Frequently Asked Questions
How do I certify that my information is accurate, current, and complete? (for senior personnel)
SciENcv - In the SciENcv system, when you download your document, that will initiate a time-stamped certification on the resulting PDF document.
NSF fillable PDF - The senior personnel must type their name and date in the form. The certification will be printed onto the form once you have typed your name and date. Nothing more is required for the form.
Can a delegate certify a biosketch on behalf of a principal investigator?
No, as a delegate, you are not authorized to certify a biosketch document. The PI must be the final person to approve any changes in the biosketch.
What if the publications that I want to select in my biosketch (Products) have too many authors?
If you have publications with so many authors that it seems daunting to try and create a three-page document, use the SciENcv format. Within the publications section, you can import citations from other sources or type them in manually and then edit the author list down to include however many you want (according to style or listing you) and then append "et al." to the end. If done using the tools provided by SciENcv, the full author list will be included in the metadata (behind the scenes) of the pdf.
Can I create a PDF through Word and upload it as a biographical sketch if I format it similarly?
Not for NSF, the systems in place will flag biosketches and current & pending support documents and halt the grant-seeking process. The metadata that is embedded in the NSF fillable PDF and the SciENcv system is necessary for the granting offices to process a request. For NIH and IES, SciENcv is an optional tool.
What is the benefit of using SciENcv over the fillable PDF?
The NSF fillable PDF and SciENcv created PDF are both approved formats for submitting biosketches and current & pending support documents. One of the benefits of using SciENcv as opposed to the NSF fillable PDF is that SciENcv is a free and easy to access system that will save your biosketches and supporting documents. This means that after you have created one biosketch in SciENcv, it becomes much easier to take and reuse that information in creating future biosketches. The NSF fillable PDF also has some limitations due to document space constraints like the number of line items you can add in any one field.
Are there best practices I should follow when using the NSF-approved fillable form?
Yes, always save your form on your local computer before you start to edit.
The NSF fillable form is intended to be downloaded and saved to your computer prior to entry of information. If you open the document and start to directly insert content, you run the risk of losing your progress because of the configuration of different in-browser PDF reader settings. In addition, using the PDF application on Apple computers can automatically resize the text to fit within PDF text boxes - we don't want this. You can change that setting in your Preview application settings.
Does SciENcv send notifications when changes or updates are made?
SciENcv does not send notifications.
Can you have more than one account, or start a new SciENcv account if you’ve misplaced your first account, or moved to a new institution?
If you login with another platform or start a new account, the documents from the previous account will not be available.
How should the biosketches or current and pending support documents be identified in SciENcv?
Please name the document you want to be used for the project, for example: Smith 2023 Biosketch NSF DMREF, or Smith 2023 CP R01, to assist with correctly identifying the document(s).
Who should I use as a delegate to assist in maintaining documents?
Add your pre-award research administrator, post-award research administrator, unit or department admins - anyone you need to maintain and update your documents.
If I have more questions about SciENcv, who do I contact?
For questions specific to the SciENcv system go to: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3843/
For general guidance and more FAQs use this link.