In October 2015, eRA introduced xTRACT as an electronic system within eRA Commons for creating research training data tables and tracking trainee outcomes. xTRACT permits users to leverage data already in eRA Commons to pre-populate training tables with trainee names, institution information, award information, etc., which can be used both in new application submissions and for progress reports [the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR)].
While use of xTRACT is not required currently, it is anticipated to be required as of FY 2020 for certain types of training grant applications. RPPRs due on or after the start of October 1, 2019, and all application submissions on or after January 25, 2020 will be required to use xTRACT for training data tables for T32, TL1, T90/R90, and T15 applications and progress reports (see NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-18-133).
In anticipation of this transition and based on feedback from users, eRA has added new features to xTRACT in recent months to reduce the burden on grantees and improve the quality of data in the tables. For instance, many institutions felt that the options to upload batch data would be very helpful, since these institutions rely on their internal systems for tracking. So xTRACT now includes the option to batch upload participating faculty information, batch upload trainee and student information, and upload institutional non-NIH funding sources (past and present). This will save institutions from having to do duplicative data entry. In addition, in the future, institutions will be able to export the data from xTRACT and feed it back to their internal systems by using the XML data attached to the training table PDF.
In addition, xTRACT provides the ability to copy data forward for the current year’s submission, which had been previously entered for the prior year’s RPPR or renewal.
We urge grantees to get familiar with xTRACT today, so the transition will be easier. A number of resources are available for your use on the xTRACT Overview page. Click on these links for specific instructions on bulk upload of trainee data; upload of funding sources and batch upload of participating faculty.