Updated Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Pages Available Now and Required January 2022

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As announced in March, updated biosketch and other support format pages and instructions are available for use in applications, Just-in-Time (JIT) Reports, and Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs). Use of the new format pages is preferred immediately and required for due dates and submissions on or after January 25, 2022 (NOT-OD-21-110). This represents a change from the original May 25, 2021 requirement date for the updated formats and other support signatures. Applicants and recipients can use this time to align their systems and processes with the new formats and instructions. Failure to follow the appropriate formats on or after January 25, 2022 may cause NIH to withdraw applications from or delay consideration of funding.

Applicants and recipients remain responsible for disclosing all research endeavors regardless of the version of the forms used, including:

  • If asked by NIH staff, supporting documentation, which includes copies of contracts, grants or any other agreement specific to senior/key personnel foreign appointments and/or employment with a foreign institution for all foreign activities and resources that are reported in Other Support. If the contracts, grants or other agreements are not in English, recipients must provide translated copies.
  • Immediate notification of undisclosed Other Support. When a recipient organization discovers that a PI or other Senior/Key personnel on an active NIH grant failed to disclose Other Support information outside of Just-in-Time or the RPPR, as applicable, the recipient must submit updated Other Support to the Grants Management Specialist named in the Notice of Award as soon as it becomes known.

See our Biosketch and Other Support pages for additional information.

17 Comments

  1. This revision is going to add negligible info value and waste a lot of researcher and grants-manager time.

    The desired info could have gone into existing sections of the now old format of the Biosketch.

    I think people at NIH don’t think hard enough about how much of our time they’re wasting when they make changes like this.

    1. I agree.
      Changes to forms, websites, and other “upgrades” no doubt make perfect sense to those who design them. They likely add little time burden to those who work with them daily at NIH. But for a PI and their support staff (if they are fortunate enough to have any), the steep learning curve negatively impacts research productivity. The cost-benefit ratio should be considered very carefully by NIH when making “improvements.”
      NIH also needs to recognize that their forms, websites and software are just the tip of the iceberg of all the systems that investigators have to master and keep up with to do their research.

    2. I agree. I think that they just change things sometimes to confuse everyone, and also to give someone a job. It’s like the human subjects section – what a nightmare that is now!

  2. I did not find the updated formats. Do they make a difference? Can grant reviewers notice the difference?

      1. I don’t see where there is a page limit on the new biosketches. Is it still 5 papges?

          1. For the Positions and Scientific Appointments section, how far back should be included? For senior investigators that have decades of experience (eg, 30 years) this section could be lengthy if it includes positions such as NIH reviewer, memberships, consultancy, etc.

          2. The Biosketch must include all active positions and scientific appointments. Positions and appointments that have ended are optional if the applicant wishes to highlight them in support of their application.

  3. Agree with James Hodges.
    NIH has to make efforts to decrease the paperwork for investigators, reviewers, Institutional administration and NIH staff.
    More time goes into significant redundant paperwork than thinking creatively to advance Science. NIH staff is also overburdened with paperwork as a lot has to be created and read by them. A suggested example of reducing paperwork is:
    Not requiring a detailed budget and justification during the review process, since it is not a scored criterion. Instead the yearly amount required for direct and indirect costs be required. Detailed budget should be sent directly to the NIH program if the Grant were to be funded. This would significantly reduce the paperwork for investigators, Institutional administrative staff and reviewers as well as Study Section duration/SRO time.
    Thanks!

  4. Since the 2 versions are so similar, it would certainly be helpful to clearly indicate what changes people need to make to be compliant. This doesn’t need to be difficult.

  5. When a subrecipient works on a NIH grant that is awarded to another institution, is the “Primary Place of Performance” the location of Prime Recipient or the Subrecipient?

  6. I wonder, if PIs are up with using SciENcv, does the preferred -vs- required impact them? Or, does use of SciENcv negate concern over updates?

    Respectfully,

    Gina Betcher

    1. The updated Biosketch template is available in SciENcv. The old template also remains available. Applicants may convert existing Biosketches to the new format, when they choose to do so.

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