I wanted to let you know about a request for information we just issued to collect opinions on a proposal to modify the NIH biographical sketch that is used as part of your grant application. We are concerned that the biosketch, as currently configured, may not allow applicants to adequately describe the nature, significance, or impact of their scientific accomplishments and capabilities in the most effective manner to illuminate a person’s contribution to their field.
The biosketch portion of the NIH grant application is limited to 4 pages, and applicants are encouraged to list no more than 15 publications. The proposed modification would allow investigators to include a short explanation of their most important scientific contributions. We haven’t decided on a format, but scientific accomplishments and contributions could be described in a short narrative section, annotated with references. References could be peer-reviewed publications or other types of scientific output, for example, data sets, videos, crystal coordinates, patents, licenses, or changes to standard medical practice. Alternatively, the biosketch could permit a short descriptive paragraph associated with an individual’s most significant scientific publications documenting the advances and subsequent scientific impact. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute uses both of these approaches successfully.
I hope that you will take a few minutes and let us know how you feel about this potential change. Please submit your responses here and not to my blog so they are included in the analysis.