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NIH Public Access Policy

New NIH Biosketch Format

The NIH biosketch format (Biographical Sketch Format Page -- Forms Version D) is required for all grant applications. Investigators are asked to describe up to five Contributions to Science (Section C) and can include citations in this section and in the Personal Statement (Section A). The biosketch allows applicants to include a link to a full list of their published work as found in a “publicly available digital database” such as My Bibliography.


SciENcv is a free tool you can use to generate an NIH biosketch using information in your My Bibliography account and eRA Commons account.  My Bibliography and SciENcv can both be found in your My NCBI account. My Bibliography should be set up before you set up SciENcv.

Visit Frequently Asked Questions about NIH biosketches for more information. 

New NIH Biosketch and SciENcv Clinic Presentation at UMMS

The office of Research Funding Services and the Lamar Soutter Library recommend that UMMS faculty utilize SciENcv to generate biosketches. SciENcv is a biosketch generator and professional profile tool. It is integrated with eRA Commons and the existing NCBI toolkit and pulls both award data and publication data into the biosketch. It is easy to use and enables copying, editing, and saving of multiple biosketches. Review our clinic information below and contact us with any questions! 

(last updated May 2, 2016)

Step 1: Do you already have a My NCBI account?

Are your eRA Commons and NCBI Accounts linked?? Check your NCBI Account Settings and look under "Linked Accounts." If they are linked, you will see "eRA login" listed here. If eRA is not listed here, the accounts are not linked. 

Linked Accounts

Problems linking your NCBI and eRA Commons accounts?  Contact the library! Or email  Provide your NCBI user name, eRA Commons user name, and the email address(es) associated with the accounts.

Step 2: My Bibliography: managing your citations

My Bibliography is a reference tool that helps you save your citations directly from PubMed. To comply with the NIH biosketch requirements, you can include a link to My Bibliography to provide a full list of your publications.

Here are the steps to add citations to My Bibliography:

1. Log in to My NCBI.
2. Search for all of your publications in PubMed.  Use the “send to” menu on the search results page to send the citations to My Bibliography.
3. Click on “My NCBI” in the upper right corner.  Look for the My Bibliography box.
4. Click on “Manage My Bibliography.”  Your My Bibliography should be populated with all of your citations.

  • If you have authored additional publications that are included in PubMed, click the "Add from PubMed" button on the right under Add Citation and search for your citations.
  • If you have authored additional publications that aren’t included in PubMed, you can manually add them to My Bibliography by clicking on “Add manually" and complete the form; select the template for the type of publication you want to add.
  • You also have the option of uploading citations in bulk using either MEDLINE or RIS citation file format. 

5. At the top of the page is a link to make your bibliography “public.”  When you click on this, it will show you the “public URL” that you can paste into your biosketch.
6. Keep your My Bibliography up-to-date by periodically adding citations for your newly-published articles. (Hint: Set up a search alert for your publications.)

Step 3: SciENcv: integrated biosketch generator

SciENcv is a recommended tool designed to facilitate the creation of biosketches for NIH and NSF grant applications and annual progress reports.

SciENcv links your biographical information from eRA Commons (education, work experience, award history) with your PubMed publications that have been saved in your My Bibliography account.

First, set up your My Bibliography as outlined in Step 2 above.  Then follow these steps:

  1. Log into My NCBI.
  2. Ensure that your NCBI account is linked to your eRA Commons account.  Click on your user name in the upper right hand corner, go to the Linked Accounts box, and verify (or add) "NIH and eRA Commons."
  3. In My NCBI, find the SciENcv box.  Click on "Click here to create a new CV." If you have already created a biosketch, click on "Manage SciENcv".
  4. Choose NIH Biosketch as format.
  5. Choose External Source as the data source.
  6. Choose Private as privacy setting. 

For future proposals, you can create a new biosketch using Existing Biosketch as the data source to reuse elements.

Review our SciENcv presentation or the SciENcv Help for specific directions on how to edit SciENcv profiles.

SciENcv Recommendations and Tips

  • Create a Master Biosketch that you can copy and edit for subsequent biosketches/proposals. You can create multiple profiles within SciENcv so that you can tailor your biosketch for each new grant application.
  • When you add references to My Bibliography, those references will also be available in SciENcv.  Click on "show/hide entries" to see them.
  • Use Summit to see a list of all your research support.  You can manually copy and paste data from Summit (or from your current CV) to Section D for non-NIH awards.
  • You can export your SciENcv profile as a PDF document and use it when submitting a grant application.
  • Don’t export and modify Word versions of the biosketch. The value of SciENcv is that it can house all of your data, which can then be reused within the system to create new biosketches.
  • For guidance on Contributions to Science, consider contacting the Program Director at the NIH institute/center (I/C) supporting or most likely to support your award.

Delegating Access to My Bibliography and SciENcv

SciENcv video from NCBI

Brief video from NCBI showing how to set up SciENcv