Narrative CVs: what they are and why use them

What a narrative CV is

A narrative CV is defined by the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) as a CV format that provides a structured written description of a person’s contributions and achievements that reflects a broad range of relevant skills and experiences, more than can often be seen in a traditional academic CV.

They are highly flexible and can be used by a range of people and organisations in a range of contexts within research and innovation (R&I), from applying for funding, to recruitment to a role.

Why use a narrative CV

In enabling a broader range of people to evidence a wider variety of skills and experience, it helps see the whole person, helping identify the best people and ideas so they can be supported to flourish. This aligns with a number of areas including:

By adopting best practice and aligned approaches it helps minimise the burden and reduces unnecessary bureaucracy.

What CV template to use

There are many versions of a narrative CV. The most commonly used is the Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI). This is an evolved version of the Royal Society’s Résumé for Researchers that is designed to be inclusive of the variety of sectors and roles that form the global R&I community.

Be sure to check an organisation’s specific narrative CV guidance for the latest information.


Last updated: 3 June 2024

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