This information is for individuals who have accepted an invitation to serve on a Committee/Board and describes next steps they need to take to complete their appointment. 

We appreciate your willingness to serve, which requires you to be appointed as a Special Government Employee (SGE).  Therefore, you must take ethics training and complete certain documents to comply with Federal regulations and laws, such as the Ethics Reform Act of 1989, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and federal civil service employment law.  

You cannot serve as a member of a Committee/Board until you complete the required forms and each document is reviewed, analyzed, and determined to be in compliance by NIH staff.

Please be aware that there are a number of systems you will be using, which are listed below:

  • eCommons: eCommons is an online interface where principal investigators, trainees, and post-docs at institutions/organizations can access and share administrative information relating to research grants. You will use your eCommons credentials to log-in to NEES.
  • NEES: The NIH Enterprise Ethics System is a secure mechanism used to complete and periodically update the Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE 450). You will use your eCommons log-in credentials to access your NEES account.
  • USA Staffing Onboarding: This is the system you will use to complete required Human Resources documents for your appointment as an SGE.

If you have any questions about accessing or using any of the systems on this page, please contact your designated Institute/Center committee management contact.

When instructed to do so, please take the following steps to proceed with your appointment:
Ethics Documentation
  1. Initial Ethics Training
    • When notified by your designated Institute/Center committee management contact, complete initial ethics training by taking the web-based ethics training. Once you complete the on-line training, please fill in your name and date of training on the certificate at the end, save the document and email the PDF back to your contact person.
    • You also can find more information about rules applicable to SGEs by reviewing additional material here.

  2. Foreign Activities and Lobbyist Certification
  3. Financial Disclosure
HR Forms

You will receive an email from the USA Staffing Onboarding System ( with detailed instructions for system login and form completion and submission.  You must have internet access and Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the forms and documents assigned to you for completion.  The USA Staffing Onboarding System is compatible with the following web browsers:  Firefox 3.6 or higher, Chrome 8 or higher, and Safari 4.X or higher.    The system will ask you a series of questions and your answers will populate onto the forms required for an SGE appointment.  Forms generated through the system will be electronically signed (if applicable) and submitted.  You will be provided blank PDF forms that require pen-and-ink signature, notarization (where applicable), and must be uploaded to your USA Staffing Onboarding record.

Please do not respond to the email from the USA Staffing Onboarding System and follow the instructions provided therein.  All questions should be directed to the point of contact listed in the email.  The required documents are listed below for your reference:

Forms that are completed electronically in the USA Staffing Onboarding System:

Forms that must be uploaded into the USA Staffing Onboarding System:


Important information regarding reimbursement/compensation can be found here.

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