The Researcher's Tool Kit

Resources for working smarter

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NIH Biosketch

NIAID offers the following strategies and resources for writing your biosketch:

 Emphasize Expertise in Your Biosketches

  • Reviewers look carefully to see whether the PI and others have enough experience with the techniques to execute the Research Plan.
  • All people who play a substantive role need a biosketch even if they are not paid a salary from the grant, including consultants and technical staff.
  • Reviewers will check that you have asked for an appropriate number of people, amount of time, and level of expertise to conduct the research.

Make your personal statement (Section A) shine. Don’t skimp on this key section of the biosketch. Your personal statement can be a big factor in how you as PI rate on the Investigator review criterion.cropped-cropped-toolkit-24157707-copy.jpg

Check out this NIH biosketch sample and a FILLABLE NIH BIOSKETCH FORM.

All key personnel’s biosketches have a personal statement too, which must explicitly state how their experience qualifies them for their role on your project, including relevant education, expertise, and accomplishments.

Are you slated for an important promotion? Include the date it is scheduled to happen in the personal statement of your biosketch.  While NIH does not require any particular title, your status may affect how reviewers view your qualifications.  After submitting, you can inform the scientific review officer that the promotion took place up to 30 days before the meeting.

Carefully choose publications (Section C).  Highlight your expertise by listing up to 15 publications or manuscripts in press.  Do not include manuscripts submitted or in preparation.  When citing articles that fall under the Public Access Policy, were authored or co-authored by the applicant and arose from NIH support, provide the NIH Manuscript Submission reference number (e.g., NIHMS97531) or the PubMed Central (PMC) reference number (e.g., PMCID234567) for each article. If the PMCID is not yet available because the Journal submits articles directly to PMC on behalf of their authors, indicate “PMC Journal – In Process.” A list of these Journals is posted at: Citations that are not covered by the Public Access Policy, but are publicly available in a free, online format may include URLs or PubMed ID (PMID) numbers along with the full reference (note that copies of publicly available publications are not acceptable as appendix material.)

In the biosketches, also list any research support (Section D). Reviewers also look here to check qualifications, so briefly describe all supported research relevant to your project.

After finishing your draft, check that:

  • My personal statement showcases my skills.
  • I convince reviewers that I am the right person to lead the research.
  • The other biosketches will convince reviewers that members of my team can all perform the roles I need them to play on the project.
  • In the research support section, I highlight each person’s accomplishments.
  • The publications I choose reveal my skills and those of my team.
  • My biosketches are consistent with other parts of the application.

One more note on the Senior/Key Person Profile form: do not attach Current and Pending Support, a.k.a., other support, unless  you are applying through a request for applications or program announcement that instructs you to do so.
NIH will ask for your other support information later if your application scores within the funding range.