The U.S. government and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have growing concerns about inappropriate influence by foreign governments over federally funded research.
In response, the NIH has taken a number of steps to address these risks, which include substantial changes to the NIH Other Support (OS) page and Biosketch formats.
Some examples of violations of core principles that threaten the integrity and academic competitiveness of U.S. biomedical research and innovation include:
- failure to disclose all conflicts of interest, foreign affiliations, conflicts of commitment, and other support in applications for NIH grants;
- diversion of proprietary or pre-publication information disclosed in grant applications or produced by NIH-supported research to those not authorized to receive it; and
- breaches of confidentiality in peer review.
Because there is currently no NIH platform for inputting Other Support information, the Mount Sinai Grants and Contracts Office (GCO) is collaborating with ISMMS ConduITS, the Institutes for Translational Sciences Office of Research Services (ORS) to build a platform to assist Mount Sinai researchers in gathering this information in a uniform system that will act as a repository for reporting and submitting regular updates. This platform is now in the testing phase.
Full transparency in NIH applications and throughout the life of an NIH grant is critical. NIH has now clarified and amended its instructions and templates to align with its policies requiring the full disclosure of all sources of research support, foreign components, and financial conflicts of interest. NIH uses this information when making its funding decisions to determine if the research proposed is receiving other sources of funding that could be duplicative, has the necessary time allocation, or if financial or other interests may affect objectivity in the conduct of the research.
The NIH expects the use of the new Other Support format as of May 25, 2021 for all individuals designated in the application as senior/key personnel for Just-in-Time (JIT) applications and non-competing Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs). The new biosketch format is also expected as of May 25, 2021.
In applications due on or after January 25, 2022, NIH’s new Other Support format will be required. Regardless of which Other Support format an investigator currently chooses to use, NIH requires that the OS page capture all the necessary information.
The GCO has a dedicated section on their Application Information webpage for NIH Biosketch and Other Support resources including checklists and sample pages. The GCO also sends regular broadcast updates via the Research Listserv. If you are not signed up for these announcements, please subscribe to the RL from this page on The Research Roadmap you can also view an archive of these announcements on the What’s New Page under the tab Research Administration Updates.
ConduITS is supported by NCATS of the NIH’s CTSA Program. Any use of CTSA-supported resources requires citation of grant number UL1TR001433 awarded to ISMMS in the acknowledgment section of every publication resulting from this support. Adherence to the NIH Public Access Policy is also required.