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 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Help Resources and Contacts

The most Frequently Asked Questions are listed below:
Click here to go directly to FAQs for Reviewers

Who needs to complete an OPA form?

Administrative staff, Faculty, Other Academic staff and Research Staff. Support and Service staff do not need to fill them out.

If an Investigator doesn’t have anything identified in the Coeus COI module, what will be populated on the OPA form?

Nothing would forward from COI; the OPA form will be blank.

Will I get an email confirmation after I submit and certify my OPA report?

No, but you will get an action recognition message when you select “submit and certify”. Once you click submit, a new window pops up letting you know that it has been submitted.

How will I receive the link to complete the OPA?

Each department/school will send an email to let everyone know. The website is “http://opa.mit.edu

Can someone complete the OPA on another’s behalf?

No. The system is certificate based. Everyone must complete their own report.

I have dual appointments. Who should I contact?

Please contact your primary appointment’s headquarters. Dual appointments are reported through your “primary” appointment but the secondary unit may request a copy of the report.

I've submitted my OPA report but realize that I need to make an edit. Is it too late?

Please check your department’s deadline. However, by selecting “Create/Edit My Current OPA Report” you can edit/resubmit your report up until the current OPA reporting cycle is closed in August.

Am I required to fill out an OPA report if my appointment is less than 50% or uncompensated?

Yes. However, as on the old paper forms, you can skip the section Compensated & Uncompensated Activities, but you must fill out the sections Outside Financial Interests and Relationships and Involvement of Students or Subordinate Employees. You will also need to complete the sections on Use of Institute Resources and Potential Conflicts of Interest or Commitment.

Am I required to fill out an OPA report if the duration of my appointment is for 6 months or less?

If the total length of your appointment is 6 months or less, and your appointment is non-recurring, you are not expected to report your OPA. However, if the length of your appointment is more than 6 months, you are required to report your OPA, even if the following circumstances apply:

  1. You started working for MIT less than 6 months ago, but your appointment is longer than 6 months.
  2. Your current appointment will expire in less than 6 months, but your appointment was for more than 6 months

Has any of the content of the OPA changed because the reporting is now online?

No, the information requested remains exactly the same as before.

I have no changes to my OPA report from last year. Will I need to re-enter everything?

No. By default the OPA system will bring in last year's report, if one exists.All you have to do is review and certify/submit.

How/why are my COI entities imported to my OPA report?

Your COI entities are imported via a one-time electronic feed from the COI module to OPA. This feed will eliminate the need to create the same entries in OPA.

Will I be able to look at my OPA reports from previous years? How long are they saved?

Yes, they will be saved. However, paper forms, submitted prior to the online system (2013) will not be available online.

If I add a company to my OPA will it feed to the MY COI module?

Companies added to the OPA report will NOT feed to the MY COI module at this time.

As an investigator on a sponsored project I can see my active SFI’s have fed from MY COI to OPA but wonder if I still need to report on any deactivated SFI’s that were active within the last 12 months?

Yes, please add to your list any deactivated companies or entities with which you may have outside professional activities during the reporting period.

Will my Significant Financial Interests be brought forward into the OPA form?

If you have any Significant Financial Interests entered into MyCOI in Coeus Lite, the following information will be brought forward into your OPA form:

FAQs for Reviewers

Can the reports be printed or forwarded via email?

Each individual will be able to print their report, or save the file to a PDF and forward it via email to anyone. Reviewers will also be able to print individual reports within their DLC/School (based upon their Roles authorizations).

How can I access the reports?

Reviewers will have access to “Administrator Actions” on the OPA landing page. This will give a reviewer the ability to:

How can I access a specific individual’s report?

Under Administrator Actions:

  1. Select User Reports
  2. On the My Departments screen you may:
    1. Select the box next to the specific Department if you know which is appropriate and have access to more than one.
      1. Click View Submitted
      2. Click View on the individual’s line item in the next screen. Or…
    2. Click Select All departments and click View All if you do not know the department of the individual. In resultant screen names will be listed in Alphabetical order. Select the Active View button on each line item to bring up the report or click the radio button to the left of multiple names and at the bottom click Print Selected. Or…
    3. Use the Search button. A search screen will open. Complete known fields. User name should be entered as: Last Name, First Name, Middle Initial
      1. If full user name is not known, use wildcard * to search.

    Note: if none of these options work, search again using View Delinquent or View Exceptions

How can I access Archive reports?

Under Administrator Actions:

  1. Select Archive of Reports
  2. Select the reporting cycle you want to review and click Search
  3. You are presented with the options on next screen to view either submitted or delinquent reports as well as any Exceptions for any single, combination or all of the departments you have authorizations to view.

How will I know if someone has edited a submitted report?

Reviewers will receive an email indicating that the particular report has been updated.

How can I tell who has or hasn't submitted their reports?

Under Administrator Actions:

  1. Select User Reports
  2. You may either:
    1. On the My Departments screen you are presented with the numbers of Submitted and Delinquent reports. Click on the number in either section and the list of reports will appear. Or…
    2. Select the box next to a specific Department to narrow search results if you have access to more than one. And further select View Delinquent or View Submitted. Or…
    3. Click on the number in the All Users column corresponding to any department listed. The next screen will display all users and in Category column will display Submitted, Delinquent or Exception.

How do I get access to view OPA reports?

The HR Primary Authorizer for each DLC/School can assign authorizations for OPA reviewers. OPA information is sensitive, only those people that need to review and provide summary reports will be given access to the system.

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Help Resources and Contacts
Instructional Quick Cards:

OPA Input Instruction Guide [PDF]

OPA Reviewer Guide [PDF]

OPA Cognos Report Review Guide [PDF]
For questions regarding Outside Professional Interests Policy, such as: Please contact your department headquarters.
For questions regarding Authorization or Roles Access, such as: Please contact business-help@mit.edu
For questions regarding Technical Issues with the Form, such as: Please contact opa-tech-help@mit.edu
For questions regarding summary reports in Cognos, please contact helpdesk-business@mit.edu

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