NIH Changes to Other Support and Biosketch Format and Instructions as of January 25, 2022

Beginning January 25, 2022 changes are required by NIH in the Other Support and Biosketch. 

Other Support

Beginning January 25, 2022, NIH requires Other Support documents to be signed by the Program Director (PD) /Principal Investigator (PI) or Other Senior/Key Personnel (KP).

  • This signature is required by NIH to certify the accuracy of the information submitted.
  • Each PD/PI or KP must electronically sign their respective Other Support form as a PDF prior to submission to NIH.
  • All Other Support documents must then be combined into a single PDF and “flattened” prior to upload to the eRA Commons system.

 NIH requires recipients and applicants to use the electronic signature of their choice which is in alignment with institutional practices. Applicants and recipients must maintain supporting documentation to reasonably authenticate that the appropriate individual signed the form and make such documentation available upon request to NIH. PDs/PIs/KP cannot delegate this signature.

OSP recommends the use of Adobe Sign.  It is recommended that staff in NIH-funded departments obtain a license to Adobe Sign (individual licenses are free as part of Cornell’s institution-wide license) as soon as possible and understand the process by which to circulate Other Support documents for signature. The December 2021 OSP Roundtable was devoted to this topic. The slides and recording can be found here: The slides include step-by-step instructions on using Adobe Sign and generating a flattened PDF, beginning on slide 17.

Additional NIH requirements are related to the expanded definition of what constitutes Other Support. Please be diligent in providing the required information in Other Support:

All resources made available to researchers in support of and/or related to all of their research endeavors, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value and regardless of whether those resources are based at Cornell. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Resources and/or financial support from all foreign and domestic entities that are available to the researcher, including financial support for laboratory personnel, and provision of high-value materials that are not freely available.
  • Consulting activities that involve research and fall  outside  of an individual’s appointment, separate from institution’s agreement.
  • In-kind contributions: office/laboratory space, equipment, supplies, or employees or students supported by an outside source.

In addition, the PD/PI/KP is required to submit copies of contracts specific to senior/key-personnel foreign appointments and/or employment with a foreign institution for all foreign activities and resources that are reported in Other Support . If they are not in English, recipients must provide translated copies (see NIH GPS 2.5.1). This does not include personal service contracts, or employment contracts for fellows supported by foreign entities.


The format and instructions for the Biosketch have also changed:

  • Section B “Positions and Honors” has been renamed “Positions, Scientific Appointments, and Honors and requires a list in reverse  chronological order of all positions and scientific appointments both domestic and foreign, including affiliations with foreign entities or governments. This includes titled academic, professional, or institutional appointments whether or not remuneration is received, and whether full-time, part-time, or voluntary (including adjunct, visiting, or honorary).
  • Section D has been removed for all non-fellowship biosketches.

The new formats and instructions must be used for all due dates on or after January 25, 2022.

Questions? OSP recognizes the additional burden placed on researchers and research administrators and welcomes questions and feedback on Cornell’s implementation and communication of these requirements. Please contact Mary-Margaret Klempa, Senior Director, OSP ( or with your questions.

Additional Information from NIH

Further details on the expanded requirements and new formats for the Other Support and  Biosketch documents:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Other Support and Foreign Components:


Published on: Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 3:16pm