Biosketches are required in both competing applications and progress reports. The form is broken down into five sections: 1. Informational Table; 2. Personal Statement; 3. Positions and Honors; 4. Contributions to Sciences; and 5. Research Support. All five sections combines can be no more than five pages, with 1/2 inch margins and in one of the four preferred NIH Font types and size.
The table is located at the top of the first page and it contains name, title, eRA Commons ID, and education/training of the person the biosketch is for.
The next session is the person's Personal Statement. Here, you would briefly describe why this person is well-suited for their role(s) in this project. Relevant factors may include: aspects of their training; their previous experimental work on this specific topic or related topics; their technical expertise; their collaborators or scientific environment; and/or their past performance in this or related fields. Additionally, they may cite up to four publications or research products that highlight their experience and qualifications for this project.
After the Personal Statement, you have the section on Positions and Honors. Here, you list in chronological order the positions they've held that are relevant to this application, concluding with their present position. High school students and undergraduates may include any previous positions. For individuals who are not currently located at the applicant organization, include the expected position at the applicant organization and the expected start date. Moreover, list any relevant academic and professional achievements and honors. In particular:
- Students, postdoctorates, and junior faculty should include scholarships, traineeships, fellowships, and development awards, as applicable.
- Clinicians should include information on any clinical licensures and specialty board certifications that they have achieved.
Then, you have the section on Contributions to Science. All senior/key persons should complete the "Contributions to Science" section except candidates for research supplements to promote diversity in health-related research who are high school students, undergraduates, and post-baccalaureates.
Here, you would briefly describe up to five of their most significant contributions to science. The description of each contribution should be no longer than one half page, including citations. While all applicants may describe up to five contributions, graduate students and postdoctorates may wish to consider highlighting two or three they consider most significant. For each contribution, indicate the following:
- the historical background that frames the scientific problem;
- the central finding(s);
- the influence of the finding(s) on the progress of science or the application of those finding(s) to health or technology; and
- your specific role in the described work.
Moreover, for each contribution, you may cite up to four publications or research products that are relevant to the contribution.
Also, at the end of this section you can have a link to additional publications, noting that it must be a .gov site that you refer to.
Finally, we come to the Additional Information: Research Support and/or Scholastic Performance section which indicates current support as well as support that has been completed within the past three years.
These instructions apply to all applicants who are completing the Research Support section:
List ongoing and completed research projects from the past three years that you want to draw attention to. Briefly indicate the overall goals of the projects and your responsibilities. Do not include the number of person months or direct costs. Do not confuse Research Support with Other Support. Other Support information is not collected at the time of application submission.
- Research Support: As part of the Biosketch section of the application, "Research Support" highlights your accomplishments, and those of your colleagues, as scientists. This information will be used by the reviewers in the assessment of each your qualifications for a specific role in the proposed project, as well as to evaluate the overall qualifications of the research team.
- Other Support: NIH staff may request complete and up-to-date "other support" information from you as part of Just-in-Time information collection.
Note the following instructions for specific subsets of applicants/candidates:
- High school students are not required to complete Section D. Additional Information: Research Support and/or Scholastic Performance.
- Career development award applicants should complete the "Research Support" section but skip the "Scholastic Performance" section.
- Generally, the following types of applicants can skip the "Research Support" section and must complete only the "Scholastic Performance" section. However, when these applicants also have Research Support, they may complete both sections.
- applicants for predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships
- applicants to dissertation research grants (e.g., R36)
- candidates for research supplements to promote diversity in health-related research from the undergraduate through postdoctoral levels
Predoctoral applicants/candidates (including undergraduates and post-baccalaureates): List by institution and year all undergraduate and graduate courses, with grades. In addition, explain any grading system used if it differs from a 1-100 scale; an A, B, C, D, F system; or a 0-4.0 scale. Also indicate the levels required for a passing grade.
Postdoctoral applicants: List by institution and year all graduate scientific and/or professional courses with grades. In addition, explain any grading system used if it differs from a 1-100 scale; an A, B, C, D, F system; or a 0-4.0 scale. Also indicate the levels required for a passing grade.
For more detailed information on Biosketches, please see the NIH SF424 Guidelines. Also, NIH has created blank format pages you can utilize for new biosketches. Additionally, you can create biosketches in SciENcv for PIs and other key personnel.