Updates and Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

NSF Frequently Asked Questions

As of October 5th, 2020, NSF requires the use of new forms for the Biosketches and Current and Pending Support documents. Investigators have two options for creating these documents: SciENcv OR the NSF Fillable PDF. Investigators must use one of these two options. Visit the NSF website for NSF-approved current and pending forms and FAQ. Information for the biographical sketch can also be found on the NSF website.


  1. I’ve submitted to NSF in the past. Can I reuse any of those documents?
    1. No. All documents must be compliant with the latest PAPPG and adhere to the new formats. FastLane has a compliance check that will prevent submission if another format is used.
  2. Should I use SciENcv or the fillable pdf to create my biosketch?
    1. ORE recommends that investigators use SciENcv as it can be used to create multiple types of proposal documents and can be linked to ORCID accounts (please note that your ORCID account must be public for the information to be pulled into SciENcv). However, the fillable pdf will be faster for investigators who have a more pressing deadline and will not have time to fill out their SciENcv profile.
  3. How much time do I need to create these new documents?
    1. It varies widely so we highly recommend that investigators do not wait until the last minute since these formats can be finicky.
  4. How do I create a SciENcv account?
    1. Go to the SciENcv website and select “Click here to start.”
  5. I’m having trouble using SciENcv.
    1. The NSF has provided an FAQ guide specifically for SciENcv. The guide includes links to video tutorials on creating both biosketches and C&P documents.
  6. I’m having trouble using the fillable pdfs.
    1. The NSF has provided an FAQ guide specifically for the fillable pdfs. Investigators can also watch the NSF webinar on the new documents.
  7. The “other significant products” in the fillable pdf is too small for me to include 5 citations. What should I do?
    1. While normally NSF does not allow the use of et al., because of the space limitations they are allowing the use of just the first author and et al. in the biosketch citations.
  8. Can someone in ORE or OSP fill out these documents for me?
    1. The investigator is responsible for their own proposal documents and their content and accuracy. If using the fillable pdfs, it is recommended that investigators working with OSP and/or Research Development do not sign or password-protect these documents as this will slow down the compliance and editing process.
  9. I have a question that is not answered here.
    1. Please contact Emily Mitchell(emitch15@utk.edu).