant application.

Both and eRA Commons use roles to determine which tasks each user is authorized to perform. At the time of organization registration, your organization designates one or more people with the authority to legally bind your organization in grants administration matters. Those designated individuals (Signing Officials in eRA Commons or E-Business Points of Contact in can assign roles to other user accounts to define the functions they are authorized to perform.

Key Applicant Roles

  • E-Business Point of Contact (EBiz POC)
    • Designated during registration with System for Award Management (SAM)
    • Manages grant activities for your organization
    • Authorizes representatives of your organization to perform specific tasks in (e.g., assigns Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) role to users authorized to submit applications)
  • Authorized Organization Representative (AOR)
    • applicant user who has been given the AOR role by the EBiz POC enabling them to legally bind your institution and assume responsibility for adhering to all federal grant administration requirements referenced in the NIH Grants Policy Statement
      • Similar authority as a Signing Official (SO) in eRA Commons
    • Signs and submits grant applications and required certifications and assurances

For additional information see on Roles & Privileges Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer .

Key eRA Commons Roles

  • Signing Official (SO)
    • Holds authority to legally bind your institution and assume responsibility for adhering to all federal grant administration requirements referenced in the NIH Grants Policy Statement
    • Registers the institution and maintains institutional profile data
    • Accesses information for all applications and grants within your institution, including status and award information
    • Creates and administers user accounts including additional SO and account administrator (AA) accounts
  • Principal Investigator (PI)
    • Holds eRA Commons PI role as the designated project director/principal investigator (PD/PI) of an application or grant
    • Directs the project or activity being supported by the grant and is accountable to the recipient organization for the proper conduct of the project or activity
    • Performs or delegates tasks such as maintaining person profile information, checking application status, checking assembled application image used for review and performing post-submission administrative functions
    • Accesses information for their own grants and applications, including summary statements, scores, and notices of award

See eRA Commons Roles (PDF) for a detailed list of eRA Commons roles and Accounts Module Online Help System Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer for instructions for creating accounts.