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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Take Note of Notices Affecting Students and Postdocs

At the recommendation of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director's Biomedical Workforce Task Force, NIH is implementing two measures regarding students and postdocs that become effective in October 2014. For those who'd like to start preparing, here's a brief overview.
NIH Encourages Grantees to Develop Development Plans
To help graduate students and postdocs achieve their career goals, NIH expects grantees to take two actions:
  1. Develop and implement institutional policies requiring Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for every graduate student and postdoc supported by any NIH grant.
  2. Starting October 1, 2014, report IDP use in progress reports, no matter the type of NIH grant that's used for support.
Find additional details in the July 23, 2013, Guide notice and NIH's July 23, 2013, Extramural Nexus article.
Students With Commons IDs Will Be Common Soon
Postdocs working on NIH grants are no longer the only ones who need an eRA Commons account. That requirement now extends to graduate and undergraduate students who participate in NIH-supported projects for at least one person month of full-time work.
NIH is phasing in this new policy to give people time to register in the Commons and create a profile. Here's the implementation plan:
  • Phase I, already in progress—as of August 15, graduate and undergraduate students can establish their Commons accounts.
  • Phase II, starting October 18, 2013—the following take place:
    • Revised instructions and forms for the PHS 2590 Non-Competing Continuation Progress Report and Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) become available.
    • Both the PHS 2950 and RPPR will prompt for graduate and undergraduate students' Commons IDs. Though IDs won't yet be required, the RPPR will generate a warning for students who have not established one.
    • Students—and postdocs—creating a Commons profile will be required to provide details such as birth date, disabilities, citizenship, and gender, race, and ethnicity.
      • Note: people may choose to answer "I Do Not Wish to Provide" for questions on gender, disabilities, race, and ethnicity.
  • Phase III, starting October 1, 2014—Commons IDs are required. NIH will not accept RPPRs or PHS 2590s that do not have this information.
For more information, read the August 2, 2013, Guide notice and Extramural Nexus article.
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