What is an academic curriculum vitae?

An academic CV, short for curriculum vitae, is no different from other CV templates in that it’s there to allow you to showcase your strengths as a candidate applying for your chosen roles. However, while a traditional CV may focus more on work experience and skills, with brief mention of educational achievements, an academic CV will typically go into a lot of depth with regards to the latter.

Given that these types of CVs are commonly used by academics, researchers, scholars and educators, the content of the academic curriculum vitae will focus primarily on academic background, as well as things such as research experience, publications, grants, awards, and any past or present teaching positions.

How long should an academic CV be?

As you may have guessed from the above, the length of the academic CV tends to run a bit longer than your typical CV. While the question of how long this type of CV should be will vary depending on factors such as your career stage, field of study, and the specific requirements of the application, generally you should aim for around two A4 pages.

As such, crafting an academic CV template will require you to do a bit more legwork in terms of the amount of content you include. On the bright side, working within this type of CV template affords you the unique opportunity to really put your best foot forward in detailing all your accomplishments.

How to format an academic CV?

While the mere idea of formatting anything might send a shiver down your spine, when it comes to your academic curriculum vitae, organising its content in a clear and professional manner really cannot be overemphasised.

A good place to start is with a clean, easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman or Arial, using a font size of 10 to 12 points for the body text. It’s extremely important that you stick to your chosen font and size throughout the whole document, and do not waver. Nothing screams “messy” or “unprofessional” more than jumbled up fonts, and this is certainly not the look you’re going for with your academic CV.

Another important CV formatting component relates to your sections. As we mentioned above, the academic CV template typically features multiple additional sections such as Research Experience, Publications, Awards and Honours, and so forth. Given how many of these additional sections your academic curriculum vitae will likely have, it’s more important than ever to keep a keen eye on how you’re formatting them and ensuring that you remain consistent throughout.

Bold or slightly increase the font size for section headings to make them stand out, and employ bullet points or short paragraphs when listing information about experiences or achievements. Be sure to also allow sufficient white space between sections and entries to improve readability and prevent your academic CV from looking cluttered.

Most importantly, do your best to be concise and include only the most relevant details, without unnecessary information or descriptions that are overly long. Barring applicant tracking systems (ATS), you should expect your academic CV to land in the hands of a person just like you, i.e. someone who is probably very busy and does not enjoy reading boring applications.

Academic CV samples

For a selection of academic CV templates, look no further than the images below. These samples will serve as a good starting point in helping you launch or develop your career in academia.


    How to write an academic CV

    How to write an academic CV

    • Focus on academic achievements:

      As suggested by its name, the academic CV will primarily focus on academic background, in particular any notable achievements you will have had. Degrees, awards, publications, and research experience are some key features of a strong academic CV that employers in academia will look to find when you’re applying for jobs in the field.

    • Include a detailed Education section:

      Unsurprisingly, the education section occupies an important place on any academic curriculum vitae. As such, feel free to go wild here, and be as detailed as you can with regards to all the institutions you’ve attended, and any academic honours and awards you’ve attained.

    • Add additional sections:

      In addition to standard sections like education and professional experience, an academic CV may also include other relevant sections to further demonstrate your fitness for your chosen roles. Examples include awards, honours, presentations, and professional affiliations.

    • List your publications:

      A strong academic CV will also feature a list of publications you have under your belt, namely journal articles, books, book chapters, conference papers, and other scholarly works. These provide a tangible representation of your academic prowess, and are a key factor in decisions regarding hiring and promotions in academia.

    • Add additional sections:

      In addition to standard sections like education and professional experience, an academic CV may also include other relevant sections to further demonstrate your fitness for your chosen roles. Examples include awards, honours, presentations, and professional affiliations.

    • Pay special attention to length and formatting:

      Apart from their content, academic CVs are also defined by the way they’re written and presented. Opting for a more traditional and structured format, their focus is typically on readability and clarity, given the wide breadth of information academic CVs aim to convey. As such, the academic curriculum vitae tends to be a bit longer, commonly extending to two pages or more.

    Free Academic CV template

    An important thing to remember when choosing your academic CV template is that its length and content may vary significantly depending on your professional experience, your field of study, and how long you’ve been in the game.

    As academics progress in their careers and accumulate more experience and accolades, their CV will typically get longer and more comprehensive. To reflect this trend, we’ve crafted a few examples of academic curriculum vitae templates to suit different stages of the academic career path.

    Academic CV template for master’s applications

    A master’s student’s academic CV will typically differ from that of more senior academics primarily in terms of their level of education, research experience, the number of publications and presentations, and awards and honours.

    By virtue of fewer years of experience, master’s students tend to have less in the way of accomplishments and experiences, making their CVs slightly shorter, with fewer sections and less detail.

    Take a look at the example below.

    Angela Lombardo
    82 Boleyn Road, London, N1 2JG
    +44 7890 123456

    Personal statement:

    Highly motivated and dedicated Master’s student with a strong background in Environmental Science and Biology. Experienced in conducting research projects, analysing data, and presenting findings. Passionate about biodiversity conservation and sustainability. Seeking opportunities to contribute to impactful research and make a positive impact on environmental issues.


    September 2021 – May 2023
    University of Manchester, UK
    Master of Science in Environmental Science

    • Thesis: “Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity in Urban Ecosystems”
    • Advisor: Prof. Dan Adams

    September 2018 – May 2021
    University of Birmingham, UK
    Bachelor of Science in Biology

    Research Experience:

    Graduate Research Assistant, Environmental Research Group, University of Manchester, UK
    May 2022-present

    • Conducting fieldwork to collect data on plant species diversity and abundance.
    • Analysing data using statistical software and GIS tools.
    • Assisting with literature reviews and data interpretation for research projects.

    Undergraduate Research Intern, Conservation Biology Lab, University of Birmingham, UK
    June 2020 – August 2021

    • Contributed to a study on the effects of habitat fragmentation on butterfly populations.
    • Assisted with data collection, specimen identification, and lab experiments.
    • Presented research findings at departmental seminars and undergraduate conferences.

    Teaching Experience:

    Graduate Teaching Assistant, Environmental Science Laboratory Course, University of Manchester, UK,
    January 2023 – May 2023

    • Supervised laboratory sessions and provided guidance to undergraduate students.
    • Assisted with experiment setup, data collection, and analysis.
    • Graded assignments and provided feedback on lab reports.


    • Johnson, E., & Smith, D. (2023). Impacts of urbanisation on plant biodiversity: A case study of Manchester, UK. Environmental Science & Technology, 47(3), 567-580.
    • Johnson, E., et al. (2022). Effects of habitat fragmentation on butterfly species richness in a fragmented landscape. Journal of Insect Conservation, 38(2), 123-136.


    • Presenter, “Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Urban Biodiversity,” British Ecological Society Annual Meeting, Liverpool, UK, December 2022.
    • Presenter, “Effects of Habitat Fragmentation on Butterfly Populations,” Undergraduate Research Symposium, University of Birmingham, UK, May 2021.

    Awards and Honors:

    • Graduate Research Fellowship, University of Manchester, UK, 2022-2023
    • Dean’s List, University of Birmingham, UK, 2020-2021


    • Fieldwork Techniques: Plant identification, biodiversity surveys
    • Data Analysis: Statistical software (e.g., R, SPSS), GIS tools
    • Scientific Writing and Communication
    • Laboratory Techniques: Experimental design, data collection, analysis
    • Project Management and Collaboration

    Professional Affiliations:

    • British Ecological Society (BES)
    • Ecological Society of America (ESA)


    Available upon request.

    Academic CV template for PhD applications

    Compared to Master’s students, PhD applicants will have gathered a lot more experiences and accomplishments along their academic journey. As such, their CV template will run a bit longer, featuring more sections and detail.

    Take a look below for an example of an academic CV template for PhD applicants.

    Charles Creek
    70 Brynglas Road, Leeds, LE3 0GW
    +44 7890 123456

    Personal statement:

    Energetic and friendly neuroscience graduate with excellent qualifications, communication skills and patient temperament. Eager to use training and education to help others achieve academic goals. Ready to gain deeper understanding with hands-on experience.


    September 2020 – May 2025
    University of Cambridge, UK
    Ph.D. Candidate in Neuroscience

    • Thesis: “Investigating Neural Mechanisms of Memory Consolidation”

    September 2018 – May 2020
    University College London, UK
    Master of Science in Psychology

    September 2015 – May 2018
    King’s College London, UK
    Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience

    Teaching Experience:

    September 2020 – May 2021

    University College London, UK
    Teaching Assistant

    • Facilitated discussion sessions and provided feedback on assignments.
    • Assisted with grading and held office hours for student support.
    • Helped tenured professors with lesson planning, classroom management, and grading.


    • Smith, J., & Johnson, E. (2024). Neural correlates of memory consolidation in the hippocampus. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 36(2), 123-136.
    • Smith, J., & Brown, A. (2023). The role of sleep in memory consolidation: Insights from fMRI studies. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 14, 567-580.


    • Presenter, “Memory Consolidation and Sleep: Insights from Neuroimaging,” Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, November 2023.
    • Presenter, “Neural Correlates of Episodic Memory Retrieval,” British Neuroscience Association Meeting, London, UK, July 2022.

    Awards and Honors:

    • Graduate Research Fellowship, University of Cambridge, UK, 2021-2025
    • Dean’s List, King’s College London, UK, 2019


    • Neuroimaging Techniques: fMRI, EEG
    • Data Analysis: MATLAB, SPSS, R
    • Statistical Analysis: ANOVA, t-tests, regression
    • Programming: Python, R
    • Scientific Writing and Communication

    Professional Affiliations:

    • Society for Neuroscience (SfN)
    • British Neuroscience Association (BNA)


    Available upon request.

    CV template for academic researchers

    And finally, the CV template for academic researchers is most likely to be the longest. This particular group of academics typically comes with more extensive research experience, a larger publication record, involvement in funded projects, and leadership roles in research teams. They may also have a significant teaching portfolio, such as supervising graduate students and mentoring junior researchers.

    Overall, the CV template for academic researchers will showcase their advanced expertise, contributions to their field, and established track record in academia.

    Like so…

    Dr. Rhys French
    59 Overton Circle, Liverpool, L3 8HB
    +44 7890 123456

    Personal Statement:

    Experienced and dedicated researcher with a strong background in Molecular Biology. Proficient in experimental design, data analysis, and scientific writing. Committed to advancing knowledge and contributing to scientific breakthroughs in the field. Seeking opportunities for collaborative research and academic engagement in the UK.

    Professional Experience:

    January 2022 – May 2022

    University of Cambridge – Cambridge
    Guest Lecturer

    • Collaborated with lecturers to enhance teaching procedures.
    • Designed exams, assessments and course content, including lecture material and writing assignments.
    • Followed safeguarding principles to maximise student health and wellbeing.
    • Lectured classes using exceptional communication techniques to enhance engagement.

    September 2017 – May 2020

    Imperial College London – London
    Teaching Assistant

    • Organised and distributed learning materials, ensuring students received relevant homework, textbooks and classroom supplies.
    • Established effective classroom routines by providing high-quality practical support to teaching staff.
    • Helped teachers with lesson plan development, class preparation and student mentoring.

    January 2015 – May 2015

    University of Oxford – Oxford

    • Helped students use scientific language, formulas and equations for scientific inquiry and investigation.
    • Designed laboratory experiments and implemented innovative teaching methodologies to facilitate better learning.
    • Improved quality of curriculum by maintaining up to date knowledge about latest developments in chemistry.


    September 2016 – May 2020
    University of Cambridge Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Doctor of Philosophy Molecular Biology

    Thesis: “Investigating the Role of Epigenetic Regulation in Cancer Development” – Supervisor: Prof. David Smith

    September 2014 – May 2016
    Imperial College London London, United Kingdom
    Master of Science Biotechnology

    September 2010 – May 2014
    University of Oxford Oxford, United Kingdom
    Bachelor of Science Biochemistry

    Research Experience:

    Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Biochemistry, University College London, UK, 2020-present

    • Investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases.
    • Designing and performing experiments to study protein-protein interactions and signalling pathways.
    • Mentoring graduate and undergraduate students in laboratory techniques and experimental design.

    Research Assistant, Cancer Research UK, London Research Institute, UK, 2016-2020

    • Conducted research on the molecular basis of cancer progression and metastasis.
    • Utilised cell culture, molecular biology, and imaging techniques to study cancer cell behaviour.
    • Published 6 peer-reviewed articles in high-impact journals.


    • Johnson, S., et al. (2023). Epigenetic dysregulation in cancer: Implications for therapy. Nature Reviews Cancer, 21(4), 567-580.
    • Johnson, S., & Smith, D. (2022). Role of chromatin remodelling in neurodegenerative diseases. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 45(2), 123-136.
    • Johnson, S., et al. (2021). Targeting oncogenic signalling pathways in breast cancer. Oncogene, 38(4), 567-580.


    • “Molecular Insights into Neurodegeneration,” British Neuroscience Association Annual Meeting, Edinburgh, UK, July 2022.
    • “Epigenetic Regulation in Cancer Development,” European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Conference, Heidelberg, Germany, September 2021.

    Awards and Honors:

    Postdoctoral Fellowship, Wellcome Trust, UK, 2020-present
    Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis Award, University of Cambridge, UK, 2020

    Grants and Fellowships:

    • Wellcome Trust Research Grant, £200,000, 2021-2024
    • Cancer Research UK Fellowship, £150,000, 2018-2021

    Professional Affiliations:

    • British Society for Cell Biology (BSCB)
    • European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)


    • Molecular Biology Techniques: PCR, Western Blotting, Immunoprecipitation
    • Cell Culture: Primary cell culture, Transfection, CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing
    • Data Analysis: MATLAB, R, ImageJ
    • Scientific Writing and Communication


    Available upon request.

    Top tips for using an academic CV template

    • Choose the right CV template for you

      Just as all traditional CV templates aren’t made equal, neither are academic ones. When choosing the right template for you, consider the norms of your academic field. Does your discipline favour more conservative formats, or are creative CV designs encouraged? Only you can answer this question, and it’s important you get this right, in order to leave a good impression on academic recruiters. Other discipline-specific norms might relate to the length and tone of your academic CV template.

    • Customise the sections

      Another key feature that defines academic CV templates from other CV templates are the types of sections you can find within them. While your traditional curriculum vitae is typically focused around employment history, education, and skills, the academic CV goes into far more depth with regards to your candidate profile. Common sections include Education, Research Experience, Awards and Honours, Publications, Professional Affiliations, and so on. Adapt your CV template to include sections that are relevant to your academic career.

    • Detail your experiences

      While you may be feeling confident in your choice of academic CV template, some legwork is still required of you in terms of how you describe your academic experiences. With discipline-specific norms in mind, make sure to use concise, descriptive language when listing each position or role. Include things such as your title, institution name, location, and the dates, and follow each entry with bullet points detailing your responsibilities, achievements, and any noteworthy outcomes.

      Where possible, be sure to quantify your achievements, i.e. provide hard numbers to demonstrate what specific results you achieved. This could relate to the number of students you taught, or the number of projects you contributed to during your tenure. Any such examples are likely to make your academic CV stand out from the crowd!

    • Tailor for each application

      Another key component of wielding your academic CV template effectively is customising it for each job application. After all, even within the same field, different employers will have different requirements, which means you’ll need to emphasise certain skills and experiences to a greater or lesser extent to convey your fitness for the job. Of course, tailoring your academic CV template will also help you ensure that it includes the keywords you need to get past applicant tracking systems (ATS).

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    What you need to know about the Oxford CV template

    What Is the best style for an Oxford CV?

    When writing an Oxford CV, aim for a polished and professional style of a simple CV template. Your priority should be clarity and ease of reading.

    Choose a standard font such as Arial or Times New Roman and keep the formatting consistent throughout the document.

    Break up your CV into separate sections with headings in bold or slightly larger font sizes to make them stand out.

    Use bullets to effectively highlight key details in each section.
    Make sure there is also enough blank space so your CV doesn’t look heavy or overwhelming. This will ensure that relevant information is easily accessible to the reader.

    What Are the top verbs to use in an Oxford CV?

    The choice of words for your CV is very important. In an Oxford CV, using strong action verbs can effectively highlight your accomplishments and demonstrate your skills and capabilities.

    Here are some top action verbs to use in your Oxford CV:

    • Achieved
    • Developed
    • Implemented
    • Managed
    • Analysed
    • Collaborated
    • Created
    • Led
    • Organised
    • Improved
    • Researched
    • Solved
    • Coordinated
    • Executed
    • Presented
    • Innovated
    • Negotiated
    • Mentored
    • Optimised
    • Facilitated
    • Communicated
    • Evaluated
    • Demonstrated
    • Devised
    • Trained
    • Strategised
    • Advised
    • Reviewed
    • Implemented
    • Drafted

    How long should my Oxford CV be?

    The optimal length typically ranges from one to two pages for a standard professional Oxford CV for non-academic positions. This length allows you to provide enough information to highlight your qualifications and experiences effectively while keeping the document concise and easy to read. Aim to include only relevant and impactful details that directly support your application, prioritising quality over quantity.

    However, if you’re preparing an academic CV for roles within academia or research, it’s common for the document to be longer. Academic CVs often extend to three or more pages to accommodate comprehensive details about your education, research experience, publications, presentations, grants, awards, and other relevant academic activities. In academia, thoroughness is key, but it’s also important to balance this with readability. Ensure your academic CV remains well-organised and easy to navigate despite its length.

    Ultimately, the length of your Oxford CV will depend on its purpose and the expectations of your field or institution. Tailor the length and content of your CV to meet the requirements and preferences of the intended audience, whether it’s for professional or academic purposes.

    A compelling academic CV made easy

    While the academic CV template may seem a lot more intimidating than your traditional CV template, that’s only because the stakes tend to be higher in the case of the former. After all, careers in academia are not only highly sought after, but they also require a lot from those chasing after them.

    Worry not, however! Now that you’ve reached the end of this guide, you have all the tips and resources you need to be able to create an academic curriculum vitae that will win over the minds and hearts of recruiters.


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