Guidance and Reference Documents for NIH Biosketch & Other Support Templates
On March 12, 2021, NIH released NOT-OD-21-073, which introduced updated templates and instructions for the Biosketch and Other Support. These templates should be used for all proposals submitted on or after May 25, 2021. In early April 2021, Brown held a virtual Q&A Session on these new templates, the video of which can be found here.
The most notable Biosketch changes are:
Removal of Section D, Research Support
Instruction for Investigators to include selected awards in Section A, Personal Statement. Inclusion of awards in this section is not required, but can be useful to demonstrate funding history to proposal reviewers
Renaming Section B to “Positions, Scientific Appointments and Honors”
All positions and appointments must be listed in reverse chronological order
You can find the instructions for this new template, including OSP notations and highlights, at the link below:
Annotated Biosketch Instructions
The Other Support template has been completely redesigned, and though much of the same information is still requested, the overall format of the page is different. Below please find a summary of the important changes to this template:
Addition of a new In-Kind Resources Section
A new Signature requirement for Investigators completing the form
Requirement that copies of any contracts related to foreign appointments and/or employment with a foreign institution for all foreign activities and resources that are reported in Other Support be submitted to NIH
NIH has also created updated and comprehensive instructions for completing the Other Support form. In addition to the changes listed above, these instructions also provide guidance for longstanding questions, such as how to report on In-Kind Resources, Program Project Grants, or VA appointments. Please see the Annotated Instructions for Other Support at the link below:
Annotated Other Support Instructions
Below please find additional resources including Job Aids for completing the Other Support document:
NIH has also released a Disclosures Table to aid Investigators in determining what types of information must be disclosed. Please find this Table at the link below:
Over the past few weeks we have received many inquiries from the Brown Community regarding these new forms. Please find sample questions from Brown Staff & Faculty below, grouped by topic. These include newly added or updated answers.
If you have a query you’d like us to address, please contact [email protected]
Q: I've heard that the new templates aren't required until January 2022. Can't I just wait and begin using the new forms at that time?
A: According to NOT-OD-21-110, the actual form templates are not required until January 25, 2022. However, the Notice states, "Please note, applicants and recipients remain responsible for disclosing all research endeavors regardless of the version of the forms used. Therefore, if applicants and recipients choose not to use the updated format pages before they are required, applicants and recipients must still capture all the necessary information." Since it would be challenging to include all this new information on the old template, we recommend shifting to the new templates for all proposals, JIT, and RPPR submitted on or after May 25, 2021
Q: Should the new template for Other Support be used for Mentors on K proposals?
A: As indicated in the question above, the information requested in the instructions should be included in all Biosketches and Other Support submitted on or after May 25th, 2021, regardless of the forms used
Q: Others have said that we do NOT need to add office space/facilities to the new Other Support document if that space was listed on our Facilities document. Is that correct?
A: This is correct; there is no requirement to duplicate information on the Other Support if it is already listed in the Facilities document. As a reminder, resources intended for the proposed project must go into Facilities. Some Investigators may choose to duplicate the information on both Facilities and Other Support for the sake of efficiency, and that's also allowable.
Q: How does an MOU (for example, an MOU with VA) relate to the other support page?
A: All appointments, including VA appointments, would be listed on the Investigator's Biosketch
Q: Do I Need To Provide All or Just Current Positions and Scientific Appointments on My Biosketch? (Question added 02/07/22)
In biosketch section B. you must list in reverse chronological order all current positions and scientific appointments both domestic and foreign, including affiliations with foreign entities or governments. You are not required to list previous positions or other historical information.
Other Support Formatting
Q: Do PIs really need to digitally sign? Or can they just type their name?
A: Yes, NIH is requiring electronic signatures. Note that documents must be flattened before proposal submission, and Departments should retain a copy of the "live" signed Other Support
Q: Do faculty need to include sources of funding that support clinical work or academic programs as part of their Other Support document?
A: The Other Support document should capture all sources that support an individual’s research endeavors. If there are sources of funding, in-kind support, or resources that solely support the individual’s clinical work or academic work, but not their research, these sources should not be included in the Other Support document.
Q: Following the new template: I'm 50% effort in all years, but since this didn't start until mid 2019 what is the best way to list the person months of effort for 2019? (Should I list 50% of the 7 months in 2019 that the award was active?)
A: The NIH Other Support Instructions indicate that the Person Months should reflect months committed per budget period. In the person months table, for the effort for 2019, please include your person months of effort for the budget period starting in 2019.
Q: What counts as Pending? If a grant was not discussed (no chance of funding) is it still considered pending?
A: No, if the grant has no chance of being funded, then it is not pending a sponsor's determination of funding, and it should not be included on the Pending Support list.
Q: I have an appointment at another organization for 50% of my time. How should I calculate and show effort for projects based on this dual appointment?
A: If your time is split between multiple appointments, your effort on projects at Brown will need to be prorated accordingly. For example, if you have a 50% appointment at Brown, and you commit 80% of your Brown effort on a proposal, then the proposal should reflect 4.8 calendar months based on your split appointment. This chart, developed by NIH, can be useful to calculate the prorated amounts. Please remember that NIH insists that effort on Other Support be capped at 12 months total, even if the Investigator has multiple appointments
Q: Do we need to include awards on our Other Support where we serve as a Mentor? (Question added 9/15/22)
A: You are only required to include awards where you serve as a mentor on your Other Support if the award directly benefits your research. However, NIH has no prohibition on including these awards, and the Investigator can opt to list them if they determine that inclusion of the awards could lead to a more competitive proposal.
Q: Is it appropriate to list some Active awards with 0.0 months effort, such as in cases where the Investigator is serving as a Mentor of a K award where the Investigator is not committing any direct measurable effort?
A: If there is no effort associated with the project and the sponsor is NIH, then 0 calendar months can be entered. Note that AHRQ does not allow 0.0 months effort to be listed. (Response updated 11/4/21)
Q: How do we edit down our Other Support document to meet the 3-page limit for serving as a Mentor on Fellowship applications? (Question added 9/15/22)
A: Per the SF424, Mentors’ Other Support document should include current & pending awards “relevant to the candidate’s research plan.” This does not need to be a comprehensive list of all Other Support, the Mentor may edit it down appropriately.
Q: Do we need to include Seed/Pilot funding from Brown on our Other Support? (Question added 9/15/22)
A: Yes, Seed & Solomon Awards and Pilot Funding from Brown should be included as an active award on your Other Support.
Q: Should I include Completed support on my Other Support document? (Question added 11/4/21)
A:. No, NIH does not require disclosure of recently completed support in Other Support submissions, only current and pending resources.
Q: How do we estimate the value of In-Kind Support?
A: For salaries, use other similar paid positions to estimate the personnel cost. Be sure to include any add-on costs, such as Fringe
Q: Should I include graduate student as an In-Kind Resource if they are working in my lab and not paid by Brown? (Question added 11/4/21)
A: If the graduate student is supported by an outside institution or organization and is performing research activities in support of the Investigator’s research endeavors, then their support must be reported as an in-kind resource. If the relationship is solely a mentor/mentee arrangement, with no research activities, then it is not a resource and does not need to be reported, regardless of the source of funding.
Q: Is a graduate student an In-Kind Resource if they are working in my lab but supported by an institutionally-funded award, such as an NIH Fellowship, Training Grant, or Career Award? (Question added 11/4/21)
A: No. Because these awards are held by Brown (and not an outside institution or organization) this would not be treated as In-Kind Support.
Q: If we do one or less day of consulting for an institution other than Brown, but it falls within Brown's policy for consulting, do we need to report this on our Other Support? (Question added 9/15/22)
A: Per NIH’s updated guidance, if you have an appointment that allows for one day of consulting under Brown’s Policy for Outside Activities and you are compliant with both the Policy and your Department/School/Unit requirements for consulting, then those consulting activities does do not need to be included on your Other Support.
Q: Do Investigators need to provide documentation for consulting in domestic or foreign entities?
A: At this time NIH is requesting back-up documentation for grants, contracts, and agreements relating to appointments and/or employment with a foreign institution for all foreign activities and resources that are reported in Other Support
Q: Should I include effort commitments for Consulting Activities listed on my Other Support?
A: No, NIH has confirmed that only amounts paid, not months effort, should be included for Consulting Activities related to research.
Q: Am I allowed to provide my expertise to a local organization or community group and must that be listed on my OS page. This is expertise that is based on my knowledge/skills as a researcher and I am donating my time to the community organization. How does this affect my effort at Brown?
A: The Other Support document should capture all sources that support an individual’s research endeavors. A good question to ask is whether or not the activity is likely to result in any type of joint scientific or academic publication. If outside consulting work relates to an individual’s research endeavors, then that support should be included on the Other Support document as a consultancy. If the consultancy is unpaid, then it should be included on the Other Support document and identified as unpaid. Note that Investigators are not required to assign effort to consultancies listed on the Other Support
Q: One of my subcontractors is a foreign institution. Will the Subaward PI and other Key Persons need to include copies of their employment contracts with their institution as part of Supporting Documentation? (Question added 02/07/22)
A: No. Since the subcontract organization is viewed as one of the Applicant Organizations, those employment contracts are not required. However, if the subaward individuals also have affiliations with other (non-Applicant) organizations, those contracts should be submitted as Supporting Documentation
Q: My Consulting Agreements and/or Foreign Contracts contain confidential information, can these be redacted before submission? (Question added 11/4/21)
A: No, at this time NIH requests that unredacted documents are submitted. Per their FAQ page, "NIH handles confidential and sensitive information in accordance with our cybersecurity requirements and requires submission of complete documentation."
If you have any questions prior to submitting documents, please contact your OSP Grant and Contract Administrator.
Please contact [email protected] with any queries.