A new narrative CV mentorship platform, funder research assessment reform reading list, and updates from the Japan Science and Technology Agency

Each quarter, DORA holds two Community of Practice (CoP) meetings for research funding organizations. One meeting takes place for organizations in the Asia-Pacific time zone and the other meeting is targeted to organizations in Africa, the Americas, and Europe.

During the December 2023 funder discussion group meetings, we heard presentations from group members and updates from institutions. The presentation during the Africa, the Americas, and Europe meeting focused on the Peer Exchange Platform for Narrative-style CVs (PEP-CV). During the Asia-Pacific meeting we heard from the Japan Science and Technology Agency on their activities for implementing responsible research assessment.

During the Africa, Americas and Europe meeting Sean Sapcariu, Programme Manager from the Luxembourg National Research Fund, presented on PEP-CV, a platform for “everyone active in the research and innovation sector to engage in simple peer mentoring exchanges around completing narrative-style CVs.” PEP-CV is being developed by a coalition of research funders to help early career researchers partner with mentors to learn to write effective narrative CVs and better display what they can contribute to the research community. PEP-CV will enable members of the scholarly community to connect with each other to share “experiences, achievements, and career paths in all types of narrative-style CVs.” 

Sapcariu fielded several questions about PEP-CV in discussion, explaining that mentors can be at any career stage as long as they have experience with narrative style CVs. Importantly, he clarified that PEP-CV is meant to be a tool for prospective applicants to learn how to effectively communicate within a narrative CV, rather than  a “how-to” for specific narrative CV templates. When asked about the ability for users to submit feedback about PEP-CV, Sapcariu noted there will be rating capabilities by users and an email to provide feedback. PEP-CV is slated for public release in Spring 2024.

Following Sapcariu’s presentation, several members of the Africa, the Americas, and Europe meeting described recent initiatives:

  • Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) have launched new EDI strategy and also plan to advance the use of narrative CVs
  • The Health Research Board (HRB) is using narrative CVs in career schemes.
  • The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) have been engaging with the scientific community about new research assessment guidelines, and are also piloting a narrative CV
  • The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) are engaging with external groups about responsible research assessment and promoting DORA values in collaboration with these institutions.
  • Several new organizations have joined the DORA funder discussion groups, including the Canadian Cancer Society, Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the Chilean National Agency for Research and Development (ANID).

During the Asia-Pacific meeting Hiroko Tatesawa, Director of the Department of Strategic Basic Research from the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), presented on the JST’s recent work to reform research assessment practices for funding decisions. Tatesawa discussed how the JST is piloting a more narrative CV format for the Strategic Basic Research Program (SBRP), whose mission is to fund “top science” by utilizing the multiple funding programs under its umbrella. The JST has also recently introduced a more narrative style CV for the SBRP and aims to modify their practices to support more equitable and responsible assessment. To this end, the JST encourages its funding programs to consider the value and impact of all research outputs and be explicit in the criteria used to assess applicants, especially those early in their scientific career. Some of these criteria include: Project purpose; Proposal contents; Achievements and ability; and Research readiness.

Following Tatesawa’s presentation, several members of the Asia-Pacific meeting described recent initiatives:

DORA’s Funder Discussion Group meetings bring together members of the scientific community from around the world, connecting research funding organizations that support fair research assessment. If you are employed by a public or private research funder and are interested in joining the Discussion Group, please find more information here.

Reading list based on the group discussions

Casey Donahoe
Casey Donahoe is a DORA Policy Associate (2023-2024).

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