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Curriculum Vitae Guidelines

The Office of Faculty and Professional Development at Penn State College of Medicine has developed these guidelines to help faculty with CV creation.

Please note that these are guidelines, not a template. A few tips:

  • The sections of the CV should follow in this general order.
  • If sections are not applicable, that heading should be omitted.
  • Use subheadings wherever necessary to make key information easier to identify.
  • Use one standard typeface, style and a consistent font size throughout the document.
  • Use margins (1 inch is recommended).
  • Use a page header/footer with your name and the page number on every page of the CV except the first one.
  • List all information consistently in chronological (oldest to newest) order or reverse chronological (newest to oldest) order within each section, unless otherwise specified.

Jump to topic


Basic Biographic Information

Top of Page Expand answer

What to Include

At the top of the first page, center the words “Curriculum Vitae” in bold.

Below that, center your full legal name and degree.


  • Use your legal first and last names.
  • You may use your middle initial instead of your full middle name.
  • Do not include information other than your degree. Membership in institutes, centers and programs should be listed under academic appointments or an affiliation subsection.
Current Position Expand answer

What to Include

Next to the heading “Current Position,” list your current academic rank and department.

On the next line, include Penn State Health or Penn State College of Medicine or Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.


  • Include your institutional association in this section.
  • Be sure to use the correct name, as listed above.
Curriculum Vitae Date Expand answer

What to Include

List the month, day and year of CV preparation here.


  • This can be listed here or at the very end of the CV.
Contact Information Expand answer

What to Include

List your business address on an appropriate number of lines.

Below that, list your business phone number, fax number, and institutional ( or email address.


  • Do not include personal information in this section, such as home address, marital status, Social Security number, birthdate, personal email, etc.

Education and Credentials

Education Expand answer

What to Include

List all undergraduate and graduate education chronologically (oldest to newest).

Include the name of the degree, year awarded, name of institution and major.

You may also include the title of your thesis and your thesis advisor, if applicable.


  • Use the name of the degree as it was awarded, with no periods – MBBS, DSc, MBChB, MDMC, MD/PhD, etc.
Postgraduate Education and Training Expand answer

What to Include

List all training positions (internships, residencies, postdoctoral fellowships, etc.) chronologically.

Include the years, the name of the institution and your mentor (if applicable) for each position.


  • Do not repeat any of these under the employment section.
Certifications (If Applicable) Expand answer

What to Include

List all board and/or specialty certifications with years received.


  • Do not include board numbers.
Medical Licensures (If Applicable) Expand answer

What to Include

List all medical and/or other state/federal licensures with year issued and status (active or inactive).


  • Do not include licensure numbers.
Military Service (If Applicable) Expand answer

What to Include

Provide rank, location of service and dates.

Employment History

Academic Appointments Expand answer

What to Include

List each appointment separately by rank, in reverse chronological older (most recent first).

Other Employment Expand answer

What to Include

Separate faculty appointments from other administrative, hospital or industry appointments and program affiliations. These other employment positions should be listed in reverse chronological order (newest first).

Include the beginning and ending year, title, department and institution for all part-time and full-time positions attained by appointment, promotion and/or change.

If tenured, give year when tenure was received.

Memberships and Awards

Professional Society Memberships Expand answer

What to Include

Report years for each professional society to which you currently belong or belonged to in the past.

Include leadership and/or committee roles.

Include organization activities as part of this membership, if applicable.

Honors and Awards Expand answer

What to Include

List chronologically. Include the year awarded, name of award and/or awarding institution, and nature of the award if not apparent.

Clinical Service

Clinical Activities (If Applicable) Expand answer

What to Include

Include years where applicable.

Describe your clinical expertise (include description of any specific clinical techniques).

Describe the scope of clinical practice:

  • Site of primary practice
  • Responsibilities with practice (leadership/administrative roles)
  • Total time spent in clinical duties

Keep details brief and in lists instead of paragraphs of text.

Describe innovative techniques that have changed or influenced practice.

Describe your role in clinical Quality and Safety programs, if applicable.

Describe development of any clinical program.


  • For clinical duties, you may want to outline major clinical activities including attending, rounds, clinics, etc.


  • 2005-present: Attending Physician Inpatient Service, 3 Residents, 2 Medical students, 1 Fellow 8 hours/day, 2 months/year
  • 2011-present: Instituted and attend new clinical program in Integrated Medicine 1 day per week, 400 patients evaluated per year

Administrative Service

Institutional Service Expand answer

What to Include

For institutional service, list years and committees serviced or chaired, including department committees, College committees, hospital committees, special assignments, etc.

Include a subsection for each institution if there are multiple activities at several institutions.

List significant administrative and/or leadership roles.


  • 2000: Medical Director, Generic Health Clinic, University Medical Center
    Oversees staff of 20 and budget of $4.2 million.
    Provided oversight to quality of care.
    Clinic comprised 10,000 patient visits per year
  • 2001-3: Member, Pharmacy and Therapeutics Board of Hospital
  • 2005-present: Director, Ethics in Laboratory Medicine Committee
    College of Medicine
Local and National Service Expand answer

What to Include

List years of service and name of organization.

Do not include community service here; there is a subsequent section for that.

Separate local service from national service.

National service includes grant and article reviewing. Include estimated number of grant and article reviews per year after each journal (for instance, twice a year).

Separately list grant review service activities.

Separately list journal review service activities.

Clearly identify any key conferences that you organized.


  • Italicize journal names if you were a reviewer or on an editorial board.


  • National:
    • 2001-2: Member, Membership Committee, American Board of Physicians
    • 2003: NIH Study Section reviewer (10 a year)
    • 2003-5: Editorial Board Member, Journal of Science
    • 2006-8: Member, Study Section, NIH 2011-15 Examiner, American Board of Medicine
    • 2010: Ad Hoc Reviewer, Journal of Biological Chemistry (two times a year)
    • 2010-present: State Grant reviewer (5 a year)
  • Local:
    • 2002-5: Member, Pennsylvania Medical Society
  • Course Directorship:
    • 2000: Course Director, Kienle Conference, Hershey, PA
    • 2005: Convener, Penn State Alumni Conference, Baltimore, Maryland

Other Activities

Community Service Activities Expand answer

What to Include

List chronologically all current and past community service activities and leadership roles/ responsibilities.

This might also include radio/media interviews or community volunteer activities, as additional examples.


  • National:
    • 2002-08: Member, National Science Board
    • 2009-10: Member, National Volunteer Organization
  • Local:
    • 2000: Media interview in support of Health Advocacy
    • 2002-2005: Member, United Way
    • 2010-present: Member, Central PA Food Bank
  • Media Interviews:
    • 2000: NPR Media Interview in support of Health Advocacy
    • 2002: Harrisburg Newspaper review of publication on Ethics in medicine
Teaching Activities Expand answer

What to Include

List chronologically all current and past teaching responsibilities, keeping basic sciences separate from clinical sciences.

Separate each category of teaching: APC student, medical student, graduate student and fellow/resident (postgraduate) teaching from each other whenever possible (recognizing some teaching may have more than one group).

Medical student teaching should be identified by year as well as this separation is required for dossier preparation.

Quantify/detail teaching responsibilities by including course numbers, hours/week spent in the classroom number of students in course.


  • Physician Assistant Course – PA1
    • 2015 Lecturer, Physiology Course
      Integrative Physiology Course
      30 first-year PAl students – 3 contact hours/year
  • Medical Student – MS2
    • 2008: Lecturer, Pathology and Pharmacology Course
      150 second-year medical students – 10 contact hours/year
  • Medical Student – MS3
    • 2009: Lecturer, Medicine Clerkship
      15 third-year medical students – 2 contact hours/year
  • Postgraduate Resident/Fellow Teaching
    • 2010: Lecturer, Training Course
      30 attendees, 2 contact hours/year
  • Graduate Student Teaching
    • 2010: Lecturer, Lab Safety Course
      15 attendees, 6 contact hours/year
  • Community Lectures/Talks
    • 2010: Lecturer, Healthy Eating for Parents
      25 attendees, 2 hours/year
    • 2012: Speaker and College of Medicine Representative
      Health Fair, 200 attendees, 4 hours/year
Mentorship Activities Expand answer

What to Include

List significant mentoring activities (especially if no formal teaching experience) and detail number of students/fellows/residents supervised and time spent with each.

List chronologically all current and past mentorship responsibilities, listing students, residents, fellows and junior faculty chronologically with current position, if known.


  • Mentorship
    • 2000-4: John Smith, Medical Student, 10 hours/year
      Intern, U Hospital
    • 2004-8: Mary Jones, Physician Assistant Student, 20 hrs/yr
      PA, XY Hospital

Grant Support

Active Grants Expand answer

What to Include

List grants chronologically by start date in sections by status (active, pending or completed).

Include only currently active grants in this part.

List all extramural and intramural grants in all sections.

Separate contracts from grants.

Be sure to separate all non-refereed articles from peer-reviewed articles.

For every grant or contract listed (active, submitted or completed) you must provide the following information:

  • Effective dates: mm/dd/yy – mm/dd/yy (beginning and end)
  • Role and percent effort in each project (be very specific and give precise role designated on approved grant; principal investigator, co-investigator or collaborator, etc.)
  • Name of PI if other than you
  • Project title
  • Type of grant and/or contract (e.g., R01, collaborative projects, multi-center trials, contract, private foundation, etc.)
  • Funding agency (note whether or not grant is peer-reviewed)
  • Date submitted if grant is pending
  • Include costs and indicate if direct or indirect costs and if they are for the current year and/or for the total grant period (provide costs for your portion of grant if applicable)
  • If not PI, include a one-line explanation of role
Pending Grants Expand answer

What to Include

Include only grants that are actually submitted, including date the grant was submitted.

Completed Grants Expand answer

What to Include

Include completed grants here.


  • 02/01/98 – 06/30/02: (PI, 20%)
    “Effects of Aspirin on Hypertension”
    Merit Review Award
    Annual Direct Costs: $137,500
    Total Direct Costs: $550,000
  • 07/01/07 – 06/30/11: (Co-Inv, 10%; PI – J.Smith)
    “Effects of Aspirin on Hypertension”
    NIH/NIA R01 AB12345
    Annual Direct Costs: $100,000
    Total Direct Costs: $500,000

Research Output

Patents, Inventions and Copyrights (If Applicable) Expand answer

What to Include

List all patents, inventions and/or copyrights issued.

Only include patents that have received a number.

Publications Expand answer

What to Include

Publications should be numbered in each section; single-spaced (even between listings); and list in chronological (oldest to newest) order.

Single space between publications.

Separate publications according to the following headings (you may use additional subsection headings as you deem necessary):

  • Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
  • Submitted or In-Revision Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
  • Books
  • Book Chapters
  • Non-Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
  • Web-Based Articles and Public Communications (including media interviews)
  • Other Brief Communications (letters to editor, etc.)
  • Published Multimedia (including software, audio, videotapes, etc.)


  • Articles that are being prepared for initial submission, but not yet in press should not be included on CV.
  • For all publications, include last name and initials of all authors; underline or bold your name in each reference.
  • It is general practice that the first author is the primary author (person who had primary responsibility for the key activities of the project) and the last author is the senior author (person who is the overall director of the research project). If this is not the case then mark as such:
    • Denote the primary author with a notation.
    • Denote the senior author with a different notation.
    • Note if official “co-first” authorship was on the title page of the publication
  • Provide complete bibliographic information (title, volume, page numbers, year, etc.).
  • If you were not first or senior author on a publication but made a significant contribution, include a brief description of the role.
  • You may include publications that are “in press,” but make certain to update this with the above bibliographic information once the final publication is out.
Invited Lectures Expand answer

What to Include

Separate and chronologically list in separate sections all local, national and international invited lectures.

Specify title of presentation, inviting organization (medical school, hospital, local or national society, etc.), location, and date (year).

Number them (single space between).

Abstracts (Not Otherwise Published) Expand answer

List chronologically oral or poster presentations that were not by special invitation and did not result in published abstracts. Number them.

Final Tips

Most Common CV Mistakes Expand answer
  • Using large margins, bullets, borders, or including personal information.
  • Omitting information (dates, teaching details, grant details, service details, pending grants).
  • Not putting items in chronological order (oldest to newest) or as directed in sections.
  • Not separating information into subheadings.
  • Including license numbers. (These are confidential and should NOT be included.)
  • Pagination errors – having a heading at the bottom of one page, with the content of the section beginning on the next page.
  • Not underlining or putting name in bold in publications.
  • Incomplete citation information for publications.
  • Publications listed more than once and in more than one section.
  • Including “in preparation” publications.
  • Not including date CV was updated.
Other Resources Expand answer