New NIH font guidelines go into effect Jan. 25

NIH has updated their recommended font list for applications submitted on or after Jan. 15, 2017. Following is a summary of guidelines that will apply to text in PDF grant application attachments:

  • Text color: Perhaps the most notable change, text in PDF attachments is no longer restricted to the color black. Though not required, black or other high-contract colors are recommended. Read: no fuchsia comic sans.  
  • Font size: Must be 11 points or larger. Smaller text in figures, graphs, diagrams, and charts is still acceptable as long as it’s legible when the page is viewed at 100%.
  • Type density: Must be no more than 15 characters per linear inch (including characters and spaces).
  • Line spacing: Must be no more than six lines per vertical inch.
  • Recommended fonts:  Arial, Georgia, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype. Other fonts are acceptable if they meet the above requirements. See the Font FAQs for additional guidance.

Still have questions? Learn more about formatting attachments here.

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Julie Rogers is Research Development Associate in the Office of Research Funding & Development Services.

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