I think the question of whether to put, explicitly, one's age and nationality on an academic cv is non trivial and would like the view of the community...

Up to now I have believed that (an estimation of) age can be inferred from the dates given in a candidate's Past Education (date of masters, phd, number of posdocs etc). Moreover, I have colleagues who got stuck doing multiple postdocs who were then discriminated against for their so called advanced years when applying for faculty posts ("(S)he's approaching 40 and hasn't had a faculty position yet; if they were good they would already have found a post, right?"). On the other hand, for someone who has advanced quickly, it might be an advantage to highlight that they have reached a faculty post early (or it might inadvertently highlight the young age and lesser experience of the candidate).

As for nationality, when applying abroad it can be a definite disadvantage to show the search committee that you would need migratory support to get a visa, green card etc. Or perhaps it can be advantageous to show a different background that could be brought to the post to enrich the diversity of the faculty....

As you can see, I am stuck seeing positive and negatives for both pieces of information. Is there a definitive answer or convention that one should follow?

  • Note that most (larger) employers will have a special office to assist with visa issues of foreign nationals. The hiring department doesn't need to be concerned with it unless there is an impediment. So it won't be an issue in acceptance in nearly every field. Some National Security related positions will be different, of course.
    – Buffy
    Oct 11, 2019 at 16:52
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    The proper answer depends on the country, so no there is no convention. I suggest you edit your question to reflect a specific country. Oct 12, 2019 at 5:25
  • If you spent many years post-phd failing to apply for or get grants etc. Then one might expect that unsuccessful streak to continue for the next 6 years too, and you won't get tenured. It's not the age it's the mounting data regarding your inability to accomplish anything. Another person of the same age might have worked for several years but only have earned their phd recently. That would be a different story. Oct 12, 2019 at 19:26

1 Answer 1


There is a reason why many countries ban explicit characteristics in job ads, and that is exactly to avoid discrimination. But you should check some examples of CV's for the country you wish to apply to.

Also, applying as a foreigner is different than as a local. Check the universities site on that and you'll see the requirements, which might include proof of nationality besides the CV, which is where you give the details of age and nationality.

  • Indeed, in the UK you should not ever submit a CV with your birthday on it. Some employers have to automatically reject such CVs (as well as CVs that have a photograph on them). This gets a bit confused as the EU standard CV template has birthday and photo, but just don't do it. Regarding nationality, that is not something to hide. In the UK you will be asked if you require visa support as part of the application process. If you lie on that, you get nowhere as if they cannot support a visa for that position, things aren't going to change no matter how great you are. Don't hide nationality. Oct 11, 2019 at 15:22
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    @GrotesqueSI There is miles between lying about your nationality (or need for a visa), and including that information on your CV.
    – TimRias
    Oct 11, 2019 at 15:28
  • @GrotesqueSI Its not that nationality ought to be hidden, but rather where should it be mentioned. Just like the photo or age, it shouldn't go in the CV (besides, it will be inferred in the education part there) , but it will certainly be needed in the application forms, Nationality and current country of residence, which aren't necessarily the same.
    – deags
    Oct 11, 2019 at 16:49
  • @mmeent Sorry if I wasn't clear, this is the reason it was a comment. I was trying to warn the poster (and anyone) against lying on that question which will pop up during most UK academic job applications online. I meant to separate that comment from anything CV. Oct 11, 2019 at 18:33
  • @deags You can't infer my nationality from the education part of my CV, but see my above comment, I was simply warning anyone looking to not lie on that question in digital applications in the UK, hence it being a comment. It was an aside from the main question. Oct 11, 2019 at 18:34

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