On March 12, 2021 NIH issued NOT-OD-21-073, detailing “Upcoming Changes to the Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Page for Due Dates on or after May 25, 2021.”
The notice describes changes to the Biographical Sketch (Biosketch) and Other Support format page templates that are available for all proposals and RPPRs due on or after May 25, 2021, and required starting in January 2022.
The stated purpose of the changes is to support the need for applicants and recipients to provide full transparency and disclosure of all research activities, foreign and domestic. These changes may be significant for some researchers and could require obtaining additional documents.
A Biosketch is required for each senior/key personnel i.e., all individuals who contribute in a substantive, meaningful way to the scientific development or execution of the project, whether or not salaries are requested.
Changes to Biosketch
Text sections instruction changes include:
- A. Personal Statement instructions
Briefly describe why you are well-suited for your role(s) in this project. 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/or your past performance in this or related fields, including ongoing and completed research projects from the past three years that you want to draw attention to (previously known as research support – section D).
- B. Positions, Scientific Appointments, and Honors instructions
List in reverse chronological order all current 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.
- C. Research Support
The section had been removed, except for fellowship applications.
Review a summary of the Biosketch changes with links to FAQ’s and forms.
Impact of Biosketch changes for Ohio State investigators
- Investigators with a current affiliation with another institution should add the appointment in Section B of Biosketch.
- Depending on the nature of the affiliation additional information/action may be required in the Other Support document as discussed below.
Other support documentation is required for all individuals designated in an application as senior/key personnel—those devoting measurable effort to a project. It is submitted as part of the Just-in-Time information for new proposals and is included in each RPPR for on-going awards.
Changes to Other Support
Supporting documentation is now required, which includes copies of contracts, grants, or any other agreement specific to senior/key personnel foreign appointments and/or employment with a foreign institution for all foreign activities and resources that are reported in Other Support. If the contracts, grants, or other agreements are not in English, recipients must provide translated copies.
The format of the Other Support page has been re-organized to separate funded projects from in- kind contributions.
A signature block has been added for Program Director (PD) /Principal Investigator (PI) or Other Senior/Key Personnel to certify the accuracy of information submitted. Each PD/PI or senior/key personnel must electronically sign the respective Other Support form as a PDF prior to submission.
Immediate notification of undisclosed Other Support is now required. When a recipient organization discovers that a PI or other Senior/Key personnel on an active NIH grant failed to disclose Other Support information outside of Just-in-Time or the RPPR, as applicable, the recipient must submit updated Other Support to the Grants Management Specialist named in the Notice of Award as soon as it becomes known.
Review a summary of the Other Support changes with links to FAQ’s and forms.
Impact of Other Support changes for Ohio State investigators
Investigators with a current affiliation to another institution action steps include:
- Documentation reflecting approval Chair/Dean/Director reviewed the outside affiliation and determined that it is/was appropriate and does not conflict with investigators university responsibilities.
- Completed Paid External Consulting Approval Form (if applicable).
- Disclosed the activity on e-COI.
- Add any resources provided by affiliation (e.g., an office when you visit, lab space, student support, research materials) to the Other Support format and sign the document. Resources that are provided by a foreign entity, a copy (in the original language and an English translation) of the documentation governing the affiliation has to be included as an attachment to your Other Support document.
- Collect backup documentation if the affiliation/Other Support has not been officially disclosed to Ohio State or NIH. Discuss the arrangement with Chair/Dean/Director immediately and if arrangement is determined not to be in conflict with investigators’ University responsibilities, complete requirements in Paid External Consulting Approval Form, disclose in eCOI, update your Biosketch to include the affiliation and update Other Support information.
- Provide the document Sponsored Programs Office (SPO). The SPO sends it to Grants Management Specialist named in the Notice of Award for each active grant.
- Ask Sponsored Programs Office to provide a copy of your Other Support document to the administrative contact at the prime institution if funded by subaward.
Signing and certifying the Other Support document
- Through signing the Other Support document, investigators are certifying, “I, PD/PI or other senior/key personnel, certify that the statements herein are true, complete and accurate to the best of my knowledge, and accept the obligation to comply with Public Health Services terms and conditions if a grant is awarded as a result of this application. I am aware that any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or claims may subject me to criminal, civil, or administrative penalties.”