(Trying to dispel the confusion!)
Biosketches and Other Support are two separate forms accomplishing two separate functions. The intent of a biosketch is to provide information on credentials and qualifications of participants. The Other Support page is intended to show any potential overlap in effort, funding, or research plans. Although sometimes similar, they are not interchangeable.
For most NIH applications* and non-competing renewals biosketches are required for all personnel listed in the Senior/Key Personnel section of the proposal. The biosketch may not exceed 4 pages. Go to the NIH’s website, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/SF424R-R_biosketch_VerB.doc (Word), to see a sample biosketch.
The following sections should be included on a biosketch:
- Personal Statement. Briefly describe why your experience and qualifications make you particularly well-suited for your role (e.g., PD/PI, mentor, participating faculty) in the project that is the subject of the application.
- Positions and Honors. List in chronological order previous positions, concluding with your present position. List any honors. Include present membership on any Federal Government public advisory committee.
- Selected Peer-reviewed Publications. NIH encourages applicants to limit the list of selected peer-reviewed publications or manuscripts in press to no more than 15. Do not include manuscripts submitted or in preparation. The individual may choose to include selected publications based on recency, importance to the field, and/or relevance to the proposed research. Check for abstracts or presentations, as these are usually not peer-reviewed.
- Research Support (Ongoing and/or Completed in the Last Three Years). People often confuse the “Research Support” section of the biosketch with the “Other Support” document; the Other Support document requires additional information such as calendar months and dollars that should NOT be included here. Additionally, we recommend using the sub-header of “Ongoing and/or Completed in the Last Three Years” in order to avoid the constant reshuffle between the NIH required “Ongoing” and “Completed” categories, though it is not required.
NIH’s instructions say to list both selected “Ongoing” and “Completed (during the last three years)” research projects (Federal or non-Federal support). Begin with the projects that are most relevant to the research proposed in this application. List the sponsor, title of project, dates, role on project, and major goals. Do NOT include number of person months (effort), direct costs, or pending projects.
If the participant has no current or prior research support, list “None.”
* The format for mentored K- and F-Awards varies slightly for the applicant (not the sponsor), so please follow the SF424 or PA/PAR/RFA specific instructions.
For most proposals^ Other Support normally is requested by NIH prior to award and is required for key personnel as defined in the application. There is no page limit for Other Support.
The following information should be included for each current or pending project (no completed projects):
- For individuals with no active or pending support, indicate “None.”
- Project Number – if available, include project code or identifier from sponsor (1 R01 CA 012345 01).
- If part of a large project, indicate Number, PI, and Source of overall project and provide all other information for subproject only.
- Source – provide agency, foundation, or other organization providing support.
- Major Goals – provide a brief statement of the overall goals of the project.
- Duration of project – indicate dates of approved/proposed project.
- Annual Direct Costs – list the current year’s direct costs.
- Percent of Effort – list percent effort devoted to the project.
- Overlap – summarize any potential overlap (scientific, budgetary, committed effort).
^ For mentored K-Awards Other Support is required for the mentor(s) only (not applicant) at time of proposal but have different instructions on what information should be provided. Refer to PHS 398 instructions.
Some proposals ask for both Biosketches and Other Support. Section C of a biosketch (ongoing and completed research) should be separate and unique from the Other Support. A review committee should look at each separately and for different information.
The Grants Office has been asked for guidance on appropriate ways to request biosketch and other support information. Many are requesting information from those who do not submit to NIH regularly and are getting the “wrong” stuff back. Here are some ways you can ask for forms or follow-up questions to ask if you aren’t sure they know what they are asking for.
How can I be clear about what I need?
We are submitting a proposal so I will need a NIH 4 page biosketch, which includes publications and research support ongoing and completed. Would you like a brief e-mail with directions? (Cut and paste from above.)
NIH is close to awarding this project and has requested other support of key personnel to check for allocated effort and possible overlap. This will included a list of current and pending research projects with dollars and effort indicated.
How will I know exactly what is being requested? Ask them! Clarify!
Is this in the proposal stage, so you need a biosketch with publications and research support?
Is the project about to be awarded and NIH has requested an Other Support page stating current/pending effort and overlap information?