Test Drive SciENcv


I’m excited to provide an update on a new tool being developed that will allow researchers not only to easily compile biosketch information but also populate biosketches for grant applications. NIH has worked closely with six other federal agencies (DOD, DOE, EPA, NSF, USDA, and the Smithsonian), the Federal Demonstration Partnership, and the extramural research community to create a system that will provide comprehensive curriculum vita information, and at the same time reduce the burden associated with applying for research support. This system — the Science Experts Network or SciENcv — enables researchers to easily maintain and generate biosketches for federal grant applications and progress reports, and, as of September, is available to the public in a beta version.

Any researcher can use SciENcv to link their biographical information (education and award history, for example) with publication records in PubMed and myBibliography. Researchers who already have an eRA Commons Account can use it to create a usable NIH biosketch within a few minutes. It also provides a convenient portal to ORCID allowing users to generate and associate a unique international ID with the information in their SciENcv.

NIH’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is designing the system with you, the researcher in mind, reducing the need to manually enter redundant information. We are planning to enhance the capability of the system and allow users to import data from other profile systems and to create NSF biosketches during the 2014 fiscal year. When fully implemented, SciENcv will provide a structured, digital view of biosketch information for grant applications for all participating federal science agencies.

Since its launch we’ve had more than a thousand people sign up, so I invite you to “kick the tires” on the beta version by signing into SciENcv through myNCBI. Your feedback on the existing platform will help us make it easier for you to use, and also help us create a valuable resource – a database that paints a much better picture of the impact of federal research funding and the scientific research workforce.


  1. It took me over five minutes to find out how to actually access the SciENcv tool. Hopefully, this will save others time.
    Visit –>http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/
    In the right hand column of http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/ you will see a “SciENcv” titled box that gives you the option to create your BioSketch. Click this link and follow the instructions.

    The tool does seem very useful, but has one initial limitation; it has a default header and footer. There needs to be:
    -the option to change the PD/PI listed in the header
    -the option to create the PDF without a header and footer (this is what the NIH requires for submission!)

    Thank you!

    1. Thank you for posting this information as I also did not find access to the tool to be immediately self evident.

  2. Here are a few things that I noticed would be beneficial to the end user.
    1. The option to choose the current position title vs. the system using the lastest entry.
    2. In the section for Honors it would be nice to be able to include a date range rather than listing each year separately. This would cut down space thereby allowing more room for scientific information.

    I was unable to edit/remove “Training Grant” information from my faculty member’s Education/Training section. I am not sure if I missed something or if there is a glitch in the system.

  3. We’ll share your suggestions with our colleagues working on SciENcv development. You can also provide direct feedback using the contact form within SciENcv, or sending an email directly to info@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov with your comments. Thanks for taking the test drive!

  4. This is a great start! Education/training was correct in the PDF version for me even though the NCBI website message said “You have not listed any degree or training.” Also both the current year and next year were listed for my NIH grants under “ongoing research support.” And my NIH LRP contract is also listed under ‘ongoing research support’ — I’ve never been entirely sure how to list that, so this is good to know.

  5. This will be a powerful tool for preparing and evaluating grant proposals. It should hopefully allow a grant reviewer to better evaluate the science output from past and total cummulative funding, not just ‘current or other support’. Has the scientist’s work been solid over time and has it had impact with longevity? Are there any other metrics or connections that will be incorporated? When will the ‘award view’ video segment be posted on YouTube?

  6. Wonderful tool, except, as a previous poster mentioned, you absolutely must remove the auto-generated headers and footers.

  7. Once I found it (thanks, poster above), it does have a tedious entry system! Will not allow multiple entries (honors, jobs, etc) and I can’t get it to recognize my ERA Commons account for some reason. Still, a wonderful tool if NIH can get out the glitches.

  8. I am overjoyed to see that the NIH spends our research dollars on developing such wonderful tools that we all have been waiting for.

  9. Addition of the ORCID field is fantastic, but it will take some time before this identifier is widely used and adopted. While waiting for the ORCID to gain footing, it should be relatively easy to automate and deploy wider use of the existing “Contact PI Person ID” field in the RePorter database as a unique identifier, similar to current use of the “eRA Commons User Name” on the biosketch template. Would love to see the RePorter PI ID added to the biosketch format/template, allowing for easier cross referencing.

  10. I have just spent 1.5 hours trying to do this and encountered several bugs, including the weird education section thing mentioned above. The screen freezes when I try to enter Honors. I don’t understand why grants entered manually don’t have a “co-Investigator” option – that has a very different meaning to me than “key personnel”. Lastly, it is not all clear to me how many “Contributions to science” you get to list, and do you get 5 publications per contribution, and do you have to manually move those around in the document generated by this program? Same with publications that you cite in your Personal Statement? Wow, I can’t believe this is going to be a requirement of my Feb 5 grant. Seems like not enough time to work out the bugs and clarify issues.

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