SciCV – SNSF tests new CV format in biology and medicine

The SNSF is testing a new, standardised structure for CVs. All researchers applying for project funding in biology and medicine in spring 2020 will be part of the pilot project “SciCV”. The aim is to facilitate comparisons between applicants and make track record assessment more transparent.

Researchers who apply for funding at the SNSF are required to submit their CV as part of their application. In an effort to improve the evaluation of CVs, the SNSF will run a pilot programme to test a new, standardised CV format called SciCV. The pilot will concern all applicants for project funding in biology and medicine in this year’s first call for proposals (submission deadline 1 April 2020).

At present, the CV formats submitted by applicants are heterogeneous and not always in line with international best practice. The aim of SciCV is to remedy this situation by allowing researchers to present their most important contributions to science in brief narratives, rather than as lists of publications. This approach will help make other academic output, beyond publications, more visible and more valued and promote equal opportunities. SciCV will also introduce a uniform way of calculating the academic age of applicants, which indicates how long they have been active researchers as opposed to their biological age. The new format will no longer include any journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles. Rather, the actual content of articles and their citation impact will be considered.

To simplify the completion of CVs, the SNSF has created an interactive online toolkit, which will be made available to all applicants in biology and medicine as of 1 March 2020. Applicants will require an ORCiD identifier to access the relevant platform. Creating the SciCV online is a straightforward task, but can be time-consuming. Therefore it is best to start early.

The results of the pilot project will be analysed later this year in collaboration with the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands. Several parameters as well as the experiences of the stakeholders involved will be examined.