How to Write an Academic CV?

Academic CV is an important part of your application for the PhD or MS program. An well written and properly formatted academic CV will help you to stand out among the candidates. Apart from the prospective applicants, PhD candidates, Postdoctoral Scholars or Researchers who intend to work in academia or in any research organization often need to write an academic CV. Therefore, it is critical to prepare a perfect academic CV that outlines your educational background, skills, and experience.

Length of the Academic CV:

Unlike Resumes, academic CV can be any length from a single page to multiple pages. This is because you will include all of your relevant publications, conference presentations, accomplished and ongoing research projects, awards etc. Though it can be of any length, but it is best not to exceed 4 pages maximum.

length of academic CV gradbunker

Structure of the CV:

First, to write an academic CV, you must think of the structure. You should choose the types of information that will go to your CV and then categorize them according using main headings and sub-headings. If you are writing for a PhD position, the first thing go first after the brief personal details is the “Research Interest”. You are welcome to put anything like Career Objective or Research Objective, if i were you I would prefer to put “Research Interest” first. Because it becomes easier for the admission committee to filter you out and send your resume to the right person. They won’t have to waste their valuable time by looking at your research project and publication to figure out in which field you are interested to pursue your research. After that, your education, research work experience, publications and presentations should be highlighted carefully. Other important categories might include: awards and prizes, professional experiences, skills and qualifications, any professional memberships or affiliations, extra-curricular activities and a list of references.


Keeping a plain and simple academic CV is important. Your CV should be easy to read. Avoid using any fancy fonts, coloring your headings or any fancy styles. Use any legible font types and font size with normal sized margins. Use a consistent style for headings and sub-headings and don’t use different fonts for those. Rather you can make those headers bold, italics or underline as well.

In general your academic CV should include the following points:

  1. Personal Details (Should go top, centered) — will include your Name, Cell, Email, Google Scholar Link/LinkedIn Profile/Personal Website
  2. Research Interest — clearly mention about the topics that you are interested in. You can include multiple topics but should be from similar domain e.g. a person who is interested in material science may right ceramic materials, polymer materials, bio-materials. But if you right thermo-fluid with materials that won’t make sense to the reader.
  3. Educational Background — mention your degree, CGPA, affiliated university, length of your degree. You should include your thesis title along with the name of your supervisor in your respective degree.
  4. Academic Research Experience — mention all types of research projects that you undertook, name of the supervisor and time frame.
  5. Patents (if any)
  6. Publications — categorize them into Journal and Conferences. Provide the full citation, make sure you include DOI number and Impact Factor. You should also highlight your name while citing your works so that the reader can identify your work.
  7. Conference attendances or Participation in Seminars — Highlight any invitations to present, provide papers or posters
  8. Skills
  9. Professional Work Experience
  10. Awards
  11. Extra Curricular Activities
  12. References — details of two or three referees

To sum, there is no hard and fast rule in formatting and structuring your CV. But you should make sure that your CV has no errors and easy to read. A well written academic CV will surely create a positive impression which might lead you to get an online interview for the potential Ph.D. position in graduate school.

Disclaimer: No AI was used to generate any portion of this write up.

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