Happy National Research Administrator Day!

Today we celebrate the important contributions our research administrators make every day by supporting our VUMC purpose and mission: from compliance and managing sponsored research dollars to safeguarding research participants and everything in between. We would like to extend our many thanks to all of our dedicated colleagues throughout the institution. We appreciate all of your hard work and effort in making us successful! –Your colleagues at OSP 🙂

Reminder: Thoroughly Check Grant Application Images in eRA Commons

NIH circulated notice today that applicants have reported the appearance of blank pages in the assembled application images generated by the eRA system. The blank pages overrode those submitted PDF attachments generated from images (i.e., scanned documents) rather than Word or other text files. eRA is attempting to locate and address the source of the issue. NIH reminds applicants to check their application images in eRA Commons during the 2-business day application viewing window. Be sure to check the entire application, paying special attention to any scanned attachments. If you encounter any blank pages in place of application content, contact the eRA Service Desk immediately following the standard guidelines for Dealing with System Issues.

NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRP) – Application Cycle Now Open

As of September 1, 2019, the application cycle for NIH’s Loan Repayment Program is now open. For those unfamiliar, this program provides up to $50,000 a year of educational debt assistance over two years in return for a commitment to engage in NIH mission-relevant research. Of the eight available programs, five are open to non-NIH-employed individuals: Clinical Research Pediatric Research Health Disparities Research Contraception and Infertility Research Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds This year’s application deadline is November 15. However, please be sure to allow sufficient (i.e., 1 – 2 days) time prior to the November 15 deadline for the institutional certification process required for support of your faculty’s application. For more information please visit the NIH website. Please note that the VUMC Administrative Official for the LRP application is Robert Dow.

Early-Stage Investigator Extension Requests Moving to eRA Commons, Effective July 31

‘Early Stage Investigator’ is a status granted (no pun intended) to applicants who have “completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later, within the past ten years and who have not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award.” NIH provides a mechanism for investigators to request an extension of this ten-year period under extenuating circumstances. Starting tomorrow, July 31, extension requests will be submitted via eRA Commons. To request an ESI status extension, please follow the steps below: Log-in to eRA Commons Open the Personal Profile Navigate to the ‘Education’ section and select ‘Edit’ Review the current ESI status and select ‘ESI Extension Request’ Fill out the online form, providing justification as requested Save and submit For more information, please visit OSP’s blog or NIH’s Early Stage Investigator Policies page, ESI FAQs page, or review ESI Status Extension Request video tutorial on the eRA Videos page.

Upcoming Deadline – July 5

With the upcoming 4th of July holiday, OSP would like to remind all applicants that any proposals for the July 5 deadline should be submitted as soon as possible to allow for adequate review and submission time. Grant applications are due to OSP for review and approval no fewer than five (5) business days prior to the stated agency/sponsor submission deadline. The requested deadline for actual submission to the funding agency is two (2) business days prior to the stated agency deadline, allowing OSP three (3) business days to complete a review. If you would like to submit in advance of the deadline (for example, July 3), OSP must receive the proposal five business days before the intended submission date. Please note that the five days only begin once OSP receives the proposal for the first time, i.e., once it has been routed through all other stops. For questions or concerns, please reach out to your OSP specialist.  

Resolved: Coeus Functionality Issues

As of this morning, June 3, 2019, OSP has restored full functionality to Coeus. Users should now be able to work and submit within the system normally. As always, users should verify in eRA Commons that anything submitted was received by the sponsor. For questions or concerns, please contact either your OSP specialist or CoeusHelp-VUMC@vumc.org.  

Attention: Users Experiencing Intermittent Issues with Coeus

Our team is aware that certain users are experiencing intermittent issues with Coeus and submissions to Grants.gov. While we work to restore full functionality, please hold off on any non-urgent Coeus work. For questions or concerns regarding urgent Coeus submissions, please contact either your OSP specialist or CoeusHelp-VUMC@vumc.org. We will circulate a follow-up post once all issues have been resolved.

Update: eRA Modules Back to Normal and Reminder About Coeus Downtime Tonight (5/9)

eRA reports that all systems are functioning normally again. Users can resume using both eRA modules and NIH websites. As a reminder, VUMC IT will be performing a routing upgrade to the Coeus server between 5 PM tonight and 5 AM tomorrow morning. Users should save all work and log out of Coeus prior to 5 PM this evening. For questions or concerns, please contact coeushelp-vumc@vumc.org or your OSP specialist.

Resolved: eRA Modules Affected by Intermittent Network Outages

eRA modules have been impacted by intermittent network outages affecting the greater DC Metro area. These outages have resulted in the inability to access the eRA modules, such as eRA Commons, ASSIST, IAR, etc., and NIH websites. If you are experiencing issues affecting the timeliness of items or applications, please reach out to your OSP specialist, who will advise next steps.