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PENNERA_PEOPLE Table - Data Element Index    Tables and Data Elements   PennERA Proposals Home   Data Warehouse Home



Contains the most current available directory information about each person allowed to be listed on sponsored project proposals or on research protocols. Information includes the person's name; telephone number and E-mail, intramural mail, and U.S. mail addresses per PennERA; some of the organizations with which the person is affiliated per PennERA, and a flag indicating whether the person is an active member of the Penn Community. (For information on an investigator as of the time of a given proposal, see the PENNERA_PROPOSAL_INVESTIGATOR table. If the investigator is an employee of the University, current information is also available in the EMPLOYEE_GENERAL table.) There is one PENNERA_PEOPLE record per person.

Common Uses

  • Getting telephone or address information for an investigator included in a sponsored project proposal or research protocol.
  • Reporting the latest known information regarding an investigator's name, job appointment, or department (organization). ("Dr. Doe used to work in Pathology, but has taken a new job in another department. Where is he now?")
  • Listing people who are not University employees but who are allowed to be listed on sponsored project proposals or on research protocols. ("Dr. McPherson from Bryn Mawr College will be a co-investigator on Dr. Doe's project. Can she be added to the proposal, or does she need to be set up in PennCommunity?")
  • Listing people who are not allowed to be added to a sponsored project proposal or research protocol. ("Dr. Jones in Biochemistry was a co-investigator on a project that ended last year. Can he be added as a co-investigator on a proposal we're about to submit?")
Primary Key Indexed Data Elements Related Tables


  • There are two different unique identifiers for a person: PENN_ID and ERA_IDENTIFIER. PENN_ID is the identification number assigned by the University. ERA_IDENTIFIER is an identification code assigned by, and used internally by, the PennERA system. For a given record, PENN_ID will not have the same value as ERA_IDENTIFIER. PENN_ID is the person identifier that is recommended for use by those querying the PENNERA_PEOPLE table; ERA_IDENTIFIER is not recommended.
  • An Organization ("org.") is a subdivision of the University created for management purposes.
    • To facilitate Organization-based security in other tables, the PENNERA_PEOPLE data elements that store information on orgs. have their values set to '.' if they would otherwise be null.
      • If a data element for an org. is '.', the corresponding school/center data element is also '.'.
    • When reporting on orgs., be sure to select the data element that meets your needs. (Note that for every organization element, the PENNERA_PEOPLE table also stores the associated school/center element.)
      • The HOME_ORG identifies the org. that owns the person's employee record and is responsible for its maintenance. The PRI_APPT_ORG identifies the org. where the person has his or her primary job appointment. The PRI_ACAD_ORG identifies the org. where the person has his or her primary academic job appointment--the highest-ranking faculty job appointment. (For information on how the primary appointment and the primary academic appointment are determined, see the explanation in the Cautions section of the documentation for the EMPLOYEE_GENERAL table.) The ERA_PRIMARY_ORG is the org. flagged as the primary department in the person’s PennERA Profile. Although it is used to secure certain data elements in the Data Warehouse, the ERA primary org. is not used by the University’s business processes.
      • Some University employees are allowed to be listed on sponsored project proposals or on research protocols, but are not members of the faculty. For those people, the PRI_ACAD_ORG is set to '.'.
      • Some people are allowed to be listed on sponsored project proposals or on research protocols, but are not currently employed by the University. They are students, members of the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS; ERA_PRIMARY_ORG '2100'), or members of the research community who are otherwise not affiliated with Penn. For such a person, the HOME_ORG, PRI_APPT_ORG, and PRI_ACAD_ORG are set to '.', unless the person is a former University employee. In that case, HOME_ORG, PRI_APPT_ORG, and PRI_ACAD_ORG come from the latest employee record for the person.
  • PENNERA_PEOPLE stores the most recent data for the person. PENNERA_PROPOSAL_INVESTIGATOR, on the other hand, identifies the proposals for which a person is named as an investigator, and stores the person's name, job appointment, and department (org.) data as it was at the time of the proposal (funding cycle). If the end date for the proposal (funding cycle) has not passed, these two are the same.
    • To see the most recent information for an investigator as well as the information as it was at the time of a particular proposal, see the PENNERA_PROPOSAL_INVESTIGATOR table where the PENN_ID in the PENNERA_PROPOSAL_INVESTIGATOR table matches the PENN_ID in the PENNERA_PEOPLE table, and the INSTITUTION_NO in the PENNERA_PROPOSAL_INVESTIGATOR table is the identification number of the desired proposal. Note that, if the investigator is associated with the proposal more than once over the course of the proposal (project period), this query will return one row per proposal, per investigator, per investigator org., per PI_FLAG. To see each investigator just once per proposal, use SELECT DISTINCT, and do not use the INVESTIGATOR_ORG_CODE or the PI_FLAG. (Business Objects users: to SELECT DISTINCT, when editing the Data Provider, click the Options button, and select the No Duplicate Rows radio button.)
    • If the investigator is a University employee, the most recent data for the investigator is also available in EMPLOYEE_GENERAL. (The PENN_ID in the PENNERA_PEOPLE table matches the PENN_ID in EMPLOYEE_GENERAL.) EMPLOYEE_GENERAL is a view of the EMPLOYEE table, which is part of the Salary Management Data Collection in the Data Warehouse. It includes information, such as the CURRENTLY_EMPLOYED flag, that is not included in the PENNERA_PEOPLE table.
  • PENNERA_PEOPLE stores information about people affiliated with Penn as University employees (faculty and staff), students, Health System (UPHS) employees, or as members of the research community. PENNERA_PEOPLE stores information about both people who have at least one active Penn affiliation and people who are no longer actively affiliated with Penn. You ought to set a record selection condition on STATUS in your query if you want to retrieve records only for active (or inactive) people.
  • PENNERA_PEOPLE stores each person's first name, last name, middle initial (if any), salutation (if any; for example, 'DR'), and suffix (if any; for example, 'JR'). The table also stores the name in the format 'LAST,FIRST I' (see NAME) and 'FIRST I LAST' (see NAME_FLIPPED). The name data elements are available in upper case form (see FIRST_NAME, M_INITIAL, LAST_NAME, NAME, NAME_FLIPPED, SALUTATION, and SUFFIX.) The name data elements are also available as they are stored in PennERA, where the value might be in mixed case (see FNAME_AS_IS, M_INITIAL_AS_IS, LNAME_AS_IS, NAME_AS_IS, NAME_FLIPPED_AS_IS, SALUTATION_AS_IS, and SUFFIX_AS_IS).
    • When sorting by one or more name data elements, use the upper case forms to ensure that the values appear in the expected alphabetical order. For example, if the records were to be sorted by NAME_AS_IS, 'SUTTON,JUDITH U' would appear before 'Sanchez,Jane C'.
    • If you want your report to display people's names in a consistent format, use the upper case forms of the data elements.
  • The values for the person's mailing address data elements may be stored in upper case or in mixed case. (For example, if a University employee entered her address in the Online Directory in mixed case, her address is in mixed case in the PENNERA_PEOPLE table.) Allow for both upper and lower case when setting record selection conditions on the person's mailing address data elements.
  • In most cases, the PENNERA_PEOPLE table has contact information (mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number) for each person, whether by default, or because the person entered the information in his or her PennERA Profile. Note:
    • if the person's only active Penn affiliation is as a member of UPHS, the default value is null for CITY, STATE, ZIP, COUNTRY, EMAIL, and PHONE.
    • if the person's only active Penn affiliation is as a member of the research community, the default value is null for all contact information data elements.
    • if a person's only active Penn affiliation is as a member of the research community, but the person had another affiliation with Penn in the past, the default contact information is the default information per that past affiliation.
  • COMMONS_ID stores the person’s unique username within the eRA Commons. The value stored in the PENNERA_PEOPLE table is based on what was entered by the person in the Commons ID field on PennERA’s Profile / General screen.
    • A person must have a Commons ID before he or she can use PennERA to submit a grant application electronically to federal agencies that use the eRA Commons to retrieve electronic proposals from (such as NIH, AHRQ, and CDC). Proposals submitted electronically through to other federal agencies (such as NSF) do not require a Commons ID.
    • The eRA Commons username may contain only letters and numerals, but it is not case sensitive. People may use upper case and/or lower case letters when entering their Commons IDs in their PennERA profiles. To make record selection and sorting easier for those generating reports, all letters in COMMONS_ID are stored in upper case.
    • COMMONS_ID is null for people that either do not have an eRA Commons username, or have not entered it in their PennERA profiles.
    • The value of COMMONS_ID is incorrect for people who entered it incorrectly in their PennERA profiles.

The GENIUS module of PennERA, used at Penn August 25, 2003 to track information on personnel allowed to be listed on sponsored project proposals or on research protocols.

PennERA is the University's electronic research administration system, providing support to faculty and research administrators for all sponsored project activity at the University of Pennsylvania. GENIUS is the Global Expertise Network for Industry, Universities, and Scholars.

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