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NSF Biographical Sketch

The Biographical Sketch is used to assess how well qualified the individual, team, or organization is to conduct the proposed activities. Detailed information and instructions are available in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Chapter II.D.2.h(i).

Click here for additional information

Policy Question?

What is required?

A Biographical Sketch (limited to three pages) must be provided separately for each individual designated as senior personnel.

Who are senior personnel?

Senior personnel include the individuals designated by the proposer/awardee organization and approved by NSF who contribute in a substantive, meaningful way to the scientific development or execution of a research and development project proposed to be carried out with a research and development award.  

What else should I know?

Inclusion of additional information beyond that specified for the biographical sketch may result in the proposal being returned without review. Do not submit any personal information in the Biographical Sketch. This includes items such as: home address; home telephone, fax, or cell phone numbers; home e-mail address; driver's license number; marital status; personal hobbies; and the like. Such personal information is not appropriate for the Biographical Sketch and is not relevant to the merits of the proposal. NSF is not responsible or in any way liable for the release of such material.

How do I get started?

1. Create a new document
2. Enter the document title
3. Select NSF Biographical Sketch
4. Select Start with a blank document or Existing Document

Create a new document form

Your Turn: Duplicating a document
        Click here to start

    • Click inside the Document name
    • Select NSF Biographical Sketch
    • Click Existing Document
    • Select NIH Biosketch 2023
    • Navigate to section A. Professional Preparation
    • Click Edit entries
    • Deselect the first checkbox (National Institutes Health)
    • Click Edit next to the second entry (University State)
    • Click inside the Country field
    • Click Save
    • Close the browser

  Tip icon      If you get stuck, click anywhere on the screen for a hint.

What are the sections of the biographical sketch?

Profile Information

Provides document information, profile type with link to NSF Policy, the ability to correct name, and link ORCID information.

Profile information

Professional Preparation

A list of the senior person's professional preparation (e.g., education and training), listed in reverse chronological order by start date. Include all postdoctoral and fellowship training, as applicable, listing each separately. Also include the baccalaureate degree or other initial professional education.

Step 1: Identifying Information, Organization and Location start      
Step 2: Example form        

Here's how it should look:

Appointments and Positions

All the senior person's academic, professional, or institutional appointments and positions, beginning with the current appointment (including the associated organization and location). Appointments and positions 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).With regard to professional appointments, senior personnel must only identify all current domestic and foreign professional appointments outside of the individual's academic, professional, or institutional appointments at the proposing organization.

Step 1:
Appointments/Positions start

Step 2: Example Form

Here's how it should look:


Provide a list of: up to five products most closely related to the proposed project; and (ii) up to five other significant products, whether or not related to the proposed project that demonstrate the senior person's qualifications to carry out the project as proposed.

Step 1: Products start

Step 2:  Form

Here's how it should look:
Senior personnel who wish to include publications in the products section of the Biographical Sketch that include multiple authors may, at their discretion, choose to list one or more of the authors and then "et al" in lieu of including the complete listing of authors' names.
Editing citations flowchart

Tool tip Drag & Drop: You have the ability to change the order of the citations by draging the citation to the correct position.

Synergistic Activities

Provide a list of up to five distinct examples that demonstrates the broader impact of the individual's professional and scholarly activities that focus on the integration and transfer of knowledge as well as its creation.

Synergistic activities must be specific and must not include multiple examples to further describe the activity. Examples with multiple components, such as committee member lists, sub-bulleted highlights of honors and prizes, or a listing of organizations for which the individual has served as a reviewer, are not permitted.

Step 1: Synergistic Activities start

Step 2:  Form

Here's how it should look:


Senior personnel are required to certify that the information provided is accurate, current, and complete.
Step 1: Certification

Step 2:  Certification Information

Here's how it should look: Example of certified PDF

Are you a delegate? If so, the PI, co-PI, and Senior Personnel are required to certify the document prior to downloading.
Delegate request

The NCBI Help Desk

What we do:
      • Assist customers using NCBI tools for Federal pre-award biosketches/financial support documentation and post-award NIH compliance
      • Provide expert advice on NCBI login and account management support
      • Provide guidance and troubleshooting for NCBI tools and resources

How do I contact the NCBI Help Desk?
NCBI Help Desk Icon   

Last Reviewed: February 22, 2023