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Writing a Winning NIH Biosketch

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1 Writing a Winning NIH Biosketch
4/14/2017 Writing a Winning NIH Biosketch RSPH Office of Research and Doctoral Programs, RSPH February 10, 2015 Presented by Janet Gross, PhD presented by Janet Gross, PhD

2 NIH Biographical Sketch c.v.
Highly formatted component of the grant proposal that enables reviewers to evaluate the qualifications of the team that will be executing the research project. Place to find all the forms for the applications: Instructions for completing the biosketch is found in the Application Guide Fellowship Applicant Biographical Sketch Format Page – Forms Version C Example NIH biosketch is provided for Fellowship grants and for fellowship sponsors Fellowship Applicant Biographical Sketch Instructions and Sample – Forms Version C

3 Special Biosketch for NIH Fellowship Awards

4 K awards and other Career Development Awards and other NIH grants
Follow the right instructions : There are special instructions for Fellowship (F31, F32) There are special instructions for K awards Foundations might give you even different instructions Always follow the instructions for the particular grant application you are applying for (rather than what your status is now)

5 What does a reviewer look for in the Biosketch?
Are you qualified to do the job? Is there a good match between your track record (Training + current activities + publications) and the proposed research aims? Are you a good match for the type of grant you are submitting (e.g., F31, F32 vs. K99/R00 vs. R03)? Do you have peer-reviewed publications relevant to the proposal or those that suggest that you are likely to publish good science in the future (or any peer reviewed publications)? Do you have appropriate time/effort devoted to the project? (Research Support + Budget Justification) Too much time on a grant is as important as too little time

6 Review Criterion for Fellowship Grants
Fellowship Applicant Sponsors, Collaborators and Consultants Research Training Plan Training Potential Institutional Environment and Commitment to Training You are evaluated based on your level of training and productivity, your environment and your capacity to carry out the proposed research. You are not your research but you are your biosketch

7 The NEW NIH Biosketch layout
Name Position Title Education/Training – in chronological order, include internship, residency, fellowship, Postdoc here A. Personal Statement B. Positions and Honors Academic and Professional Honors Memberships in Professional Societies C. Contributions to Science (for predoctoral students and more advanced candidates only; high school students, undergraduates, and postbaccalaureates should skip this section) D. Scholastic Performance

8 eRA commons user name – obtain this through your grants management office.

9 A. Personal Statement (F32 or similar)
Briefly describe why you are well-suited to receive the award for which you are applying. The relevant factors may include aspects of your training; your previous experimental work on this specific topic or related topics; your technical expertise; your collaborators or scientific environment; and your past performance in this or related fields (you may mention specific contributions to science that are not included in Section C). Also, you may identify up to four peer-reviewed publications that specifically highlight your experience and qualifications for this project. If you wish to explain impediments to your past productivity, you may include a description of factors such as family care responsibilities, illness, disability, and active duty military service.

10 Suggestions for writing Personal Statements for non-F grants:
Customize the personal statement for each grant proposal Mention the name of the grant proposal (e.g., R15) and speak directly to the purpose of this funding mechanism E.g.: My goal for this proposed NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15) is to conduct clinical research while further developing and expanding training with graduate students in nursing and psychology to study the etiology of adverse health outcomes associated with stress exposure in women, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

11 Relatively junior PI (R01 grant)
A. Personal Statement The goal of the proposed R03 small research grant is to determine the quality of life (QOL) of children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and uveitis by examining the contribution of both visual and physical disability to QOL. This has been an overlooked area of research because QOL studies in JIA focus primarily on musculoskeletal function related to arthritis. As one of four pediatric rheumatologists in Georgia, I have access to a large population of children with JIA. I also have formed strong collaborations with local pediatric ophthalmologists who care for children with concomitant uveitis which will help ensure recruitment and participation in clinical research. My preliminary finding, supported by an Arthritis Foundation Fellowship Award, demonstrated the independent contribution of visual function in children with JIA and uveitis. Supported by masters training in clinical investigation at Cornell University, I am now poised to pursue the analysis of a larger cohort with a greater age range and more complex outcomes including vision, disability, genetic markers, and QOL. I am qualified to be PI and oversee the multidisciplinary team of physicians and clinical coordinators required to recruit, assess, and follow children with visual and musculoskeletal disability over 2 years.

12 Writing the Personal Statement
Length The PI needs to read all collaborator’s biosketches and edit accordingly Convey excitement and passion to do this work Depending on the type of grant, emphasize your role for: Leadership (PI of a R grant) Training potential for you to advance in your field (F32 or K) Track record and experience to support the proposed aims Tone should be confident but not arrogant Don’t just walk us through your accomplishments but speak to the science in this proposal

13 If you are the PI of the grant….
Even if you are a pre or postdoctoral fellow, you need to read/review the Personal Statement of all other contributors to this proposal WHY? Because all Personal Statements must reflect that person’s role on the project If people are sponsoring / mentoring / collaborating with you, that should be included in the Personal Statement

14 B. Positions and Honors Use the grid Be thorough
Clarify what specific awards/honors were for Sometimes you might want to add an alternative (unique) subheader if the grant supports it

15 Example of creative subheader
Consultant/Reviewer 1989, 1991 National Institute on Drug Abuse, Special Review Committee for AIDS Community Outreach Demonstration Project, ad hoc reviewer 1991 Office of Substance Abuse Prevention, high-risk youth grants ad hoc reviewer National Institute on Drug Abuse, Special Review Committee for the Small Business Innovation Research program National Institute on Drug Abuse, Drug Abuse AIDS Research Review Committee (Sociobehavioral Subcommittee), Member 2004 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health, Special Emphasis Panel Applications Review

16 C. Contributions to Science
High school Research Brief narrative (written in 1st person) Abstracts (underline or bold your name) Publications ( “ ) Graduate Research Brief narrative Abstracts Publications

17 Thinking about my “Contributions to Science”
What goes here? How do I organize this? What do I report? Some ideas In your previous research experiences, what did the team do and what exactly did you do? What did you learn from what you did? Can you reflect on what you found and how it may have led to the current proposal? Be aspirational – express your professional hopes and desires

18 D. Scholastic Performance
Use the grid; Science versus Other courses Do not tell any falsehoods Board scores are not requested (they were in the previous version)

19 Rules 5 pages maximum (used to be 4 pages max.)
Follow the directions – use the example as a model Do not misrepresent any facts List all publications as they would appear in PubMed or in any other searchable database “I should have been first author on that paper but was second. I’ll just change myself to first author for the biosketch.” “The first author and I contributed equally to the paper but the journal did not accept the ‘equal contribution’ designation, so I’ll just show it here in the biosketch.”

20 Recommendations Each new grant proposal should prompt you to revise your biosketch, especially the Personal Statement (and possibly Contributions to Science), so that it speaks directly to this particular grant proposal Pay attention to aesthetics and layout – spacing, font, page break Does your printed out biosketch look like the example? Do you need to customize any subheaders to make a point – e.g., teaching or curriculum development Reviewers are looking for specific information in particular places – make it easy for the reviewer by following the rules and the formatting

21 Biosketch gets loaded on the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Form page
For the F31 and F32, you are the PI and your sponsor/mentor is Key Personnel #2 For the K awards, you are the PI and your mentoring team are either mentors, consultants, collaborators Co-PI is not a recognized role If you are not the PI or one of a multiple PI team, you are a Co-I

22 NIH grant form pages: PI First co-I Next co-I

23 Summary Along with the Specific Aims page, the Biosketch is is arguably the most important part of the grant Aesthetics and layout matter Sell your role in the proposed research in the Personal Statement

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