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New NIH Notices and Information

Clarification and Guidance for Applicants Preparing Applications for the Summer 2022 Due Dates During the COVID-19 Pandemic. (May 2022)

". . . applicants may address effects due to the pandemic on productivity or other scoreable issues in their Personal Statement in the NIH Biosketch. Reviewers will be instructed to take these pandemic-related circumstances into account when assessing applicants' productivity and other score-driving factors."

Additional Clarifications to Biosketch and Other Support Policies Now Available. (August 2021)

NIH has updated their FAQs and instructions for the revised NIH biosketch format including a sample for the Other Support section.

Announcing New Inbox for Inquiries Related to Changes to Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Page. (May 18, 2021)

A central email inbox for inquiries related to changes to the biographical sketch and other support templates.Questions re the biographical sketch and other support templates should be sent to:

Implementation of Changes to the Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Page. (April 28, 2021)

To align applicant and recipient systems with NIH's longstanding policy requirements and application requirement updates, NIH expects applicants and recipients to use the updated biosketch and other support format for applications, Just-in-Time (JIT) Reports, and Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs) as of May 25, 2021. NIH will require the use of the updated format pages for the previously mentioned submissions for anything on and after January 25, 2022. Failure to follow the appropriate formats on or after January 25, 2022 may cause NIH to withdraw applications from or delay consideration of funding.

Upcoming Changes to the Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Page for Due Dates on or after May 25, 2021. (March 12, 2021)

Changes to the biosketch are forthcoming for May 2021 dates. Changes to specific sections are noted below:

  1. 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).

  1. 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.

D. 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.

For more information, see: Biosketch Format Pages, Instructions and Samples.


Questions about the Biosketch?

Contact Cathy Sarli or Amy Suiter.

NIH Biosketch Help Desk email.



Are you preparing a biosketch for NIH funding? If so, do you need help?

Presentations or hands-on sessions for an overview of the NIH biosketch including two NCBI tools, SciENcv and My Bibliography, to auto-populate a NIH biosketch are available upon request for investigators and/or administrative staff. We also make "office-calls."

If you would like to schedule a presentation for your department, program or division, please contact Cathy Sarli or Amy Suiter.

The Office of Training Grants Library

The Office of Training Grants (OTG) has developed a Grants Library to serve as a centralized resource for investigators. Sample biosketches are available in the Standard Grant Language and Templates folder.
NOTE: WUSTL Key required for access.

Recommendations for Investigators

1. Create a My NCBI account and link the account to your eRA Commons account.

2.  Populate your My Bibliography and keep the publication and research products list updated.

3. Play around with SciENcv. See which parts of the new Biosketch are auto-populated.

4. Try creating a biosketch with data from ORCID, eRA Commons and My Bibliography.

5. Assign delegates to help manage your My Bibliography and SciENcv.

6. Consider a hybrid approach of using the Word Template and SciENcv.

Advice for New Investigators Using the NIH Biosketch

  • Advice for new scientists on the contributions to science narratives is available on the NIH Biosketch FAQs:

What advice do you have for new scientists filling out their scientific contributions?

It is a little early to tell how each discipline will judge its new scientists. You might want to consult with your colleagues who serve as reviewers in your area of science. In general, reviewers base their expectations for contributions based on the seniority of the person filling out the biosketch. A scientist with one publication may want to summarize the key finding of the paper and its importance in a short contribution. Scientists with no publications may wish to provide a contribution describing their efforts on other peoples’ papers and projects (e.g., I used this method, I conducted the literature review for this paper, I care for all the animals in this lab, etc.). If a new scientist has no actual research or thesis experience, they might just want to list one contribution about their training to date.

  • Discuss your contributions to science narratives with:

o   mentors and colleagues

o   investigators who serve as members of study sections for NIH applications

o   NIH Program Directors associated with the agency or institute likely to fund your research

SciENcv Tool