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. If you are employed by a public or private research funder and interested in joining the Funder CoP, please find more information here.
Funding organizations play a key role in setting the tone for evaluation standards and practices. In recent years, an increasing number of funders have shifted their evaluation practices away from an outsized focus on quantitative metrics (e.g., H-Index, journal impact factors, etc.) as proxy measures of quality and towards more holistic means of evaluating applicants. At one of DORA’s March Funder Community of Practice (CoP) meetings, we heard how the UK Research Institute (UKRI) has implemented narrative style CVs for choosing promising research and innovation talent. At the second March Funder CoP meeting, we held a discussion with Alex Holcombe, co-creator of the Tenzing tool, about how the movement to acknowledge authors for the broad range of roles they play to contribute to a research project could also be applied to help funders in decision making processes.
During the first meeting, we heard from Hilary Noone, Tripti Rana Magar, and Hilary Marshall who discussed the implementation of narrative style CVs at funding organizations in the UK including the Cancer Research UK and National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). “Traditional” CVs can overlook the broad range of a researcher’s achievements and scholarly work, such as contributions to team science, mentorship, and “non-traditional” research outputs. Magar said that the concept of narrative CVs emerged around 2014 from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics with the goal of better recognizing and understanding the holistic contributions of researchers. In 2017, the Royal Society co-created the ‘Royal Society’s the Résumé for Researchers’ (R4R). In 2021, a more flexible version of the R4R was released: the Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI), which has been implemented by several major funders in the UK. Magar highlighted that the R4RI CV reduces emphasis on metrics and focuses on the quality of the contribution, provides space for applicants to list their full range of activities, and reduces bureaucracy by encouraging the adoption of a single framework.
The Joint Funders Group (JFG) are 54 funders (both UK-based and international) that support the wider adoption of R4RI-like Narrative CVs. The speakers also mentioned the Alternative Uses Group (AUG), another group hosted by UKRI that complements the efforts of the JFG by co-creating resources for recruitment, promotions, professional accreditation with the support of funders and universities. Both groups work together to accelerate cultural change and implement the R4RI-like Narrative CV. Additionally, resources relating to the R4RI-like CV are freely available in the Résumé Resources library, which includes several CV templates, training packages, starter guides for reviewers and applicants, and guidance on promotion practices.