Update: New Biographical Sketch Format Required for NIH and AHRQ Grant Applications Submitted for Due Dates on or After May 25, 2015

Notice Number:


Key Dates

Release Date: December 5, 2014

Related Announcements


Issued by

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)


This Notice supersedes NOT-OD-15-024 about the NIH and AHRQ requirement for use of a new biosketch format and provides some latitude in the transition for those who have already been compiling biosketches for their large grant applications with deadlines in early in 2015.

NIH and AHRQ encourages applicants to use the newly published biosketch format for all grant and cooperative agreement applications submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2015, and will require use of the new format for applications submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2015. Applicants may submit using the new biosketch format for due dates before January 25, 2015, if they wish.

New Format

The revised forms and instructions are now available on the SF 424 (R&R) Forms and Applications page and adjustments have been made to improve their usability.

Individual fellowships, R36 dissertation grants, and diversity supplements should use the Fellowship Application Biographical Sketch Format Page and related pre-doc and post-doc instructions and samples, while research grant applications, career development, training grant, and all other application types should use the general Biographical Sketch Format Page and instructions and sample.

The new format extends the page limit for the biosketch from four to five pages, and allows researchers to describe up to five of their most significant contributions to science, along with the historical background that framed their research. Investigators can outline the central findings of prior work and the influence of those findings on the investigator’s field. Investigators involved in Team Science are provided the opportunity to describe their specific role(s) in the work. Each description can be accompanied by a listing of up to four relevant 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 that are relevant to the described contribution. In addition to the descriptions of specific contributions and documentation, researchers will be allowed to include a link to a full list of their published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as MyBibliography or SciENcv.

Tool to Help Build the New Biosketch

The Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv), which serves as an interagency system designed to create biosketches for multiple federal agencies, will be updated by the end of December to support the new biosketch format and to address some issues found in testing.

SciENcv pulls information from available resources making it easy to develop a repository of information that can be readily updated and modified to prepare future biosketches. A YouTube video provides instructions for using SciENcv.

Additional Information

Note that having a different biosketch format than other applications being reviewed in the same panel is not grounds for appeal.

See FAQs for additional information.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Grants Information
Office of Extramural Research (OER)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Phone: 301-710-0267
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

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