NIH Update: Upcoming Changes to the Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Page for Due Dates on or after May 25, 2021
POSTED IN: IN THE NEWS
NIH Guide Notice: NOT-OD-21-073
Release Date: March 12, 2021
Effective Date: May 25, 2021
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.
As a result, this Guide Notice informs the extramural community that NIH has updated its application forms and instructions to support the need for applicants and recipients to provide full transparency and disclosure of all research activities, foreign and domestic. The updated forms and instructions will be required for use for applications and Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2021.
The revisions serve as updates to the Biosketch and Other Support format page templates used as attachments in our current Forms-F application packages and RPPRs. The forms updates do not change the policies for Biosketch or Other Support. The changes are as follows:
|Biographical Sketch Format Page||
Section B ‘Positions and Honors’ has been renamed ‘Positions, Scientific Appointments, and Honors’.
For the non-Fellowship Biosketch, Section D. has been removed.
|Other Support Format Page||
The format page has been re-organized to separate funded projects from in-kind contributions.
Signature block added, for Program Director/Principal Investigator or Other Senior/Key Personnel to certify the accuracy of the information submitted. Each PD/PI or senior/key personnel must electronically sign their respective Other Support form as a PDF prior to submission.
For Other Support submissions that include foreign activities and resources, recipients are required to submit 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. This supporting documentation must be provided as part of the Other Support PDF following the Other Support Format page.
Use of the updated format pages will be required for applications and Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs) submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2021.
During the transition to the new Biosketch format, NIH will not withdraw applications that include the previous Biosketch format. Beginning with applications submitted on or after January 25, 2022, failure to follow the appropriate Biosketch format may cause NIH to withdraw your application from consideration.
Other Support Reminder
Other Support includes all resources made available to a researcher in support of and/or related to all of their research endeavors, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value and regardless of whether they are based at the institution the researcher identifies for the current grant. This includes but is not limited to:
Resources and/or financial support from all foreign and domestic entities, that are available to the researcher. This includes but is not limited to, financial support for laboratory personnel, and provision of high-value materials that are not freely available (e.g., biologics, chemical, model systems, technology, etc.). Institutional resources, such as core facilities or shared equipment that are made broadly available, should not be included in Other Support, but rather listed under Facilities and Other Resources.
Consulting agreements, when the PD/PI or other senior/key personnel will be conducting research as part of the consulting activities. Non-research consulting activities are not Other Support.
In-kind contributions, e.g. office/laboratory space, equipment, supplies, or employees or students supported by an outside source. If the time commitment or dollar value of the in-kind contribution is not readily ascertainable, the recipient must provide reasonable estimates.
Other Support does not include training awards, prizes, or gifts. Gifts are resources provided where there is no expectation of anything (e.g. time, services, specific research activities, money, etc.) in return. An item or service given with the expectation of an associated time commitment is not a gift and is instead an in-kind contribution and must be reported as Other Support.
Reporting of Other Support is required for all individuals designated in an application as senior/key personnel—those devoting measurable effort to a project. Information on Other Support is not specifically requested for Program Directors, training faculty, and other individuals involved in the oversight of training grants since applicable information is collected in other sections of a training grant application. Other Support is not required to be submitted for individuals categorized as Other Significant Contributors.
Recipients are reminded to establish and maintain effective internal controls (e.g. policies and procedures) to ensure that individuals designated in applications as senior/key personnel fully disclose all Other Support information to their institution as soon as soon as it becomes known.
Updated Requirements for Recipients
Effective May 25, 2021, NIH requires the following:
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.
Specific Changes to Biosketch Instructions – Updates
A full copy of the updated Biosketch instructions can be found here. Specific changes are below, in bold italics. As a normal matter of business, NIH will incorporate the changes into the NIH Application Form Instructions within the next forms update by FY 2022.
G.240 R&R Senior/Key Person Profile Expanded Form
Instructions for a Biographical Sketch
A. Personal Statement updated to read:
Briefly describe why you are well-suited for your role(s) in this project. Relevant factors may include: aspects of your training; your previous experimental work on this specific topic or related topics; your technical expertise; your collaborators or scientific environment; and/or your past performance in this or related fields, including ongoing and completed research projects from the past three years that you want to draw attention to (previously known as research support).
B. Positions, Scientific Appointments, and Honors updated to read:
List in reverse chronological order all positions and scientific appointments both domestic and foreign, including affiliations with foreign entities or governments. This includes titled academic, professional, or institutional appointments whether or not remuneration is received, and whether full-time, part-time, or voluntary (including adjunct, visiting, or honorary). High school students and undergraduates may include any previous positions. For individuals who are not currently located at the applicant organization, include the expected position at the applicant organization and the expected start date.
C. Scholastic Performance updated to remove ‘Research Support’. Section D is solely present on the fellowship version of the Biosketch, and no longer includes research support, only Scholastic Performance.
Availability of Forms and Instructions – Updates
The updated format pages and instructions for Other Support can be found here. NIH is finalizing the SciENcv template for Other Support and anticipates that the template will be available beginning in FY 2022. Until the SciENcv template is available, applicants and recipients are required to use the Word Format page to prepare Other Support information. The form must be converted to a PDF, and electronically signed prior to submission. This is an interim process, while NIH moves to the use of SciENcv templates for Other Support.
The updated format pages and instructions for the Biosketch can be found here. The updated SciENcv Biosketch template will be available in March 2021. Investigators with an existing Biosketch in SciENcv will be able to transfer their current Biosketch information to the new format.
Updated Biosketch resources, including FAQs and sample Biosketch format pages can be found here.
Updated Other Support resources, including FAQs and sample Other Support format pages can be found here.
Additional resources, including training videos and other materials will be posted on the pages above as they becoming available.
Please direct all grants policy inquiries to:
NIH Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)
Division of Grants Policy
Please direct all systems/forms related inquiries to:
NIH Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)
Systems Policy Branch