Your Tenure CV

Contributed by R. Mark Leckie (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) and Kristen St. John (James Madison University)

Robert Sorlie and his sled dogs near Nome, Alaska
Your curriculum vitae (CV) should be a detailed summary of your academic credentials, accomplishments, and experience to date.

Who is your audience?

It serves three primary audiences: (1) colleagues in your department, (2) people in the tenure review process who are not geoscientists (e.g., deans, college Promotion and Tenure (P&T) committee members, provosts, presidents), and possibly (3) colleagues at other institutions, if external review is part of the P&T process at your institution.

Tips and suggestions about writing a good CV

  • Be consistent in your chosen style throughout your CV, especially reference style (e.g., follow one journal-style format); consider highlighting your name in bold for each of your publications and abstracts.
  • Separate peer-reviewed publications from meeting abstracts and non-refereed 'gray' literature, including theses and dissertations.
  • Indicate student authors in publications with an asterisk or other notation and distinguish graduate student authors from undergraduate student authors.
  • Present the entire citation in your list of publications, including the printed order of authorship, year of publication, title of article, journal, volume, and inclusive pagination.
  • For grant awards include funding agency, title, monetary amount, and your status as P.I. or co-P.I.; if a multi-institutional award, include the monetary amount being awarded to your institution.
  • Include dates of committee service, titles and dates of invited talks. Being detailed now makes it easier to modify the CV in the future and to use your CV for constructing annual reports and your tenure narrative.
  • Remember who your CV audience includes and write your CV to reach each audience simultaneously. For example, consider the following: you receive a college award and include the name and year of the award on your CV. However, the external audience will likely have no knowledge of this award except for what you include on your CV. Therefore, in addition to the name and year of the award, you should also note what the award is for and how often it is given.
  • Carefully proof-read; consider asking a colleague or three to critique thoroughly and provide feedback.
  • Update your CV often. In between updates, keep a file folder of documents to serve as concrete reminders of what new information needs to be added to your CV.

What should be included in a CV?

The CV is a personal document and generally there is no standard style or format. There are exceptions however; some institutions do have a required institution-specific format to follow for tenure packages so it is important to check whether this is the case at your institution. All academic CVs should contain a number of specific and clearly labeled sections. The list that follows can serve as a guideline for organizing your CV and it provides section headings that might be appropriate for your purposes. It is modified from resources from MIT's Career Development Center. Notice that the list includes prior experiences and contributions to all three facets of academic responsibility: teaching, research, and service. Your individual CV may include a different number of sections with different titles and/or a different sequence.

  • Name, address, and other relevant contact information
  • Education (post-secondary degrees, institutions, and dates)
  • Dissertation (title, advisor)
  • Positions (include post-doctoral positions and any non-academic positions)
  • Fellowships and Awards
  • Research Experience (and/or Research Interest)
  • Refereed Publications
  • Other Publications
  • Invited Talks/Lectures
  • Invited and Volunteered Meeting Abstracts
  • Conferences Organized/Co-Organized
  • Service to the Profession (e.g., editorial boards, panels, committees, etc.)
  • Service to the Department and to the Institution
  • Research in Progress
  • Teaching Experience
  • Prepared to Teach
  • Student Research Supervised (Undergraduate, Graduate, and Post-Docs; include titles of research projects, theses, and dissertations, year of graduation)
  • Scientific Outreach or other Synergistic Activities