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National Institutes of Health Biographical Sketch, Forms Requirements Update

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has made significant changes to the Biosketch and Other Support document requirements, effective May, 25, 2021. The updated forms and instructions will be required for use for applications and Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2021. NOT-OD-21-073

Change Information

The updated SciENcv Biosketch template is available here. Investigators with an existing SciENcv Biosketch can transfer their current biosketch information to the new format.  It is strongly suggested that faculty use the SciENcv Biosketch in order to ensure they are including the correct information.

Biographical Sketch Format Page Changes

  • Section B ‘Positions and Honors’ has been renamed ‘Positions, Scientific Appointments, and Honors’
  • For the Non-Fellowship Biosketch, Section D has been removed
  • For the Fellowship Biosketch, Section D has been updated to remove ‘Research Support’
  • As applicable, all applicants may include details on ongoing and completed research projects from the past three years that they want to draw attention to within the personal statement, Section A

Specific changes are below in bold italics.    

A. 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 training;
  • previous experimental work on this specific topic or related topics; 
  • technical expertise; 
  • collaborators or scientific environment; and/or past performance in this or related fields, including ongoing and completed research projects from the past three years (previously known as research support).

B. 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.

Updated Biosketch resources, including Frequently Asked Questions and sample Biosketch format pages can be found here.

In addition to disclosing all research activity administered through Virginia Tech, Senior/Key Personnel are also expected to disclose all resources made available to a researcher in support of and/or related to all of their research endeavors, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value and regardless of whether they are based at Virginia Tech or received external to Virginia Tech. Other Support is not required to be submitted for individuals categorized as Other Significant Contributors.

National Institutes of Health interprets Other Support to include the following:

  • Paid or unpaid appointment(s) at another institution: Please include all research collaboration(s) at another institution that directly benefit the investigator's research endeavors. Please also include any start-up funds provided by institutions other than Virginia Tech (amount currently available).
  • Financial support: Including, but not limited to, selection to a foreign “talents” or similar-type program, or other foreign or domestic support. This includes research performed outside of a faculty member's appointment (e.g., a faculty member with a nine-month appointment at Virginia Tech and a two-month appointment at another institution performed during the summer).
  • Financial support for laboratory personnel: Please include employees, post-docs, students, and visiting scholars who are paid a salary by their government or home institution. “If the time commitment or dollar value of the in-kind contribution is not readily ascertainable, the recipient must provide reasonable estimates.”
  • In-kind contributions: e.g., office/laboratory space, equipment, supplies, and other “high-value materials that are not freely available (e.g., biologics, chemical, model systems, technology, etc.).”
  • Outside Activities such as consulting where the researcher will be conducting research as part of the consulting activities. Private equity financing (e.g., in support of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) / Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program) and honoraria in support of an individual’s research endeavors must be included.
  • Endowment(s), other Virginia Tech Unit/Department support, and retention funds provided in support of an investigator’s research (amount currently available).
  • Virginia Tech Seed/internal grant (amount currently available).

* Other Support does not include training awards, prizes, or gifts. Gifts are resources provided where there is no expectation of anything (e.g. time, services, specific research activities, money, etc.) in return. An item or service given with the expectation of an associated time commitment is not a gift and is instead an in-kind contribution and must be reported as Other Support.

Please also note the following requirements:

  1. Faculty must now provide copies of contracts, grants, or other agreements specific to foreign appointments and/or employment with a foreign institution. If they are not in English, recipients must provide translated copies. “This supporting documentation must be provided as part of the Other Support PDF following the Other Support Format page.”
  2. Faculty must request NIH’s prior approval before adding a “foreign component” (National Institutes of Health's Grants Policy Statement Section 8.1.2.10). A “foreign component” is defined as “any significant scientific element or segment of a project outside of the United States, either by the recipient or by a researcher employed by a foreign organization, whether or not grant funds are expended". The definition of “foreign component” (which can be found here) may include “collaborations with investigators at a foreign site anticipated to result in co-authorship; use of facilities or instrumentation at a foreign site; or receipt of financial support or resources from a foreign entity.”
  3. Investigators must electronically sign their Other Support form as a PDF prior to submission in order to certify the accuracy of the information submitted.

Other Support Format Page Changes

  • The format page has been re-organized to separate funded projects from in-kind contributions
  • Signature block added, for the program director/principal investigator or other senior/key personnel to certify the accuracy of the information submitted.
  • Each program director/principal investigator or other senior/key personnell MUST electronically sign their respective Other Support form as a PDF prior to submission.
  • Faculty are responsible for ensuring that their Other Support forms are accurate and complete. Virginia Tech Office of Sponsored Programs staff have limited or no knowledge of many of the items that federal sponsors are now asking about such as external consulting/appointments/collaborations and internal grants/endowments.
  • Recipients are reminded to establish and maintain effective internal controls (e.g. policies and procedures) to ensure that individuals designated in applications as senior/key personal fully disclose all Other Support information to their institution as soon as soon as it becomes known.
  • Immediate notification of undisclosed Other Support. When a recipient organization discovers that a principal investigator or other senior/Key personnel on an active National Institutes of Health grant failed to disclose Other Support information outside of Just-in-Time or the Research Performance Progress Reports, as applicable, the recipient must submit updated Other Support to their Virginia Tech Office of Sponsored Program Post Award Associate and the Grants Management Specialist named in the Notice of Award as soon as it becomes known.
  • Senior/Key Personnel may want to reference their financial disclosures and/or their consulting agreements to ensure they are including all relevant information.    

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