ITHS Tools
Need Help? Have a Question?
Connect with Us

Biosketch 101: Getting (Grant Reviewers) to Know You

Biosketch 101: Getting (Grant Reviewers) to Know You

January 31, 2023 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
Online Event
Register below to receive Zoom link.
Aric Lane

Event Video

Watch on Vimeo


The biographical sketch (or “biosketch”) is where you get to show grant reviewers what you—as PI or other key personnel—will bring to a proposed project. In this session, we will discuss how to make your experience and expertise shine through in the Personal Statement and Contributions to Science sections of the biosketch. We will also review the NIH biosketch format so that you can make sure yours complies with the latest NIH policy. After the presentation, attendees will have an opportunity to get feedback on narrative portions of their biosketch from the speakers during a virtual office hours session.

During the first hour of this session, we will provide an overview of the NIH biosketch and tips for writing effective personal statements and contributions to science. In the final half hour, presenters will be available to answer specific questions about your biosketch.

Through March 3, 2023, you can also request a half-hour, one-on-one session with one of our presenters to get feedback on your biosketch. Just choose “CDS followup: Biosketch review” and select an available time that’s convenient for you.

Event Materials


Learning Objectives

At the end of the session, attendees will be able to:

  • Understand the different biosketch formats and when to use them.
  • Learn tactics for demonstrating relevant experience in the Personal Statement.
  • Understand how to structure Contributions to Science section to highlight accomplishments and impact of research activities.


To make the most of this session, have a copy of your current biosketch handy. After the presentation there will be a virtual office hours session for attendees to get feedback from the presenters on the narrative portions of their biosketch.

Pre-Read: NIH Biosketch Instructions (Due dates on/after Jan 25, 2022)

Schedule of Activities

  • 12:00-12:05pm – Welcome/Introduction
  • 12:05-1:00pm – Presentation and Discussion
  • 1:00-1:29pm – Virtual Office Hours
  • 1:29-1:30pm – Thank You and Feedback Survey

About the Speakers

Melissa Vaught, PhD, is the Director of Research Development for ITHS, facilitating proposal development for strategic initiatives across ITHS. She also provides personalized guidance to ITHS resources for investigators, fellows, and students conducting clinical and translational research. Dr. Vaught earned her PhD in Chemistry at Vanderbilt University and continued research at the interface of biology and chemistry as a postdoctoral fellow in Boston, MA. As a contractor at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) for almost four years, she managed daily operations of post-publication projects. She joined ITHS in 2018 as the Research Navigator and has served as Director of Research Development since December 2019.

Alysia vandenBerg, PhD, is the Grants Development Manager for ITHS. Dr. vandenBerg has a PhD in Cellular and Molecular biology from the University of Vermont. Her postdoctoral studies took her from New York to Paris, France, where she studied cellular signaling processes involved in cancers of the female reproductive tract. Before joining ITHS in 2020, she worked at Fred Hutch as program manager for a range of efforts that spurred research in strategic areas. She has a dozen years’ experience in grant development, program management, and scientific communications on two continents.