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…

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