Upcoming updates to eRA: What you need to know

24 March 2022

Dear academic staff, UCT researchers and research administrators

The research support staff at the University of Cape Town (UCT) have been working to enhance UCT’s funder compliance landscape to ensure our continued good accessibility to research grants and that we meet all funder compliance requirements. Over the next few weeks, there will be a series of DVC desks on research addressing key components in the changing landscape of compliance. This first desk addresses changes being implemented in the eRA system to facilitate compliance.


International funders are increasingly requiring more stringent accounting of researchers' time committed to sponsored projects. To ensure individuals and the institution can meet these stricter reporting requirements, the UCT eRA pre-awards module is currently being updated so that researchers and finance staff can capture project staff time commitments at the pre-award approval stage. The final update will take effect 5 May 2022.

How it affects you

You may have noticed under your eRA approval form’s Key Information tab that Principal Investigators (PIs) can now designate individuals as Co-PIs, Co-Investigators, or Other Project staff. Before 5 May 2022 you are not required to add all UCT project staff listed on your grant proposal to your eRA approval request form. However, after 5 May 2022 it will be mandatory to enter all UCT project staff under selected roles in your eRA approval form. You will also need to indicate whether the role is reportable or not (i.e. a named role for which the role’s percentage effort is reportable to the funder).

When completing the Financial Information tab, finance officers will capture the percent effort (which reflects the amount of time that will be committed to the project) for all UCT individuals listed on the grant application. On award of the grant this data will be pulled through to the eRA post-awards module. This will allow generation of reports indicating individual researchers’ time commitments across their suite of grants, which will simplify reporting to funders. The data is required at the pre-award stage as some funders require information on time commitments on pending grant applications. Data can be updated in the eRA post-awards module if it changes.

What do I do now?

Follow the Research Announcement emails sent by researchvisibility@uct.ac.za for information on training sessions hosted by the International Grants Hub on effort committed to sponsored projects and how to understand your current and pending future effort commitments. Please also RSVP if you would like to attend information sessions scheduled for the last three weeks of April, and we will get back to you with suitable dates.

Warm regards

Professor Sue Harrison
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation

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