Funders across Europe are increasingly moving towards adopting narrative CV approaches within funding applications. The narrative CV format aims to recognise diverse contributions, backgrounds, and careers, and discourages an overreliance on decontextualised metrics such as journal impact factor.

The University of Glasgow worked in partnership with UKRN and with Dr Jane Alfred from Catalyst Editorial to pilot the Resume for Researchers format (developed by the Royal Society and introduced by UKRI in 2020) with 8 ECRs and a mock panel comprising funders (UKRI, CRUK, WT), academics, and research managers. The Glasgow project team shared its findings via a report and an online workshop on 11th August 2021, where over 150 participants from a range of roles, organisations and countries had the opportunity to reflect on the needs of CV writers and reviewers, and on the place of such interventions within the wider system of research assessment.

A full report on the pilot project is available on the University of Glasgow Lab for Academic Culture webpages, including a set of recommendations for institutions, societies, or funders thinking about introducing narrative approaches to researcher assessment. They have also developed open access resources to support anyone currently writing a narrative CV.

The Glasgow pilot suggests that the introduction of a narrative CV on its own is unlikely to be enough to meet the inclusive aims of this CV format without shifts in other parts of the system. To ensure fair and consistent assessment, guidance and support are required for CV writers and reviewers, as well as adequate time allocation for the review process. Workshop participants discussed the EDI implications of the change, with respect to the need for more time for reviewing. They also highlighted opportunities for ECRs to act as reviewers (with appropriate recognition) and for UKRI to lead on sharing good practice (via the Good Practice Exchange forum recently announced in the UK R&D People and Culture Strategy).

A video recording of the online workshop is available to view below.