Three New Action Items for NIH Applicants, PIs, and Senior/Key Personnel

Dear NIH Researchers,

As previously announced, as of January 25, 2022, NIH will require new Biographical Sketches and Other Support format pages containing substantial changes. The updated forms and instructions are required for use in applications and Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs) due on or after January 25, 2022.

IMPORTANT: the revised Other Support form requires three new action items for all PIs and senior/key persons:

  • Sign Electronically:  The PI and other senior/key personnel must electronically sign the Other Support form to certify the accuracy of the information provided, and adhere to Columbia University’s Electronic Signature Policy. A typed name is not an electronic signature and is not acceptable.  Acceptable methods for obtaining electronic signature are DocuSign, and a departmentally licensed version of Adobe.
    • PIs and Departments must retain the “original” electronic signatures, prior to the conversion to PDF format, and prior to submission to Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA).
  • Include Non-U.S. Supporting Documentation in JIT/RPPR Other Support Packet: With the electronically signed Other Support forms, PIs and senior/key persons must include copies of contracts/agreements specific to any non-U.S. appointments and/or employment for any non-U.S. activities and resources that are reported in Other Support. If the contracts/agreements are not in English, recipients must provide translated copies.  These materials must be provided to SPA as part of the JIT/RPPR Other Support packet.
  • Upload Non-U.S. Supporting Documentation to Rascal:  A new Rascal module has been launched to allow PIs and senior/key personnel to upload their supporting documentation for a limited, parallel compliance review by the Office of Research Compliance and Training (ORCT).  Documentation need only be uploaded one time in the life of the agreement, but amendments and modifications must be uploaded.  This upload is separate from the submission to SPA noted above. 

We strongly recommend that individuals who have non-U.S. agreements related to Other Support upload the documentation to Rascal now, so that ORCT can review before submission to NIH.

To learn more about the changes to the Biosketches and Other Support forms, complying with the electronic signature mandate, and the new Rascal module for supporting documentation, sign up for an upcoming webinar:

Schedule (click on the hyperlinks below to register, using a Columbia-affiliated email address. Other email addresses will be rejected):

We will continue to provide updates as we get closer to January 25, 2022. We are also happy to discuss these updates at upcoming faculty or administrator meeting as scheduling permits. For questions about these webinars and speaking engagements, please reach out to Stephanie Scott at [email protected]. For more information, see our NIH Researcher Disclosure Requirements webpage, and our supplemental FAQs.


Naomi J. Schrag, JD

Vice President for Research Compliance, Training & Policy

Office of Research Compliance & Training


William Berger

Executive Director

Sponsored Projects Administration

November 10, 2021