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PI Application User Guide

Initiating an Application

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Once you have set up your profile using the First Time Log In Instructions, go to the Data Access Request Management System (DARM) by clicking on “Access DARM”.


Follow the prompts to enter the DARM. On the main dashboard, click on “New Data Access Request” in the top left corner of the page.


You will then be directed to the Data Access Request Form. Choose a dataset, then fill out the form with the appropriate information.

Adding Datasets


Additional information about the submitting an application can be found on the Application Instructions page.

You will need your institutional Signing Official’s eRA commons ID to proceed.


After filling in the form, there are three required documents to upload with your DAR. All documents must be in PDF format.


At the bottom of the Data Access Request is the Data Use Certification agreement. By checking the box at the bottom of the page, you are agreeing to the terms outlined in the Data Use Certification document.


Once your application is complete and the appropriate documents have been uploaded, click submit. Optionally, you may save a draft of your application and return to it at a later date.


Having an Administrator Complete an Application

To have an administrator complete a data access request, first create a new DAR.


You will be taking to the DAR Form, you do not need to complete this. To send to an administrator, we will need to grant them access to the DAR. To do so, navigate back to the DARM dashboard.


Then add the administrator to the grant as described in the managing administrators and data downloaders section. Once the administrator is verified, they will receive an email letting them know they have access to the DAR to edit. Administrator instructions can be found here.

Once the administrator has completed the application, you will receive an email notification the DAR is ready for review. Log back into the DARM and click on the application.


If you clicked reject by mistake, click no or cancel to suspend the rejection.

Checking Application Status

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You can view the status of your application at any time by logging into the DARM with your eRA Commons login information. There are five tabs on the dashboard where your application can reside: “In Process”, “Approved”, “Expired”, “Closing” and “Closed”. When you initiate an application, but it has not yet been approved, it will show up under the “In Process” tab.

The “In Process” tab lists applications with the following statuses: “Editing”, “Verifying SO”, “SO Review”, “Admin Review”, “DAC Review” and “Final Review”.


Once your application passes “Final Review” and becomes “Approved”, it will move to the “Approved” tab on the dashboard.


Editing an Application

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Before submitting

Once a new Data Access Request has been initiated, you may edit or delete the application by selecting the corresponding project and clicking “Edit Request” or “Delete Application” on the left toolbar.


After submitting

After the application has been submitted, you can edit it by selecting your application and clicking on “Recall Request” on the left toolbar. The only time you can recall the application is after it has been submitted but before it is certified by your Signing Official.


After approval

After the application has been approved, you can edit it by clicking “Renew/Revise DAR”. If you choose to revise at this point, your application will move back into “Editing” status, and you will have to re-submit it with renewal-specific information and undergo the approval process again. You will retain access to the approved datasets as long as your application has not yet expired.


Viewing an Application

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You can download an application and view a PDF version of it by clicking “Download Application” on the left toolbar.


Closing Out an Application

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To initiate a project close out, log into the DSS and click on “Access DARM”. Navigate to the “Approved” tab on your dashboard.

If your application has expired, it can be found on the “Expired” tab.


Select the application and click on “Close Out DAR” on the left toolbar. A pop-up will appear confirming that you would like to close out your project.


After clicking “Yes”, you will be brought to a page to enter your close-out information. First, enter your Signing Official’s email address and eRA Commons ID at the top of the page.


Enter your project close-out information into the following text boxes: research summary, publications, scientific presentations, and data security issues.


Enter any additional collaborators, both internal and external, who have utilized data associated with your project.


Enter the reason for your project close-out and click “Submit” at the bottom of the page.


A pop-up will appear confirming that your project close-out has been submitted and routed to your Signing Official for review.


Viewing and Checking Status of Project Close-Out

You can check the status of your project close out by navigating to the “Closing” tab on your dashboard and selecting the application you wish to view. Here, you can download the application or recall the request as long as your Signing Official has not yet certified it.


After the whole process is completed, your application will move to “Closed” on the dashboard.

Renewing an Application

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Applications will expire one year after their approval date. If your IRB approval period ends within 6-months at the time of review, then your DAR approval will expire when your IRB approval expires. Once your application expires, you will not have access to the Portal. You can choose “Renew/Revise DAR” on the left toolbar to renew your application before it expires.

To initiate a renewal application, log into the DSS and click on “Access DARM”. Navigate to the “Approved” tab on your dashboard.

If your application has expired, it can be found on the “Expired” tab.


Select the application you wish to renew and click on “Renew/Revise DAR” in the left toolbar. A pop-up will appear confirming that a renewal application has been initiated. Click OK.


You will then be brought to the Data Access Request Management (DARM) form to submit your renewal. If you want to request access to additional datasets, you can do that at the top of the form.


The form will be auto-filled with your information from your initial application. If any information has changed, you can update it at this time. Fill out the renewal-specific information: Research Summary, Publications, Scientific Presentations, and Data Security.


The PDF attachments that were submitted with your initial application will also auto-fill.

Please ensure that if your IRB approval has expired since your initial application was submitted that you submit an updated version of your IRB letter.

The other documents do not need to be updated.


Once your renewal information is entered and any necessary changes to the original application are made, you can submit the renewal by agreeing to the Data Use Certification and clicking “Submit” at the bottom of the page.


Managing Administrators or Downloaders

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Once a DAR has been initiated, you can add and manage:

  • Administrators who may complete the DAR on the investigator's behalf

    • Administrators cannot download data. If administrators need to download data, they must be added as a data downloader as well.

  • Data downloaders who may download the data

Adding an Administrator of Data Downloader

To add an administrator or downloader, select your application and click on “Manage Access” in the left toolbar.


You will receive an email when your downloader has been approved. NOTE: the PI of the application does not need to be added as a downloader, they can download files once the application is approved.

Monitoring User Status

To check the administrators and data downloaders for a DAR, click on the application of interest and then click manage access.


Removing Users

It is the responsibility of the PI to manage the administrator(s) that have access to their Data Access Requests and the data downloaders that have access to the DSS.


Viewing Approved Consents

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Once the application has been approved, you can view the consent levels you are permitted to access by selecting the approved DAR and clicking on “View Consents” in the left toolbar.


External Collaborator Instructions

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Adding External Collaborators

Investigators can share data with collaborators outside of the PI’s institution. An external collaborator is a collaborator of the PI on this DAR who is not employed at the PI’s institution. The collaborators must submit parallel project requests with (1) the same project title and (2) the same Research Use Statement and Cloud Use Statement, if applicable, that references the collaboration (for smaller collaborations, the name and institution of the collaborating PI(s) or for larger efforts, the consortium name). Data exchange between all collaborators must be consistent with the NIH Security Best Practices for Controlled-Access Data Subject to the Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) Policy and GDS Policy

Only PIs that will have their own DARs count as external collaborators. Any other faculty/staff/students are covered under the collaborating PI’s DAR and do not need to be added individually.

Adding an External Collaborator Before You Submit

During the initial submission of a data request, you will be prompted to add any external collaborators to your DAR. There are three ways to do this:

Manual Entry. You can add an external collaborator by entering their contact information manually. Multiple Collaborators can be added by entering their contact information individually.


Existing User Lookup. You can also look up existing Investigators in Data Access Request Management (DARM). If they have an active Profile, then you can start typing their name in the “Collaborator lookup” box and their name should appear in a drop-down list. This only works if the investigator has an active DSS profile.


CSV Upload. The last way to add External Collaborators is by uploading a CSV file with the external collaborators’ information. This is especially helpful if you’re adding multiple collaborators at once. To do so, just click the “Upload Collaborators as CSV” button and upload your CSV file. A link to the CSV template is available next to the upload link.


Updating External Collaborators After Submission Approval

If your DAR is in the initial stages of its review (Verifying SO or SO Review), you can recall your application and edit the external collaborators as you would when initially submitting. It is also possible to edit your external collaborators when you are submitting a renewal request for a previously approved application.


If your application has already been approved or is too far along in the review process to recall, please email for help editing your external collaborators associated with your request. To expedite the process please include the first and last name, email, and associated organization of your external collaborator in your initial email.

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