NIH Biosketch

For NIH grant submissions, a biosketch is required for all key personnel and Other Significant Contributors (OSC). In December 2014, the NIH announced that a new format would be required for all NIH and AHRQ grants submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2015. The following table compares the old NIH biosketch format to the new NIH biosketch format, highlighting key differences. Visit the NIH website for templates and samples and answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). You can also check out the Research Concierge Service (RCS) website for more FAQs.

Old vs New Biosketch Chart


NSF Biosketch

For NSF grant submissions, a biosketch is required for each individual identified as Senior Personnel on the project. Senior Personnel includes PIs, co-PIs and other faculty members (at the applicant institution or another institution) who will participate in the project being supported. Click here for a NSF Biosketch template based on the NSF’s most current Grant Proposal Guide (effective Jan. 2016). Some key differences between the NSF biosketch and the NIH biosketch:

  • NSF biosketch format does not allow a URL link to an investigator’s full body of work.
  • NSF biosketches allow only 10 potential citations to be listed. The 10 potential citations include: (1) Up to 5 products most closely related to the proposed project and (2) Up to 5 other significant products, whether or not related to the proposed project. Only the list of 10 citations are used in the review of a proposal. 
  • In lieu of the personal statement on the NIH biosketch, the NSF biosketch has a section entitled “Synergistic Activities,” which allows individuals to list of up to 5 examples that demonstrate the broader impact of their professional and scholarly activities, focusing on the integration and transfer of knowledge as well as its creation. 

SciENcvSciENcv logo

SciENcv is an online tool you can use to create biosketches for multiple federal agencies. Within SciENcv, you can use an existing biosketch as a template to create another format (e.g. old NIH format to new NIH format, NIH format to NSF format). Visit the website for a YouTube tutorial and to get started.

Special Note: As of 9/23/16, SciENcv’s NSF biosketch template had not been updated to reflect the current format outlined in the Grant Proposal Guide.