Piloting Modified NIH Biosketches

Notice Number: NOT-OD-14-091

Key Dates
Release Date: May 16, 2014

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)


The NIH has initiated a second round of pilots to assess a planned modification of the NIH Biographical Sketch (Biosketch). The new Biosketch format being piloted will extend the page limit from four to five pages and it will allow researchers to describe up to five of their most significant contributions to science along with the historical background that framed their research. This description can outline the central finding(s) of their work, the influence of those finding(s) on their field and how those findings may have contributed to improvements in health or technology. For those involved in team science, it will allow the investigator to describe their specific role in the described work. Each of these descriptions can be supported by listing up to four, relevant peer-reviewed publications. In addition to the descriptions of their contributions, researchers will be able to include a link to a full list of their published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as MyBibliography or SciENcv. Two new forms, a pilot biosketch format page (MS Word) and the instructions and a sample using the modified format (MS Word) have been posted, and can be found on the page that describes the NIH SF424 (R&R) Application and Electronic Submission Information. Please note that the use of the enhanced biosketch format is restricted to those RFAs included in the pilot. Applicants that respond to the pilot RFAs as well as those who participate in the review of responsive applications will be surveyed for feedback on the process of preparing and reviewing applications containing the modified biosketch.

This second round of pilot RFAs will extend efforts to collect information on a planned modification of the Biosketch that were initiated with a Request for Information (NOT-OD-12-115) issued in June, 2012 and followed with two RFAs that were issued last summer (RFA-CA-13-501 and RFA-CA-13-502). The current series of pilot RFAs will be issued over the next few months beginning with an RFA issued earlier this onth (RFA-NR-15-001). The information collected in the current pilot will be used along with findings previously collected to inform the roll-out of the modified biosketch for all NIH grant applications planned for FY 2016 and beyond.

The NIH believes that the modified biosketch will offer reviewers a better picture of a researcher's accomplishments and capabilities, and will help illuminate the downstream effects of scientific discovery. During the pilot, researchers will use existing resources to create biosketches using the new format, but starting this coming fall, the SciENcv system will be modified to help researchers generate biosketches in the new format.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Walter T. Schaffer, Ph.D.
Office of the Director (OD)
National Institutes of Health
Telephone: 301-402-2725
Email: ws11q@nih.gov