A crowd of people

New NSF-approved formats for biosketch, current and pending support required beginning June 1

The newest National Science Foundation (NSF) Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) takes effect June 1, 2020. The most significant changes involve NSF-approved formats for the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support sections, both of which will now have to be in NSF-approved file formats: either SciENcv or NSF fillable-form PDF.

SciENcv integrates with ORCID so that biographical sketch information can be imported directly from ORCID, eliminating some manual entry of information in multiple places. The NSF fillable forms do not integrate with ORCID.

NSF requests that principal investigators start using the new formats now (even for proposals that will be submitted before June 1), so that they can identify potential issues. Feedback about the process should be emailed to policy@nsf.gov.

NSF’s Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support pages include links to the fillable forms as well as FAQs. Visit the SciENcv site for video tutorials and FAQs.


Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images via Pixabay, used under Creative Commons license.

A collection of chicken eggs, each stamped with an identifier

ORCID identifiers help researchers distinguish themselves

Screen shot of ORCID homepage. Text: ORCID. Connecting Research and Researchers. (Tabs:) For Researchers, For Organizations, About, Help, Sign In. (Main text:) Distinguish yourself in three easy steps. ORCID provides persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized. Find out more. 1. Register. Get your unique ORCID identifier Register now! Registration takes 30 seconds. 2. Add your info. Enhance your ORCID record with your professional information and link to your other identifiers (such as Scopus or ResearcherID or LinkedIn). 3. Use your ORCID ID. Include your ORCID identifier on your Webpage, when you submit publications, apply for grants, and in any research workflow to ensure you get credit for your work. Members make ORCID Possible! ORCID is a non-profit organization supported by a global community of organizational members, including research organizations, publishers, funders, professional associations, and other stakeholders in the research ecosystem. Curious about who our members are? See our complete list of member organizations. (Sidebar:) Latest News. Fri, 2016-09-23 Peer Review Week - The Video! Thu, 2016-09-22. #RecognitionReview with ORCID. Tue, 2016-0-20 Recognition for Review: Who's Doing What? Mon, 2016-09-12. Meet the Lens: Integrating ORCID IDs into patents. Mon, 2016-08-29. PIDapalooza - What, Why, When, Who? More news.
ORCID is an organization that assigns researchers unique identifiers.

You may recall a 2015 paper on the Higgs boson published in Physical Review Letters that boasted a record-breaking 5,154 authors. Twenty-three of those authors had the last name Wang, two each with the first initials C, F, H, and Q, and four with the first initial J.

What this example of “hyperauthorship” make clear is that there can be multiple researchers with similar, if not identical, names in the same field. That can make things difficult for researchers, funders, and publishers alike.

To help resolve this issue, a number of organizations have begun issuing unique identifiers researchers can use to distinguish themselves from others with the same or similar names, thereby protecting their scholarly identities.

One of the most popular of these organizations is ORCID. ORCID is a non-profit organization supported by research organizations, publishers, funders, and professional associations. Its iD is  “a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized.”

Specifically related to grant submission, ORCID integrates with SciENcv to make creating NIH and NSF biosketches easier. In addition, NIH will soon begin requiring ORCID iDs for anyone supported by NIH research training, fellowship, research education, and career development awards.

Signing up for you own ORCID identifier is easy — registration takes 30 seconds. Once you’re registered you can add professional information to your ORCID record.


Written by Heather Beattey Johnston, Associate Director of Research Communications, Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship, Miami University.

Egg identification Image by Mabel Amber, still incognito via Pixabay.

Looking up at several stories of office windows from inside a building. There is a round, black circle-shaped sculpture suspended from the glass ceiling of the building.

Director of Proposal Development offers updates on NIH and NSF policies

Skyline of Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
Baltimore, Maryland, is the site of an NIH Regional Seminar being held this week. Another Regional Seminar will be held in Chicago this fall.

Below are  updates on policies recently put into action at NIH and NSF, as well as a look ahead to some upcoming changes.


NIH

General

The NIH budget for FY16 is $32.3 billion, up $2M over FY15.

Proposal submission

  • All documents submitted to NIH (proposals, award documents, and post-award documents) must contain a signature from an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) or Signing Official (SO). At Miami, only Jim Oris, Anne Schauer, and Tricia Callahan can sign as AORs or SOs. Contact your OARS representative if you are uncertain who should sign your NIH documents prior to submission.
  • NIH has updated and streamlined its forms and instructions page. For applications due May 25, 2016 and later, Version D forms must be used.
  • Effective January 10, 2016, the NIH salary cap (Executive Level II) went to $185,100. NIH encourages investigators to propose using their base salary. If base salary exceeds the NIH salary cap, then adjustments will be made at the time of award.
  • For proposals that involve the use of vertebrate animals, the section on euthanasia is now a separate document in order to assure compliance with American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) guidelines. The NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) offers policy, guidance, and education related to the use of vertebrate animals in research. Look for resources, FAQs, and quarterly webinars on the OLAW site.
  • The new NIH biosketch allows for up to five pages, one page more than the previous limit. Publications in progress can be mentioned in the Personal Statement, but should not be cited in the publications listing.
  • NIH created ASSIST (Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking) for the preparation and submission of multi-project applications. Miami University will continue to submit and track applications through eSPA, so Miami applicants should not use ASSIST for their proposal submissions.
  • For NRSA and K awards, primary mentors must have an eRA Commons ID affiliated with Miami University. Contact your OARS representative to create an eRA Commons ID or to affiliate an existing ID with Miami.
  • If you plan to work with a foreign collaborator, OARS requests advance notice of 25 working days. However, you should be aware that it may take foreign entities eight to ten weeks to register with eRA Commons and the other systems, and that those registrations must be in place before contracting with the Federal government. Contact your OARS representative for assistance.

Reporting

  • All financial and technical reports must be submitted 120 days following the award end date. We’d like to take this opportunity to remind investigators that while they are responsible for their technical reports, all financial reporting must be done by Miami University’s Grants & Contracts Office. Information about the types of NIH reports and the content they require is available here. All invention disclosures should be processed through iEdison.
  • Find out what’s currently being funded at the NIH and discover trends using NIH RePORTER.

Continuing education

  • Thanks to everyone who joined us for our recent day-long series of NIH workshops, led by Dr. Norm Braveman, former member of the senior NIH staff.
  • NIH will hold two NIH Regional Seminars on program funding and grants administration in 2016:
    • May 11-13, in Baltimore
    • October 26-28, in Chicago

NSF

General

  • The NSF budget request for FY16 is $6.5 billion for research and development. Current funding rates average around 22-23%.
  • A notice will be posted this summer in the Federal Register describing changes proposed for the NSF Proposal and Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), with time allowed for public comment before changes are finalized. Final changes will be posted in October and the grants community will be given 90 days to become familiar prior to implementation in January 2017.

Proposal submission

The following are reflected in the current PAPPG:

  • All proposals are due by 5:00pm local time of the submitting institution. Permission to submit after a deadline in the event of a natural disaster must come from the Program Officer in writing. The communication should be included as a Single Copy Document in the application and a box must be checked on the NSF Cover Page for special exceptions to the NSF deadline policy.
  • Collaborative and Other Affiliation information has been removed from the NSF Biosketch and is now submitted as a Single Copy Document (which differs from Supplemental Material). This change is to help researchers who have long lists of collaborations keep to the two-page limit for biosketches.
  • Information on Results from Prior NSF Submission has been clarified in the most recent version of the PAPPG.
  • Information on internal, institutional funds that require dedicated effort must now be shown on the NSF Current & Pending form.
  • Biosketches and Current & Pending forms can no longer be submitted as a single PDF. Each senior/key personnel should have a separate biosketch and separate Current & Pending forms. Biosketch information for other personnel, such as equipment users, should be uploaded as Supplemental Material documents, and do not have to follow the NSF biosketch format.
  • Clarity has been provided on the use of vertebrate animals in research, which follows NIH OLAW policies.
  • FastLane auto-checks for compliance with page limits and submission deadlines.

Post-award and reporting

  • All financial and technical reports must be submitted 120 days following the award end date. We’d like to take this opportunity to remind investigators that while they are responsible for their technical reports, all financial reporting must be done by Miami University’s Grants & Contracts Office.
  • All post-award communications, such as notifications and requests, must be signed and submitted by the institution’s Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR). Contact your OARS representative if you are uncertain who should sign your NSF requests.

Editor’s note 05/13/2016: The original post mistakenly indicated that NSF biosketches are limited to three pages. We regret the error and have updated the post with the correct limit, which is two pages.

Written by Tricia Callahan, Director of Proposal Development, Office for the Advancement of Research & Scholarship, Miami University.

Photo of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor by Ron Cogswell, via Flickr. NSF lobby photo by Luke Faraone, via Flickr. Both used under Creative Commons license.

Two tall evergreen hedges span the height of the frame. The one of the left has a flowering vine growing on it. In between the two hedges, a garden is visible. The garden has a few green plants, a stone urn planter, and a path that is mostly overgrown by grass. In the far background, trees are visible.

Consultant offers suggestions for explaining gaps in NIH biosketch

A wide strip of white-painted pavement appears at the top of the frame. Under that the words, "MIND THE GAP" are painted on the pavement. Below those words, there are seven rows of dots, which are perhaps reflectors, connected horizontally on a strip. The first three rows are orange, the next two are yellow and the last two are orange.

We’re pleased to reblog this Strategic Grantsmanship post by Kelly Byram.  It is a follow-up to a four-part series of posts about the new NIH biosketch format, which is required for grant applications submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2015.  That series was reblogged here over the past few weeks.

“A Gap in the Hedge” photo by floato via Flickr.  “Mind the Gap” photo by Lisa via Flickr.  Both used under Creative Commons license.

Strategic Grantsmanship

You have the opportunity in the NIH biosketch to explain any gaps in your research productivity. Military service, family obligations, illness, and disability are the main reasons for gaps that quickly come to mind, but those are not the only reasons one may have for a gap. Explanation of any gap is not required, and many female researchers with whom I have discussed this topic have viscerally negative reactions to this part of the Personal Statement (PS) section of the biosketch. Usually the question is, will saying I took time off for family obligations affect the perception of me? The answer is it shouldn’t, but it might. Here’s how you handle it.

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24 colored pencils stacked one on top of the next stretch from the left side of the frame into the center. The sharpened tips of the pencils point to the right. The other end of the pencils is not visible. Each of the pencils is a different color.

Consultant offers strategies for new NIH biosketch format (Part 4 of 4)

Image of a document. "SAMPLE" is stamped in faded letters behind the actual text. The text reads as follows. In the header, upper right: "OMB No. 0925-0046 (Approved Through 5/31/2016)." Title, centered at the top: BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH—"Pilot Format (To Be Used for Specific FOAs only)." Subhead, centered under title: "Provide the following information for the Senior/key personnel and other significant contributors. Follow this format for each person. DO NOT EXCEED FIVE PAGES." Form fields: "NAME," "POSITION TITLE," "eRA COMMONS USER NAME (credential, e.g., agency login)," "EDUCATION/TRAINING (Begin with baccalaureate or other initial professional education, such as nursing, include postdoctoral training and residency training if applicable.)" Table to enter education/training information: Column 1 -- "INSTITUTION AND LOCATION," Column 2 -- "DEGREE (if applicable)," Column 3 -- "MM/YY," Column 4 -- "FIELD OF STUDY." Centered below education/training table: "NOTE: The Biographical Sketch may not exceed five pages. Follow the formats and instructions below." Below this note are four section headers: "A. Personal Statement," "B. Positions and Honors," "C. Contributions to Science," and "D. Research Support." Each section header is followed by a paragraph, as described: A. Personal Statement -- "Briefly describe why you are well-suited for your role in the project described in this application. The 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 your past performance in this or related fields (you may mention specific contributions to science that are not included in Section C). Also, you may identify up to four peer reviewed publications that specifically highlight your experience and qualifications for this project. If you wish to explain impediments to your past productivity, you may include a description of factors such as family care responsibilities, illness, disability, and active duty military service." B. Positions and Honors -- "List in chronological order previous positions, concluding with the present position. List any honors. Include present membership on any Federal Government public advisory committee." C. Contributions to Science -- "Briefly describe up to five of your most significant contributions to science. For each contribution, indicate the historical background that frames the scientific problem; the central finding(s); the influence of the finding(s) on the progress of science or the application of those finding(s) to health or technology; and your specific role in the described work. For each of these contributions, reference up to four peer-reviewed publications that are relevant to that contribution. The description of each contribution should be no longer than one half page including figures and citations. Please also provide a URL to a full list of your published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as PubMed or My Bibliography, which are maintained by the US National Library of Medicine." D. Research Support -- "List both selected ongoing and completed research projects for the past three years (Federal or non-Federally-supported). Begin with the projects that are most relevant to the research proposed in the application. Briefly indicate the overall goals of the projects and responsibilities of the key person identified on the Biographical Sketch. Do not include number of person months or direct costs." In smaller type at the bottom of the page is the following text: "Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average one hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to: NIH, Project Clearance Branch, 6705 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7974, Bethesda, MD 20892-7974, ATTN: PRA (0925-0046). Do not return the completed form to this address."
Sample of the new NIH biosketch format required beginning May 25, 2015.

We’re pleased to reblog this Strategic Grantsmanship post by Kelly Byram .  It is the fourth in a four-part series of posts about the new NIH biosketch format, which is required for grant applications submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2015.  Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 were posted over the last few weeks.  A bonus post on explaining gaps in the biosketch will be published in two weeks.

Colored pencil photo by Evan-Amos via Wikimedia Commons (public domain). 

Strategic Grantsmanship

I think this will be my last post about the NIH biosketch form for a while. It’s dry stuff, even for the topic of grants. It’s hard to blog about grants, mostly because there is so much understandable anxiety out there around the topic of grants and research funding. In my in-person training sessions and consulting, I lighten the mood with a little dry humor, and usually all of the interaction in the sessions keeps the mood lighter, too. In my blog, however, I do keep the tone more serious overall, mostly because people can be really stressed about funding, and I want this space to be a resource they feel they can trust. That squeezes humor out the door a bit. Even so, dealing with the trauma investigators feel as a result of the new biosketch form has really bummed me out, so I really just need to finish up this…

View original post 517 more words

24 colored pencils stacked one on top of the next stretch from the left side of the frame into the center. The sharpened tips of the pencils point to the right. The other end of the pencils is not visible. Each of the pencils is a different color.

Consultant offers strategies for new NIH biosketch format (Part 3 of 4)

Image of a document. "SAMPLE" is stamped in faded letters behind the actual text. The text reads as follows. In the header, upper right: "OMB No. 0925-0046 (Approved Through 5/31/2016)." Title, centered at the top: BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH—"Pilot Format (To Be Used for Specific FOAs only)." Subhead, centered under title: "Provide the following information for the Senior/key personnel and other significant contributors. Follow this format for each person. DO NOT EXCEED FIVE PAGES." Form fields: "NAME," "POSITION TITLE," "eRA COMMONS USER NAME (credential, e.g., agency login)," "EDUCATION/TRAINING (Begin with baccalaureate or other initial professional education, such as nursing, include postdoctoral training and residency training if applicable.)" Table to enter education/training information: Column 1 -- "INSTITUTION AND LOCATION," Column 2 -- "DEGREE (if applicable)," Column 3 -- "MM/YY," Column 4 -- "FIELD OF STUDY." Centered below education/training table: "NOTE: The Biographical Sketch may not exceed five pages. Follow the formats and instructions below." Below this note are four section headers: "A. Personal Statement," "B. Positions and Honors," "C. Contributions to Science," and "D. Research Support." Each section header is followed by a paragraph, as described: A. Personal Statement -- "Briefly describe why you are well-suited for your role in the project described in this application. The 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 your past performance in this or related fields (you may mention specific contributions to science that are not included in Section C). Also, you may identify up to four peer reviewed publications that specifically highlight your experience and qualifications for this project. If you wish to explain impediments to your past productivity, you may include a description of factors such as family care responsibilities, illness, disability, and active duty military service." B. Positions and Honors -- "List in chronological order previous positions, concluding with the present position. List any honors. Include present membership on any Federal Government public advisory committee." C. Contributions to Science -- "Briefly describe up to five of your most significant contributions to science. For each contribution, indicate the historical background that frames the scientific problem; the central finding(s); the influence of the finding(s) on the progress of science or the application of those finding(s) to health or technology; and your specific role in the described work. For each of these contributions, reference up to four peer-reviewed publications that are relevant to that contribution. The description of each contribution should be no longer than one half page including figures and citations. Please also provide a URL to a full list of your published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as PubMed or My Bibliography, which are maintained by the US National Library of Medicine." D. Research Support -- "List both selected ongoing and completed research projects for the past three years (Federal or non-Federally-supported). Begin with the projects that are most relevant to the research proposed in the application. Briefly indicate the overall goals of the projects and responsibilities of the key person identified on the Biographical Sketch. Do not include number of person months or direct costs." In smaller type at the bottom of the page is the following text: "Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average one hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to: NIH, Project Clearance Branch, 6705 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7974, Bethesda, MD 20892-7974, ATTN: PRA (0925-0046). Do not return the completed form to this address."
Sample of the new NIH biosketch format required beginning May 25, 2015.

We’re pleased to reblog this Strategic Grantsmanship post by Kelly Byram .  It is the third in a four-part series of posts about the new NIH biosketch format, which is required for grant applications submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2015.  Parts 1 and 2 can be found here and here.  The fourth part — plus a bonus post on explaining gaps in the biosketch — will be posted in the next few weeks.

Colored pencil photo by Evan-Amos via Wikimedia Commons (public domain). 

Strategic Grantsmanship

Today I offer a review of the NIH biosketch Personal Statement (PS) and pertinent strategies for this section in the new format that goes into effect on 25 May 2015. The function of the PS in the new format is the same as before, to “briefly describe why you are well-suited [sic] for your role in the project described in this application,” but with the advent of the Contribution to Science (C2S) section as the major part of the new biosketch, the strategy for writing the PS has become a bit more complicated.

View original post 476 more words

24 colored pencils stacked one on top of the next stretch from the left side of the frame into the center. The sharpened tips of the pencils point to the right. The other end of the pencils is not visible. Each of the pencils is a different color.

Consultant offers strategies for new NIH biosketch format (Part 2 of 4)

Image of a document. "SAMPLE" is stamped in faded letters behind the actual text. The text reads as follows. In the header, upper right: "OMB No. 0925-0046 (Approved Through 5/31/2016)." Title, centered at the top: BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH—"Pilot Format (To Be Used for Specific FOAs only)." Subhead, centered under title: "Provide the following information for the Senior/key personnel and other significant contributors. Follow this format for each person. DO NOT EXCEED FIVE PAGES." Form fields: "NAME," "POSITION TITLE," "eRA COMMONS USER NAME (credential, e.g., agency login)," "EDUCATION/TRAINING (Begin with baccalaureate or other initial professional education, such as nursing, include postdoctoral training and residency training if applicable.)" Table to enter education/training information: Column 1 -- "INSTITUTION AND LOCATION," Column 2 -- "DEGREE (if applicable)," Column 3 -- "MM/YY," Column 4 -- "FIELD OF STUDY." Centered below education/training table: "NOTE: The Biographical Sketch may not exceed five pages. Follow the formats and instructions below." Below this note are four section headers: "A. Personal Statement," "B. Positions and Honors," "C. Contributions to Science," and "D. Research Support." Each section header is followed by a paragraph, as described: A. Personal Statement -- "Briefly describe why you are well-suited for your role in the project described in this application. The 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 your past performance in this or related fields (you may mention specific contributions to science that are not included in Section C). Also, you may identify up to four peer reviewed publications that specifically highlight your experience and qualifications for this project. If you wish to explain impediments to your past productivity, you may include a description of factors such as family care responsibilities, illness, disability, and active duty military service." B. Positions and Honors -- "List in chronological order previous positions, concluding with the present position. List any honors. Include present membership on any Federal Government public advisory committee." C. Contributions to Science -- "Briefly describe up to five of your most significant contributions to science. For each contribution, indicate the historical background that frames the scientific problem; the central finding(s); the influence of the finding(s) on the progress of science or the application of those finding(s) to health or technology; and your specific role in the described work. For each of these contributions, reference up to four peer-reviewed publications that are relevant to that contribution. The description of each contribution should be no longer than one half page including figures and citations. Please also provide a URL to a full list of your published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as PubMed or My Bibliography, which are maintained by the US National Library of Medicine." D. Research Support -- "List both selected ongoing and completed research projects for the past three years (Federal or non-Federally-supported). Begin with the projects that are most relevant to the research proposed in the application. Briefly indicate the overall goals of the projects and responsibilities of the key person identified on the Biographical Sketch. Do not include number of person months or direct costs." In smaller type at the bottom of the page is the following text: "Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average one hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to: NIH, Project Clearance Branch, 6705 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7974, Bethesda, MD 20892-7974, ATTN: PRA (0925-0046). Do not return the completed form to this address."
Sample of the new NIH biosketch format required beginning May 25, 2015.

We’re pleased to reblog this Strategic Grantsmanship post by Kelly Byram .  It is the second in a four-part series of posts about the new NIH biosketch format, which is required for grant applications submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2015.  The first part can be found here.  The third and fourth parts — plus a bonus post on explaining gaps in the biosketch — will be posted over the next few weeks.

Colored pencil photo by Evan-Amos via Wikimedia Commons (public domain). 

Strategic Grantsmanship

Yesterday’s post discussed how the new NIH biosketch format is raising the anxiety levels of many researchers. I stick with my assertion that the change is likely inevitable, so the strategic researcher will channel that energy currently fueling the anxiety into developing a new, strategic, biosketch in the new format. Yesterday I reviewed some basic strategic concepts behind the biosketch in general, and today I will discuss some strategies specific to the new format of the NIH biosketch.

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24 colored pencils stacked one on top of the next stretch from the left side of the frame into the center. The sharpened tips of the pencils point to the right. The other end of the pencils is not visible. Each of the pencils is a different color.

Consultant offers strategies for new NIH biosketch format (Part 1 of 4)

Image of a document. "SAMPLE" is stamped in faded letters behind the actual text. The text reads as follows. In the header, upper right: "OMB No. 0925-0046 (Approved Through 5/31/2016)." Title, centered at the top: BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH—"Pilot Format (To Be Used for Specific FOAs only)." Subhead, centered under title: "Provide the following information for the Senior/key personnel and other significant contributors. Follow this format for each person. DO NOT EXCEED FIVE PAGES." Form fields: "NAME," "POSITION TITLE," "eRA COMMONS USER NAME (credential, e.g., agency login)," "EDUCATION/TRAINING (Begin with baccalaureate or other initial professional education, such as nursing, include postdoctoral training and residency training if applicable.)" Table to enter education/training information: Column 1 -- "INSTITUTION AND LOCATION," Column 2 -- "DEGREE (if applicable)," Column 3 -- "MM/YY," Column 4 -- "FIELD OF STUDY." Centered below education/training table: "NOTE: The Biographical Sketch may not exceed five pages. Follow the formats and instructions below." Below this note are four section headers: "A. Personal Statement," "B. Positions and Honors," "C. Contributions to Science," and "D. Research Support." Each section header is followed by a paragraph, as described: A. Personal Statement -- "Briefly describe why you are well-suited for your role in the project described in this application. The 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 your past performance in this or related fields (you may mention specific contributions to science that are not included in Section C). Also, you may identify up to four peer reviewed publications that specifically highlight your experience and qualifications for this project. If you wish to explain impediments to your past productivity, you may include a description of factors such as family care responsibilities, illness, disability, and active duty military service." B. Positions and Honors -- "List in chronological order previous positions, concluding with the present position. List any honors. Include present membership on any Federal Government public advisory committee." C. Contributions to Science -- "Briefly describe up to five of your most significant contributions to science. For each contribution, indicate the historical background that frames the scientific problem; the central finding(s); the influence of the finding(s) on the progress of science or the application of those finding(s) to health or technology; and your specific role in the described work. For each of these contributions, reference up to four peer-reviewed publications that are relevant to that contribution. The description of each contribution should be no longer than one half page including figures and citations. Please also provide a URL to a full list of your published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as PubMed or My Bibliography, which are maintained by the US National Library of Medicine." D. Research Support -- "List both selected ongoing and completed research projects for the past three years (Federal or non-Federally-supported). Begin with the projects that are most relevant to the research proposed in the application. Briefly indicate the overall goals of the projects and responsibilities of the key person identified on the Biographical Sketch. Do not include number of person months or direct costs." In smaller type at the bottom of the page is the following text: "Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average one hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to: NIH, Project Clearance Branch, 6705 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7974, Bethesda, MD 20892-7974, ATTN: PRA (0925-0046). Do not return the completed form to this address."
Sample of the new NIH biosketch format required beginning May 25, 2015.

We’re pleased to reblog this Strategic Grantsmanship post by Kelly Byram .  It is the first in a four-part series of posts about the new NIH biosketch format, which is required for grant applications submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2015.  We will reblog the other posts in the series — plus a bonus post on explaining gaps in the biosketch — over the next few weeks.

Colored pencil photo by Evan-Amos via Wikimedia Commons (public domain). 

Strategic Grantsmanship

I led a seminar on the new NIH biosketch format earlier this week, and it was rough going. People don’t like change, and, as a result, almost every change will meet a certain amount of pushback. Those of us on the front lines are used to hearing the static from those affected by changes, but this was exceptional (although not unexpected). The online feedback regarding NIH’s initial post in May about the new format was mostly negative and sometimes fairly hostile, and some in the room this week voiced many of the same complaints about the format. I understand the anxiety researchers are feeling with this change; however, rather than go into any detail about the complaints about the new format (you can read them online at the link above and in response to NIH’s post on the subject this week), I would suggest it is wise to accept the inevitability of the change…

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