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SciENcv for Creating a Biosketch

How to use the ScienCV and ORCID systems to create a NSF Biosketch at Penn State

What is a Biosketch

A biographical sketch or biosketch is a document highlighting the qualifications of key personnel for a specific role in a proposed grant project. Both the NIH and the NSF require a biosketch for senior or key personnel applying for and renewing grants with each agency.

This step-by-step guide will walk you though what you need to know, from logging into SciENcv (the NSF - and NIH-approved system for creating biosketches) and linking your ORCID profile to make it easier to populate your biosketch, through creating and exporting your biosketch. Select a section below for more details.

As of October 1, 2020, NSF has indicated that only PDFs for biographical sketches that are generated through the use of an NSF-approved format will be accepted. You can generate these PDFs via the SciENcv tool.  Please see NSF's updated memo stating this new requirement. 

Important: You should consult with your research administrator(s) if you have questions about how this will affect your grant submission and deadlines.

What is SciENcv? 

Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv) is an electronic system that researchers can use to create and maintain biosketches that must be submitted with NIH and NSF grant applications and annual reports. SciENcv pulls information from other systems, including MyNCBI, ORCID, and eRA commons in order to ease administrative burden and allow researchers to quickly create and recreate a biosketch for each grant application or annual report.

*Information credit to NC State Libraries "Using SciENcv to Create Your Biosketch"

Step 1: Using SciENcv through MyNCBI

Accessing SciENcv

You can access SciENcv a number of ways. The easiest is by going to https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sciencv/ and selecting “Click here to start!” You can also access SciENcv via the NCBI’s My NCBI portal, or by going to PubMed and selecting the “Sign in to NCBI” link at the top right of the screen. 

My NCBI is a tool designed for multiple purposes across the NCBI system, including saving and customizing NCBI database searches and creating bibliographies of your own work, in addition to housing the SciENcv system, so if you’re not familiar with My NCBI, finding SciENcv once you’re in My NCBI can be a bit tricky. For most users, the SciENcv box will default to the bottom right corner of your screen, but if you have customized your My NCBI account before, it may be located elsewhere. 

Login Options

  • ERA Commons
  • NSF FastLane Account
  • Third party party sign-in options:
    • Penn State (select from 3rd party drop-down list)
    • ORCID

NIH eRA Commons, NSF FastLane, and ORCID account holders who have linked their accounts to NCBI can populate their SciENcv profiles with the information stored in their eRA, FastLane, or ORCID accounts.

Creating a MyNCBI/SciENcv Account

1. Using your web browser, go to https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sciencv/ and select “Click here to start!”

SciENcv home page on NCBI dot gov

2. Select ”See more 3rd party sign in options”: scroll down to select "Penn State" to log in using your existing WebAccess credentials; or scroll down to select ORCID to log in using your ORCID credentials.


Sign in to NCBI, choose see more 3rd party sign in optionsEnter Penn State in the search

3. You will be given the option to create a new MyNCBI account or link your google account to an existing MyNCBI account.

  • If you do not already have a MyNCBI account:
    • Select “Create a new NCBI account”
    • Select the account you wish to use and log in; this will create a MyNCBI account with your email as the username and send a verification link to your email.
    • If you already have a MyNCBI account, select “Link to an existing NCBI account”

Choose create a new NCBI account

Confirmation page

4. You’ll see a screen entitled “My NCBI” - this is your landing page for managing tools within the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). 


My NCBI landing page

5. If you haven't used SciENcv before, there will be a small box with a link to create a profile. If you have used SciENcv before, you will see links to biosketches you've already created. To get started on your biosketch go to the “SciENcv” section and at the bottom of that section and select “Manage SciENcv”.

SciENcv box

6. Select “Create New Biosketch”

Form for a new biosketch

Step 2: Linking information from ORCiD

The easiest way to populate your SciENcv biosketch is through an ORCID ID.

An ORCID/record is a free account that creates a persistent identifier that will follow you throughout your career and allows you to gather your scholarly work in a single location. You can use it to add publications to your Biosketch that are not located in PubMed. 

The Penn State University Libraries can help researchers make their ORCID records more complete. The first step is for researchers to connect their ORCID record with their Penn State ID.  The ORCID – Penn State connection enables integration with other PSU systems and allows researchers to get help adding their publications into their ORCID records.

ORCID to Penn State integration page

When you’re ready to link your ORCID iD with SciENcv, go back to your My NCBI account and sign in again (if you are logged out) and follow steps 1-4 in the Creating a MyNCBI/SciENcv Account section.

  1. Once you see your My NCBI landing page, you should see your username in the upper right corner.  Select your username. 
  2. Use the Change button under Linked Accounts to add your ORCID account.

3. Select "Change" and then search for ORCID.

Search for ORCID

4. Select ORCID under "Login Account Options," then enter your ORCID username and password, and authorize it. You should now see your ORCID account listed in your Linked Accounts.

Authorize access to ORCID

ORCID now shows in accounts

5. Select "My NCBI" in the top right corner.

You are now ready to go to SciENcv.

Step 3: Creating your Biosketch

To create a new biosketch using your ORCID information, go back to your SciEncv account, sign in if you are not already signed in, and follow these steps: 

  1. Give your new biosketch a name (e.g., 2020 NSF biosketch). 
    • For Format, select “NSF Biosketch” (if you would like to create an NIH biosketch, select "NIH Biosketch" instead)
    • For Choose Data Source, select “External source: ORCID” (Once you have created your first biosketch in SciENcv, you can select “Existing Biosketch” and use a previous biosketch as a template, saving you from having to re-do the process described below)
      ***Note that your biosketch will not dynamically update as you make updates to your ORCID profile - you will want to create your Biosketch after your ORCID profile is up to date.***
    • For Sharing, choose if you want the biosketch to be public or private.  You can always change the sharing settings. 
    • Select “Create”

Create a New Biosketch

2. SciENcv will automatically pull from ORCID to populate your new biosketch. This may take a couple of minutes.

3. Scroll down to find the section on Peer-reviewed publications or References - the name of the section will be different for different Biosketch Formats.

4. Select "edit this section" or "Show/hide entries." Then select the ORCID tab. Select the articles you want displayed in this biosketch. You will also have the option of selecting from your My Bibliography as well. Once you have checked the ones you want, select "Done."

5. The articles you selected should then appear in Section C. You can edit what appears there using the "Show/hide entries" option.

Remember that the more you fill in your ORCID profile, the more you will be able to pull automatically into SciENcv when you create a biosketch.

Step 4: Exporting your Biosketch

Once your biosketch is complete you will want to export it to be included in the grant / funder materials. 

1. On the SciENcv landing page select the Biosketch you want to export
SciENcv landing page

Selected Biosketch

2. After you select the Biosketch you will have the opportunity to export into 3 formats - PDF, Word (only available for NIH biosketches), and XML. (If you export to Word or XML, be aware that any changes you make after exporting will affect the overall format and could cause issues with submission.)

3. Once you select the format you want, you will see a dialogue box that shows the download process. When it is finished, the file should save to your computer; if you don’t see it, check your downloads folder. 

Optional: Delegate Access

Any My NCBI account holder can set up one or more delegates for their My NCBI account. Once a delegate has accepted their invitation, they will then have the ability to view, edit, and create profiles in the original account holder’s SciENcv, as well as editing the account holder’s My Bibliography. 

If you would like to send a delegate request: 

  1. Login to your My NCBI account
  2. Select your username in the top-right corner of the screen to access the Account Settings page
  3. Under “Delegates,” select “Add a delegate”
  4. Enter your delegate’s email address and select OK.

If you would like to accept a delegate request: 

  1. Log in to your My NCBI account
  2. Check your email for the delegate request. If you haven’t received the request email, be sure to check you spam folder – the email comes from myncbi@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  3. Use the link in the delegate request email to accept and confirm the delegation

If you would like to see if a delegate has accepted your request: 

  1. Login to your My NCBI account
  2. Select your username in the top-right corner of the screen to access the Account Settings page
  3. If you have sent one or more delegate requests, you will see a table in the Delegates section:

Awaiting confirmation example

This delegation request has not been accepted – refer your delegate to the instructions on how to accept a delegate request.

Delegate request accepted

This request has now been accepted.

To control what your delegate has access to: 

  1. Login to your My NCBI account
  2. Select your username in the top-right corner of the screen to access the Account Settings page
  3. You can use the table in the delegates section to control what your delegates have access to.
  4. If you have checked the “My Bibliography” box, your delegate will have the ability to view and make changes to your My Bibliography and Other Citations collections. If you have checked the “SciENcv” box, your delegate will be able to create, view, and change your SciENcv products.

Delegate with My Bibliography and SciENcv boxes checked

***Note that the Public or Private settings on your My Bibliography or SciENcv have no effect on your delegate’s ability to view and make changes to these resources. Should you wish to remove a delegate, use the red “X”. Should you wish to give a delegate access to only one resource, use the check-boxes.***

To access your delegator’s SciENcv: 

  1. Login to your My NCBI account
  2. If you have been granted access to your delegator’s My Bibliography and Other Citations collections, you will see those collections listed in your collections list:

List of Collections

3. If you have been granted access to your delegator’s SciENcv, you will be able to access it from your SciENcv portlet:

SciENcv portlet

*Information taken from MY NCBI Delegates FAQ and NCBI Insights.

Additional help

You can find more information on using SciENcv at the following links:

Depending on the problem you are having, reach out to the people below for help.