Modification of the Fellowship Biographical Sketch in NIH Grant Application Form SF424 (R&R) to Permit a Description of Factors that may have Resulted in a Hiatus in Training or Reduced Productivity

Notice Number: NOT-OD-11-050

Key Dates
Release Date: March 14, 2011

Related Notice

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)


The Fellowship Applicant Biographical Sketch Format Page that appears in the Individual Fellowship Application Guide SF424 (R&R) will be modified to permit a description of factors that may have resulted in a hiatus in training or reduced scientific productivity. This information is available to peer reviewers and to NIH extramural program and grants management officials.  Information in the Biosketch is factored into the overall merit and technical rating for each fellowship application.

Similar changes were previously announced in NOT-OD-11-045.  Those changes applied to the Biographical Sketch of the research grant segments of the SF424 (R&R). This modification will extend those changes to the Fellowship Applicant Biographical Sketch that is completed by the Fellowship applicant, and will permit Fellows to describe personal circumstances that may have resulted in a hiatus in training or reduced scientific productivity.    

Beginning with applications submitted for the August 8, 2011 and subsequent receipt dates, the Fellowship Biographical Sketch instructions will include a modification of the Personal Statement to remind applicants that they can provide a description of personal issues that may have interfered with their training or that may have reduced scientific productivity. The revised Instructions for the Personal Statement to be included in Part I, Section 4.5 of the Individual Fellowship Application Guide SF424 (R&R) are shown below and should appear in the application instructions toward the end of April:

Personal Statement:  Briefly describe why your experience and qualifications make you particularly well-suited for your role as a Fellowship applicant. Within this section you may, if you choose, briefly describe factors such as family care responsibilities, illness, disability, or active duty military service that resulted in a hiatus in training or reduced your scientific productivity.

Providing information about personal issues is optional. If applicants wish to provide such information they are encouraged to limit such descriptions to a few sentences.  

Information on other NIH policies designed to accommodate illness, disability and family care responsibilities can be found on the Women in Biomedical Careers Website and on the Office of Extramural Research Website.


Questions related to individual grant applications may be directed to the contacts listed in each Funding Opportunity Announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.
Inquiries regarding NIH Training policies should be directed to:

NIH Research Training Officer
Office of Extramural Programs
National Institutes of Health

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

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