Handling the new human subjects information in NIH progress reports

Monday, July 30, 2018
By Joanna Downer, PhD, Associate Dean for Research Development, Duke School of Medicine


In June, NIH switched to their new Human Subjects System (HSS) for reporting progress with clinical trials and human subjects studies. In recent weeks, some folks preparing their Research Performance Progress Reports, or RPPRs, struggled to find instructions of how to apply the new system to their research updates.

While RPPRs are beyond our office’s scope, we were able to track down the relevant instructions and guidance. Of note, as of July 30, 2018, the main NIH site still had a 2017 RPPR guideline document posted; however, the updated guidance is available through eRA Commons itself, which is where the RPPR is prepared and submitted. Many thanks to the eRA Commons documentation team for their quick reply. Below find their directions on getting to the RPPR guidance on eRA Commons; more detailed guidance on using the HSS is available through the Human Subjects System training site and the eRA Commons user guides site (#1 below).

1. On the eRA website, click on Modules, User Guides & Documentation.

2. Click on the RPPR online help.

3. Once in the help, click on Editing RPPR on the left hand navigation column (the Table of Contents) of the help.

4. In the expanded section, you will see all the topics for HSS as it relates to RPPR. There is also a topic titled "When Should I use the Status Module"  that explains when to use RPPR and when to use Status to update human subjects info.

5. On the Modules, User Guides and Documentation page, you can also go the HSS box and access the HSS online help and other resources.

If you have other insights to share about RPPRs or using the new HSS to address expanded information requirements for human subjects studies and clinical trials, let us know via email or the survey on the main Blog page!


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