Scientific activity report

What should I include in my scientific activity report or curriculum vitae?

Your academic curriculum vitae or scientific "record", listing all your research-related activities and achievements, is the most important document for your further career in science. As a beginning PhD student, it will be used to check whether you are advancing well, and whether you are (still) entitled to a scholarship. As an experienced researcher, it will determine whether and where you are offered a PostDoc, professorship, tenured position, or project funding.

Therefore, it is worth investing a lot of effort into making your record as complete and convincing as possible. The most important part of your file are the publications, and particularly those that are peer-refereed and in high-impact journals. But most resesarchers have few or none of those. Therefore, it is worth listing all the other kinds of research-related achievements that are typically considered when establishing a scientist's credentials.

A good checklist is offered by the VUB when they specify the information that needs to accompany applications for academic promotion. I include the relevant section of the regulations (freely translated from Dutch):


1. The teaching file, which includes:

  • courses taught
  • supervision of PhD. or Master’s dissertations
  • specific tasks related to teaching (development of textbooks and teaching materials, ...)
  • participation in exchange programs (as supervisor, or co-contractor)
  • assessment of your teaching by students and peers, complemented with personal observations

2. The research file, which includes:

  • publications (with full bibliographic references), including the following categories:
    • publications in scientific journals with referee system;
    • publications in scientific journals without referee system;
    • publications in conference proceedings with referee system;
    • publications in conference proceedings without referee system;
    • publications in book form (including parts of books);
    • reviews;
    • communications, i.e. verbal reports at conferences;
    • reports and all other forms of publications;
  • study visits of extended duration at home and abroad;
  • organization of, and active participation in, scientific activities: conferences, seminars, symposia (including relevant information such as location, number of attendees, precise role or activity, ...);
  • scientific awards and distinctions;
  • inventions and discoveries;
  • obtained patents;
  • research management: number and amount of acquired research funding, size of the managed team (number of researchers, PhDs supervised, etc.);
  • indicators of scientific recognition (citations, impact factors, etc.)
  • membership of scientific associations
  • functions in the editorial board of scientific journals
  • invitations as guest lecturer or for cooperation with foreign research groups;

3. Contributions to the social impact of the university, which include:

  • authoring of popularizing articles
  • participation in debates, lectures and conferences
  • contribution to other media activities
  • participation and representation in external committees.

4. Partipation in the university organization:

  • positions in the various university and faculty councils and committees.