Creating a NSF-Compliant Biographical Sketch With SciENcv: A Step-By-Step Guide


May 17, 2023

A key component of most grant submissions is completing the biographical sketch (bio sketch) and many federal funding agencies have refined specifications for completing bio sketches. The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently updated its requirements for completing bio sketches. Beginning October 23, 2023 grant applications that include bio sketches will be required to use Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv). In the past, individuals have been given the option of using either the NSF Fillable PDF or SciENcv to create their biographical sketches. While you can continue to use the Fillable PDF through October 22, 2023, NSF recommends making the switch to SciENcv sooner to allow more time to become acquainted with the system. This blog seeks to share four key benefits of the bio sketch developer, as well as to provide a step-by-step guide for getting started with SciENcv using our preferred method, ORCiD.

Benefits of Using SciENcv

According to NSF this change is occurring because “[the] adoption of a single, common researcher profile system for federal grants reduces administrative burden for researchers”(NSF, 2023).  Towards that end, there are several benefits to utilizing SciENcv for creating bio sketches.

1. Offers Greater On-Page Guidance:

SciENcv provides more on-screen guidance to individuals as they create their bio sketches. While the refillable PDF does provide external links to information intended to support you through each section of the bio sketch, SciENcv has information built directly onto the page. Not only does this save time but it also eliminates much of the hassle that comes with navigating between different sites.

2. Less Searching through Your Personal Files:

SciENcv holds all your biographical sketches in one place, so you won’t have to spend time searching your computer to harvest bits of information from previously developed biographical sketches.

3. Increases Uniformity Across Project Personnel:

Using SciENcv ensures all project personnel will have uniformly structured bio sketches. While not large, there are recognizable formatting differences between biographical sketches created in SciENcv and those created with the refillable PDF.  The uniformity created through SciENcv serves as an indicator of the project team’s cohesiveness and ability to collaborate.

4. Delegation Authority:

SciENcv allows you to delegate both your bibliographies and your CVs/Biographical Sketches to trusted individuals on your team. This is particularly useful for teams who are time-restricted and may need a designated individual to complete the team’s bio sketches. However the owner of each biographical sketch will be required to verify the completion and accuracy of the information entered. To enforce this, SciENcv only allows newly developed biographical sketches to be downloaded by the true owner of the document, not the delegates.

Getting Started with SciENcv:

For individuals unfamiliar with SciENcv, what follows is a step-by-step guide for creating a bio sketch using this platform. For a downloadable and shareable guide, click here.

  1. Go to and click “login” button in the upper right-hand corner of the page. You will be presented with several options to sign-in, but we have found using an ORCiD account to be optimal.
  2. Go to, and select “Sign In/Register”.  
  3. When you get to the sign in page, select “Don’t have an ORCiD iD yet? Register now.”
  4. Once you have created your ORCiD account/ORCiD iD, go to the National Institute of Health and select “Log In”. This will prompt you to a page, where you can choose to Log in again with ORCiD or choose other login options.
  5. Select “Log in again with ORCiD” and use the log in information attached to your ORCiD account or your ORCiD iD, then select your username in the top right corner, and then select “Dashboard.”
  6. Your dashboard will feature several different options, but the ones most relevant to you for creating your biographical sketches will be the “My Bibliography” and the “SciENcv” sections.
  7. Locate the “My Bibliography” section. Add any relevant by including to search through PubMed, uploading them from a file, or to entering them manually.
  8. Once you have created your bibliography, return to your NIH dashboard, and navigate to the SciENcv section. Select “Click here to create a new CV.”
  9. 9. Give your document a name, set your format to “NSF Biographical Sketch”, select a data source, and set your preferred share settings (Once you have developed at least one biographical sketch in SciENcv, you will have the option to modify the existing document in the future).
  10. You will now be able to add in the remaining required information.


Documents Required for Senior Personnel. (2023). The National Science Foundation.