NSF Biosketch Update, Effective January 2020

NSF recently announced that, beginning with the next iteration of the Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide (anticipated effective date January 2020), the agency will only accept PDFs for biographical sketches generated through the use of an NSF-approved format for inclusion in proposals. The National Institute of Health’s SciENcv has been designated as an NSF-approved format, and information regarding potential additional approved formats will be circulated when the new PAPPG is released. The PAPPG limits the biographical sketch to two pages and is required for each individual identified as senior personnel on an NSF application. Further information will be released as it becomes available. For SciENcv training resources, please visit the following sites: SciENcv Background YouTube Video: SciENcv Tutorial YouTube Video: Integrating with ORCID SciENcv Help

User-Submitted Question: Does a Fellowship Biosketch Differ From a Traditional Biosketch?

A biosketch for a fellowship is very similar to a traditional NIH biosketch, with a few important differences: Personal Statement –  non-key-person applicants for institutional research training, career development, or research education grants are not required (though are strongly encouraged) to complete the “Personal Statement” section. Positions and Honors –  postdoctorates should include any relevant scholarships, traineeships, fellowships, or development awards. Contributions to Science – while applicants may list up to five contributions to science, NIH recommends that postdoctoral applicants highlight the two to three considered most significant. Additional Information: Research Support and/or Scholastic Performance – postdoctoral applicants should complete only “Scholastic Performance.” If, however, the applicants also have Research Support, they should complete both sections. For more information about completing and formatting an NIH biosketch, please visit OSP’s blog here.

Understanding the NSF Biosketch Format

Submitting to NSF? The NSF biosketch differs quite a bit from an NIH biosketch: A biographical sketch (limited to two pages) is required for each individual identified as senior personnel. While individuals may elect to use third-party solutions, such as NIH’s SciENcv, to develop and maintain their biographical sketch, please be advised that all biographical sketches created using third-party solutions must still be compliant with NSF proposal preparation requirements. Do not submit any personal information in the biographical sketch. This includes items such as a home address; home telephone, fax, or cell phone number; home e-mail address; driver’s license number; marital status; personal hobbies; and the like. Such personal information is not appropriate for the biographical sketch and is not relevant to the merits of the proposal. NSF is not responsible or in any way liable for the release of such material. Professional Preparation A list of the individual’s undergraduate and graduate education and postdoctoral training (including location) as indicated

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Biosketches for Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP)

Are you planning on submitting a CDMRP application? Within any CDMRP application, biographical sketches are required for each person who will contribute to the proposed research project, and/or for each person listed as key personnel in the “Research &Related Senior/Key Person Profile” form. CDMRP accepts the use of two general formats for biosketches, either the CDMRP format (available as a template in eBRAP or attached here) or the NIH template. Either format must not exceed five pages. Please note that while the layouts of the two accepted formats differ, the content requirements remain the same. PIs should list only publications from the last three years Although the NIH template provides a section for research support, PIs should instead submit previous/current/pending support as a separate document (Other Support). For questions or assistance, please contact your OSP specialist.

Common Mistakes in Biosketches

OSP has been receiving a lot of questions about the proper formatting and content of biosketches. Please note that according to NOT-OD-15-095 and NOT-OD-17-105, NIH may withdraw any application during the receipt, referral, or review process that is incomplete or non-compliant with the instructions included in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. To assist in the completion of compliant biosketches, OSP has compiled a list of common mistakes: Format: NIH requires all applications submitted on or after May 25, 2015, be compliant with the instructions detailed in the application guide: Complete all sections (Section A – Personal Statement; Section B – Positions and Honors; Section C – Contributions to Science; Section D – Research Support or Scholastic Performance) Include no more than five (5) contributions to science with no more than four (4) citations per contribution Ensure that when utilizing reference tools such as My Bibliography, the URL is public and accessible. Verify that only the information outlined in the application

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