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NIH Biosketch : Personal Statement

Biosketch Format

The biosketch format used for this library guide is from the NIH Biosketch page and approved through January 31, 2026.

Personal Statement

 Personal Statement

Briefly describe why you are well-suited for your role(s) in this project. Relevant factors may include: aspects of your training; your previous experimental work on this specific topic or related topics; your technical expertise; your collaborators or scientific environment; and/or your past performance in this or related fields, including ongoing and completed research projects from the past three years that you want to draw attention to (previously captured under Section D. Research Support).

You may cite up to four publications or research products that highlight your experience and qualifications for this project. Research products can include, but are not limited to, audio or video products; conference proceedings such as meeting abstracts, posters, or other presentations; patents; data and research materials; databases; educational aids or curricula; instruments or equipment; models; protocols; and software or netware. Use of hyperlinks and URLs to cite these items is not allowed.

You are allowed to cite interim research products. Note: interim research products have specific citation requirements. See related Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

  • If you wish to explain factors that affected your past productivity, such as family care responsibilities, illness, disability, or military service, you may address them in this "A. Personal Statement" section.
  • Indicate whether you have published or created research products under another name.
  • You may mention specific contributions to science that are not included in Section C. Do not present or expand on materials that should be described in other sections of this Biosketch or application.
  • Figures, tables, or graphics are not allowed.


  • Tailor the Personal Statement to the application.
  • In the first sentence, mention the name of the grant application (e.g., R21) and speak directly to the purpose of the funding mechanism. Sell your role in the proposed research. Why are you a good fit? What strengths do you have for the proposal?
  • Use the Personal Statement to discuss your future research direction if you are a new investigator.
  • If someone is sponsoring/mentoring/collaborating with you, include this in the Personal Statement.

Notes: Peer-Reviewed Publications and Other Research Products

  • Non-peer-reviewed articles and research products can be cited in the Personal Statement along with the peer-reviewed publications. Follow the rules for citing Interim Research Products.
  • NIH requires a PMCID for works that apply under the NIH Public Access Policy and are authored by the applicant or arise from an applicant’s NIH award.
  • No specific style guide for citations is required. SciENcv formats citations from My Bibliography using the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Style Guide: Citing Medicine.
  • To save on space for the Personal Statement or Contributions to Science sections, applicants may use ‘et al’ in lieu of listing all authors in a citation.
  • Citations can be reused among the Personal Statement or Contributions to Science sections.
  • Manuscripts being prepared or under peer review can be described in the Personal Statement or the Contributions to Science narrative sections, (e.g. “I am preparing a manuscript for Journal on my work about X”), but not cited.
  • Publications noted in a My Bibliography account can be used to auto-populate the Personal Statement or the Contributions to Science sections.


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.