In September 2020, UKRI announced that it would replace the many and varied formats for providing CV and track record information with a single CV format based on the Royal Society’s résumé for researchers. The goal of this CV format is to help researchers to share their varied contributions to research in a consistent way and across a wide range of personal circumstances and career paths, and to move away from a reliance on narrowly focused performance indicators that can make it harder to assess, reward or nurture the full range of contributions that researchers and academics can make to their fields. An example of this new CV template, commonly referred to as a narrative CV, can be found here. This CV format is currently being piloted in several UKRI funding calls.

The Lab for Academic Culture at the University of Glasgow, in partnership with Dr Jane Alfred from Catalyst Editorial, has begun to work with early career researchers who are using this CV format for the first time. Initial feedback has highlighted the challenges that researchers face when working within this new template. Challenges include knowing where to put what information while avoiding redundancy and repetition; knowing how to document and support with good indicators their outputs, contributions and activities; and knowing how to select the types of examples that demonstrate impact, quality, wider contribution to leadership, culture and practice.

There are also likely to be challenges on the side of assessors who are using this template for the first time. How easily will they find the information they require, and what types of evidence and examples will they look for when assessing a researcher?

To respond to these questions and challenges, the University of Glasgow is launching a 3-phase project to provide researchers in the wider research community with an enhanced narrative CV template. The template will provide additional guidance to users on where specific information should go, the type of evidence to include, and to improve the template’s overall structure. The project will draw on experience of adopting a narrative CV, for example, from the Dutch national research funding body (NWO), Science Foundation Ireland, and the National Institutes of Health.

This project is being developed in collaboration with the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) and will involve input from a range of different institutions. A prototype CV will be available for assessing at your institution by autumn 2021.