Don’t stuff your biosketch with data and information that do not belong there.
Oye. I'm reviewing grants right now, and I can tell you, the temptation to put all sorts of stuff here must be very high, since a full half of the biosketchs I've seen have things that I am just not interested in, not relevant, and irritating. Remember that the very last thing you want to do is irritate the reviewer. I've often said the meta-advice for writing grants is: do not piss off the reviewer. What is irrelevant and does not belong here? Preliminary data. The list of everything you have ever published. More difficult to discern are things that are not in support of your grant or career that explain your delay. You are supposed to put stuff in the Personal Statement such as:
May include a description of factors e.g. family care responsibilities, illness, disability, active duty military service to explain impediments to past productivity
but everyone I've talked to says that you need to be very careful about this. There may be hidden prejudices (against time out for pregnancy or military service). Such may be illegal, and even unethical. That doesn't mean they don't exist. Certainly if your pub record has a hole in it because you were gone, its worth noting here. One example that I think worked was a new colleague hired at a MRU. Everyone there got a lighter teaching load the first year, but the course in which my friend was hired lost its course director, and they asked her to step in & run the (gulp) enormous first year med school class. They promised (and made good on) a year's break from teaching in her year 3 of employment. It worked brilliantly, to the point, where it could be a strategy for others to consider: she didn't have a lab the first year, and spent it organizing, but in year 3, rather than teaching she had a mini-sabbatical and was massively productive. She put this in the personal statement, and it was positively noted in the reviews.
Only 1 in 3 or 4 bothered to do this. I can see the Old Fartes not doing something new (they didn't seem to read the instructions, either, but that's another story). But why oh why would a young person not do this? Many people have said (on the tweets or in person to me) that they are not going to waste time reading all the nonsense in the new format, they just want to see the pubs. If this is the case, then providing the reviewer with a one-link, one-click place to get that info is going to be very valuable. Putting the list in your biosketch is (allegedly) forbidden. It is also another way to piss of a reviewer who cares about the rules. For my part, I try and ignore rule-breaches, but probably in the way that we all have biases of which we may be unaware, its probably there in the back of my mind.
Relax if you are a new investigator: the new requirement can only help you, since study sections cluster the reviews of new investigator R01 applications.
Hahahahaha. Relax, new investigator, NIH has your back. Tone-unbelievable-deaf.
Update on being a new investigator from DataHound: The NIH Early Career Reviewer Program-Some Key Parameters. I have long advocated doing this. Here are the statistics to support it.
Bottom Line: List only pertinent information in your biosketch, and know your application could be withdrawn if you don’t use the new biosketch format.
Given the number I've seen that have either ignored this part or that, I am not sure this is true. Its one thing if the whole biosketch is in the old format. Someone just didn't care enough, etc etc. But when parts conform (ie the five areas with four pubs, or is it four areas with five pubs? I am sure that after doing this 6 or 7 times, I will have it memorized), and others don't (as in, oh by the way here is a list of my favorite 26 pubs since 1966), its a sure indication someone read the rules, and said screw this.
But, for young investigators, new investigators, and really any of us that want to get funded, following the logistic rules is a small thing. Why give the reviewers any cause for rejecting you, or even just being annoyed?