Friday, June 20, 2014

Font does matter

It seems that every so often, I encounter someone who insists on using a font in NIH grant proposals that is not approved by NIH.  People tend to get hooked on certain fonts, and asking them to use a different font is like asking them to write in Greek.  Why does font matter?  From a reviewer perspective, the fonts that are allowed by NIH have been chosen to be easier to read and more uniform than others.  Could you imagine having to read an entire research plan that looks like this?
So, which fonts does NIH allow?  There are only 4 to choose from, specified in the PHS 398 guide. These include:
  • Palatino
  • Georgia
  • Arial
  • Helvetica
No matter which one you choose, the size needs to be 11 point or greater.  If you try to cheat and use 10.9 to squeeze in a few extra words, you run the risk of your proposal being rejected for not meeting the formatting requirements.

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