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Biographical Sketch Requirements by Sponsor

A biographical sketch (biosketch), is a document that is typically included for all senior/key personnel at the time of proposal submission, or with a change in PI during an award. Recently agencies have been making changes to, and clarifying their instructions for, their biosketch formats. This website provides additional information and resources, by sponsor, for the biosketch.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

UPDATE: NIH will require the new Biosketch format for applications and Research Performance Progress Reports with due dates on or after January 25, 2022.  Although NIH extended the required date for use, they expect applicants and recipients to begin using the new format as of May 25, 2021.  For additional information see notice NOT-OD-21-110.

Who Must Report

  • All Senior/Key Personnel and Other Significant Contributors.

When to Report 

  • At the proposal stage, within an application.
  • During an award, if the following changes occur:
    • A request to NIH for approval to change the PI, must include a biosketch for the replacement PI.
    • Within the Research Performance Progress Report if disclosing that there are new Senior/Key Personnel or Other Significant Contributors added to the project.

What to Report

In the grid at the top of the format page complete your:

  • Name
  • eRA Commons User Name
  • Position Title
  • Education/Training

Section A. Personal Statement: 

  • You may use this section to:
    • Briefly describe why you are well-suited for your role on this project
    • Include ongoing and completed research projects from the past three years that you would like to highlight (previously in section D)
    • Cite up to four publications or research products that you’d like to draw attention to
  • You may NOT include:
    • Hyperlinks or URL’s
    • Figures, tables or graphics

Section B. Positions, Scientific Appointments and Honors:

  • Listed in reverse chronological order, include all positions and scientific appointments (domestic and non-domestic), including:
    • Affiliations with non-domestic entities or governments
    • Titled academic, professional, or institutional appointments
      • Whether or not remuneration is received
      • Regardless of full-time, part-time, or voluntary
      • Including adjunct, visiting, or honorary

Section C. Contributions to Science:

  • Include up to five of your most significant contributions to science
    • Descriptions should be no longer than one half page, including citations.
  • For each contribution, indicate:
    • The historical background that frames the scientific problem
    • The central findings
    • The influence on the progress of science, or the application to health or technology
    • Your role in the contribution
  • For each contribution, you may cite up to four relevant publications or research products
  • You may provide a URL to a full list of your published work, but the URL must be to a federal government website (a .gov suffix).
  • You may NOT include:
    • Hyperlinks or URL’s to cite specific items
    • Figures, tables or graphics

Section D. Scholastic Performance

  • Only the following types of applicants may include a Section D:
    • Predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowship candidates
    • Dissertation research grant applicants (R36)
    • Candidates for diversity supplements in health-related research from the undergraduate through postdoctoral levels
  • Predoctoral applicants should include:
    • All undergraduate and graduate courses, with grades, listed by institution and year. 
  • Postdoctoral applicants should include:
    • All graduate scientific and/or professional courses, with grades, listed by institution and year.
  • The grading scale should be explained if it is not a standard grading scale, and the level required for a passing grade should also be included.

How to Report

Additional Resources

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