Information about Using eRA Systems

What are eRA Systems?

An eRA system provides a way to electronically conduct research administration processes and transactions, such as proposal submissions to an extramural sponsor. Using an eRA system has several benefits: it eliminates paper, helps automate compliance with rules and regulations, and enables reporting and analysis.
 

Important eRA Systems Guidance Specific to UCR

  • Grants.gov

    Grants.gov

    Many federal agencies require the use of the Grants.gov system for the submission of proposals.

    As of July 1, 2017, UCR requires the use of Cayuse Proposal (S2S) as the submission portal for proposals that are sent to Grants.gov.

    Exceptions:

    UCR encourages the use of the National Science Foundation (NSF) eRA system, Research.gov, for the submission of proposals to NSF.

    UCR will permit the use of the National Institute of Health (NIH) eRA system, ASSIST, only in those instances when NIH will not allow the use of Grants.gov as alternative eRA system. (Typically, NIH will permit proposals to be submitted through either ASSIST or Grants.gov. In such cases, UCR requires the use of CayuseProposal to send proposals to Grants.gov.)

  • Cayuse Proposal

    Cayuse Proposal Overview

    Cayuse Proposals (S2S), formerly Cayuse 424, is a fast, easy-to-use Web application created specifically to simplify the creation, review, approval, and electronic submission of Grants.gov proposal applications.

    For each opportunity posted on Grants.gov, Cayuse Proposals (S2S) downloads the appropriate forms into the Web application system, making it easy to select and apply for grants. Cayuse Proposals (S2S) supports over 98% of the opportunities posted on Grants.gov, allowing direct submission for grants posted by NIH, NSF, DOE, DOD, USDA, NASA, NOAA, EPA, DOE, SAMHSA, NEH, NEA, and many other federal agencies.

    For more information regarding the use of Cayuse Proposals (S2S) at UCR, please contact ursula.prins@ucr.edu.

    Highlighted Benefits

    • Cayuse Proposals (S2S) delivers an advanced validation engine that cuts development time, eliminates rework and improves first-time submission success rates to near perfect.
    • During proposal development, the system performs real-time error checking based on agency and opportunity-specific rules, Grants.gov validations and other business rules. You can instantly zoom in on a specific error or warning, allowing you to resolve issues and submit error-free proposals.
    • Cayuse Proposals (S2S) users can view, edit, and collaborate on proposals in any stage of development.
    • Cayuse Proposals (S2S) maintains a complete repository and history of your proposals. You can quickly sort and filter proposals, copy them, transform them to different opportunities, and delete them.

    Training Modules

    How do I access Cayuse Proposals (S2S)?

    • If you are a first time user of Cayuse Proposals (S2S), you will first need to establish a user account. Please contact Ms. Ursula Prins at ursula.prins@ucr.edu, who will be able to link your UCR NetID to Cayuse to enable system access.
    • To access Cayuse Proposals (S2S), visit ucr.cayuse424.com and login using your UCR NetID and password.  (Please note that you must first be connected to GlobalProtect VPN when off-campus prior to accessing Cayuse.)

    Cayuse Proposals (S2S) Support Page and Resources:

  • NIH and Grants.gov

    NIH and Grants.gov

    • Grants.gov proposals should be submitted utilizing (See Cayuse Proposal above).
    • NIH's Grants.gov submission deadline is 5PM local (Riverside) time on the day of the deadline.
    • After NIH retrieves an application from Grants.gov, it applies its own validation procedures. "Errors" and "Warnings" are posted on the eRA Commons. "Errors" must be corrected or the application is automatically rejected. "Warnings" are advisory, and depending on the specifics, may or may not need to be addressed. This is why applications need to be submitted initially early enough so that any required corrections can be made prior to the deadline.
    • After an application appears on the eRA Commons, NIH allows the PI only 2 days to review it for errors. These 2 days do not include weekends or holidays. If the application, as displayed on the eRA Commons is not acceptable, the PI must ask their UCR Contract and Grant Officer to withdraw the incorrect version. If the errors were not caused by Grants.gov or NIH, submission of a corrected version after the deadline will be considered a late application and may not be reviewed by NIH until the next cycle.

    Common Errors and Warning for NIH Proposals Submitted Through Grants.gov

    Background

    While many of the 26 Federal grant-making agencies have transitioned to the Grants.gov application format, NIH implemented a unique two-step process that utilizes Grants.gov and the NIH eRA Commons for the application submission process. As a result of this two-step process, applications that are approved and validated by Grants.gov as complete may still be rejected by the NIH due to formatting issues or content concerns. Once an application has been validated by Grants.gov, the application is obtained by the NIH and placed in the NIH eRA Commons for validation. The validation process completed by the eRA Commons focuses on NIH-specific validation rules, which differs from the rules utilized in the Grants.gov validation process. Upon completion of the eRA Commons validation process, a list of errors or warnings may be returned to the Principal Investigator and the Sponsored Programs office.

    When reviewing the list of errors or warnings returned for an application, it is important to note there is a distinct difference in the terminology used.

    • Errors will result in the application being rejected by the NIH, and therefore, applications must be corrected and resubmitted through Grants.gov.
    • Warnings, however, do not result in the application being rejected by the NIH.

    It is up to the PI's discretion to determine whether a warning should be corrected by submission of a corrected application. If a PI would like to stop the application process and submit a corrected application, the PI must notify their Contract and Grant Officer in Sponsored Programs officer within 48 hours of the application being made available in the NIH eRA Commons and prior to the submission deadline.

    Based on past experience with this new two-step process for NIH applications, the following list of common errors and warnings has been developed to aid Principal Investigators in preparing their applications.

    Common Errors

    The Commons Username, ERA COMMONS, specified for the PD/PI, is not a recognized Commons account. - Error (A similar error is received when the Credentials field is left blank, and an eRA Commons username is not included.)

    When preparing applications, care must be taken to complete the required fields as described in the NIH Grants.gov Application Guide SF424 (R&R). All applications must include the NIH eRA Commons Username for the Principal Investigator entered in the "Credential" data field of the Research &Related Senior/Key Person page. This field is easily overlooked, as it is not a required field for completion for all 26 federal grant-making agencies, and an error is not generated during the "Check" process of Grants.gov applications. If this error should be displayed, the application will not be processed by NIH, and the application must be resubmitted. If the application is being resubmitted after the established NIH deadline, a cover letter must be included with the application to identify the reason for the resubmission.

    The coverletter.pdf attachment has editable fields. PDF attachments must not include editable fields. Help with PDF attachments can be found at http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/pdf_guidelines.htm . - Error (A similar error is received when the format of attachments are not pdf.)

    When preparing applications, care must be taken to complete the required fields as described in the NIH Grants.gov Application Guide SF424 (R&R). If this error should be displayed, the application will not be processed by NIH, and the application must be resubmitted. If the application is being resubmitted after the established NIH deadline, a cover letter must be included with the application to identify the reason for the resubmission.

    When the question "Are Vertebrate Animals Used" is answered "Yes," you must provide either (1) animal welfare assurance number + IACUC approval date, (2) animal welfare assurance number + an indication that IACUC approval is pending OR (3) the word 'None". - Error (A similar error is received when the "Are Human Subjects Involved" question is answered "Yes", but the relevant answers to the additional human subjects questions are not provided.)

    When preparing applications, care must be taken to complete the required fields as described in the NIH Grants.gov Application Guide SF424 (R&R). If this error should be displayed, the application will not be processed by NIH, and the application must be resubmitted. If the application is being resubmitted after the established NIH deadline, a cover letter must be included with the application to identify the reason for the resubmission.

    For new applications and resubmission, the modular budget year 1 start date must be the same as the proposed project start date listed on the SF 424 RR Face Page. - Error (Similar error messages have been received for non-modular budget pages.)

    When preparing applications, care must be taken to complete the required fields as described in the NIH Grants.gov Application Guide SF424 (R&R). Consistency among several different forms may be required. In addition, if both a modular budget page and a non-modular budget page have had data entered, an error will be received due to duplicate information. Users can utilize the "Reset Entries" button on the budget page forms to clear forms that should not be used.

    If this error should be displayed, the application will not be processed by NIH, and the application must be resubmitted. If the application is being resubmitted after the established NIH deadline, a cover letter must be included with the application to identify the reason for the resubmission.

    Common Warnings

    The Research Plan is limited to 15 pages. This may span 18 pages due to page breaks but the total space occupied by text should not exceed 15 pages. - Warning

    When preparing applications, care must be taken to complete the required fields as described in the NIH Grants.gov Application Guide SF424 (R&R) and any supplemental information provided in Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs). Some page limitations may be exceeded due to white space created in an assembled application package that is created from multiple data entry fields as part of the application format. The PI should determine whether the page limitation was exceeded, or whether this warning is a result of this unique assembly process. As this is only a warning, a PI may decide to reject the proposal and resubmit after corrections are made, or to proceed with the application, as is.

    The PD/PI position/title, Professor, does not match those listed on the Commons account: PROFESSOR AND DIRECTOR. The grant image will display the position/title as submitted here. - Warning

    Principal Investigators should review their personal profile in the NIH eRA Commons prior to proposal submission, in order to ensure the profile contains accurate information. The validation process compares the PI's personal profile in the NIH eRA Commons to the information contained within data fields in the application. When the information does not match, the warning above is returned. As this is only a warning, a PI may decide to reject the proposal and resubmit after corrections are made, or to proceed with the application, as is.

    The PD/PI degree, PhD Biomed, is not one of the degrees listed for the NIH eRA Commons account: [username of investigator]. The grant image will display the degrees as submitted here. - Warning

    Principal Investigators should review their personal profile in the NIH eRA Commons prior to proposal submission, in order to ensure the profile contains accurate information. The validation process compares the PI's personal profile in the NIH eRA Commons to the information contained within data fields in the application. When the information does not match, the warning above is returned. As this is only a warning, a PI may decide to reject the proposal and resubmit after corrections are made, or to proceed with the application, as is.

    The name provided for the PD/PI, Peter Anteater, does not match the name listed on the Commons account: [username of investigator]. The grant image will display the degrees as submitted here. - Warning

    Principal Investigators should review their personal profile in the NIH eRA Commons prior to proposal submission, in order to ensure the profile contains accurate information. The validation process compares the PI's personal profile in the NIH eRA Commons to the information contained within data fields in the application. When the information does not match, the warning above is returned. As this is only a warning, a PI may decide to reject the proposal and resubmit after corrections are made, or to proceed with the application, as is.

    If appropriate for your organization, please supply a department for the PD/PI. - Warning (A similar warning has been received in reference to the division field.)

    When completing the SF424 (R&R) cover page, provide the department (or division) for the administering unit. These fields are often left blank, as Grants.gov does not require data to be entered in the field in order to validate the application. Please note that the information provided in this field may or may not match information contained in the PI's personal profile, which may result in an error similar to those above. As this is only a warning, a PI may decide to reject the proposal and resubmit after corrections are made, or to proceed with the application, as is.

    The Animal Welfare Assurance Number entered in the application does not match what is on file for your organization. There are rare cases where this is permissible. Please make sure that the correct number is entered. If not, correct and resubmit. - Warning (A similar warning has been received regarding the human subjects assurance number.)

    When completing the application, our Animal Welfare Assurance Number should be entered as A3439-01. Ensure that the character "-"is not entered as a period. When the warning references the Federalwide Assurance (FWA) Number, ensure the number is entered as 00001965. Do not include FWA at the beginning of the number. As this is only a warning, a PI may decide to reject the proposal and resubmit after corrections are made, or to proceed with the application, as is.

  • NIH eRA Commons

    National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Electronic Research Administration (eRA) Commons

    Topics Included

    • Description
    • Functionality Available to UCR Investigators
    • System Requirements
    • Password Policy
    • Registration Requirements
    • NIH Provided Assistance

    Description

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has developed a system to facilitate the discrete exchange of essential information between NIH and applicant organizations. The "Commons" is a Web interface where NIH and the grantee community are able conduct their extramural research administration business electronically.

    Functionality Available to UCR Investigators

    • Status - Allows Principal Investigators to review the current status of all their grant applications and review detailed information associated with their grants. Institutional Officials can see a summary view of grant applications, review the Notice of Grant Award, and access the Progress Report face page.
    • Internet Assisted Review (IAR) - Allows reviewers to submit critiques and preliminary scores for applications they are reviewing as part of a scientific review group. Allows Reviewers, Scientific Review Administrators (SRA), and Grants Technical Assistants (GTA) to view all critiques in preparation for a meeting. IAR creates a preliminary summary statement body containing submitted critiques for the SRA or GTA.
    • Demo Facility - Demo Facility allows users to try most of the capabilities of the NIH eRA Commons in a sample environment. The Demo Facility can be found at https://commonsdemo.era.nih.gov/commons-demo/. The user name for the demo facility is PeterAnteater and the password is train2*pi.

    System Requirements

    Contact your department technical staff for assistance. The ERA Commons requires use of Internet Explorer 5.01 (or later) or Netscape 4.7. JavaScript and cookies must be enabled on your browser. Sessions expire after 45 minutes of inactivity.

    Password Policy

    NIH has instituted a stringent password policy to reduce the risk of unauthorized access to the system. Users must change their passwords at least every 180 days and cannot be reused for a period of one year. Passwords must be at least 8 characters and be a mix of alpha, numeric, and special characters. The first and last characters may not be numeric. Passwords cannot contain the user's login name.

    Registration Requirements

    In order to log in and use the Commons, faculty and staff must contact Research and Economic Development to create a user account.  Please contact the NIH eRA Commons coordinator identified in the ERA System Assignments.

    NIH Provided Assistance

    NIH Commons User Support Branch
    Help Desk (866) 504-9552 (Toll Free)
    (301) 402-7469 (Voice)
    (301) 451-5675 (Fax)
    (301) 451-5939 (TTY)
    commons@od.nih.gov

    User Guides for the NIH Commons and Internet Assisted Review are available at http://era.nih.gov/commons/index.cfm.

  • NSF and Grants.gov

    NSF and Grants.gov

    • Grants.gov proposals should be submitted utilizing Cayuse424 (see Cayuse Proposal above).  (Alternatively, NSF proposals may be submitted using Research.gov.)
    • PIs must first be registered as an NSF Research.gov account user. (Register for NSF Research.gov account here) Those with an NSF account may access Research.gov to view the status of the application that was submitted to Grants.gov using either CayuseProposal or Research.gov.
    • NSF's proposal submission deadline is 5PM local (Riverside) time on the day of the deadline.
    • NSF Grant Proposal Guide
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Research.gov - Registration and Access Information

    National Science Foundation (NSF) Research.gov - Registration and Access Information

    Description

    The National Science Foundation's electronic research administration system is called Research.gov.  [Access Research.gov]

    How to Register

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) has streamlined the NSF account registration process in Research.gov for the research community.

    New Users

    For UC Riverside employees who have never had an NSF account ID, please register directly with NSF through Research.gov via this link: https://www.research.gov/accountmgmt/#/registration.  You can also watch the Register for an NSF Account video.

    This registration process will provide each new user with a single profile and unique identifier (i.e., NSF ID) for signing into Research.gov for proposal and award activities.

    Migrate Your Existing NSF Account - THIS IS A ONE-TIME PROCESS.
    To migrate your existing NSF account to NSF’s new account management system, you must verify your account’s primary email address and phone number. If you created your NSF account before March 23, 2018 and your email address is associated with more than one NSF account, you will be prompted to verify information. For more information about verifying your account information, download the PDF below.
    Migrate Your Existing NSF Account - Account Management Guide

    Existing NSF Accounts

    Each user may only have one NSF ID per the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (NSF 18-1), Chapter I.G.4.

    • Users with existing an NSF account can access the NSF ID Lookup page for their NSF ID.
    • Forgotten passwords for established NSF accounts may be retrieved here.
    • Researchers transferring to UC Riverside, who previously had an NSF account ID, should personally update their existing NSF profile to associate their account with UC Riverside. For step-by-step instructions with screen shots, please see Working at Multiple Organizations or Moving to Another Organization (pages 3 – 5).

    User Roles

    • All researchers should have the Investigator user role.
    • Department Administrators, who assist PIs/co-PIs with proposal preparation and award activities, will need to have two user roles: View Only and Other Authorized User (OAU). To add a new role, log into Research.gov, click ‘My Profile’, click ‘Add a New Role’, click ‘Add Organizational Role’, and select ‘View Only’.  After requesting the View Only user role, your organization’s Administrator will receive the automated request electronically for processing. (Note: You cannot request the OAU user role. Rather, upon requesting the View Only user role, the Administrator will add the OAU user role, if approved.)  An automated electronic email will notify the requester once the request has been processed.

    Training Resources

    • Account management training resources such as job aids, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and instructional videos will be posted under the “About Account Management” page accessible on the Research.gov homepage.

    Helpful Links

    • Account management training resources such as job aids, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and instructional videos are available via the “About Account Management” page accessible on the Research.gov homepage.
    • For NSF Account-related questions, please contact the NSF Research.gov Help Desk: 1-800-673-6188 (7 AM to 9 PM Eastern Time • M-F)
    • For IT system-related questions, please contact the NSF IT Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or email rgov@nsf.gov.
    • NSF policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.
    • If you would like to stay up-to-date on upcoming events or future enhancements to Research.gov, subscribe to the System Updates NSF listserv. To subscribe, simply send an email to system_updates-subscribe-request@listserv.nsf.gov and you will be automatically enrolled.

Links to Other eRA Systems

Assistance

Who Can Help Me With Assistance and Access to Additional eRA Systems?

Let us help you with your search