Heads Up - Biosketch and Other Changes Coming Soon

Important changes are coming to NIH submissions.

NIH Changes to the Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Changes

As some of you may know, NIH is changing the Biosketch yet again. The announcement has some solid federal-ese: “In an effort to support strong collaboration between Federal research agencies, NIH has made every effort to align the Biographical Sketch (Biosketch), Other Support format page and Application Form Instructions with the guidance issued by the Office of Science and Technology Policy Joint Committee on the Research Environment.


There's always more to a story. Yes, for many years there has been a push to normalize biosketches via SciENcv, but there were also the concerns about China's Thousand Talents program. The changes in the Biosketch and for the Other Support seem like they might have some roots in an apparent need for increased financial and resource disclosure. The changes seem designed to capture that information.


What has changed?


Biosketches (Here are NIH's Biosketch resources)

· Section B, Positions and Honors, has been renamed Positions, Scientific Appointments, and Honors. This seems straightforward but it's now in reverse chronological order. This is a change.

· Non-fellowship Biosketch: Section D has been removed. That means no Current or Completed support section.

· Fellowship Biosketch: Section D has been updated to simply say Scholastic Performance.

· Information on ongoing and completed research projects now goes in the part A. Personal Statement. Specifically, they say, "…including ongoing and completed research projects from the past three years that you want to draw attention to (previously captured under Section D. Research Support)."

And of course, NIH has provided a sample biosketch (Word document). I noted that the suggested format for describing the grant includes a bit less information than the previous sample.

And it's always worth reading the instructions (Word document).


There are changes to the Other Support pages, which are usually only submitted as Just-in-Time documents for applications.

· The page now separates funding from in-kind support.

· A signature block was added. Each PD/PI or senior/key personnel must electronically sign their Other Support section as a PDF prior to submission.

· Copies "of contracts, grants or any other agreement specific to senior/key personnel foreign appointments and/or employment with a foreign institution as supporting documentation. If they are not in English, recipients must provide translated copies."

· Undisclosed Other Support must be immediately reported.


NIH has updated Other Support resources.


All in all, the biosketch changes won't take you too long to fix. As always, read the FAQ.

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