NIH Biographical Sketch Format

Last updated on August 20, 2021

Important Update for NIH Biosketch for applications and RPPRs due dates on or after January 25, 2022:

NIH expects applicants and recipients to use the updated other support and biosketch format for applications, Just-In-Time (JIT) reports, and Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs) commencing January 25, 2022. If applicants and recipients choose not to use the updated format pages at this time, they must still capture all the necessary information.

Beginning with due dates on or after January 25, 2022, failure to follow the appropriate formats may cause NIH to withdrawal applications from or delay consideration for funding.

Town Hall - NIH Biosketch and Other Support Updates - April 28, 2021

 UPDATE - Since the recording of this training session, NIH has updated their instructions and samples for Other Support and Biosketch.

Notable Changes to the Biosketch FAQs and Instructions:

  1. The Biosketch must include all current positions and scientific appointments.  It is not required to list all positions a researcher has ever held. 

Q and A session #1 - May 11, 2021


NIH and AHRQ typically require use of the biosketch in applications for grants and cooperative agreements. A biosketch is used to highlight each individual's qualifications for a specific role in the proposed project. This is an NIH for, but it is used by many sponsors including federal, state and private.

General Information and Highlights of the Biosketch:

  • For Biosketch due dates on/before January 24, 2022: Consists of 4 sections: Personal Statement, Positions and Honors, Contributions to Science, and Research Support
  • For Biosketch due dates on/after January 25, 2022
    • Non-Fellowship format: consists of 3 sections: Personal Statement, Positions, Scientific Appointments and Honors, Contributions to Science,
    • Fellowhip format: consists fo 4 sections: Personal Statement, Positions, Scientific Appointments and Honors, Contributions to Science, and Scholastic Performance
  • For all Formats:
  • Limited to 5 pages
  • Figures, tables and graphics are not allowed
  • Section C-Contribution to Science, requires researchers to describe their most significant contributions (not to exceed 5). Each description should be limited to one-half page or less and should summarize the following:
    • Provide historical background that frames the scientific problem
    • Outline findings of prior work, and subsequent effect
    • Describe their roles in the discoveries
    • Reference up to 4 peer-reviewed publications or non-publication research products for each discovery
    • OPTIONAL: provide a link (URL) to a full list of publications.  The URL must be to a Federal Government website (a .gov suffix).  NIH recommends using My Bibliography

Principal Investigator's Responsibilities (per Service Partnership Agreement):

  • Principal Investigators shall maintain publications in MyNCBI. If designated administrative staff are available, assist with section C-Contributions to Science, including looking up PubMed Central Identifiers (PMCIDs).
  • Principal Investigators shall maintain biosketch templates and update with PMCIDs, as needed. Review My bibliography component in MyNCBI for accuracy. Retain versions sent by RSC and work from updated document.
  • Principal Investigators shall review key personnel biosketches for content.



NIH Website Resources

Advance (UCSF Academic Affairs - Faculty Information System)



 PubMed Central (PMC)

UCSF Faculty and Staff


If you have additional questions, please contact [email protected] or (301) 435-0714.