Put your research plans in scientific context for your reviewers and convince them that you know your field by citing wisely in your application, including a Bibliography, and including appropriate Appendix materials.
Connect to Science with Citations
Your Bibliography and References Cited Attachment should reflect all the source materials you relied on when preparing any section of the application.
List all the publications you have cited. Read more on citing publications as you write at Referencing Publications.
We suggest that you limit your citations to fewer than 100, but don't omit essentials or items that highlight the breadth of your knowledge.
If a publication is public, always link to it, or include its NIH PubMed Central identification number in the text.
References show your breadth of knowledge of the field. If you leave out an important work, reviewers may assume you're not aware of it.
Cite publications that are current and relevant to the project or show that you or your collaborators used your proposed methods. You may also cite interim research products, such as article preprints, to demonstrate transparency as explained in NIH's Frequently Asked Questions on Interim Research Products. Do not include a copy of publications in the application.
You will list all citations in your Other Project Information Form: Bibliography and References Cited form.
What to Add and Not to Add in an Appendix
NIH limits the information you may put in an Appendix (see list below of allowable materials) and will check that you did not try to bypass page limits by putting materials in the Appendix that belong in the Research Plan.
Guidelines differ by grant type and notice of funding opportunity (NOFO), so check your NOFO carefully.
The list of allowable Appendix materials is limited to the following items:
- Blank data collection forms, blank survey forms and blank questionnaire forms--or screenshots thereof
- Simple lists of interview questions
- Blank informed consent/assent forms
- Other items only if they are specified in the NOFO as allowable Appendix materials
For more information and clarification on the types of allowable appendix materials, refer to the Updated Appendix Policy.
Applications that include unallowable Appendix materials will be withdrawn and not reviewed.
How to Deal with Images
- Put images in the Research Strategy where they count toward the page limit.
- Follow the SF 424 Application Guide for size and resolution information.
Submitting the Appendix
Use the Appendix attachment of the PHS 398 Research Plan form. If you can't submit the materials electronically, contact the scientific review officer listed in your chosen NOFO.
- I highlight my knowledge of the field, ideally using no more than 100 citations.
- I follow NIH public access policy, putting the PubMed Central ID or NIH manuscript number in the citation when citing a paper that results from NIH funding.
- For each citation, I use "et al." in place of listing all authors of a publication and include article and journal title, book title, volume number, page numbers, and year of publication.