Friday, May 30, 2014

NIH is planning to change the biosketch requirements - again!

In case you missed the May 16th notice, I will fill you in.  NIH has been piloting a new type of biographical sketch with modified requirements for some RFAs.  They are now planning to expand the pilot, with an ultimate goal of permanently changing the requirements for all biosketches.  According to the notice, the new requirements "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".  This will require investigators to pay more attention to their biosketches, instead of handing them off to assistants or post-docs for updating.  However, considering how many people have still not adjusted to the Personal Statement and PMCID requirements, I wonder how long it will take for this type of major change to become ingrained in the minds of scientists. 

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