SciENcv and ORCID to Streamline NIH and NSF Grant Applications

There is currently a lot of buzz in the US about ORCID and something called “SciENcv” – but what is SciENcv and what do you need to know about it?

SciENcv is a tool managed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that allows researchers to create a biographical sketch (biosketch) to submit with their grant proposals for funding from NIH, and it can now also be used when seeking funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

As of October 5, 2020 the National Science Foundation (NSF) will require researchers to submit a biosketch that meets specific format requirements as part of their grant proposal. Researchers are encouraged to use SciENcv to create biosketches, as SciENcv offers a NSF-approved tool that is integrated with ORCID. Researchers can connect their ORCID iD with their SciENcv profile in order to transfer data from their ORCID record into SciENcv by clicking a button, rather than having to manually retype all of their information.

Data that can be transferred from ORCID to SciENcv for NSF Biosketches includes:

  • Education = “professional preparation”
  • Employment = “Appointments”
  • Works = “Products”
  • Biography and Keywords = “Synergistic Activities”
  • Note: NSF is not currently importing funding information from ORCID to the SciENcv Biosketch, but researchers will be asked to fill out a separate “current and pending” grant awards document.

For NIH Biosketches, data that can be transferred from ORCID to SciENcv includes:

  • Biography = “Personal Statement”
  • Employment = “Positions and Honors”
  • Education = “Education/Training”
  • Works = “Personal Statement – Citations”
  • Funding =“Additional Information: Research Support and/or Scholastic Performance”

SciENcv asks researchers to enter information about their professional preparation, appointments, etc., as it relates to the grant they are applying for, and then it automatically creates a biographical sketch that meets the requirements of both NIH and NSF. Full NSF guidance is available in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and on the NSF Policy Office website.

Any data imported from ORCID into SciENcv becomes static and editable by the investigator within the SciENcv platform, from which a PDF can be generated for proposal submission. If applying for several grants, researchers can create multiple, different biographical sketches, all using ORCID to streamline the data reporting process. 

You can help your researchers prepare for the ORCID and SciENcv requirements by working with them to make sure their ORCID records are populated with relevant data and helping them navigate the SciENcv biographical sketch creation process. Researchers can give delegate access to administrators to help with biographical sketch creation on their behalf, so you may want to consider that option as well. For example, North Carolina State University has an excellent step-by-step guide for researchers on Using SciENcv to Create Your Biosketch, including tips on transferring data from ORCID. Feel free to use this as an example to create similar documentation for researchers at your own institution. 

The ORCID US Community has a video tutorial on ORCID & SciENcv for NIH and NSF Biosketches that covers what ORCID is, how to populate data in ORCID, and how to connect ORCID with SciENcv for both NIH and NSF biosketches.

Steps you can take to support your researchers through this process include:

  • Make sure your researchers have their own ORCID iD, know what ORCID is, and how it can benefit them. ORCID provides a number of outreach resources to help with this. The ORCID US Community consortium also provides an ORCID Outreach Planning Guide for administrators and staff at US research institutions, as well as a guide on ORCID 101 for Individuals. Encourage researchers to use their ORCID iD as much as possible, for example, when completing their SciENcv biosketch or when submitting manuscripts for publication. 
  • Help your researchers to populate data within their ORCID record, which can then be re-used to populate their SciENcv biographical sketch for NIH and NSF grants. There are a few different ways to populate data in an ORCID record. Researchers can manually enter all of their own information, but populating funding information and works information is made easier through ORCID’s “Search & Link” wizards available that allow researchers to search for their awards and publications in ORCID-integrated databases, select the information that belongs to them, and have that data written to their ORCID record for them. Institutions that are ORCID members can also integrate the ORCID API into local systems in order to write authoritative information to their affiliated researchers’ ORCID records
  • Provide guidance and documentation for your researchers on how to populate their SciENcv biographical sketch by importing data from ORCID. Start experimenting with using ORCID to populate SciENcv as early as possible, using your own ORCID record, so you can get familiar with the process prior to helping researchers. Anyone can register for an ORCID record for free at https://orcid.org/register. North Carolina State University has an excellent step-by-step guide for researchers on Using SciENcv to Create Your Biosketch, including tips on transferring data from ORCID. Feel free to use this as an example to create similar documentation for researchers at your own institution.
  • Partner with librarians and other internal stakeholders at your institution to strategize for local ORCID adoption. ORCID has the potential to benefit multiple administrative units at a research institution in addition to saving time for researchers. The more people and systems using ORCID, the more everyone can benefit. The ORCID US Community Planning Guide for Research Institutions provides a starting point for considerations around approaching ORCID adoption locally.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about ORCID, SciENcv, and related policies from NIH and NSF, please see the following:

For any other questions or dedicated ORCID US Community support, email orcidus@lyrasis.org

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