The National Institutes of Health (NIH), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announce that individuals supported by research training, fellowship, research education, and career development awards will be required to have Open Researcher and Contributor Identifiers – ORCID iDs – beginning in FY 2020.

Background and Related Information

ORCID iDs are unique, persistent digital identifiers that distinguish individual investigators and can be used to connect researchers with their contributions to science over time and across changes of name, location, and institutional affiliation. These free identifiers are assigned and maintained by the non-profit organization ORCID.

In response to recommendations from the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director and the National Science and Technology Council’s Working Group on Research Business Models that federal agencies adopt tools and approaches to simplify applicant reporting and improve the tracking of career outcomes, NIH introduced the option for PD/PIs and other users to associate an ORCID identifier with their eRA Commons Personal Profile in 2017. Since that time, more than 30,000 eRA Commons Profiles have been linked to ORCID iDs.

In addition, more than 7,000 journals now use ORCID iDs and, with the permission of users, can automatically populate ORCID user accounts with their citations when they publish. Federal grant applicants can also link their ORCID accounts with SciENcv (Science Expert Network Curriculum Vitae), to simplify the creation of biosketches for grant applications.


The requirement for ORCID identifiers will be implemented through the appointment process for those appointed to institutional awards and through the application process for those applying for individual awards.

In October 2019, the requirement for ORCID identifiers will be incorporated into the appointment process for trainees, scholars, and participants supported by institutional research training, career development, and research education awards that require appointments through the xTrain system, including the following: T03, T15, T32, T34, T35, T37, T42, T90/R90, TL1, TL4, TU2, K12/KL2, R25, R38, RL5, RL9.

At the time of appointment, the xTrain system will check whether appointees have ORCID iDs and appointments will be not be accepted for agency review unless an ORCID iD is linked to the individual’s eRA Commons Personal Profile.

Beginning with receipt dates on or after January 25, 2020, the requirement for ORCID identifiers will be enforced at the time of application for individual fellowship and career development awards, including the following: F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F37, F38, F99/K00, FI2, K01, K02, K05, K07, K08, K18, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K38, K43, K76, K99/R00.

eRA system validations will check whether applicants have ORCID iDs and applications will not be accepted unless an ORCID iD is linked to the PD/PI’s eRA Commons Personal Profile.

At this time, prospective applicants for individual fellowship and career development awards are encouraged to follow the ORCID link from their Personal Profiles in the eRA Commons, where they can either link their eRA profiles to existing ORCID accounts or create ORCID profiles and link them back to the eRA Commons. Similarly, PD/PIs of institutional research training, career development and research education awards are urged to begin alerting potential appointees to do the same.

For inquiries concerning the policy described in this Notice, contact:
For technical assistance or inquiries, contact the eRA Service Desk, via one of the options described at: