What is Required in the New NIH Biosketch?

The biosketch format includes four major sections. The Contributions to Science section is a new required section that may optionally include references and a link to your complete bibliography.

  1. Personal Statement (new options)
    • May now include up to four peer-reviewed publications that specifically highlight your experience and qualifications for the project
    • May include a description of factors e.g. family care responsibilities, illness, disability, active duty military service to explain impediments to past productivity
  2. Position and Honors (unchanged)
  3. Contributions to Science (new; required)
    • Include up to five contributions to science
    • Include up to four references for each contribution
    • Link to a full list of their published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as My Bibliography.
      • Including this link is currently optional
      • No other links/URLs may be allowed in the biosketch or application (updated 06/16/15)
      • The online bibliography link/URL may be either active (clickable) or not active. (added 06/16/15)
      • Whether active or inactive, the link/URL to the online bibliography must be spelled out (http:// etc) and cannot be hyperlinked text/words. (added 2/6/15)
      • This online bibliography link and the up to 24 references included in the Personal Statement and Contributions to Science sections replace the previous 15 reference bibliography used in biosketches. (updated 06/16/15)
  4. Research Support (unchanged)


Contributions to Science

  • Briefly describe up to five of your most significant contributions to science. Be sure to include:
    • the historical background that frames the scientific problem
    • the central finding(s)
    • the influence of the finding(s) on the progress of science or its application to health and technology
    • your specific role in the described work
  • Each contribution can reference up to four peer-reviewed publications OR other non-publication research products including:  audio or video products; patents; data and research materials; databases; educational aids or curricula; instruments or equipment; models; protocols; and software or netware.
  • The description of each contribution must be no longer than one half page including citations and figures.

URL to Complete List of Published Work (component of Contributions to Science section)

  • Start putting together your online bibliography as soon as possible. Here are a couple of tools that NIH recommends:
    • My Bibliography in My NCBI: Use the sharing feature to link to your works.
    • SciENcv: This is a new tool that is designed to create biosketches for NIH grant applications. This tool eliminates the need to repeatedly enter biosketch information. NOTE: It is recommended that you set up your My Bibliography first.

“Per NOT-OD-15-032, the new biosketch format allows applicants to include a link to a full list of their published work as found in a “publicly available digital database” such as My Bibliography.

The NIH prefers applicants use My Bibliography. NIH cautions reviewers against accessing URLs that may compromise their anonymity.

Other publicly available sites which include data from a broad spectrum of institutions and maintain anonymity of the users accessing the sites are acceptable (e.g., Google Scholar). Links to sites managed by the investigator or applicant organization or URLS including the applicant organization name should not be used.”

  • URL Construction
    • Spell the URL out in full, beginning with ‘http://’ (e.g.,http://grants.nih.gov/grants/oer.htm).
    • Do NOT include the link as hyperlinked text (e.g., NIH Grants Web page) as eRA system processing will not retain the active link in the assembled application image in eRA Commons.
    • The online bibliography link/URL may be either active (clickable) or not active. (added 06/16/15)

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