Comment on Proposed Changes to the NIH Biosketch

The NIH Biographical Sketch is a standardized format used to present professional information in grant applications. It includes sections for a personal statement, positions and honors, selected peer-reviewed publications, and a list of current and prior research support.

To explore whether the format could be modified to better present an individual’s scientific abilities and accomplishments, NIH formed a working group that has just issued a request for information seeking input from the scientific community. The deadline for responses is June 29, 2012.

4 comments on “Comment on Proposed Changes to the NIH Biosketch

  1. In my opinion the biosketch can be frustratingly vague with respect to research experience/breadth/depth and funding status (“other support”). From a reviewer’s perspective, it can also be misleading. I would suggest that the old style research support that included more detail on effort and direct cost support be returned. The recent addition of a relevance statement in the biosketch is a good one and helps put things in clearer context.

  2. I like the changes. The Personal Statement is useful, more work, but is a good opportunity to focus.
    Likewise, the idea of 5 & 10 publications is good. It seemed strange initially, but again it helps focus.
    Being able to understand grant overlap is crucial but this is difficult.

  3. Since the new format was instituted, I had a reviewer undercount my pubs in PubMed and then ding me for the number s/he came up with. Bits and bytes are cheap. At least in electronic submissions, a longer publication list should be allowed in the biosketch to guard against reviewer carelessness of this kind.

    • I would like to expand on this comment. Either have the reviewers only pay attention to the papers listed or allow a comprehensive list of publications to be included. It’s hard enough to get funded without the reviewers ignoring the recommended format. If they are going to do a lit search anyway, we might as well save them the effort, while at the same time ensuring that they are getting the correct information.

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