Biographical Sketch/Curriculum Vitae for Key Personnel

Most sponsors require investigators and project key personnel to provide a curriculum vitae (CV) or biographical sketch as part of a proposal. Many sponsors request the biosketch provided to them adhere to a specific format.  Given different sponsors request this information in different formats, it is highly important to always closely review and adhere to each sponsor’s specific CV or biosketch requirements when preparing these documents. 

All formats require a list of all the individual’s academic/professional appointments. This should include any titled domestic or foreign academic, professional or institutional position whether or not renumeration is received. Courtesy, adjunct and affiliate appointments must be listed.

Below are several resources and current guidance on biosketch requirements for specific sponsors.

SciENcv: Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (currently accepted by NSF, NIH, DOE)

  • Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv) is an electronic system that helps researchers assemble professional information needed for participation in federally funded research. Researchers can use SciENcv to create and maintain biosketches and current and pending documents that are submitted with grant applications and annual reports.
    • Eliminates the need to repeatedly enter biosketch information
    • Reduces the administrative burden associated with federal grant submission and reporting requirements
    • Provides access to a researcher-claimed data repository with information on expertise, employment, education, and professional accomplishments
    • Allow researchers to describe their scientific contributions in their own language
  • SciENcv Guidance on Creating a NSF Biosketch
  • YouTube Video:  SciENcv for NSF Biosketch

Specific Agency Guidance


National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH requires inclusion of all positions and scientific appointments both domestic and foreign, including affiliations with foreign entities or governments. This includes titled academic, professional, or institutional appointments whether or not remuneration is received, and whether full-time, part-time, or voluntary (including adjunct, visiting, or honorary). 

National Science Foundation (NSF)

NSF requires inclusion of all the individual's academic, professional, or institutional appointments, beginning with the current appointment. Appointments include any titled academic, professional, or institutional position whether or not remuneration is received, and whether full-time, part-time, or voluntary (including adjunct, visiting, or honorary).

Department of Energy (DoE)

DOE biosketch instructions may vary by program announcement. However, most require use of the NSF format with a section added for “Identification of Potential Conflicts of Interest or Bias in Selection of Reviewers.”

Department of Defense (DoD)

DOD biosketch format may vary by department/program.  Review the solicitation carefully to ensure use of the appropriate format.

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

The Biographical Sketch should be limited to 2 pages each in length, excluding publications listings. The vitae should include a presentation of academic and research credentials, as applicable (e.g., earned degrees, teaching experience, employment history, professional activities, honors and awards, and grants received).

  • Follow the application instructions and submission requirements in the RFA and applicable NIFA Application Guide.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

PIs, Co-PIs, and any named graduate student participant/trainees shall include a biographical sketch that includes their professional experiences, positions and a bibliography of publications, especially those relevant to the proposed effort, as well as, a description of scientific, technical, and management experience on relevant prior efforts.

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