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NIH Biosketch: Contributions to Science

NIH and AHRQ will require use of the new biosketch format in applications for research grants submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2015

Contributions to Science

Contributions to Science

Briefly describe up to five of your most significant contributions to science.  For each contribution:

  • indicate the historical background that frames the scientific problem

  • the influence of the finding(s) on the progress of science or the application health or technology

  • your specific role in the described work

Each contribution should be no longer than one half page including citations. 

For each contribution, list up to four peer-reviewed publications or other non-publication research products, including:

  • Audio or video products

  • Patents

  • Data and research materials

  • Databases

  • Educational aids or curricula

  • Instruments or equipment

  • Models

  • Protocols

  • Software or netware


Use SciENcv to create a biosketch. My Bibliography will connect to SciENcv, allowing for auto-population of  the biosketch sections for publications and work products.

There are two ways to populate a My Bibliography collection:

To start: select the blue "Add citation" button on the upper right of the main My Bibliography page.

Image mybibliography-Image005.jpg

A drop-down menu box will appear and prompt you to select the publication type to enter or to add the work from PubMed.

URL to Published Works

See the "URL to Published Works" tab for more information on providing a link to a list of published works.

Using SciENcv for Contributions to Science

Notes on Contribution to Science Section

  • For guidance on Contributions to Science, contact the Program Director at the NIH institute/center (I/C) supporting or most likely to support your award. [Source: NIH]

  • As of 25 May 2016, NO graphics, figures and tables are allowed in the biosketch.

  • Up to five Contributions to Science are allowed.

  • Contributions to Science can include non-applicant authored publications and research products. [Source:]

  • Publications and research products can be re-used within the same Biosketch among the Contributions to Science narratives. [Source: NIH]

  • Posters and presentations are considered non-publication research products. [Source: NIH]

  • There is no preferred order as to the Contributions to Science. [Source: NIH]

  • Each contribution should be no longer than one half page including citations.

  • Use My Bibliography to auto-populate the publications and research products for Contributions to Science.

  • Databases and data/research materials are not required to be publicly accessible and can be included in the Contributions to Science sections. [Source: NIH]

  • Listen to the podcast (or read the transcript): "Understanding NIH’s Biosketch Requirements" for more insight as to the Contributions to Science section.

  • What advice do you have for new scientists filling out their scientific contributions? It is a little early to tell how each discipline will judge its new scientists. You might want to consult with your colleagues who serve as reviewers in your area of science. In general, reviewers base their expectations for contributions based on the seniority of the person filling out the biosketch. A scientist with one publication may want to summarize the key finding of the paper and its importance in a short contribution. Scientists with no publications may wish to provide a contribution describing their efforts on other peoples’ papers and projects (e.g., I used this method, I conducted the literature review for this paper,  I care for all the animals in this lab, etc.). If a new scientist has no actual research  or thesis experience, they might just want to list one  contribution about their training to date. [Source:]

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